Where to go and what to do for Australia Day 2016

This Australia Day is going to be bigger and better than ever before. Check out what’s on in your state, and get out there and enjoy the activities planned to celebrate our nation. And most important, it’s the last long weekend before Easter, so make the most of it.

What’s happening in Sydney?

Citizenship Ceremony

Where: North Stage, Overseas Passenger Terminal, NSW
When: 11 a.m.

Watch Australia’s newest citizens being sworn in and sing the national anthem as you take in the spectacular Salute to Australia on the harbour.

The Rocks Markets

Where: The Rocks

When: 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

The world-famous Rocks Markets will provide an eclectic range of artwork, knickknacks, mementos and delicious food and drinks.

Australia Day CARnivale

Where: Parramatta Park, NSW
When: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Attention, all rev heads: You won’t want to miss the biggest display of cars in the Southern Hemisphere.

Smoking Ceremony

Where: Around Sydney Harbour
When: 11:45 a.m.

Aboriginal elders will lead more than 500 people, including children from the NSW Public Schools Choir, in a traditional Aboriginal Smoking Ceremony.

Darling Harbour Daytime Program

Where: Pier 26, Darling Harbour, Palm Grove, Harbourside Amphitheatre

When: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Get your groove on to live music from around the world, including brass bands and Bollywood.

Cruising concerts

Where: Sydney Harbour
When: 12:15 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Relax and take a load off as you check out the sights and sounds of the Harbour while listening to floating concerts provided by the Enormous Horns and Junkyard Beats.

Australia Day Harbour Parade

Where: Sydney Harbour
When: 12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Watch some of Sydney’s most iconic vessels join the flotilla in full decorative garb and colours. Cheer for your favourite, and see if she’s crowned as the Best Dressed Vessel at the end of the parade in Athol Bay.

Australia Day Ceremony and Spectacular Fireworks

Where: Darling Harbour
When: 6 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.

With a dazzling fireworks display, lights, action and great vantage points all across the city and on the harbour, you’ll want to be there early to get a good position. This year, Sneaky will be spinning live at Cockle Bay as the sun goes down and the Spectacular begins.

More: Vegans unsure about Lee Lin Chin’s Australia Day campaign

What’s happening in Brisbane?

Gold Coast Australia Day celebrations

Where: Evandale Parklands, Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia
When: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

If you can handle a whole day of food, fun and entertainment, this is the place to be. Enjoy live music on three different stages, cooking demonstrations, a Wheel of Death stunt show and more.

Australia Day Lunch and Dinner Cruise

Where: Eagle Street Pier, Brisbane
When: 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Feast on a delicious three-course menu inspired by Australia for lunch or dinner as you enjoy the open water and the views of the city (with some live music to set the mood).

What’s happening in Melbourne?

RACV Australia Day Picnic and Federation Vehicle Display

Where: King’s Domain Gardens, St Kilda

When: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Bring the kids along to see the massive display of 400 vehicles and reptile exhibit at King’s Domain Gardens in St Kilda. There’ll be entertainment and food stalls as well.

Australia Day Parade

Where: Swanston Street, CBD
When: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

A celebration of multiculturalism and a special focus on the state’s emergency volunteers will bring Swanston Street and St Kilda Road to life.

Australia Day at Docklands

Where: Docklands
When: 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.

There will be entertainment from Tim Rogers and The Bamboos, The Getaway Plan, The Voice Australia and Nova DJs, plus markets, giveaways, buskers and a sausage sizzle. It will end with a bang at 9:45 p.m., when the fireworks will light up the skies (with a dance party to follow).

What’s happening in Adelaide?

Australia Day in the City

Where: Elder Park
When: 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Celebrate the big day with 40,000 other Aussies, starting with an Australia Day parade on Franklin Street and finishing with fireworks in the park — and a 21-gun salute in between.

More: We’ve found your new Australia Day anthem: ‘Straya’!

What’s happening in Canberra?

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Great Aussie Day Breakfast

Where: Stage 88, Canberra
When: 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Start off your Australia Day right with a free breakfast, including a sausage sizzle, for the whole family.

Australia Day Fireworks Spectacular 2016

Where: Lake Burley Griffin
When: 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Enjoy entertainment and a picnic on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin while awaiting an explosion of colour at 9 p.m. to conclude the celebrations. Be there early to claim a great viewing spot.

More: Australia Day or Invasion Day: How should we commemorate the day?

What’s happening in Perth?

2016 Celebration Zone

Where: City of South Perth Civic Centre
When: 3 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Get the kids out of the house, and enjoy more than 100 activities for children of all ages, ranging from toddler to teen.

Water Regatta

Where: Swan River

When: 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Beautiful weather and boats — what’s not to love? The classic Wooden Boat display and the WA Show Ski Team on Swan River are sure to entertain.

Skyworks Fireworks Display and Laser Show

Where: Langley Park
When: 8 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Leading up to the fireworks, there are hundreds of different family activities you can participate in, and most areas are alcohol- and smoke-free, so it’s the perfect atmosphere to bring the kids. The fireworks light up the sky at 8 p.m.

Updated by Bethany Ramos on 1/13/2016


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