What to do on Australia Day


Pic: StoryBridgeHotel

Australia’s Day is held annually on January 26. It’s a fun day where anything from barbecues to fireworks, flag raising, smoke ceremonies and cockroach races are held to celebrate living in such a fantastic country. There are plenty of things to do on Australia Day. Here are some ideas so you too can join in the fun. In 2014 the Australia Day public holiday will be on January 27.

* The World Championship Cockroach Races are held every year on January 26 at the Story Bridge Hotel in Brisbane. Gates open at 11am. This is one crazy day where “pain is everything and victory is eternal”!

* The WugolOra Indigenous Ceremony marks the start of Australia Day in Sydney and NSW.  The ceremony is held between 7.40am-8.45am starting at the Sydney Opera House where a fire is lit and carried aboard the Tribal Warrior to the Sydney Harbour Bridge where the Aboriginal and Australian flags are raised.

* Invasion Day options are also available for those that wish to protest Australia Day and recognise the traditional owners of the land.


Invasion Day rally, Brisbane.

In Brisbane there’s a rally from 10am outside the Parliament House in George Street followed by a food, music and a film in Musgrave Park. Google “invasion day” to find out what’s happening in other centres.

* The Great Australia Day Swim is an Australia Day tradition in Melbourne at Brighton, south of St Kilda. There’s a 5km, 1.4km, 650m and 300m open water swim from Middle Brighton Pier to the beach beside the Middle Brighton Baths.

* In Sydney they also take to the water for The Body Science Great Australian Swim Series. There’s a 2.2km, 750m and 300m swim in the harbour for those that are willing and able between 8.30am-10am.

* Perth also embraces the swimming challenge on Australia Day with the 2km Australia Day Swim at Scarborough Beach from 8am-10am.

* The Ferrython is another fun Sydney event on January 26 where boats and ferries of all descriptions, decorated to the nine, take centre stage in the harbour. This is just one of a series of events happening in Sydney Harbour throughout the day.

* Fireworks are held in all major cities. These include Sydney Harbour, Brisbane’s Southbank, Melbourne’s Federation Square, Perth’s Fremantle and numerous other locations. Check local information for details.

* Australians of the Year – people that have made a difference to the nation – are named on January 26 each year. Make sure you catch who they are and read about their achievements.


Australia Day Swim. Pic: reataustraliadayswim.com.au

* Tune in for the Australia Day address, a national tradition since 1997.

* If you like a bit of food with your Australia Day go to the Great Australian Bites -a food and cooking display at Brisbane’s Southbank from 5-9pm.

* Mannum Australia Day “Breakfast in the Park” in Adelaide is another good way to eat the day in. The famous breakfast has egg, bacon, tomato, sausage, fruit juice, champagne, tea or coffee from 7am-9am for just $5.

* The Climb Kosie On Aussie Day, Thredbo Kosciuszko Walk is your chance to head to the top of Australia’s highest mountain to celebrate Australia Day. It starts from Thredbo

* Australia Day Fun Run/Walk – for some crazy reason Territorians hit the pavement on Australia Day along the Darwin waterfront for a 2.5km or 5km jaunt. There’s also a Ute Run in the Top End where you can dress your ute up instead and hit the streets that way.


Climb Kosie on Aussie Day. Pic: australiaday.org.au

* There are plenty of other events on – check out www.australiaday.org.au for a full list of options… You can search via state or postcode.

* If you don’t want to go to an official event simply head to your nearest park or beach for a picnic. Bring something to throw on the barbecue, a cricket bat to whack around, wave a flag or two and have some fun.


Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at viplounge@vipbackpackers.com