Australia Day Melbourne | Fireworks and Events in 2020
Fly the Aussie flag loudly and proudly at these top Australia Day events and festivals.
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 throughout 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 make your heart swell with pride on 26 January.
Here's a snapshot of some of the city's best.
Australia Day fireworks
It’s not Australia Day without a fantastic fireworks display.
Melbourne offers 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.
If you're a tennis fan, it tends to break up play during the Australian Open. Keep those peepers peeled.
For more info: Australia Day Victoria
Australia Day Melbourne fireworks vantage points:
|Fireworks vantage points||What's happening?||Food and drink|
|Docklands Harbour||6-9:30pm (fireworks at 9pm). Food trucks, roaming artists and entertainers, live music.||Food for sale.|
Best Australia Day events and experiences in Melbourne
Australia Day cruises
Capture the sights and sounds of Melbourne from the water.
Sail through Australia Day on a cruise that not only celebrates the beauty of our great country, but its multiculturalism as well.
Melbourne Showboat offers an afternoon and sunset Aussie Day cruise that take you from Docklands to Williamstown, Port Melbourne and St Kilda Beach to the backdrop of an entertaining DJ set. Food and drinks are available for purchase. Both daytime and sunset cruises are available.
The RACV Australia Day Picnic and Federation Vehicle Display, King’s Domain Alexandra Gardens
There's something for everybody at the annual RACV Australia Day Picnic.
Don't be fooled by the name of this event – it's not purely for revheads, although there will be plenty of those around. As well as featuring veteran, vintage and classic vehicles, this Australia Day picnic is a family-friendly event packed chock full of installations, art displays and live entertainment.
For little ones, there will be live and local performances and kids' activities. For older kids, there are live performances on the main stage and food stalls to keep grins on faces.
This event runs from 11am-4pm.
More info: RACV Australia Day Picnic
Australia Day Parade
Be that face in the crowd at the annual Australia Day Parade.
March along to the beat of Melbourne's drum the morning of Australia Day with this iconic parade. Starting at 11am, it welcomes thousands of people to revel in the live entertainment provided by over 80 community and cultural groups as they march down Swanston Street.
The parade follows the city's official flag raising ceremony and concludes at midday – just in time for you to get to that Aussie Day barbie you've been invited to. Thoughtful, eh?
For more info: Australia Day Parade
Whitehorse Australia Day Concert
There's no better way to kick off Whitehorse Festival Season than with a stellar line-up of acts on Australia Day.
In our humble opinions, the city of Whitehorse in Melbourne's suburbs takes the cake.
On Australia Day, it's offering a free twilight concert from 6pm-10pm featuring the musical talents of Michael Paynter, AC/DShe and the Michelle Serret Band.
The annual fireworks at Whitehorse have been cancelled for 2020 in light of the ongoing bushfires across the country.
For more info: Whitehorse Australia Day concert
Hit the bar at these Australia Day celebrations
This long weekend is just another excuse to keep the party going. From Australia Day Eve on Saturday through to Australia Day shenanigans, here's where you need to be.
- Musicland Melbourne: It's shaping up to be a mammoth Australia Day long weekend at Musicland, starting with a ripping Saturday evening music-fest. Throughout the weekend we'll be graced with a concert by No Exit, Dirty Eyes and Tattoo Rose Band as well as a special Australia Day open mic night. Doors open at 7pm. Entry fees may apply.
- Grosvenor Hotel: It's a chill one at this pub on Australia Day eve, though if its previous performance is anything to go by, you can expect some true blue Aussie dishes and music.
- Seaford Hotel: This local favourite is all about blues, rock 'n' roll and top Aussie grub. The Australia Day Eve party starts super early on 24 January with a tribute to AC/DC. On Australia Day though, it's all about the fight – the UFC fight that is. Watch it live and free here.
- Skyways Hotel: Whether you've a late-night flight through Melbourne Airport or are a babe of the 80s, Skyways is turning back the time with its KISS THISS tribute show. Doors open at 10pm on Australia Day. Event is free.
- Cramers Hotel: The party is all about good food, good drinks and great giveaways, including a meat tray. Doors open at 11am.
Top free things to do on Australia Day in Melbourne
- Walk into Government House: This annual opening gives Melbournians and visitors the chance to visit the State Apartments and Grounds of Government House for free. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be roving performances on the grounds throughout the day. Picnics on the grounds are welcomed, but there are food vendors on site if you'd prefer not to DIY. Us? We'll be nomming on the famous jam and scones.
- 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. Nothing.
- Australia Day RACV Picnic at Kings Domain: Line too long at Government House to sit yourself down for a picnic on the lawn? Try the nearby Kings Domain instead. Today, it features live entertainment that’s perfect for the whole family.
- Docklands: The Docklands precinct is a diverse space for entertainment and festivities. In the past, Australia Day has seen it transform into a carnival-esque space filled with face painting, kite-making and market fare that culminates in a fireworks display at 9pm.
- Catch the Australia Day parade: Every year, thousands line the streets of Melbourne to watch the morning parade. It begins with the official flag raising ceremony from 10.30am-11am and culminates with the parade from 11am-noon along Swanston Street.
Are stores open on Australia Day (27 January 2020) in Melbourne?
Here are the major shopping centres that open for Australia Day and their trading hours. These are the 2019 opening hours, but we'll update this list when 2020 hours are confirmed.
- Swanston Street: Times vary
- Melbourne Central: Times vary
- Southgate Melbourne: Open from 10am-6pm
- Highpoint: Open from 10am-5pm
- Westfield Doncaster: Open from 10am-5pm
- Northland Shopping Centre: Open from 10am-5pm
- Chapel Street: Times vary.
- Chadstone Shopping Centre: Open from 10am-6pm
- Clarendon Street, South Melbourne: Times vary
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