Australia Day in Sydney
Every January Australians come together to celebrate their national day, reflecting on the nation's diversity and achievements, as well as its past and future. And, true to tradition, Australia Day 2016 will deliver plenty of lively events and great activities to participate in and enjoy.
Australia Day 2016 in Sydney
Australia’s national day takes place on January 26, the day that saw the arrival of the First Fleet from Great Britain in 1788. But the legacy behind Australia Day spreads far and wide, and is today a celebration of our rich heritage and vibrant cultural diversity.
Much of the action of Australia Day takes place on and around Sydney Harbour. The Wugulora Indigenous Ceremony marks the start of Australia Day celebrations, with the raising of the Aboriginal and Australian flags on the Sydney Harbour Bridge from 7.30am. A short while later more than 1,000 participants are expected to take part in the final of the Great Australian Swim Series at Farm Cove near the Sydney Opera House.
Head to The Rocks for some relaxed but lively Australia Day festivities, including a day of artisanal markets and great live music spread over two stages, while George Street swaps tarmac for AstroTurf, with free croquet. Darling Harbour’s free Australia Day party includes world music, interactive activities and fireworks from Cockle Bay.
And there’s also the Cruising Concerts, with two custom-built floating stages dropping into the most popular locations around the harbour from 12.15pm onwards. This year the stages will include popular crowd pleasers, The Enormous Horns and Junkyard Beats. Stops include Hickson Road Reserve, Bradfield Park, Blues Point Reserve, the Overseas Passenger Terminal, the Sydney Opera House and Barangaroo.
Other harbour highlights include the ever-popular Ferrython races and a 21-gun salute followed by an aerial display by F/A-18 Hornets from the Royal Australian Air Force. At 1.00pm Sydney's Tall Ships lead a fleet of historic vessels from Bradley's Head to the Harbour Bridge, and the 180th Australia Day Regatta, the world’s oldest continuously conducted annual sailing event, turns the harbour into an aquatic spectacle from 1.30pm.
Don’t miss the Yabun Festival, an annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures showcasing some of the top Indigenous music talent in Australia. Held on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people at Victoria Park in Camperdown, there’s a vibrant program of arts, dance and music.
There will also be stalls, BBQs and events hosted at Sydney Olympic Park, beach sports and events at Watsons Bay and a tradition Australia Day Big Breakfast in the northern beaches.