Australia Day Adelaide 2020 | Fireworks, events and things to do

This is how Adelaide does Australia Day.

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On Australia Day, Adelaide pulls out all the stops to celebrate everything green and gold.

Each year its festivities get better with 40,000+ people flocking to the city in celebration. Planning to be one in that 40,000? There's a full list of events waiting for you on the day.

Better get crackin'.


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Australia Day fireworks, Adelaide

Heralded as the biggest fireworks display of the year for South Australians, rockets will be launched from Pinky Flat and the River Torrens in a spectacle like no other.

Adelaide shows off at 9.30pm with its exceptional display of pyrotechnics over the city skyline.

To catch them in all their glory there are two vantage points that offer the best views, both located along the River Torrens.

For more info: Australia Day in the City

Best Australia Day fireworks vantage points:

Vantage point What's happening? Food and drink
Elder Park Starting from 6pm. Concert by Electric Fields and G-Nat!on as well as a street parade, vintage cars, flag raising ceremony, cutting of the Australia Day cake and flyby by an F-18 Hornet Food and drink for sale
Grass in front of Adelaide Casino, Intercontinental and Adelaide Convention Centre No events scheduled None. Bars and restaurants nearby

Australia Day Adelaide: Other celebrations and events

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Australia Day breakfast, Adelaide (various)

I'll skip the free breakfast, thanks. Said no one – ever.

A bang-on Australia Day tradition throughout the nation is a free brekky – and Adelaide has quite a few. If you're seeking some good grub you can find it at the following places on 26 January:

  • Port Lincoln: As part of the Tunarama Festival, Port Lincoln’s annual Australia Day Breakfast on the Beach at Eyre Square is a hearty meal. It's served by the city's councillors and prepared by Dragons Abreast members. Breakfast from 7am.
  • Playford: The City of Playford hosts an annual barbeque breakfast at Fremont Park on Australia Day. Playford will also host a day full of festival and park activities. Breakfast starts at 8am.
  • Victor Harbor: Celebrations at Victor Harbor include a barbeque breakfast, citizenship ceremony, presentation of the Citizen of the Year Awards and live entertainment from 8am.
  • Mount Gambier: The community is invited to come to Cave Garden for the annual Australia Day breakfast and acknowledge outstanding members of the local community.
  • Cleve: The Council of Cleve starts Australia Day off with a BBQ brekky in Centenary Park and continues the event with a presentation of Australia Day awards. It all starts at 8am.

Australia Day Adelaide parade

One of the the largest Australia Day parades in the country is right on your doorstep.

It's all about community spirit in Adelaide this Australia Day as over 4,000 people take to the streets in an enormous parade of pride and celebration. Their mode of transport will include vintage cars and floats and their outfits may include everything from marching band attire to giant echidna mascot costumes.

In true Australia Day parade tradition, an F-18 Hornet will fly by during the event.

The parade runs 6-7pm from Victoria Square to Elder Park.

For more info: Australia Day in the City


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Australia Day Adelaide concert

You'll have the national anthem stuck in your head for days following this true blue concert – and that's the way it should be.

The biggest names in Australian music gather to sing their hearts out on Australia Day in Elder Park. Artists gracing the honourable stage this year are the Volya Ukrainian Cossack dancers, G-Nat!on and Electric Fields.

Annually, the concert attracts over 30,000 music-loving Australians and includes a 21-gun salute, flag raising ceremony and the cutting of an Australia Day cake. The concert begins at 7pm.

For more info: Australia Day in the City


Australian smoking ceremony.

Smoking ceremony

An ancient custom in respect of ancestors and the land

Start your day at Elder Park, paying respects to the First Nations Peoples and Friends and the land we live on by witnessing a traditional smoking ceremony.

The theme this year is "mourning in the morning" and is a moment of truth, hope, sharing and storytelling. The ceremony starts at 7am.

For more info: Australia Day South Australia


Semaphore Summer Carnival

Fun in the sun is the name of the game at Semaphore.

From 14 December 2019 until 27 January 2020, holidaymakers can enjoy free children's entertainment every Sunday in the sun-kissed suburb of Semaphore.

On the birth of our nation AKA 26 January, Semaphore Summer Carnival goes all-out, delivering a carnival-inspired day of roving entertainment, magicians and themed shows. Things kick off at noon and conclude with a fireworks display at 9:30pm.

For more info: Semaphore South Australia


Grange Jetty in South Australia during sunrise/sunset.

Australia Day Jetty to Jetty Swim

Hail the sunshine by doing a dash in the water.

Australia Day is in the heat of summer and what better way to celebrate the occasion than by cooling off at the beach?

The swim is part of the SA Open Water Swim Series and is a 2.2km dash (or should that be splash?) running from 7.30am-12pm at Grange Jetty.

Participate or watch, we don't judge.

For more info: Australia Day Jetty to Jetty Swim


Australia Day picnic at Whistler Wines, Barossa Valley.

Australia Day @ Whistler Wines

Get out of the city and among the vines.

For something a little bit different, hop into your car and take to Whistler Wines in the Barossa Valley.

Its annual event is what family days out are made for. Expect delicious street food, a fundraising BBQ, local coffee and ice cream and live acoustic music throughout the day.

Naturally, Whistler Wines is available by the glass or the bottle.

This event runs from 10.30am-5pm and there is no BYO food or drinks.

For more info: Whistler Wines


Top free things to do on Australia Day in Adelaide

  • Cycle the Linear Park Cycle Track: Get on your bike and explore the city on two wheels, passing the iconic Adelaide Oval and Adelaide Zoo.
  • Head to the beach: Do it right this year and make yours a beach day this Australia Day. Bring the cricket set / volleyball set / boogie board / picnic basket (cross out whichever is irrelevant) – oh and don’t forget to pencil in some time for a good ol’ thong toss.
  • Relax over a Sunday sesh at Stein's Taphouse: All summer long, live music plays on the verandah of Stein's on Sundays. And as Australia Day falls on a Sunday this year, you know what that means. Yup, a super chill Aussie Day at Stein's.
  • Soak up acclaimed Aboriginal and Torres Strait artworks. Up until 27 January, Art Gallery of South Australia is hosting the Tarnanthi, a festival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art where you can marvel upon printworks and even take part in creating your own.

Are shops open on Australia Day in Adelaide?

Shops are open on 26 January 2020 as it's a Sunday; however, many shops are closed on the public holiday 27 January 2020. Here are the opening hours:

  • Rundle Mall: Open from 11am-5pm
  • Harbour Town Adelaide: Open from 11am-5pm (select stores open only)
  • Castle Plaza Shopping Centre: 9am-5.30pm
  • Elizabeth Shopping Centre: 9am-5.30pm
  • Burnside Village: Closed
  • Westfield Marion: TBC

Times are correct as at 6 January 2020.

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