The London Olympics opening ceremony was lauded as a "whimsical, riotous and very British" spectacle and an "obvious retort" to the tight discipline seen in Beijing by Australia's press Saturday.
Though the glittering showpiece was broadcast too late for the nation's newspapers, starting at 5.30am Saturday local time, effusive online coverage declared Danny Boyle's tribute to Britain a stunning success.
"Boyle's vivid and vibrant pageant set the tone for these Games and perhaps even a new direction for the Olympic movement. Rio has a hard act to follow," said the Sydney Morning Herald, describing it as "artistic genius" and "both unexpected and better than expected".
"His show did not take itself too seriously, but was never trivial. It was irreverent, but never disrespectful. It was clever, but did not outsmart itself. It was at once subversive and sublime."
Sydney hosted the Olympics 12 years ago and The Australian newspaper said Boyle had sought to match the city for creativity and "deploy the wit and the self-awareness that the Chinese lacked" at the 2008 Beijing games.
"Celebrating everything from punk music to social media and the internet, the ceremony deliberately revelled in the chaos of Britain's free society and popular culture in an obvious retort to the breath-taking order and intimidating precision and scale of Beijing's open ceremony in 2008," The Australian said.
"The result was not quite as charming as Sydney's ceremony, on which it was modelled, nor as overwhelming and grandiose as Beijing's but it was vibrant, stimulating and eclectic, just like London itself."
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation described it as a "whimsical, riotous and very British spectacle", while News Limited said it had ensured London would always be remembered as "the Olympics when the Queen and James Bond jumped out of a helicopter".
"It could well have been the most astonishing moment in modern Olympic history," News Limited said.
"Records will always be broken, athletes will come and go, but we'll never see anything like that again."
The ceremony "was like a party you never wanted to end, a book you didn't want to finish", it added.
"Boyle's vision was extraordinary in its scope; audacious in its imagination and at times its cheeky humour made Sydney seem positively stodgy in comparison."