Glittering fireworks exploded over Sydney's Harbour Bridge this morning as cheering revellers welcomed 2012 and bid a weary adieu to a year marred by natural disasters and economic turmoil.
And cheers erupted in Samoa as the South Pacific island nation greeted 2012 with extra excitement -- for once, they were the first in the world to welcome the new year, rather than the last, after changing time zones.
Things were slightly less festive in New Zealand, where torrential storms forced fireworks displays to be cancelled.
In Australia, more than a million people crowded along Sydney's harbour for the midnight fireworks extravaganza.
The display was designed around the theme 'Time to Dream', a nod to the eagerness many felt at moving forward after the rough year.