I did my research beforehand...
... and determined the general consensus on taking good firework pictures seemed to be low ISO, long exposure, manual focus and a mid range aperture.
As I do not have a shutter release cable, I had to set the self timer to 2 seconds, then press the button before I expected the fireworks to be visible. As a result, using shorter exposures (such as 1 second) didn't seem to capture the moment as I intended as the timing was too difficult. For a solution, I opted for longer exposures (ranging from 4 - 30 seconds) making it impossible to miss the action.
On side note, after coming home I decided (a) I did want a remote shutter release, but (b) I wanted one cheaply, so I jumped on eBay and have ordered myself the following Infared Remote Shutter Release. For $5.49 it will be interesting to see how it goes!
Some of the results...
f/11, 3.2s, ISO 100
f/11, 13s, ISO 320
f/11, 5s, ISO 125