New firework designs including from a schoolgirl have lit up Sydney Harbour with families across eastern Australia treated to early New Year’s Eve pyrotechnics. Hundreds of thousands of people lined Sydney Harbour to watch the 9pm show with South Australian schoolgirl Dhrithi’s blue and white design taking centre stage during the eight-minute display.

It also included pyrotechnics harnessing a new “wave effect” design to give gold palms coloured tips.

More than 8.5 tonnes of fireworks comprising more than 100,000 individual effects, 35,000 of them shooting comets, will be fired over the harbour by midnight.

Pre-midnight firework shows for families were held from Hobart to Queensland’s Cape York as Australians prepared to ring in the new year.