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New Year: Australia and New Zealand lead celebrations to welcome in 2015

What are you planning to do to ring in the New Year?

New Zealand has led the New Year celebrations as the country welcomed in 2015 with fireworks.

Millions got things underway across the other side of the globe, entering the New Year in style.

A giant clock in Auckland's Sky Tower counted down the minutes until midnight.

The capital, Wellington, hosted a family-friendly celebration in a park featuring orchestral music and movie clips and culminating in a fireworks display.

Sydney takes pride in being one of the first major cities in the world to welcome each new year, and it plans to greet 2015 in its trademark glittery fashion - with a tropical-style fireworks display featuring shimmering gold and silver palm tree pyrotechnic effects.

More than 1.5 million people are expected to crowd along the shores of the city's famed harbour to watch the vivid eruption of light over the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and other points along the water.

The festivities, however, come just two weeks after an Iranian-born, self-styled cleric took 18 people hostage inside a downtown cafe.

A tribute to two hostages killed in the siege will be displayed on the pylons of the Harbour Bridge during the fireworks display, and an extra 3,000 police officers will be patrolling the city. Still, residents are being encouraged to celebrate as usual.

New York will drop its Waterford crystal ball at midnight, in a tradition being increasingly copied across the United States with twists celebrating local icons.

In Miami, a 35ft neon orange will light up, while Atlanta and Nashville, Tennessee, will drop a peach and a musical note, respectively.

Closer to home, bars and restaurants are gearing up right across Northern Ireland to celebrate - with thousands set to get dressed up for 2015.

Elsewhere, police have warned party goers to avoid large swathes of central London on Thursday night unless they have a ticket to the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The warning from the Metropolitan Police came as a massive operation got underway to ensure the capital is ready for its first ticketed fireworks display to see in the New Year.

Traditionally the yearly event has been free to the public, but controversially this year’s display is a ticket-only event following fears of over-crowding in recent years.

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