Australia Day

Held each year on 26 January, Australia Day is the country’s official national day. It’s a time to celebrate the Australian way of life and reflect on what it means to be Australian. In 2021, the Australia Day festivities will be different, but there are still ways to mark the day. You can find the latest information on the official Australia Day website.

The WugulOra Morning Ceremony will be held at 7.30am. In 2021, this will be a ticketed event and only ticket holders will be admitted to Barangaroo. You can register your interest for tickets or watch the ceremony live on the ABC. The Salute to Australia will take place at 2pm but will be a private event. You can also watch it live on the ABC.

Indigenous women at WugulOra, a ceremony celebrating Australia's traditional custodians on Australia Day

The main program on Sydney Harbour and around Circular Quay has been cancelled for 2021. There are still a number of things you can do. Swimmers can join in the Sydney Harbour Splash, a 1km or 2.5km swim from Rose Bay. Over 100 boats will be participating in the Australia Day Regatta – you can sign up to sail with your own boat or watch the spectacle from a harbour cruise.

Australia Day Live at the Sydney Opera House will go ahead, however it will also be a ticketed event. Some frontline workers will be given tickets to thank them for their efforts in 2020 and the general public can register their interest for tickets. Circular Quay will be closed to the public from 5pm unless you have a ticket to Australia Day Live or a confirmed booking at a restaurant or venue.

If you are planning to celebrate the day at home, please remember to abide by the current restrictions, maintain physical distancing and practice good hygiene.

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Public Holiday Dates 2021-2022 

Holiday 2021 2022
New Year's Day Friday, 1 January  Saturday, 1 January (Additional Day Monday, 3 January )
Australia Day Tuesday, 26 January Wednesday, 26 January
Good Friday Friday, 2 April Friday, 15 April
Holy Saturday Saturday, 3 April Saturday, 16 April
Easter Sunday Sunday, 4 April Sunday, 17 April
Easter Monday  Monday, 5 April Monday, 18 April
Anzac Day  Sunday, 25 April Monday, 25 April
Queen's Birthday  Monday, 14 June Monday, 13 June
October Long Weekend (Labour Day) Monday, 4 October Monday, 3 October
Christmas Day public holiday Saturday, 25 December (Additional Day Monday, 27 December) Sunday, 25 December (Additional Day Tuesday, 27 December)
Boxing Day Sunday, 26 December (Additional Day Tuesday, 28 December) Monday, 26 December

Australia Day in Sydney FAQs

What is there to do in Sydney on Australia Day?

In Sydney on Australia day? Be sure to check out the following:

  • Watch the famous Sydney Harbour ferries race in the Ferrython.
  • Welcome the sunrise with a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony at the Wugulora Morning Ceremony in Barangaroo Reserve.
  • Visit the summer playground at Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour with fun activities for kids.
  • Attend Australia Day Live in Circular Quay featuring musical performances, yacht and jet ski displays.
  • Go to Manly and Freshwater beaches to see the action at the Open Carnival.

Explore Sydney's amazing beaches, parks, walks and gardens that will keep you busy on Australia Day.

What time are the Australia Day fireworks?

Australia Day fireworks are typically held at 9 pm.

What day is the Australia Day holiday?

Australia Day is the country's official national day, marked on 26 January every year. In years when 26 January falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the public holiday is moved to the following Monday.

What is Australia Day?

Australia Day is a time to celebrate the Australian way of life and reflect on what it means to be Australian.