The New Year's Eve countdown is on as thousands of Illawarra residents prepare to see out the final hours of 2012 watching a spectacular fireworks display at Wollongong harbour.
This year the traditional 9.30pm fireworks will be ushered in with a new laser show by Wollongong company Lightsounds.
The company has been responsible for casting light on to the old Belmore Basin lighthouse before - turning it pink for breast cancer awareness week, and changing its colour for World AIDS Day and Autism Awareness Week.
"We plan to light up the lighthouse different colours and incorporate a laser show as well," Lightsounds owner Claude Spinelli said.
"The laser will be aimed out to the crowd in Belmore Basin; it'll be like a dance party, something to hype people up before the fireworks."
The show has been choreographed to Swedish House Mafia's hit song Don't You Worry Child.
This afternoon is expected to remain warm and sunny with winds easing to a light breeze in the late evening, so families are encouraged to get to the harbour early and enjoy roving entertainers, food stalls and rides from 6pm.
The Wollongong NRE Hawks will also make an appearance to greet fans after taking on the Melbourne Tigers in their annual end-of-year match at WIN Entertainment Centre.
Roads surrounding the harbour, including parts of Cliff Road, Harbour Street and Endeavour Drive will be closed from 5pm.
Wollongong police officers will be out in force among the crowds, with public order and riot squad police, and the dog squad part of a high-visibility campaign.
They will be enforcing alcohol-free zones and have the power to dispose of booze.
Inspector Steve Hegarty said police would make sure everyone had a good time "but not at the expense of other people's safety".
Meantime, Lake Illawarra police will focus their New Year's Eve campaign on house parties and will also have a drug bus to conduct random driver testing.
Community safety officer Sergeant Jason Harrison recommended speaking to neighbours to give them the heads-up before throwing a party and registering any large gatherings at mynite.com.au.