The national day on 26 January celebrates Australia’s diversity and achievements. Beautiful Sydney Harbour takes centre stage on Australia Day, beginning at Barangaroo with a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony and a special Indigenous dance to celebrate the world’s oldest living culture.
You can watch the smoking ceremony from 7.30am, and Aboriginal dancers and singers perform the Wugulora Morning Ceremony from 8am. During the performance, Aboriginal and Australian flags will be raised on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the largest steel arch bridge in the world.
Other vibrant harbour events include the iconic Ferrython, tall ships and the Australia Day Harbour Parade flotilla of all shapes and sizes looping the sparkling blue waterway. A fabulous line-up of musical stars will dazzle in the Australia Day Concert at the Sydney Opera House.
In the historic Rocks are bustling markets and more entertaining live music. Another delightful way to experience the public holiday is on a harbour cruise. Or take the kids to see their favourite Wiggle at Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour. The Wiggles’ performance begins at 11am.
Check out the events calendar for more Australia Day festivals across Sydney, including the Big Breakfast at Dee Why Beach in the Northern Beaches, Sydney Olympic Park’s fireworks and the all-day celebration in Parramatta, featuring Aerial hot air balloons and the music party.
The 26 January is part of history for all Australians. The date marks the landing of Britain’s First Fleet in Sydney Cove in 1788, a fateful day for Aboriginal people. The annual Yabun Festival in Sydney coincides with Australia Day and commemorates and celebrates the survival of Aboriginal culture.
Even though Australia Day is a public holiday, Sydney’s famous attractions are open. You can take a ferry to Taronga Zoo, enjoy a Sydney Opera House tour, visit the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and even climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Or relax on the soft sands at Bondi and other gorgeous beaches.