An alleged glassing in Kiama, a sexual assault in Fairy Meadow and a firecracker injury in Kanahooka were just some of the incidents Illawarra emergency services were called to as the region rung in the new year.
Wollongong police acting Inspector Dan Richardson said that though people were generally well behaved as they celebrated on Tuesday night, 10 people were arrested on various charges, including possession of drugs and traffic offences.
A serious incident occurred about 3am yesterday when a 21-year-old woman was sexually assaulted at Fairy Meadow Beach. She was walking alone on the beach when a man grabbed her from behind and dragged her into nearby sand dunes. He sexually assaulted her before fleeing.
Police are seeking any information from possible witnesses.
North Wollongong Hotel had a steady police presence due to the large number of patrons, and police were needed for several hours at house and beach parties in Wombarra and Stanwell Park to disperse partygoers.
Wollongong's Sobering Up Centre admitted more people than usual on New Year's Eve, but Watershed services manager Anna Bruseker said the increase was expected.
"We had more than we normally have on a regular night," she said
"There were a lot more people out on New Year's Eve and they had the big fireworks down at the harbour, so there were lots of people out and about."
Further south, Inspector Paul Allman from Lake Illawarra police said officers had had a busy night - 11 people were arrested between 6pm and 6am.
They included three people arrested at the Kiama Inn Hotel about 12.45am yesterday after an alleged glassing.
A 25-year-old man was allegedly asked to leave the premises. And when he refused was escorted from the hotel, before allegedly throwing glass bottles at a security guard, hitting him in the back.
He was charged with reckless wounding, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, resisting arrest and assaulting police. A 30-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman were also charged with resisting arrest and assaulting police.
Several people were arrested for drink driving. About 800 breathalyser tests were conducted in the Lake Illawarra area command.
Insp Allman said that though large crowds at places such as Kiama Harbour behaved well, it was disappointing to see several people arrested for assaulting and harassing police officers.
"It's a little disappointing that that occurred in the area," he said.
"And it appears in all of those cases those people that did become involved and hindered, harassed or intimidated the police were under the effects of alcohol and they perhaps need to be a bit wiser in their behaviour."
Paramedics attended more than 20 call-outs across the Illawarra from 6pm on Tuesday.
More than half involved alcohol - intoxicated and often unconscious people were being transported to Wollongong Hospital.
In Koonawarra, a 17-year-old man was taken by helicopter to Royal North Shore Hospital in a serious condition about 7.10pm with a possible spinal injury from a jumping castle.
Paramedics were called to Kanahooka at midnight when a 31-year-old man sustained a serious hand injury after an alleged incident involving a fire cracker. He was transported to the Sydney Hospital hand unit.