Australia Day

The national day on 26 January celebrates Australia’s diversity and achievements. Beautiful Sydney Harbour takes centre stage on Australia Day, beginning at Barangaroo Reserve with the WugulOra Morning Ceremony, a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony and a special Indigenous dance.

Local elders as well as Aboriginal dancers and singers will welcome in Australia Day at the special ceremony at Walumil Lawns at Barangaroo Reserve and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, between 7:45am and 8:30am, to highlight the strength and resilience of the world’s oldest living culture.

Aboriginal dancers performing at the WugulOra Morning Ceremony, Australia Day

During the performance, the national anthem will be sung in English and the Aboriginal language Dharawal. Then the Aboriginal and Australian flags will 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.

A tall ship sailing into Circular Quay, Sydney, on Australia Day

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 BeachesSydney Olympic Park’s fireworks and the all-day celebration in Parramatta, featuring Aerial hot air balloons and star-studded performances.

The Wiggles performing in Sydney, on Australia Day

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.