Live in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane? Or perhaps you’re an out-of-towner visiting for the summer? Either way, there’s plenty of reasons to celebrate Australia Day, and here, we’ve rounded up some of the best events on the East Coast to check out over the long weekend.
BBQ By The Bridge
If you’re a sucker for a family BBQ on ‘Straya Day but aren’t sure you’ve got the wherewithal to cook up a feast yourself, BBQ By The Bridge at Bradfield Park in Milsons Point is the perfect event for you (and the picturesque, Harbourside location doesn’t hurt either).
The event will be serving up a range of delicious BBQ cuisines from around the world—spanning American, Korean, European, Indian, Filipino, Middle Eastern, Brazilian, Spanish and more, alongside live music from local bands and DJs and a range of free entertainment between 10 am and 4pm. If you’ve got little ones in your family—there’s also a jumping castle, face painting, circus activities and native wildlife displays. What more could you want?!
Taking place at Victoria Park in Camperdown, the Yabun Festival is a long-standing Survival Day gathering in Camperdown that provides a positive space for people to share in the culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the country. The free-to-enter festival includes live music, traditional Indigenous dancing, market stalls, arts and craft workshops and the initiation of in-depth discussions surrounding contemporary issues faced by the community. If you’ve ever wanted to get closer to Aboriginal history, this symbolic event is the perfect place to start.
If you’re too burned out from the working week and can’t face anything *too* cultural for Australia Day, head to The Henson pub in Marrickville for a day of pup-related fun. From midday, this Inner West favourite will be opening their doors to a plethora of pups and offering a host of activities for doggies and their owners. There’ll be doggie massages, photo shoots, gourmet dog treats, vet checks, paw painting, best dressed and trick competitions, and the return of the popular Golden Bone Race. If this sounds like your idea of heaven, put it in your diary for Australia day!
Because are you really in Melbourne if you don’t go to the races? The Australia Day action at Caulfield Racecourse is the perfect excuse to grab the girls and get glammed up (safe in the knowledge that you’ve got two whole days afterwards to recover, should you need it). The Melbourne Racing Club is throwing a super-luxe Australia Day BBQ, and promising plenty of cocktails to keep you hydrated.
Brought to you by Songlines—Australia’s peak body for Aboriginal music—Share the Spirit is Victoria’s longest-running Aboriginal music festival and an all-inclusive celebration of the culture of Indigenous people from all over the country. Treasury Gardens will once again host this significant day of music, dance and culture, with performances by some of the country’s most talented Indigenous artists.
All are welcome at this event, which begins at Parliament with the laying of flowers in memory of Aboriginal ancestors. Following some speeches, a march through the CBD will begin, in protest of the date of Australia Day. The event is also an opportunity to call for treaties for stolen land, and to stand up against ongoing oppression of Aboriginal people across the country.
If you’re looking for a chilled-out day where you can feast on a picnic, River Quay is the place to be for Australia Day On The Green. With an epic line up of quality Aussie musicians, you can have a listen, a dance and a chill on the grass from 1pm through to 5.30pm.
From 3pm – 8pm, Brennan Park on Bribie Island will become a hub of Australia Day fun! The 5 hour Aussie beach party will feature a variety consist of beach games, competitions and demonstrations that are all Australian themed. Live music will liven up the beach throughout the day, and there are fireworks to finish. What a day!
Over 25,000 fireworks will light up the night sky in a 10-minute display starting at 7.30pm this Australia Day at Brisbane’s South Bank. This year, the display will also feature six pyrotechnic jet ski performers who will launch fireworks while they perform in front of the promenade. Ummm, how cool?