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Australia Day: Beyond The Backyard Sizzle

Christine Knight


Listen up Aussies! Australia Day is soon upon us. And for those of you tired of the annual tradition of the backyard sizzle, there’s plenty more ways to spend the national day! Whether you’re in Sydney or Melbourne, check out these great free events taking place in the lucky country, and get a chance to brag to your mates about something more than just hoofing down sausages on white sandwich bread this long holiday weekend :)

Sydney Events

Australia Day Live at the Sydney Opera House

Enjoy listening to Australia’s top talents sing at the Sydney Opera House, playing current popular music as well as great songs of the past. The current line up includes Tina Arena, Guy Sebastian and Nat Conway, in a concert directed by the legendary John Foreman.

26th January 2017

Sydney Opera House Forecourt

More info



Wugulora Indigenous Morning Ceremony

Celebrate the world’s oldest surviving culture with a special performance by Indigenous dancers and singers at Barangaroo. Listen to a choral performance of the Budjari Gunyalungalung Baraya-la, which translates as ‘Let’s Sing Good Dreaming’, while watching the Aboriginal and Australian flags being raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

26 January 2017

8:00am – 8:30am
Walumil Lawns at Barangaroo Reserve
Barangaroo Reserve NSW

More info


The Wiggles Australia Day Concert

Everyone’s favourite children’s entertainers get into the celebratory spirit with a concert guaranteed to get the little ones up and dancing. The world-famous Wiggles are appearing as part of the Children’s Festival in Darling Harbour.

26 January 2017

11:00am – 12:00pm
Tumbalong Park
Sydney NSW

More info


Australia Day in the Rocks

Let Sydney entertain you! Shop for locally-made goods at the markets, enjoy roving entertainers, play giant games of Jenga, Chess and Lego, swing on a giant swing, take a selfie with immersive street chalk art, listen to live music, watch a wheelchair race, and nosh on delicious offerings from food trucks. From yum cha to pizzas, tacos and burgers, all your dining options are covered.

26 January 2017

10:00am – 6:00pm
The Rocks NSW


Melbourne Events


Australia Day at Government House

Take this rare opportunity to see inside Government House when it opens to the public as part of Australia Day celebrations. This historic building dates back to 1876 and is a prime example of the 19th century architecture. Peek inside the mews, with its stables, check out the State Landau (State Coach) on loan from Melbourne Museum or stroll around the surrounding 11 hectares of gardens while enjoying live music and children’s activities on the West Lawn.

26 January 2017

9:30am – 3:30pm
Government House

More info


Australia Day Parade

Over 90 community and cultural groups will proudly march through Melbourne’s CBD in a celebration of Australia Day in a parade that’s always vibrant, colourful and entertaining.

26 January 2017

11:00am – 12:00pm
Swanston Street Melbourne

More info


Australia Day Concert and Fireworks

What better way to end Australia Day than listening to Darren Percival in concert, supported by Hunters and Collectors’ horn supremo Jack Howard and his band Epic Brass and the 15 rockin’ ladies from the Rebelles. A fireworks spectacular will finish the evening with a bang. Be sure to bring the kids to this all-ages event. They’ll love the free rides and amusements, leaving parents to enjoy the delicious dishes on offer from food trucks.

26 January 2017

5:00pm – 10:00pm
Whitehorse Civic Centre Precinct
379-397 Whitehorse Road

More info


There you have it! How to successfully eat out with your baby or toddler in 7 easy steps. Good luck – may the odds be ever in your favour.

Christine Knight is an Australian travel writer and blogger. When she’s not chasing her energetic five-year-old through Sydney’s inner west, you’ll find her “researching” her way through the best high teas in the city.