G’day Mate! It’s Straya Day!

As well as being a public holiday, Australia Day is festive day throughout the Country. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy throughout the land. Keep in mind that wherever you decide to spend the day, it will probably be a bit hectic so plan your travel in advance.

What is Australia Day?

Australia Day is the celebration of the arrival of the first British Fleet in Port Jackson, NSW, 1788. Over the years, Australians came to acknowledge their history and it was decided that they would celebrate with a national day.. On Australia Day they celebrate all the things we love about Australia: land, sense of ‘fair go’, a good lifestyle, democracy, freedom & of course the people.

You can learn more about Australia Day here.

What to do on Australia Day in Sydney

There are a number of activities in Sydney on the 26th. You can head to one of your favourite beaches (Manly or Bondi) and celebrate Australian style by doing a BBQ your friends. If you prefer, head to the city; Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay or Hyde Park, to enjoy the festivities the City have organised, we have listed some of them for you:



Start your day in Barangaroo by taking part in a smoking ceremony, an ancient custom among Aboriginal Australians.

8:30-17:00: Chillout at the event This is Australia

Stay in Banrangaroo to taste & listen to Australia’s bests. Bringing together Sydney’s premier chefs & DJs to offer you a great sample of Australian culture.

11:30-12:15 : Salute to Australia

A military salute that is now an Australia Day tradition, bringing together the Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.  With Aircraft, Naval Ships and big gun salutes this really is one of the most traditional events of the Australia Day.celebrartion.

Click here to see the Vantage Points.

13:00-13:45: Tall Ship Race

Head to one of the vantages points to watch the Tall Ship battling for the 2018 Trophy. The Vantage Points are: Bradfield Park, Blues Point, Hickson Road Reserve, Overseas Passenger Terminal & Sydney Opera House.

The Award presentation will be held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal’s South Stage at 15:15.

Tall Ship in Sydney Harbour

12:00-15:30: Sydney Street Party

Head to The Rocks for some live music, market, games & roving performers.

16:00-20:00: Afternoon Summer Session

Get ready for some dancing with live music with Gang of Brothers, DJ Natural Selector &Furnace and the Fundamentals.

Don’t forget: NO BYO 

16:00-21:00: Four Thousand Fish

Head to Barangaroo to assist to the interesting ceremony where the iced sculptures representing the fish will be returned to water.

See the full story here. 

16:30-11:59: Festive Village

Hyde Park is transformed into a Party Village. There will be over 100 shipping containers filled with wild, wonderful and bizarre attractions such as a Ghost Train, the Karaoke Carousel, the Village Pools, Glitterbox, Temple of Din pinball artworks, 10 Minute Dance Parties and more.

18:30-21:30: Live at the Quay!

Australia Day Fireworks, classical on-water opera, harbour parades, jet-ski shows, Circular Quay is definitely one of the places to be!

Four Thousand Fish Ceremony
Australia Day Fireworks

What to do in Cairns on Australia Day

If you are celebrating Australia Day in Cairns, you should head to the Esplanade, where there will be a Free Brekkie from 7am to 11am, for both residents and visitors: bacon and egg bbq breakfast.

Australia day for aboriginal

It is important to mention that even if Australia Day is a time to celebrate, it has been really controversial for Australian First Nation. A lot of travellers are not aware of it, but Australia day, the 26th of January is actually the Day the first British fleet arrived in Australia. A common mistake is to think that the Australia Day is the Day Australia became an independent country. From an aboriginal perspective, they call the 26th of January the “Invasion Day”, the day their land got invaded, the day the massacres started. It is now a common debate and a good part of the nation would like to change the date of Australia Day. It’s been going on for years now and it is a bit of a tricky one. We thought it is important to mention it to ensure you are aware.

Still not sure what to do on Australia Day? Ask your hostel reception to see if they have any activities organised.

Let us know below what are your plans for Australia Day 🙂

Don’t miss out on a Fun & Family vibe hostel:


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