Brisbane River Scenic Evening Cruise
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Australia Day is one of the biggest days on the calendar. It's the day that the First Fleet landed in Port Jackson, and it's a day to celebrate how multicultural our country has become.
And hey, it being a public holiday doesn't hurt either.
From fireworks displays to all-nighters at the pub, whatever you have in mind for the day, there's an event out there to cater for it. Check 'em out here.
Image: Australia Day Queensland
Due to the pandemic, the 2021 Australia Day fireworks at Brisbane's South Bank have been cancelled and moved to the RNA Showgrounds in Bowen Hills.
This event is strictly for residents receiving their citzenship and their guests, with the fireworks scheduled for 7:30pm.
While you might not be able to get in, you may still be able to view the fireworks from vantage points outside the showgrounds.
Prefer something else? Smaller fireworks displays further out of the city have been confirmed for the day as well. Note that these may be policed or might require tickets to keep crowds down.
For more info: Visit Brisbane
You won’t be able to avoid the festivals and markets in Brisbane on Australia Day – they’re going to be cropping up everywhere, as each suburb and region celebrates in one way or another.
Here are just a few options to whet your appetite:
Listen to the sounds of live and local artists while you shop till you drop down Brunswick Street Mall. The music plays from 3pm-7pm and features Leonie Kingdom, Liv Jeye and Harry Phillips.
For more info: My Valley
If you're hoping to spend Australia Day away from the big city, follow your nose to the Great Australian Bites festival.
For another year running, this foodie fest will head to regional Queensland with posts in Bargara, Cleveland, Ingham, Gympie, Rockhampton, Warwick and Winton.
Warwick's event runs on 23 January from 4pm-10pm, while all the other city's festivals are on 26 January, starting at varying times from 11am.
This free event features the best fodder of the area in the form of pop-up stalls by local providers and makers. Local entertainment accompanies.
For more info: Great Australian Bites
Don't live in regional Queensland? Prefer to eat somewhere closer to the big smoke? Then why not check out the Australia Day BBQ.
This is the ultimate barbeque with mates and strangers, boasting a wide assortment of skewers and drinks. Because what could be more Aussie than that?
Catch this event at The Charming Squire from midday.
For more info: The Charming Squire
Image: Visit Moreton Bay
For atmosphere, sun and plenty of Australia Day entertainment, Suttons Beach in Redcliffe is a popular spot for families. From 4pm–8pm, there will be live performances, food trucks, sand and water activities and fireworks at 7:45pm.
Acts on the musical bill are yet to be confirmed, though in the past, they've included Cheyne Starkie, SeaNic Sounds, Space for Two and The Bassline Studios Band.
For more info: Visit Moreton Bay
Image: Visit Moreton Bay
From midday on Australia Day, Brennan Park on Bribie Island is set to be a hub of activity and entertainment. The first performance is at 4pm, with the evening fireworks from 7:45pm-8pm.
This big beach bash will feature beach games, live music and markets galore.
For more info: Australia Day on Bribie Island
For a more relaxing Australia Day, book yourself a spot on the green at the Moonlight Cinema and chill out under the stars at this Australia-inspired film sesh.
This summer movie festival is doing the rounds across Australia this month. It's not open on Australia Day sadly, but the weekend before you can catch 10 Things I Hate About You (23 January) and Dirty Dancing (24 January).
For more info: Moonlight Cinema
Book discounted tickets: Groupon
Turn that exciting public holiday into a marked special occasion by boarding a boat and sailing down the Brisbane River on a backdrop of colourful fireworks.
River cruise companies such as Kookaburra River Queens and Brisbane Cruises offer scenic sailings timed to ensure that yours is the best seat in the house when the fireworks start.
Buffets, live music and costume prizes may be included in your sailing.
Be a tourist in your own city with a Story Bridge climb or a skydive over the neighbouring suburbs.
Throw caution to the wind and pick a bottle of local wine off the shelf from your local bottle-o. If you want to take this to the next level, head out for a winery tour where you can sample a variety of wines and meet a Queensland winemaker.
Beers and Australia Day go hand-in-hand, and while you could celebrate the traditional way with a trip to the pub, this year, why not up your game with a brewery tour instead? You can meet local brewers, sample their creations and learn some tricks of the trade.
From dreamtime stories to Indigenous art, make this Australia Day a special one by going on an Aboriginal tour of Brisbane.
Being the school holidays, there's a wealth of performances roving around the city, perfect for school-aged kids, teens and tweens.
Shrek the Musical is the big one, playing at QPAC's Lyric Theatre until 7 February.
Then, there's the outdoor cinema where you can pack a picnic for a date night under the stars. Moonlight Cinemas has screenings over the weekend before Australia Day.
Surf, swim, stand-up paddleboard, kayak, kite surf – the options are endless. Pick your favourite or why not book in a beginners lesson for a new sport?
Brisbane and its surrounds are overflowing with fun attractions for young and old – from zoos and museums to rock climbing.
Today we reflect on what it is to be Australian – including the history of our country. Learn more about our past by spending a few hours at any number of Brisbane's museums and tours.
Use this public holiday to woo your better half with a romantic gesture. A hot air balloon ride on the Gold Coast, a private helicopter ride or picnic for two are just a few ideas to get your imagination going.
|Attraction||Australia Day trading hours||Where to book|
|Story Bridge Adventure Climb||Dawn to night||Adrenaline|
|TreeTop Challenge at Tamborine Mountain||Adrenaline|
|Boggo Road Gaol||Adrenaline|
|Escape Hunt||10am-3pm||Escape Hunt|
|Kingston Park Raceway||10am-5pm||Adrenaline|
|Lone Pine Sanctuary||9am-5pm|
|Wheel of Brisbane||10am-8pm||Groupon|
|Museum of Brisbane||10:30am and 11:30am tours||Museum of Brisbane|
|XPress Fun Train at South Bank||10am-5pm|
|State Library of Queensland||10am-5pm|
|Museum of Brisbane||10am-5pm||Free entry, bookings required|
Here are the major shopping centres that are usually open on the Australia Day public holiday and their trading hours. Opening times are subject to change.
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