Belmore Basin will again host the Illawarra’s largest New Year’s Eve party, with families expected to flock to the foreshore to watch the 9pm fireworks display.
Wollongong City Council’s family-friendly and alcohol-free celebration will start at 6pm. It also includes amusement rides, live music from the City of Wollongong Brass Band, and food and novelty stalls.
The amusement rides set up in Lang Park for New Year’s Eve will also be open on New Year’s Day.
This year’s event has a superhero theme, and Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery is calling on partygoers to dress as their favourite superhero.
Wollongong Hawks players will attend the festivities to sign autographs and meet fans, after their match against the Melbourne Tigers (tip-off at 5.30pm).
Large crowds are expected and parts of Cliff Road and Harbour Street are closed to traffic.
People are advised to catch the train to Fairy Meadow, North Wollongong or Wollongong stations and then take the Gong Shuttle Bus.
Wollongong’s nightspots are also gearing up for a busy evening – New Year’s Eve is often the busiest night of the year for many of them.
The North Wollongong Hotel has set up three stages, including a large outdoor one in its car park.
It will entertain revellers from 6pm to 2 am with a line-up of DJs including Timmy Trumpet, SCNDL, Chardy, Tigerlily and UK duo AudioJack.
Further south, the Shellharbour Club will host fireworks displays at 9pm and midnight.
In Kiama, festivities will centre on a 9pm fireworks display on the harbour, with Black Beach tipped as the best vantage point.
The family-friendly Kiama event will also include food stalls, live music, face painting and a carnival atmosphere.
In the Shoalhaven, fireworks displays will be held at the Berry Showground, Huskisson’s Voyager Park and Ulladulla Harbour.