Australia bushfires: Queenstown benefit concert well-attended to support country in crisis

Hundreds attended Sunday's benefit concert in Queenstown to help raise funds for Australia's bushfire crisis. 

On a hot summer day, droves of locals showed up to support New Zealand's trans-Tasman neighbours in need.

The concert is one of many nationwide fundraisers aiming to help those battling the devastation across the ditch.

Organisers were prompted to take action after waking up on New Year's Day to see the town blanketed with thick smoke, a nasty reminder of Australia's ongoing emergency.

"The snow had turned reddish and our skies were covered in smoke... we could hardly see the Remarkables from where we were in Fern Hill and I thought, 'Wow, we've gotta help these people'," event organiser Shay Muddle told Newshub.

"It really drove it home, how huge it was to not just see the impact from here - but to feel it from here," Australian musician Rebecca Barnes added.

"It's really nice to be able to take time to be able to help them."

Local musicians rallied from throughout the Wakatipu Basin, the call for performers met by eager ears. 

"Not only do Australians live and work here, but also a lot of tourists come here," Muddle said.

More than 30 percent of international arrivals into Queenstown are from Australia, many coming to enjoy the area's renowned ski season.

Many Australians came to support Sunday's benefit concert. 

"My hometown is pretty much engulfed in flames at the moment," attendee Cameron Lui said. 

Millions of dollars have been raised worldwide for some of the worst bushfires in global history.

Sunday's efforts are expected to add upwards of $50,000 to the ever-growing relief funds.