10 January 2018
Each year on the 26th of January, Australians come together to celebrate their unique shared culture and honour their country’s Indigenous ancestors. From beachside barbecues to traditional ceremonies and more, here are some of the best ways to celebrate Australia Day 2018 in Sydney.
On 26 January, Indigenous singers and dancers will put on a special performance at Barangaroo Reserve, commencing at 7:45am. Enjoy a stirring performance of Budjari Gunyalungalung Baraya-la, which roughly translates to ‘Let’s Sing Good Dreaming’ in the language of the Gadigal people, Sydney’s original inhabitants. During the ceremony, both Aboriginal and Australian flags will be raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to signify the start of Sydney’s Australia Day celebrations.
Head to the Northern Beaches for an early start to your Australia Day celebrations. Starting at 7am, the Northern Beaches Council will hold its famous BBQ breakfasts at Dee Why Beach, Newport, and Narrabeen. The day’s celebrations will also include live music, a car and bike show, family-friendly entertainment, rides and waterslides, and the ultimate Australian contest: a thong-throwing competition.
Celebrate Australia’s traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage at the Yabun Festival in Victoria Park, next to The University of Sydney. Every year, Yabun Festival showcases some of Australia’s leading Indigenous musicians, with past performers including Jessica Mauboy and Dan Sultan. There will also be a range of market stalls, family-friendly activities, discussion panels, and traditional dances performed on the Corroboree Ground. With so much to see and do, Yabun Festival will make for a fantastic day out for the whole family this Australia Day.
On 26 January, Wheelchair athletes from around the world will converge on Sydney for the Summer Down Under Wheelchair Road Racing Series, Australia’s most prolific wheelchair sporting event. The series highlight, a 10 kilometre street race, will take place at The Rocks on Australia Day. Due to roadworks happening in the city, this year’s race will finish outside the Museum of Contemporary Art. Everyone is invited to watch the spectacle and cheer the racers on from 9am.
This year, Tumbalong Park at Darling Harbour will be transformed into a summer playground for Australia Day. Join the ticket ballot for the chance to see Australian entertainment legends The Wiggles take to the stage for morning and afternoon concerts. With a program of family-friendly activities including a watermelon-eating competition, a thong-throwing challenge, and a wife-carrying race, there’s plenty to keep kids and adults entertained. Those who want to keep the party going can also enjoy live entertainment throughout the night, including DJs and Sydney favourites, Furnace and the Fundamentals.
Starting on 26 January, the Australian leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens series will arrive at Moore Park in Sydney. Held in the 45,500-capacity Allianz Stadium, this event will see teams from the world’s top men’s and women’s rugby sevens nations compete in a weekend of fast-paced action. With only seven players allowed per side, the average game of rugby sevens sees someone score every two-and-a-half minutes! A popular event for costumes and dress-ups, this year’s theme is ‘Go Extraordinary’ – so gather your friends and family, get creative with your costumes, and have an extraordinary time at the Sydney 7s.
Hosted by Watsons Bay Stand Up Paddling (WATSSUP), Every Man and His Dog is an annual event where the Watsons Bay community comes together to celebrate Australia Day and show their love for standup paddleboarding. Race categories include a dash for cash, kids’ races, a 2000-metre sprint, team relays, and a 6 km long-distance race. That said, the most popular event is by far the Man and Dog Race, where paddlers and their pooches must cross the finish line together!
Watch Sydney’s Australia Day fireworks up close with an evening cruise on Sydney Harbour. The Australia Day Dinner & Fireworks Cruise from Vagabond Cruises offers spectacular views of Sydney Harbour’s fireworks show, accompanied by a freshly prepared seafood and carvery buffet, as well as desserts, fresh fruit platters, tea and coffee. Guests can also make the most of the cash bar or a three-hour drinks package which includes house beer, wine, and soft drinks.