Australia Day in Melbourne 2021 | Fireworks, events and more
Enjoy your day off at these top Australia Day events and festivals.
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In Melbourne, Australia Day starts as early as a week before, with a special Australia Day luncheon. From there, it's all uphill, with a series of exciting displays of diversity and national pride that pours through the city.
From lively Australia Day Eve parties to that fantastic moment when Melbourne lights up the night sky, there are plenty of events to enjoy on 26 January.
The 2021 events are yet to be finalised. We'll keep you posted as the details drop.
Australia Day fireworks in Melbourne
Year-on-year, Melbourne serves up one of the best and most dynamic fireworks displays on Australia Day.
The extraordinary fireworks display is held at Docklands Harbour and the fireworks are released from various barges along the harbour at 9pm.
In 2020, the fireworks were cancelled due to the bushfire crisis. The 2021 fireworks haven't been confirmed yet. We'll update this page when they are.
Australia Day events in Melbourne for 2021
The official Australia Day Parade, which sees community and cultural groups march down Swanston Street, has been cancelled for 2021 due to coronavirus concerns. The Whitehorse Australia Day concert has also been cancelled this year.
However, there are still a number of events on throughout the city.
- Australia Day Eve at The Deck, Frankston: Start the public holiday early by clocking off on the afternoon of the 25th and heading to The Deck in Frankstown. This party starts at 4pm on Australia Day Eve and keeps going until 1am on Australia Day, giving you the full public holiday day to recover. Tickets: $10.
- Gods Kitchen – Australia Day Eve: Listen to rockin' Aussie tune and nab cheap drinks and food at Gods Kitchen. The lineup features Jack Harrison, Ethan Taylor, Ed Moon (Band), Matt Pascazio and Sam O'Connell. Tickets: $9.04.
- Hot Chili & When is Medellin Down Under Australia Day Party @ Diesel Bar & Eater: It's all about the music on Australia Day Eve and the place to be to listen up is Diesel Bar & Eatery. Expects stacks of arts, DJs and ravers. Tickets: $26.09.
- Australian Royalty At Riva Street, St Kilda: Dance to the tune of Australia's DJ royalty on Saturday 23 January. Yes, we know. It's very early. But why not get the party started early? The music starts at 1pm (so you can sleep in) and ends at 10pm. Tickets: From $60.45.
- Partners in Oz @ Eddie's Bandroom: Love your Aussie Rock? You'll love this blast from the past, where the hits of Rose Tattoo, the Angels, the Divynls and AC/DC come to life with the help of local bands. Tickets: $15 + bf.
- Australia Day on the Water: Spend the day out on the water with Party Boat Cruises. Choose between the Australia Day Eve sunset cruise on the 25th or the Australia Day fireworks cruise on the 26th. Whichever you book, you can be sure there'll be music, an Aussie BBQ, a free drink on arrival and spectacular views of the city. Tickets: $45.
- Australia Day Party @ Hendricks: Bottomless Hendriks Draught, cider, espresso martinis and mimosas are waiting for you at this Oz Day gig. As is a barbie, DJ and live music. Tickets: From $22.19.
- Australia Day Eve Party @ The George on Collins: Get your groove on with a mix of retro, R&B and party hits at The George on Collins. Entry is only $25, but if you want to be treated like a VIP, there are booth packages that include bottles of spirits and entry for larger groups. Tickets: From $25 + bf.
- The Noisy Johnnies Australian Rock Australia Day 2021 @ Black Rock Yacht Club: Head to the water's edge to party with the Noisy Johnnies. It's the band's 21st anniversary as well, and being Australia Day, it'll feature stacks of tribute tracks to Aussie rock legends. Tickets: $11.64.
- Australia Day Nauti Weekend: Why spend a single day celebrating when you can book out the whole weekend? From Saturday 23 January to Tuesday 26 January, the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron is hosting a variety of events for young and old. These include a marina party, a scavenger hunt, a charity yacht race and a flotilla showcase. Tickets: Free.
- Australia Day Cricket Cup: What could be more Aussie than spending the day watching the cricket? Head on over to Springvale Reserve from 10am to catch the Greater Dandenong's Australia Day Cricket Cup. Tickets are free but registration is mandatory.
- Eat the Beat: Australia Day's Boat Party: Cool down on Australia Day Eve with a boat party filled with music and harbour views. Tickets: From $70.
- John Course Set @ Port Melbourne Yacht Club: Get set for 8 hours of non-stop dance. This gig was originally scheduled for Good Friday 2020 but has since been rescheduled for Australia Day 2021. Time to celebrate the return of live music. Tickets: From $29.32.
- Hellraiser Australia Day Rooftop Party @ Top Yard Rooftop: Bring down the house with a manic 8-hour set by Hellraiser. Only 100 patrons are allowed in the venue making this one exclusive party. Tickets: $32.74.
Things to do on Australia Day in Melbourne
Get on the water with an Australia Day cruise
Sail through Australia Day on a cruise that not only celebrates the beauty of our great country, but its multiculturalism as well. Make it a private one with just your mates by hiring a boat or Aqua Donut, or book a spot on an Aussie Day cruise with all the trimmings and city views.
Private Yarra River Cruise with Wine and Cheese
Luxury Private Romantic Dinner Cruise
See Melbourne from a bird's eye view
Make 2021 the year you treat yourself by ticking off that hot air balloon ride, helicopter adventure or seaplane trip. Feeling brave? Why not try tumbling through the skies from 14,000 feet with a skydive session over the beach.
Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Melbourne with Breakfast
Hot Air Balloon Flight Over Melbourne
Tandem Skydive Over The Beach
Taste the nation's finest produce
Or at the very least, the city's finest produce with a food or winery tour. Sure, it's a little touristy, but it's also stacks of fun.
Uncover Hidden Laneway Bars
3-Course Lunch with Wine Tasting
Contemporary 2 Course Meal with Wine
Watch a movie
Catch the latest releases in your local cinema (while indulging in the air conditioning). Or, take advantage of the warm nights by booking a session in an outdoor cinema. Moonlight Cinemas is one of many that is running over summer. The film of the evening? Aussie release The Dry.
The beach is always the right place to be on Australia Day. When you're not soaking up those rays on a towel on the sand, why not get in the water for a swim or a surf? First-timers will be happy to hear that the waves stop for no public holiday and lessons and gear hire are readily available throughout the day.
Beginner Surf Lesson
Private Surf Lesson
Surfboard and Wetsuit Rental
Catch a game or match
Summer is all about sports, and over the Australia Day weekend, you can catch everything from local cricket games to grand slam tennis matches in Melbourne. Slap on a hat and some sunscreen and back your team or favourite players.
Melbourne Renegades v Brisbane Heat
Hobart Hurricanes v Perth Scorchers
Take the family to see the city's big attractions
The school holidays are winding down. But before the kids shoot off back to school, give them one last treat and take them for a day out on the town. It could be the local aquarium, wildlife park, science museum or water park. You decide. Or let them. If you're feeling brave.
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium Entry
Werribee Open Range Zoo Off Road Safari and Admission
Compete against your mates
Make today more than just an excuse for a barbie. Instead, grab your mates for a day of fun at the local go-karting track, at an escape room or over a "friendly" game of laser tag or paintball.
Go Karting in Port Melbourne
Virtual Reality Experience
Top free things to do on Australia Day in Melbourne
- Be a beach bum on St Kilda Beach: When the sun is out, there’s nothing more Aussie than zipping off to the local beach.
- Check out the art at the NGV Triennial: Running from December to April, this new exhibit has larger-than-life pieces. It's free to view but you must pre-book.
- Docklands (TBC): The Docklands precinct is a diverse space for entertainment and festivities. This year, the highlight is MPAvilion which is a summertime arts pop-up filled with activities, music and even a pop-up roller disco party.
- Outdoor cinema at Federation Square: Ditch the night in with Netflix for a night out at Fed Square's free outdoor cinema. From 23 January through to Australia Day, it's all about the Aussie classics with Red Dog, Muriel's Wedding, The Castle, Strictly Ballroom, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Bran Nue Dae all playing.
- Walk through art: Art trails are a fun adventure for the whole family and 100 UooUoo was made for little ones, with colourful sculptures running throughout the cities of Melbourne and Geelong. The sculptures will be auctioned off later to raise funds for The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne.
- Australia Day RACV Picnic at Kings Domain (TBC): Line too long at Government House to sit yourself down for a picnic on the lawn? Try the nearby Kings Domain instead. There'll be live entertainment that's perfect for the whole family.
What's open on Australia Day in and around Melbourne?
|Attraction||Australia Day trading hours||Where to book|
|SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium||9:30am-5:30pm||Adrenaline|
|Otways Fly Treetop Adventure||10am-6pm||Adrenaline|
|Werribee Open Range Zoo||9am-8pm||Adrenaline|
|Eagle Arthurs Seat||9am-6pm||Adrenaline|
|Melbourne Star Observation Wheel||11am-9:30pm||Adrenaline|
|Holey Moley Mini Golf||4pm-10pm||RedBalloon|
|GAMR Laser Tag and VR||10am-8pm||RedBalloon|
|Escape Games Melbourne||1pm-10pm||Groupon|
|Virtual Reality Melbourne||10am-6pm||Groupon|
|Rampfest Indoor Skate Park||9am-9pm||Groupon|
Are stores open on Australia Day?
Here are the major shopping centres that are open for Australia Day and their trading hours:
- Swanston Street: Times vary
- Melbourne Central: Times vary
- Southgate Melbourne: Open 10am-6pm
- Highpoint: Open 10am-5pm
- Westfield Doncaster: Open 9:30am-5pm
- Northland Shopping Centre: Open 10am-5pm
- Chapel Street: Times vary
- Chadstone Shopping Centre: Open 10am-6pm
- Clarendon Street, South Melbourne: Times vary
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