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Australia Day is one of the biggest days on our nation's calendar. Not only is it the day that the First Fleet landed in Port Jackson, it's also a day to celebrate how multicultural our nation has become.
And hey, 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
No Australia Day celebration is complete without that grand finale of fireworks. Brisbane annually caps the night off early, sending its light display into the night at South Bank by 7:30pm.
Recommended viewing locations are Clem Jones Promenade, the Cultural Forecourt and River Quay.
For more info: Visit Brisbane
|Fireworks vantage points||What's happening?||Food and drink|
|Clem Jones Promenade (Main display)||No events planned.||Alcohol-free event. Bars and restaurants nearby.|
|Cultural Forecourt (Main display)||No events planned.|
|River Quay Green (Main display)||Events from 2–6pm. Live music and food stalls.||Alcohol-free area. Licensed venues in the area can serve alcohol on their premises. Food and drink for sale in the festival area.|
|Brennan and Apex Parks (Bribie Island display)||Events run from 3–8pm. Live music, performers, lamington-eating competitions and games.||Food for sale through food trucks.|
|Suttons Beach (Redcliffe display)||Events run from 3–8pm. Live music, performers, lamington-eating competitions and games.||Food for sale through food trucks.|
You won’t be able to avoid the festivals and markets in Brisbane on Australia Day – they’ll crop up everywhere as each suburb and region celebrates in some way or another.
Here are just a few to whet your appetite:
If you're hoping to spend Australia Day away from the big city this year, follow your nose to the Great Australian Bites festival.
For another year running, this foodie fest takes to regional Queensland with posts in Bargara, Cairns, Hope Vale, Lockhart River, Rockhampton, Townsville, Winton and Warwick.
Hope Vale's event is on 25 January while all other cities will be hosting the festival on 26 January.
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 Long Lunch.
This is the ultimate barbeque with mates and strangers, curated by chefs Deniz Coskun, Tony Tierney, Steve Hursey and Jason Anderson and built to share. Because that's what the Australian spirit is all about.
This meal is served at The Charming Squire from 1–4pm.
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 3–8pm, there will be live performances, a lamington-eating contest, sand and water activities and free inflatables.
Acts on the musical bill include Cheyne Starkie, SeaNic Sounds, Space for Two and The Bassline Studios Band.
For more info: Visit Moreton Bay
Image: Visit Moreton Bay Region
From midday on Australia Day, Brennan Park on Bribie Island is set to be the hub of activity and entertainment. That's from the first performance at 3:10pm to the nightly fireworks at 8pm.
This big beach bash will feature beach games, live music and markets galore.
For more info: Australia Day on Bribie Island
Image: Kookaburra River Queens
Turn that exciting public holiday into a marked special occasion by boarding a boat and sailing down the Brisbane River to a backdrop of colourful fireworks.
River cruise companies such as Kookaburra River Queens and Brisbane Cruises offer scenic sailings timed to ensure yours is the best seat in the house when the fireworks start.
Buffets, live music and costume prizes may be included in your sailing.
Avoid the rat race to see the fireworks and opt to spend your day at the pub, beer in hand partaking in this local tradition. For over 36 years Story Bridge Hotel has been hosting its annual "cocky races" where punters can put their little cocky's legs to the test to try and win the big bucks. Entry is via gold coin donation, which is given to charity.
Live bands and a dunking machine are on site to provide added entertainment and the day begins at 11am with the first race starting at midday.
For more info: Cockroach races
Those who prefer to unwind and soak up the local atmosphere can do no better than paying Mt Barney Lodge a visit on Australia Day.
On top of its pristine views of Mt Barney, the lodge will be showcasing local artworks along a sculpture trail. It's best done after 5pm when the silhouettes are at their best or at sunset when the sculptures light up.
While you wait, there's plenty going on at the lodge including live music and a pop-up cafe.
For more info: My Barney Lodge
For a more relaxing Australia Day, book yourself a spot on the green at the Moonlight Cinema.
This summer movie festival does the rounds across Australia this month. On 26 January, it's playing Aussie classic The Castle at its Brisbane outlet at The Amphitheatre in Roma Street Parkland.
For more info: Moonlight Cinema
Here are the major shopping centres that tend to open for Australia Day public holiday (27 January) and their trading hours. Opening times are subject to change.
Feature image: Australia Day Queensland
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