Since Captain Arthur Phillip first unfurled the British flag at Sydney Cove and proclaimed British sovereignty on 26 January 1788, Australia Day has become a huge public celebration of national identity.
People of all ages and backgrounds join together in both small and large events, across the nation. Unsurprisingly there’s normally a barbeque involved, but larger formal picnics are thrown in towns and cities across Australia.
Whatever your choice of venue, whether it's a park, pool or beach, with family or friends, it’s the perfect excuse for a party or to just relax and sizzle in the heat.
Here are a few of our favourite places to celebrate:
Sydney, New South Wales
Come on down to Sydney Harbour for the 12pm Salute to Australia and join the choirs and armed forces in a rendition of the national anthem (don’t know the words – check them out below).
A 21 Gun Salute, on the north shore of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, starts the proceedings accompanied by a flyover by RAAF Jets.
Australian national anthem
Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free
We've golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea:
Our land abounds in nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare,
In history's page let every stage
Advance Australia fair,
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.
Beneath our radiant Southern Cross,
We'll toil with hearts and hands,
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands,
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share,
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.
Join approximately 12,000 Melbournites as they celebrate their rich and diverse culture and watch the Australia Day Parade. The parade takes to the streets of Melbourne and usually celebrates the region’s achievements in sport, art, work and culture.
Alternatively, you can head to Melbourne Showgrounds. It’s a perfect place for families, with great music and entertainment throughout, and as evening draws in, a carnival atmosphere evolves.
For more music mayhem, Piers Festival features a line-up of local artists and musicians, alongside culinary experts, and what’s more – it’s all free!
In Brisbane, head to South Bank Parklands where celebrations last all weekend.
Find some shade along the Brisbane River in the city’s green open spaces. Bring along your barbecues and picnic rugs and join Brisbanites to take in some of the varied musical and dance performances, then watch the city skyline light up in the evening with a spectacular firework display.
Perth, Western Australia
The city of Perth proudly hosts Skyworks, a choreographed fireworks display and laser show. It's one of Australia’s largest community Australia Day celebrations with a different theme every year.
Events are held in Langley Park, where there is a free entertainment zone and an air and water show further along Swan River.
The highlight of the day is of course the incredible Skyworks fireworks! This spectacular finale includes a special laser and water show visible from Langley Park.
So where will you be on Australia Day?
Let’s face it; no matter where you are in Australia, you’re sure to have a great celebration. And if you’re not, then it’s one of the best times of year to experience what Aussie life is like Down Under.
But don't worry, there’s always next year.