8000 revellers on New Year's Eve

ABOUT 8000 people were in Airlie Beach on New Year's Eve according to Whitsunday Police Station Senior Sergeant Steve O'Connell.

With crowds flocking to the Airlie Beach foreshore to watch the fireworks, footpaths and restaurants full and line-ups for entry into bars and clubs, Snr Sgt O'Connell said police were impressed that they saw no brawls.

"The mood in town was quite friendly and happy and it was excellent to see so many people out and that they were well behaved," he said.

"It is a pity these people's behaviour isn't the norm every other day of the year in Airlie Beach."

Police had a strong presence in town between 6pm on New Year's Eve and 6am on New Year's Day with only five people coming to their attention.

One of them was a 19-year-old P-plater who was caught drink driving one minute past midnight on Dingo Beach Rd.

The teen recorded a reading of 0.171 and was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and failing to wear a seatbelt. Celebrations continued across the region including at the Whitsundaze festival hosted by Party Warrior in conjunction with Magnums in Airlie Beach on New Year's Day. Promotions and events manager Isaac Andreou said the festival was hugely successful.

"Everyone had fun and the reports we got back were positive," he said.

Cruise Whitsundays CEO Peter Duncan said the holiday period had been very strong so far with numbers up with the best they have had in previous years. Fantasea Adventure Cruising general manager Rob Addis said the Christmas and New Year's cruises were heavily booked and their second daily cruise that started as of Boxing Day from Port of Airlie was very popular.


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