On 26 January each year, Australians come together to celebrate our national day. And, true to tradition, Australia Day 2016 will deliver plenty of lively events and great activities to participate in and enjoy in Sydney.
If you’re thinking of what to do to mark the national holiday, here are just some of the activities taking place in Sydney on Australia Day:
Much of the action of Australia Day takes place on and around Sydney Harbour. The Wugulora Indigenous Ceremony marks the official start, with the raising of the Aboriginal and Australian flags on the Sydney Harbour Bridge from 7.30am. A short while later more than 1,000 participants will take the plunge for the final swim of the Great Australian Swim Series with events kicking off at Farm Cove near the Sydney Opera House from 8:30am
Other harbour highlights include the ever-popular Ferrython races, one of Australia’s most iconic free events. A hugely popular Australia Day tradition, watch as the ferries venture from Circular Quay to Shark Island and then back to a glorious finish the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This year you can also get a birdseye view of the race atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of a special Ferryathon Bridge Climb
Following the ferry race, from 1.00pm, Sydney's Tall Ships will lead a fleet of historic vessels from Bradley's Head to the Harbour Bridge. They will be joined by the 180th Australia Day Regatta, the world’s oldest continuously conducted annual sailing event, from 1.30pm
A highlight of the Australia Day program, the two free* Australia Day Concerts held in association with Destination NSW and catering for all ages, will again be staged at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt. Featuring The Wiggles, performing live at 10.00am, followed in the evening by Jessica Mauboy, joined by Justice Crew and Australia’s best talent on-stage from 7.30pm. Tickets for the two Australia Day Concerts is now exhausted. Visit www.australiaday.com.au to put you details on the waitlist should additional tickets become available
If it’s music you’re interested in, there’s also the popular Cruising Concerts taking place on Australia Day with two custom-built floating stages dropping into the most popular locations around the harbour from 12.15pm onwards. This year the stages will include popular crowd pleasers, The Enormous Horns and Junkyard Beats. Stops include Hickson Road Reserve, Bradfield Park, Blues Point Reserve, the Overseas Passenger Terminal, the Sydney Opera House and Barangaroo
Further west, Parramatta has in-store an action packed Australia Day line-up which kicks off early. Aerial, from 6:00am to 11:00am, is Sydney's biggest hot air balloon display, and features delicious food and roving entertainment. The Big BBQ is next on the schedule from 11:00am to 7.30pm, and is the biggest barbecue Parramatta has ever seen! With a grilling competition hosted by the Australasian Barbecue Alliance, smoked, grilled and basted delights from the barbecue pit masters; and a barbecue display
For those wanting something new to enjoy, an afternoon at Goat Island for Goat Island Sounds is just the thing, listening to sweet live shows, DJ sets and triple J's Hottest 100. There will be a picnic area featuring garden games, Newtown legends Mary's will be flipping their famous burgers and you can find Sydney's finest craft beer and cider from Young Henry's at the bar, all overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge and other Australia Day events on the harbour
For a more relaxed, but lively Australia Day experience, head to The Rocks, where the schedule includes a day of artisanal markets. Linger in the lanes and savour your surroundings as all the sounds and sensations of a great Aussie summer come together. Young and old alike can kick off their shoes and wander up the freshly Astroturfed George Street with free croquet also on offer
Venturing outside of Sydney’s CBD, check out the festival atmosphere with stalls, BBQs and events hosted at Sydney Olympic Park. With free entertainment, the Citizenship ceremony and Citizen of the Year Awards, live entertainment, kid's entertainment, roving performers, a community bazaar, face painting and craft workshops, there is something for everyone. Finish the day of celebrations off with a bang and enjoy the spectacular fireworks
The Australia Day Big Breakfast is on again at Dee Why Beach this Australia Day and is the biggest Australia Day event on the Northern Beaches, with tens of thousands of people attending every year. Commencing at 7.00am, it includes a hot breakfast, Car and Bike Show, Thong Throwing Competition, rides, entertainment and flag raising.
For more information go to www.Sydney.com