January 26 is fast approaching and this day has very different meanings for different people. For the First Nations peoples of Australia, it marks a day of invasion. For migrants, it’s a day of citizenship ceremonies. For other Aussies, it’s an excuse to light up the BBQ and listen to music. Whatever you decide to do this Australia Day, we’ve put together a list of the main events that Sydney has to offer!
Start your day at Barangaroo with a smoking ceremony at 7:45am followed by the WulgulOra Morning Ceremony at 8am. This unique Australian experience will also include performances from local dance schools and choirs, before culminating with the Aboriginal and Australian flags being raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Speaking of Sydney Harbour, make your way down at 10:45am to catch the Sydney Harbour Ferrython and watch as dozens of First Fleet ferries gather for a race down the harbour. For the best views, head to the Bradley’s Head foreshore. Alternatively, you can also buy tickets directly from Captain Cook Cruises and be in the thick of the action.
Your next stop after watching the race is Circular Quay. Every year features a naval salute, followed by choirs singing the national anthem. After this, expect a 21-gun salute and flyover by the Royal Australian Air Force. Keep your eyes on the skies as the show continues with more aerial displays from Russian Roolettes, and the Red Berets’ parachutes. Wander over to Bradley’s Head by 1:30pm to get prime seating for the Tall Ship Race.
Sydney’s main business district will be alive with action all throughout the day with Giant Games on George Street (including Checkers, Connect 4, Snakes & Ladders), musical stages, and more! Don’t forget to bring a gold coin and ride the vintage bus up Elizabeth Street to the Festival Village in Hyde Park. With 4 Meriton Suites locations in the CBD, you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re wanting to stay the night.
Finish off the day in beautiful Darling Harbour and watch the presentation of Australian of the Year at 7:15. Every year features a new musical talent, so make sure you arrive early to grab a good seat before watching the fireworks at 9pm.
Of course, no list would be complete without mentioning the Yabun Festival! Held in Victoria Park, this is the biggest and most impressive one-day event that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in Australia. The festival runs from 11am – 6pm so make sure you bring the kids for a great day in the sun.
Book your Meriton Suites Sydney CBD accommodation today for convenient access to all of Sydney’s best Australia Day events!