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From the worst fire season on record, to nation-wide protests, to embracing our new normal, Australians have lived through some of the biggest changes in history this year.


To celebrate the end of one hell of a chapter, we pulled together some of the most iconic pictures that show how 2020 unfolded for Aussies.


Sam Mooy / Getty Images

An out of control fire burns in Mount Adrah, NSW. At the time this photo was taken, there were 135 fires burning across the state, 50 of which were uncontained.


Brook Mitchell / Getty Images

An aerial view of fire-ravaged bushland.


James D. Morgan / Getty Images

The Sydney Opera House shrouded in thick smoke due to the bushfires burning across NSW.


James D. Morgan / Getty Images

Images from the bushfires projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House, in a show of support for all communities affected around Australia.


Rohan Thomson / Getty Images

Golf ball-sized hail hammers Parliament House in a freak hailstorm.


Mohammad Farooq / Getty Images

Protestors demands the government take immediate action against climate change in the wake of the deadliest bushfire season on record.


Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

A huge crowd watches the Women’s Singles Final of the Australian Open.


Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

Novak Djokovic wins the Men’s Singles Final.


Mark Evans / Getty Images

Sydney is battered by severe rainfall and storms — a celebrated arrival following the bushfire devastation.


Brook Mitchell / Getty Images

The Sydney area experiences its wettest weekend in more than 20 years, with strong winds and torrential rain causing flash flooding. Thousands of homes lose power and evacuations are carried out across the city.


Cole Bennetts / Getty Images

Delta Goodrem performs during Fire Fight Australia at ANZ Stadium, to raise money for bushfire-affected communities.


Cole Bennetts / Getty Images

A huge, packed crowd for Fire Fight Australia.


Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

The Ruby Princess docks at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney.

The subsequent outbreak associated with the cruise infected 663 Australians on board and led to 28 deaths, including 20 domestically and eight in the United States.


James D. Morgan / Getty Images

Australia enters a nation-wide lockdown. Prime Minister Scott Morrison tells Aussies to stay home unless they are shopping for food, receiving medical attention, going to work or education, or for exercise.


Saeed Khan / Getty Images

Coronavirus-induced panic buying hits the toilet paper aisle worst of all.


Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces a ban on all international travel for Aussies, leaving airports around the country desolate.


Jenny Evans / Getty Images

Bondi Beach gets shamed on an international scale, when crowds of people flock to the iconic shores, despite new social distancing laws.


William West / Getty Images

In scenes unheard of in Australia for decades, queues stretch around the block at unemployment offices throughout the country as thousands of Aussies lose their jobs.


Steve Christo – Corbis / Getty Images

A normally busy Sydney Opera House at dusk is devoid of tourists as Australia tackles the spread of COVID-19.


Paul Kane / Getty Images

Cottesloe Beach is seen similarly deserted.


Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

As is the Melbourne CBD.


Salty Wings / Via

Tamarama Beach, in Sydney’s East, urges visitors to stay home, in the wake of COVID-19. A photographer captured deserted beaches across the Eastern Suburbs in a striking series.


Chris Hyde / Getty Images

Gold Coast residents celebrate ANZAC Day the socially-distanced way, on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Traditional ANZAC Day ceremonies around the country are cancelled due to restrictions on gatherings of people.


Lindsay Moller Productions

Koalas from Port Macquarie Koala Hospital in NSW are released back into the wild again following the bushfires.


Puutu Kunti Kurrama And Pinikura Aboriginal Corporation / Via

In the expansion of its iron ore mine in Western Pilbara, WA, Rio Tinto blasts the Juukan Gorge — Aboriginal rock shelters dating back 46,000 years. The shelters were the only inland site in Australia showing human occupation continuing through the last Ice Age.

The mining blast causes significant distress to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama traditional land owners. It’s an irretrievable loss for future generations.


Mark Kolbe / Getty Images

Cardboard cut-outs of fans are placed in seats around stadiums as the NRL season continues.


Jono Searle / Getty Images

Major protests and rallies take place in cities and regional centres across Australia — both as a mark of solidarity with the US following the death of George Floyd, as well as to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples on home soil. Pictured is a protest in Mianjin/Brisbane.


Paul Kane / Getty Images

A Black Lives Matter Rally at Langley Park in Mooro/Perth.


Darrian Traynor / Getty Images

And in Naarm/Melbourne.


Icon Sportswire

And Gadigal/Sydney.


Saeed Khan / Getty Images

Police stand guard at the statue of Captain Cook in Gadigal/Sydney, during a protest rally for the Black Lives Matter movement.


Asanka Ratnayake / Getty Images

A sign is seen stuck to a window, after nine public housing estates in Victoria are placed into mandatory lockdown, following a spike of COVID-19 cases.


David Gray / Getty Images

Cars queue to cross the border from Victoria into NSW, ahead of a mandatory state-wide lockdown, following a surge of COVID-19 cases in Melbourne. It is the first time in 100 years that the border between the two states is closed.


Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, empty amid new COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria.


Asanka Ratnayake / Getty Images

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Melbourne residents are placed under some of the strictest coronavirus lockdown measures in the world. Under stage four restrictions, an overnight curfew holds from 8 P.M. to 5 A.M.


Chris Putnam/ Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The iconic Hosier Lane, within Melbourne CBD, is quiet and deserted during stage four lockdown.


Brook Mitchell / Getty Images

Crowds of visitors from all over NSW flock to Byron Bay as the borders between neighbouring states remain closed.


Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

The NSW Rural Fire Service begins reduction burning across the state.


Brook Mitchell / Getty Images

Farmers across the country celebrate drought-breaking rains during winter, which help to reinvigorate crop production come springtime.

Pictured, Peter O’Connor, amongst his bumper crop of Canola in Harden, NSW.



James D. Morgan / Getty Images

Sydneysiders crowd beneath jacaranda-lined streets in Kirribilli to capture photos of the stunning (and short-lived) purple blooms.


Robert Cianflone / Getty Images

The “race that stops the nation” unfolds before empty stands, due to COVID-19 preventing spectators attending the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse.

BuzzFeed does not support Melbourne Cup Carnival or the wider horse racing industry.


Brook Mitchell / Getty Images

Families reunite at Sydney Airport, after restrictions lift between Victoria and NSW for the first time since July.


Brook Mitchell / Getty Images

A couple reunites after five months apart due to the Victorian lockdown.


Roy Vandervegt / Getty Images

Rundle Street in Adelaide appears completely desolate, after South Australian Premier, Steven Marshall, announces a six-day lockdown for the state in response to growing new COVID-19 cases in the community.


Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

Koomurri Dance Group perform during a NAIDOC event — a week-long celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Brook Mitchell / Getty Images

Beach goers once again flock en masse to Bondi Beach, as Sydney swelters under record-breaking temperatures for November.


Jenny Evans / Getty Images

Helicopters are seen water bombing an out-of-control bushfire in Sydney on the same weekend — as the year finally comes full circle.

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