Australia Day in Brisbane 2021: Events and information
A guide to what's on in Brisbane on Australia Day.
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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.
Australia Day fireworks in Brisbane
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
- Bongaree: 1.5 hours out of Brisbane, Bongaree on Bribie Island hosts an annual Australia Day celebration at Brennan Park, with kid-friendly activities and an early fireworks display at 7:45pm.
- Redcliffe: A 40-minute drive out of Brisbane, Suttons Beach in Redcliffe has Australia-themed activities for young and old from 4pm-8pm. Play will stop at 7:45pm, though, when the fireworks will light up the night sky.
- Oxley Bowls Club: Family fun entertainment runs all day long on Australia Day, finishing off with fireworks at 7:15pm.
- Lawnton Aquatic Centre: Spend the day at the pool with this great Aussie Arvo Pool Party. Games, rides and music will be at play from 2pm and from 6.55pm-7pm there will be fireworks to cap off the evening. Entry is free but pre-registration is required.
Australia Day events in Brisbane in 2021
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:
Australia Day on Brunswick
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
Great Australian Bites food festival, Regional Queensland
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
Australia Day BBQ, Brisbane
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
Redcliffe Australia Day festival
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
Bribie Island Aussie Beach Party
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
Moonlight Cinema Summer Season
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
Things to do on Australia Day in Brisbane
Sail away on an Australia Day cruise
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.
Brisbane River Scenic Evening Cruise
Koala & River Cruise - Return cruise with Entry into Lone Pine
Brisbane River Sightseeing Cruise
See Brisbane from above
Be a tourist in your own city with a Story Bridge climb or a skydive over the neighbouring suburbs.
Helicopter Scenic Flight
Day Abseil Adventure
Celebrate with a wine in hand
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.
Scenic Helicopter Flight with Winery Tour
Full Day Winery Tour in Brisbane
Full Day Winery Tour from Brisbane by The Vino Bus
Celebrate with a beer in hand
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.
Brewery Tour with Beer Tasting
Brewery Tour with Beer and Tapas Taster Plate
Have an Indigenous cultural experience
From dreamtime stories to Indigenous art, make this Australia Day a special one by going on an Aboriginal tour of Brisbane.
Cultural Precinct and Kurilpa Bridge Walking Tour
Brisbane Like a Local Customized Private Tour
Catch a movie or musical
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.
Moonlight Cinema from Groupon
Get out on the water
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?
Kitesurfing Private Tuition
Day Kayak Adventure
Stand Up Paddle
Visit a family friendly attraction
Brisbane and its surrounds are overflowing with fun attractions for young and old – from zoos and museums to rock climbing.
Flying Fox High Ropes Adventure Park
Escape Room Experience For Groups of Two
Go Kart Racing Brisbane
Take a history lesson
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.
Bribie Island WWII Bunker tour
Boggo Road Gaol History Tour
St Helena Island Prison Experience Cruise with a Meal
Enjoy quality time together
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.
Hot Air Balloon with Champagne Breakfast
Story Bridge Adventure Climb
Private Helicopter Flight
Top free things to do on Australia Day in Brisbane
- Barbeque at South Bank: Pack a picnic basket or nab a barbeque early at South Bank and spend a day in the city surrounded by the lively atmosphere of the Australia Day festivities.
- Medibank Feel Good Program @ South Bank: Treat your body to some sunshine, good vibes and exercise at one of these outdoor fitness classes. They're absolutely free to attend, run at various times from 25 January to 27 March 2021 and offer a choice of aqua classes at Boat Pool, yoga, barre, pilates, tai chi, energy, boot camps and Zumba classes at Rainforest Green, and Latin fitness, Bollywood dancing, ballroom dancing and mums and bubs exercises at South Bank Piazza.
- Australia Day at Club Oxley: The Oxley Bowls Club puts on a show for families on Australia Day, with backyard cricket, thong throwing, barefoot bowls and more. The event runs from 12pm-10pm and the barbie will be fired up to keep stomachs satisfied. The event is free but tickets are required.
- Learn about the local heritage at Caboolture Heritage Village: With more than 70 historic buildings, this village is one of the biggest historic sites in the region. On Australia Day, there's often toad racing, kids entertainment and festive food stalls. Full details TBC.
- Australia Day at Victoria Park: All things fun are on at Victoria Park on Australia Day, with a magic show, giant games, a jumping castle and live music. If that's not your style, the park's putt-putt and driving range are available all Australia Day weekend. Book your spot at The Bistro here.
What's open on Australia Day in Brisbane?
|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|
Are shops open on Australia Day in Brisbane?
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.
- Queen Street Mall: Times vary
- Westfield Chermside: Open 10am-5pm
- Westfield Carindale: Open 9am-5:30pm
- Westfield Northlakes: Open 10am-5pm
- Westfield Garden City: Open 10am-5pm
- Westfield Helensvale: Open 10am-4pm
- Strathpine Centre: Open 10am-4pm
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