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Australia Day Adelaide 2018 | Fireworks, events and things to do

This is how Adelaide does Australia Day.

When the calendar rolls around 26 January, Adelaide pulls out all the stops to celebrate everything green and gold.

Each year its celebration gets better and 2018 is touted to be its biggest yet with more than 40,000 locals and visitors predicted to flock to the city.

Planning to be that one in 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 PointWhat's happening?Food and drink
Elder ParkStarting from 6pm. Concert by Chris Sebastian and Ricki-Lee 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 CentreNo events scheduled.None. Bars and restaurants nearby.

Australia Day Adelaide: Other celebrations and events

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Australia Day One Day International, Adelaide Oval

The annual One Day International 50-over cricket match returns to Adelaide Oval for an Australia Day match to remember – and yeah, if you're a fan you really should be there front and centre.

This year the Gillette ODI series is ramping up to be a big one as Australia takes on England on the nation’s big day.

Can you smell the rivalry?

Gates open at 11:30am and the match runs from 1:50pm to 9:35pm across two sessions. You can keep on top of tickets with StubHub.

For more info: South Australia Cricket Association


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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 7-10am.
  • 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 amusement park activities and events. Breakfast starts at 8am.
  • Victor Harbor: Celebrations at Victor Harbor include a barbeque breakfast, citizenship ceremony and live entertainment from 8am.
  • Mount Gambier: The community is invited to come to Railway Lands for the annual Australia Day breakfast and acknowledge outstanding members of the local community.

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Australia Day Adelaide Parade

One of the the largest Australia Day parade 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.

An F-18 Hornet aircraft will also be part of this year's parade which runs from 6pm–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 just the way it should be.

The biggest names in Australian music gather to sing their hearts out on Australia Day in Elder Park. Artists who have graced this honourable stage in the past include Chris Sebastian and Ricki-Lee.

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


Semaphore Summer Carnival

Semaphore Summer Carnival

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

From New Year's till Australia Day, holidaymakers can enjoy free children's entertainment every Sunday in the sun-kissed suburb of Semaphore. We know what you’re thinking: what about on Australia Day? True, it doesn’t land on a Sunday this year, but that doesn’t mean the fun stops.

On 26 January, Semaphore Summer Carnival teams up with Port Adelaide Enfield Council to deliver 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


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.
  • Uncover Aussie treasures at the State Library: Australia Day isn’t just a free day off work and school; it’s a day to acknowledge our history and roots. This month the State Library has an A Few of Our Favourite Things exhibition on, which showcases treasures from the State Library’s collection that its staff have personally picked to share with you.

Are shops open on Australia Day in Adelaide?

Here are the major shopping centres that will open for Australia Day and their trading hours:

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

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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