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23 Australia Day Events That Don't Just Involve Drinking In A Pool

Put down that stubby and get outside.

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1. Head to Barangaroo for a morning ceremony.

If you're keen to get up early, the city's official celebrations kick off at 7.30am with the arrival of a flame by canoe from Goat Island, and a flag-raising ceremony featuring dancers and a choir. If you want to hang around, it's a perfect place for a picnic, and if you've got kids, there are a ton of activities lined up in the park.

2. Check out the Yabun Festival.

The Yabun Festival, held at Victoria Park in Camperdown, follows in the tradition of Aboriginal "Survival Day" gatherings which have taken place since the 1930s. It's a celebration and commemoration of Australia's Indigenous community, and will have live music, market stalls, panel discussions, and cultural performances.


3. Watch ferries race across the harbour.

The iconic annual event is free, and can be watched from anywhere around Circular Quay. It'll be followed by a tug and yacht ballet and a tall ship race, both of which are definitely worth watching.

4. See the fireworks at Darling Harbour.

There always seem to be fireworks going off in Darling Harbour for some reason or another, but the Australia Day ones are especially spectacular.

5. Party in Parramatta.

With everything from a 6am hot air balloon display, to a vintage car show, every year this party is one of the best in the city. There's even an area that'll be streaming the Hottest 100, with a giant BBQ of course.

6. Enjoy a big breakfast.

If you're up north, you can't miss the annual Dee Why Big Breakfast. And it's not just breakfast they have on offer – there'll be camel rides, thong-throwing competitions, and rides and waterslides for the kids.


7. Party like Kath and Kim.


This is technically on Straya Day eve, but at least it means you can get trollied and not have to work the next day. Supersmall Club is hosting a Kath and Kim event, with a $100 bar tab for the best dressed. Think ugg boots, bejewelled crops, netball skirts, and some tizzy earrings. There'll also be a BBQ from a purveyor of fine meats to line your stomach before you start downing the Bailey's. If you're in Sydney, check out this similar event.

8. Watch a doggy fashion show.

The NGV is going to be hosting a fashion show where all the models are fluffy little dogs, wearing their most dapper outfits. While you're there, you can also check out the new Viktor & Rolf exhibit, which has been getting rave reviews.

9. Eat yourself stupid at a food truck festival.

Coburg is hosting their first-ever food truck festival over the Australia Day weekend. There'll be a ton of choices, as well as stalls serving icy cold beer and craft cocktails. Best of all, there's a free outdoor cinema to enjoy when the sun goes down. They'll be screening The Castle at 8.30pm. Make sure you register if you want to go.


10. Celebrate in Elder Park

The night will start with a parade featuring vintage cars, a giant echidna, and marching bands. Then stretch out on a picnic blanket and enjoy a performance from David Campbell and Christine Anu, followed by amazing fireworks. What a night!

11. Catch some cricket.

This year's Australia Day match is coming to the beautiful Adelaide oval, with Australia taking on Pakistan in a one-day game.


12. Enjoy some classic Aussie food.

Head to South Bank Parklands to visit a bunch of pop-up food stalls along the river. There'll be tasting plates and picnic baskets you can buy, then sit back on the grass and enjoy the day. There will also be live entertainment, and it's one of the best spots to catch the fireworks.

13. Get out of your comfort zone on the river.

Riverlife is hosting an Australia Day party where you can abseil, kayak, rollerblade, and play some outdoor laser tag. Oh, and there's a sausage sizzle, of course. You can find out more info here.

14. Go out to Bribie Island.

If you want to get out of the city a bit, Bribie Island is your best choice. It's a bit more low-key than the CBD celebrations, but there'll be live music, food stalls, and fireworks to end the night.


15. Get your sweat on.

The annual Darwin fun run is always a good way to kick off your Straya Day. Even if you just take the 2.5km or 5km route at a walk, it's fun to check out all the costumes and celebrate the day with everyone. It starts at 7am, before it gets too hot, then you have a great reason to carb-load on sausage sizzles for the rest of the day.

16. Get in on a bit of classic Aussie culture.

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The Darwin ute run has to be the best Australia Day event in the country. You can enjoy the day, watching the utes go by and helping yourself to the BBQ, or you can take your own ute along and get in on the parade for $20. Either way, you'll have a good day.

17. Participate in a watermelon-eating competition.

Down at Coogee beach in Cockburn, there's an A+ party with a huge number of things to keep you busy for the whole day. If watermelon isn't your thing, there's also a sandcastle-building competition, a free sausage sizzle, and performances throughout the day.


18. Enjoy an Aboriginal celebration.

The Birak Concert at the Supreme Court Gardens will feature live music and dance performances, rides, a flag-raising ceremony, and interactive sessions with native Aussie animals like snakes and a Dingo. It's also a perfect place to sit and watch the fireworks at the end of the day.

19. Have a picnic with some responsible drinking.

Watching the fireworks outside is always great, but it's not always fun if you're in a no-alcohol zone. Perth City has set out some areas where you're allowed to BYO to your picnic. You're limited to one bottle of wine or a six-pack per person, which is still pretty damn reasonable.

20. Head to Fremantle two days later.

Fremantle has famously nixed their Oz Day celebrations in favour of celebrating a culturally-inclusive "One Day" on January 28th. There'll be a concert with a performance from John Butler, as well as cultural activities and fireworks.


21. Chill out with music.

Take a picnic basket down to Regatta Point and enjoy an incredible afternoon concert featuring British India and Young Monks. Make sure to hang around 'til 9pm to watch the fireworks over the lake.

22. Spend a day at the beach.

Kingston Beach is where it's at this Australia Day. Whether you're just there to get in the water, to check out the sand sculpture competition, or watch swimming races and take advantage of the BBQ, it's the best place in the city to be.