Private Australia Day cruises
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Australia Day – it's the day when the First Fleet arrived in Port Jackson in 1788.
It's also a public holiday. And in 2021 it falls on a Tuesday. The perfect excuse to take the Monday off and have a four-day long weekend? We think so.
If you're searching for ideas and activities to fill up this no-work all-play day, we know a few...
The acclaimed Australia Day fireworks are held in Sydney Harbour at 9pm, with a demonstration of pyrotechnics and a flotilla of yachts and jetski and flyboard prowess.
Due to the pandemic, only a limited number of people will be given access to the area on 26 January 2021 after 5pm.
This includes frontline workers as well as members of the general public who have secured tickets to the official Australia Day Live concert. Tickets are being released in January. Stay tuned for more.
Restaurant and venue patrons will also be allowed into the area on the night.
Each Australia Day, the Opera House hosts an Australia Day concert in its forecourt.
This is a free though ticketed event that runs from 6:30pm–9:30pm and features some of Australia’s best-known artists.
In the past, this has included the soulful Kate Ceberano, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and rocker Jon Stevens.
Tickets are being prioritised for frontline workers. General public tickets are released at 10am on 20 January here.
Held at 7:45am, this annual traditional performance by the WugulOra Indigenous peoples is one of song and dance in recognition of the original custodians of the land.
Attendance is free but this year is ticketed. These go on sale at 10am on 20 January 2020 here.
Otherwise, you can watch the ceremony for free on ABC TV or the official Australia Day Facebook page.
Stay online to catch the Australia Day Address 2021 at 12.30pm, which is also being televised on Facebook.
This is a ripping race on wheels through The Rocks and is the fastest street circuit race in the nation.
Warm up begins at 8am, though the race doesn't start until 9am from outside the Museum of Contemporary Art.
All are welcome to attend, though social distancing may be in place, with the best vantage points being George Street in The Rocks and Hickson Road.
Now in its 185th year, this regatta sees over 100 boats race around the harbour to compete for the gold.
We're talking big, small, new and old vessels, and you don't have to be a professional to participate.
If you've got a boat you can sign up to participate in the race on the Regatta website.
The Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force pay tribute to our nation with a 21-gun salute, the national anthem and a handling display.
The 2021 event is being held at Government House instead of Sydney Harbour, as this year it's a private event with only a small group of new citizens and frontline workers attending.
You can watch the salute from 2pm-2.30pm on ABC TV or iView.
The best seat in the house is on the water. Lucky for you, there are stacks of cruises throughout the day as well as at night to catch the fireworks from this prime position.
Summer and movies go hand-in-hand. For something extra special, why not check out an outdoor cinema or drive-in? Westpac Open Air and Moonlight Cinemas both run over the summer period.
On Australia Day, there's always an Aussie flick at both. This year's Westpac showcase is Penguin Bloom, while Moonlight Cinema is showing The Dry.
Alternatively, why not try something a little different and visit the opera? The Sydney Opera House's shows are back up and running and from its doorstep it offers fantastic views of the harbour.
The most Aussie thing you can do on Australia Day is hit the sand and the surf. When you do, social distancing may be in place, so you may have to hone in on quieter beaches if you wish to lay down your towel safely.
Otherwise, why not get on the water? Watersports such as stand up paddleboarding and kayaking are well distanced and heaps of fun.
Fire up that barbie at your local park or pack a gourmet meal for you and your loved ones on the green today. It's super relaxing and a great way to catch up with mates or pop the question, if that's your game.
Festival season is here and with it are stacks of arts and cultural events that you can tuck into. This year, things may be a little different, with some events going online, but that just means you can relax at home on the day with a drink in hand while enjoying the festivities.
Our picks include Yabun Festival, which is the largest one-day celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and Sydney Festival, which is an arts festival filled with themed events and productions.
|Attraction||Australia Day trading hours||Where to book|
|SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium||10am-4pm||Adrenaline|
|Jet Boat Tours||10am-3pm||Adrenaline|
|Tandem Skydiving||All day||Adrenaline|
|Virtual Room Sydney||10am-9pm||Adrenaline|
|TreeTop Adventure Park||7am-7pm||Adrenaline|
|WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo||10am-4pm||RedBalloon|
|The Star of the Show – Darling Harbour Ferris Wheel||12pm-11pm||Groupon|
|Cables Wake Park||10am-3pm||Groupon|
|Sydney Opera House – guided tours||10:30am, 12pm and 2pm||Viator|
|Australian National Maritime Museum||9:30am-5pm||Expedia|
|Calmsley Hill City Farm||9am-4pm||Scoopon|
Here are the major shopping centres that are typically open on the Australia Day public holiday (26 January) and their trading hours. Note that these are subject to change.
When shopping you must wear a mask in Greater Sydney.
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