Australia Day in Perth 2021 | Events and things to do
These are the events in Perth that are going off with a bang this Australia Day.
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Struth, there’s a lot going on in Perth this week. With green and gold being the colours of choice, it certainly is an Australian celebration, and it’s a big one too, with loads of true blue events happening throughout the city.
So if you're still scratching your head wondering where you'll be on Australia Day, we know a few beaut places in Perth where you won’t be the only one wrapped in an Aussie flag.
Australia Day fireworks in Perth
Due to the pandemic, the fireworks extravaganza has been axed for 2021.
"The advice from the Chief Health Officer is that proceeding with Skyworks in 2021 presents too great a risk to community safety," said Lord Mayor Zempilas.
In light of this, Zampilas has promised that other events will go ahead, saying, "A new program of family activities, music and entertainment and neighbourhood events across the City of Perth is already being planned. We will celebrate Australia Day 2021 and we will do it safely".
See below for what you can get up to this year instead.
Australia Day events in Perth for 2021
The City of Perth has organised more than 25 free events throughout the city to celebrate Australia Day. Events start as early as Friday 22 January (because who doesn't want to make this a long weekend?) and finish on Australia Day, Tuesday 26 January.
These are the highlights, as well as some other annual events to catch.
Shining the Light: The Story of Us
Where one light show (the fireworks) is cancelled another light show emerges. Located on The Esplanade in Elizabeth Quay, Shining the Light: The Story of Us is a space for theelders of the Wadjuk Nyoongar people to share their stories through light, live performance and art.
It's on display from 22-26 January 2021 and features a poem, a digital centrepiece, an interactive social media mosaic, an animated mural by Perth artist Sioux Tempestt and portraits of Aussies and their stories.
- Where: Elizabeth Quay
- When: 22-26 January 2021
- Cost: Free but tickets are required, book your spot here
Lotterywest Carnival, Water Playground and Skydivers Drop
Every year, Langley Park is transformed into the official site of the City of Perth’s Australia Day celebrations. Being right on the waterfront, it's also a prime spot for catching the city’s big fireworks display.
In 2021, three events are being hosted at the park. They're all on 26 January, so you can tuck into all three at once.
The first is the Lotterywest Carnival. It's a fun day out filled with rides such as dodgem cars, a castle of fun and the cups and saucers ride. The second is the Lotterywest Water Playground. The perfect excuse for a cooldown, it has waterslides and a slip n' slide.
Lastly, there's the Skydivers Drop. In other words: stop whatever you're doing at 2pm and look to the skies. You'll see skydivers manoeuvre craftily from above, headed directly for the park.
- Where: Langley Park
- When: 26 January 2021
- Cost: Free, tickets grant you one hour of unlimited rides/waterpark access
Held in the Supreme Court Gardens, the traditional Birak Concert is a celebration of Australian and Torres Strait Islanders through dance, music, art and food.
- Where: Supreme Court Gardens
- When: 26 January 2021, 2pm-6:30pm
- Cost: Free
PS – The Birak Concert isn't the only indigenous gig happening this Australia Day long weekend. If you'd prefer to head out on Sunday night, Sunset Sounds at JH Abrahams Reserve has an evening of Aboriginal dance and performances alongside Aussie rock music and kids activities from 5pm-8pm.
Perth Cultural Centre also has a Ngangk Wirdiny – Birak Bonar gig on from 4pm-7:30pm on Sunday. Starting with a smoking ceremony, there will be music, poetry and dance.
Throw your support behind local artists at this all-day concert where everyone from musicians and magicians to puppetmasters and dancers take the stage.
The line-up includes Wild Wings and the Bush Fairy Show, The Lulus, Enchanted and Miss Red Lasso Show.
- Where: Forrest Place
- When: 24 January 2021, 10am-5pm
- Cost: Free but tickets are required, book your spot here
Morning Ceremony and Great Aussie Breakfast
Spend the morning at the City of South Perth's flag raising and citizenship ceremony. This will be followed by an Australian-style BBQ provided by the Rotary Club of Como ($5 for the sausage sizzle). With free entertainment for the kids, you can bring the whole family.
The morning ceremony runs from 8am-9:30am and the BBQ will be on from 9:30am-10:30am.
- Where: Sir James Mitchell Park, opposite Forrest Street
- When: 26 January 2021, 8am-10:30am
- Cost: Free
The City of Fremantle doesn't go big on 26 January. Instead, it hosts One Day on the 24th, a celebration of culture and inclusivity.
The program starts at 8am, with a smoking ceremony and a Nyoongar celebration of dance, before feeding the masses with a community barbeque.
Due to the pandemic, the event is going to be a smaller, more local affair, but a no less important one for the city and its Indigenous people.
On 26 January 2021 there will be a citizenship ceremony and the announcement of the Citizen of the Year Awards.
- Where: Bathers Beach and Kidogo Arthouse precinct
- When: 24 January 2021, from 8am
- Cost: Free
Australia Day Triathlon/Duathlon
Whether you’re in it to win it or are a proud spectator, the Australia Day Triathlon is not one to miss on 26 January. It's a family-friendly event with categories for all grades of athletes starting from 12 years old up to 70+.
For those looking to swim, cycle and run, the triathlon events include junior, novice, fun and sprint categories. For those wishing to skip the swim, the duathlon is available in standard and sprint forms.
Things to do on Australia Day in Perth
Wine and dine in Swan Valley or Margaret River
Spend your Australia Day celebrating the best tipples and tastes of the region by heading to a local wine region and supporting your local wine makers.
Swan Valley Wine Tour
Swan Valley, Caversham Wildlife Park, Wine and Chocolate Tour
Margaret River Day Tour from Perth
Get out on the water
From swimming and surfing to paddleboarding and sailing, if the sun is out, there's no better place to be than at the beach or on the water.
Stand Up Paddle Board Hire on the Swan River
Hobie Wave Catamaran Hire
Fremantle Thrill Ride
Have an Indigenous experience
Take today to learn more about the original custodians of our great land on a cultural tour. You'll be taken through Dreamtime stories, traditional songs and more.
Kings Park Aboriginal Tour
Elizabeth Quay Walking Tour
Bush Tucker Tasting
Spend the day at the pub
Like you weren't going to anyway. But instead of heading to your local, make this one a bit more spesh by checking out a new brewery and going on a tasting tour. You never know, you might just find your new favourite watering hole.
Fremantle Brewery Tour, Beer Tasting and Pizza
Fremantle Brewery Tour and Beer Tasting
Fremantle Brewery Tour and Beer Tasting with Meal
Meet the locals
Got kids? Perhaps you simply love animals? There are more than a handful of animal encounters you can have in Perth on Australia Day, including swimming with dolphins, feeding penguins and taking that all-important quokka selfie.
Glass Bottom Boat Cruise and Penguin Feeding
Rottnest Island Ferry and Bike Hire
AQWA - The Aquarium of Western Australia Entry
Swim with Dolphins
Perth Zoo and Swan River Cruise Package
Feel an adrenaline rush
From quad biking to skydiving over the beach, make this Australia Day one to remember by tapping into the thrill-seeker within you.
Tandem Skydive over Rockingham
Flying Lesson in Perth
Horse Riding Adventure
Catch up with mates over a fun-filled activity
If you love to be entertained, then book your mates in for an escape room or virtual reality experience to really get the cogs working. Or, simply settle in for a movie at the local cinema.
Escape Room Interactive Game Experience
Moonlight Cinema Experience
The Escape Hunt Experience Perth
Top free things to do on Australia Day in Perth
- Join a great Aussie BBQ. There are heaps going on today, from official events to your mate's house. Not sure where to go? Head to Hay Street between Outram Street and Colin Street from 3pm-8pm for a BBQ and live music.
- Eat up at the Twilight Hawkers Market. One of the biggest street food markets in the city, this one's worth visiting. Drop by on Friday 22 January from 4:30pm-9:30pm. Or, pay it a visit for a special Australia Day opening on 26 January at the same hours.
- Australia Flag fly-past. Whenever you're out and about, spare a moment to look up to see the 60 metre long Australia Flag as it flies over the Perth Foreshore. Times are yet to be confirmed but the fly-past will occur from 22-26 January.
- Water Pistol Park. It's gearing up to be a hot one this Australia Day and if you need to cool down on Saturday 23 January, Yagan Square has the answer: a field dedicated to water pistol play.
- Burlesque Cinema. For something a little different, you can check out the best in burlesque at Rooftop Movies on Roe Street. It's on every day from 22-24 January at 6pm.
- Fringe World. Tying in nicely with Australia Day is the annual Fringe World Festival. There's music, comedy, circus performers and more from 22-26 January.
- Crash another suburb's party. We mean this in the nicest way possible. Many of Perth’s major suburbs will be hosting their own Australia Day celebrations, so why not branch out and check out what activities they've got to offer? Popular suburbs include Cottesloe and Armadale.
- Get cultured. Australia Day is not just one big party – it’s a day to remember and celebrate Australia’s history and culture. Tap into the heart of Australia Day with a trip to one of Perth's many museums, such as the Western Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Near Cathedral Square? AWESOME is on, featuring a Guru Dudu silent disco, weaving circles and yarn looms and earth sculptures.
What's open on Australia Day in Perth?
|Attraction||Australia Day trading hours||Where to book|
|AQWA – The Aquarium of Western Australia||9am-4pm||RedBalloon|
|Skydive Australia, Rockingham||6am||RedBalloon|
|Lane Poole Park Trees Adventure||9am-5pm||RedBalloon|
|Perth Zoo||9am-5pm||Experience Oz|
|Aquatastic Water Park||10am-4pm||Scoopon|
|Fremantle Ferris Wheel||10am-9pm||Scoopon|
|The Escape Hunt Experience||9:30am-9:30pm||Scoopon|
|City Rock Summit Climbing Centre||10am-10pm||Scoopon|
|WA Maritime Museum||9:30am-5:30pm||Klook|
|Fremantle Roundhouse||10:30am-3:30pm||Free, donations recommended|
|WA Museum Boola Bardip||9am-5pm||Free entry|
|The Perth Mint||9am-5pm||Klook|
Are shops open on Australia Day?
Here are the major shopping centres that will open on Australia Day and their trading hours:
- Westfield Garden City: Open 10am-5pm
- Westfield Carousel: Open 11am-5pm
- Westfield Whitford City: Open 11am-5pm
- Karrinyup: Open 8am–6pm
- Claremont Quarter: Open 9am–5.30pm
See the latest deals for things to do on Australia Day in Perth
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