The Australia Day long weekend is our last big hoorah of the holiday season after which we really get into those New Year’s Resolutions and get our teeth into a new working year. Given this, it’s crucial we plan a truly fabulous Australia Day.
We’ve scoped out the best Australia Day 2014 events happening around the country so all you have to do is play eenie meenie miney mo and catch an event worth Instagraming about…
Opera House Precinct
There’s so much to see and do at the Opera House precinct this year! Head to The Garden Bar by The Corner House for an incredible barbeque menu complete with delicious lemonade cocktails. In the evening, head up to the Veuve Clicquot Airstream Pop-up Bar at the Summer Playground on the Western Broadwalk to check out the seriously cute luxury trailer.
Garden Bar is open from 9am until late in the Western Foyers and on the Western Broadwalk
Veuve Clicquot Airstream Pop-up Bar is open from 5pm – 11pm
Update: Garden Bar just got even better! Pimm’s will be there from 6pm handing out complimentary Pimm’s Pops to celebrate summer.
Open Air Cinemas Australia Day Sundae Session: Crocodile Dundee
Ben & Jerry’s Open Air Cinema at Bondi Beach will be bringing Crocodile Dundee back to the big screen to celebrate Australia Day. Ahead of the screening, Franky Walnut will be entertaining guests, plus there will be games on the lawn and free Ben & Jerry’s.
Dolphin Lawn, Bondi Beach – Screening at 8pm
The Rocks, Darling Harbour
Every year Darling Harbour hosts a festival on Australia Day and this year is set to be bigger than ever with a complete family-friendly program for the day including performances from young Indigenous performer Lucas Proudfoot,, Prinnie Stevens and Mahalia Barnes, and more.
At the end of the day, the Australia Day Spectacular will take place and this year it is celebrating its 25th anniversary so the fireworks and special effects are set to be bigger than ever.
In addition, The Rocks’ Bar100 will be celebrating with live music and DJs over two levels from 12pm until midnight and will be screening the Australian Open and cricket live on level three.
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel
The newly refurbished and totally fabulous Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel are hosting three massive days across the long weekend that include beach volleyball, stand up paddleboarding, an Aussie BBQ, and more across the Saturday and Sunday. On Monday the focus is on the kids with $10 kids meals, crab races and beach games. All weekend long there will be a water trampoline that is obviously not to be missed!
Australia Day Parade
Every year Melbourites step out to show off their patriotism in full dress. This year the theme for the parade is ‘Let Us Sing’ and participants will be dressing up to highlight the diversity of Victoria with a particular focus on music, dance, and song.
The parade kicks off at 11am at Swanston Street
Moonlight Cinema Screening The Castle
The Maltesers Moonlight Cinema at the Royal Botanic Gardens will be screening classic Aussie comedy The Castle on Australia Day. Grab your mates, get some fish and chips or a burger and enjoy one of Australia’s most loved films.
Royal Botanic Gardens on Birdwood Avenue, doors open 7pm
Melbourne Now Children’s Festival
If you’ve got kids, Melbourne Now at the NGV is the place to be. The final weekend for the Children’s Festival will see Westside Circus presenting BeachBodies, a flag designing workshop alongside artist in the On Top of the World: Flags for Melbourne project and more.
Havianas Australia Day Thong Challenge
Everyone’s favourite summer thong, Havianas, are once again hosting their Australia Day Thong Challenge. Punters can come along and create a sea of giant inflatable things in an effort to break the world record of the biggest chain of inflatable air beds. The Queensland event is taking place in Mooloolaba and there will also be running and paddling races as well as a barbeque to provide sustenance during what’s sure to be an active event!
Australia Day Festival
South Bank’s Parklands will be the place to be on Australia Day with music, interactive art installations, family entertainment, a Young Designer Market and, of course, a huge fireworks display to end the day.
Head to South Bank Parklands from 10am – 7.30pm
Barbie on the Green
Nothing says Australia Day like a big community barbeque. The Queensland Performing Arts Centre will be hosting this year’s event complete with live music, a classic bbq, and ice cold beers on offer.
Head to Melbourne Street Green, QPAC on Australia Day
Great Australian Bites
Kick off your week in foodie style with the Great Australian Bites event at the Cultural Forecourt at South Bank where live cooking stations, and a menu showcasing some of Queensland’s finest produce will be on offer to punters. Don’t miss Masterchef’s Lynton Tapp, Channel Ten’s Georgie Lewis, Totally Wild’s Pip Russel, and more celebs who will be on hand to help host and entertain.
Friday 24th January 5pm – 9pm, Cultural Forecourt, South Bank, Brisbane
Pack up the family and a picnic and head to the shores of Lake Burley Griffin will light up with a fireworks spectacular to end the day.
From 7pm there will be entertainment with the fireworks display set to a true blue soundtrack set to finish the night with a bang (literally) from 9pm.
Australia Day in the Park
Commonwealth Park will be the perfect place for families this Australia Day as the host a children’s concert, live entertainment, rides, and more. If you’re after something a little more formal, head just down the road to Rond Terrace to watch the National Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremony.
Stage 88, Commonwealth Park 7.30am – 2pm
Australia Day in the City
Timomatic and The Voice’s Sarah De Bono will be headlining this year’s Australia Day in the City event where more than 30,000 people are expected to attend.
The annual event includes a street parade, concert, and fireworks.
Elder Park, King Willian Rd from 6pm – 10pm
The Snazzy Sizzle
If you fancy a snag on Australia Day, head to the Adelaide Convention Centre where two mega screens will show all the action from Elder Park. A barbeque buffet will be on offer for punters and it will serve as the ultimate vantage point for the fireworks display. International DJ HMC will be performing from 10pm until late.
Riverbank Promenade at Regattas Bistro, North Terrace from 6-9pm and 10pm – late.
Australia Day Skyworks
The All Perth Foreshore from Langley Park to Sir James Mitchell Park will host the Australia Day Skyworks including free family-friendly entertainment like an air and water show all day.
Don’t miss the fireworks show in the evening, it out does itself every year!
Riverside Drive, Perth from 3pm – 10pm
If you’re looking for something a little different, check out the Fringe World Festival program for a whole host of comedy, cabaret, theatre, art, live music, and dance events. There are venues all over town, but the centre of it all is Perth Culture Centre.
Sir Mitchell Park
Between a citizenship ceremony bright and early at 8am, a free 11am screening of Storm Boy, and six zones of family fun including a giant jumping castle, a craft zone, and an obstacle course, you’ll be hard-pressed getting bored at Sir Mitchell Park this Australia Day!
Sir James Mitchell Park, South Perth