The 26th of January marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet at Port Jackson in 1788. Today, Australia Day reflects the diversity of modern Australia while commemorating the history and continued significance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Here are some of the best ways to celebrate Australia Day in the nation’s largest city.
Australia Day Big Breakfast
Head to the Northern Beaches for an early start to your Australia Day celebrations. From 7am to 2pm, the Northern Beaches Council will hold its famous BBQ breakfast on Dee Why Beach complete with camel rides, live music, rides and waterslides. There will also be a very Australian thong-throwing competition.
WugulOra Indigenous Morning Ceremony
From 8am, Indigenous singers and dancers will put on a special performance at Barangaroo Reserve. Celebrate the local language of the Sydney area while enjoying a choral rendition of Budjari Gunyalungalung Baraya-la, which roughly translates to ‘Let’s Sing Good Dreaming’. During this ceremony, Aboriginal and Australian flags will be raised above on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to signify the start of Australia Day celebrations.
Australia Day – Live at the Sydney Opera House
Spend your evening at the jewel of Sydney Harbour: the Sydney Opera House. Directed by John Foreman, the Australia Day concert will see the country’s most talented artists take to the stage to play a mix of modern hits and tributes to the past. Those unable to grab a free ticket can watch a live broadcast of the concert on Channel 10.
Australia Day Celebrations at Sydney Olympic Park
On 26 January, Sydney Olympic Park will be putting on a day of family fun at Cathy Freeman Park. The free festival will include carnival rides, international food stalls, pony rides, craft workshops, live entertainment and more. After a fun-filled day of activities suited to the whole family, the celebrations will wrap up with a fireworks display at 9pm.
Australia Day Spectacular
Finish your Australia Day celebrations at Cockle Bay in Darling Harbour. Sydney’s biggest free harbourside party will begin at 6pm with a welcome song performed by the Wuruniri Music and Dance Group. Attendees can enjoy live music, dragon boat races, and hear from the NSW Australian of the Year before the night ends with an amazing symphony of light, sound and pyrotechnics.
Australia Day Harbour Parade
Watch as Sydney Harbour is overtaken by 40 boats dressed to impress. Boats big and small will be decked out with flags and colourful decorations in the hopes of winning the title of ‘Best Dressed Boat’. The winning boats will win a share of $2000 at the finish line of the route, Athol Bay.