Australia Day in Sydney 2022 | Fireworks, events and more

Sydney's Aussie pride comes alive on 26 January 2022 for Australia Day. Onya, 'Straya!

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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 2022 it falls on a Wednesday. The perfect excuse to take Thursday and Friday off and have a 5-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.

Australia Day fireworks in Sydney

Ahead of the pyrotechnics display fill the day with some of the many events listed below.

The fireworks fill the sky from 9pm in a 15-minute demonstration of pyrotechnics, a flotilla of yachts, and jet ski and flyboard prowess.

Vantage points include First Fleet Park, Hickson Road Reserve, Circular Quay East, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Sydney Opera House and from on the water.

Most events are free.

Fireworks vantage pointsWhat's happening?Food and drink
Hickson Road ReserveFrom 9am-6pm, The Rocks plays host to an international food fair along George Street.

Catch the Salute to Australia between 11:30am and 12:05pm.

Food and drink available in The Rocks.

No alcohol or glass.

Overseas Passenger TerminalAustralia Day Family Fun zone is available from 10:30am-4pm.Food and drink available in The Rocks.

No alcohol or glass.

Sydney Opera HouseAustralia Day Live concert at the Opera House ticketed event from 7:30pm-9:30pm.Food and drink for sale.

sydney opera house

Australia Day 2022 events in Sydney

EventDetailsLocationTimeCost
WugulOra Indigenous Morning CeremonyWugulOra means "One Mob", after the smoking ceremony clears the way for new beginnings song and dance celebrates the original custodians of the land and over 65,000 years of history. You can watch the ceremony for free on ABC TV or iView.Walumil Lawns Barangaroo Reserve7:30 AMFree
20th Yabun FestivalYabun Festival is the largest one-day celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in all of Australia. This year is its 20th anniversary.

Attend in person or see what's happening at the Yabun Stage, Corroboree and Speak Out via Yabun.org.au.

You can listen at Koori Radio 93.7fm or via the Koori Radio app.

Victoria Park, Broadway12 PM - 10 PMFree
Australia Day Live at the Sydney Opera HouseEach Australia Day, the Opera House hosts an Australia Day concert in its forecourt.

This year, performers will include William Barton, Casey Donovan, Shane Howard and Isaiah Firebrace just to name a few.

Limited tickets are available here from 10am 18 January 2022.

Sydney Opera House7:30 PM –9:30 PMFree (ticketed)
GIO Oz Day 10K Wheelchair Road RaceThis is a ripping race on wheels through The Rocks and is the fastest street circuit race in the nation.

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. The race starts and ends at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Museum of Contemporary Art8:00 AM warmup
9:00 AM race starts
Free
186th Australia Day RegattaNow in its 186th 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.

Sydney Harbour1:30 PM - 4:00 PMFree
Salute to AustraliaThe 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.

You can watch the salute from on ABC TV or iView or watch live.

Hickson Road Reserve11:30 PM - 12:05 PMFree
Dawn ReflectionThis year the dawn projection on the Sydney Opera House will feature art by Central Desert artist David Miller, a senior Pitjantjatjara man. Both the Australian and Aboriginal flags will be raised on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.Circular Quay5:30 AM - 6:00 AMFree
Sydney Harbour SplashBack for its 6th year the harbour swim starts at Rose Bay and follows the coastline giving swimmers great views of the Harbour Bridge as they compete.

Compete in either 1, 2.5 or 5km events. Enter at www.splashseries.events.

Woollahra Sailing Club8:00 AM - 10:45 AMTickets from $45
Australia Day @ theHousePack a picnic lunch and take in the views of the Government House gardens.Government House9:00 AM - 4:00 PMFree
Family Fun @ the Overseas Passenger TerminalGrab some tucker from the food trucks and grab yourself a vantage point to watch the harbour activities.Overseas Passenger Terminal10:30 AM - 4:00 PMFree
Vintage Bus RideRide a 1949 Vintage double-decker over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and back. Bus rides start at Macquarie Street and head to North Sydney and back with no stops.Macquarie Street10:30 AM - 4:30 PMDonation to ride
Australia Day FerrythonWatch the harbour's Emerald-class ferries race across the harbour. Cheer your favourite from the foreshore or join the action on the water on a charter.Sydney Harbour10:45 AM - 11:20 PMFree
Australia Day at The RocksHead down to the Rocks Markets which feature everything from Middle Eastern cuisine to Nepalese dishes. Head to First Fleet park to enjoy prosecco and free live music.The Rocks11:00 AM - 6:30 PMFree
Navy Helicopter flag displayTaking off from Middle Head, and flying to the Northern Beaches and back south to Nowra the Navy Helicopter will be towing a giant Australian flag overhead.Sydney Harbour11:30 AM - 1:30 PMFree
RAAF Fast Jet Flypast and Handling DisplayThis 10-minute display features F-35 Lightning II fast jets which will fly past the city on the last notes of the National Anthem as part of the Salute to Australia at Hickson Road Reserve.Sydney Harbour12:00 PM - 12:10 PMFree
Australia Day at Darling HarbourHead to Darling Harbour for its biggest ever BBQ featuring food stalls, multicultural cuisine and ice-cold drinks. Complete with live entertainment.Darling Harbour12:00 PM - 6:00 PMFree
Maritime MayhemDescribed as a monster truck race on water; watch jet skis perform stunts and tricks, a tug handling display and finally an all-out showcase of manoeuvrability performed to a soundtrack.Circular Quay12:15 PM - 12:30 PMFree
Australia Day Harbour ParadeCrews compete for prizes in the annual harbour parade. With boats and crews decked out in wacky fancy dress they aim to win awards such as the "Going Overboard Award" and the "Budgie Smuggler Award". Register to enter by 20 January 2022 at
link

You can join the fun by cruising on one of the charter vessels.

Sydney Harbour12:45 PM - 2:00 PMFree to spectate
Tall Ships RaceA fleet of historic and charter ships will race from Bradley's Head to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It's a sight to see.Sydney Harbour1:00 PM - 1:30PMFree
Working Harbour FestivalCelebrate the heroes of the working harbour who keep things running year-round.Overseas Passenger Terminal2:00 PM - 4:00 PMFree
Sydney Lord Mayor's Citizenship CeremonyJoin Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore as new citizens pledge their allegiance to Australia and celebrate the values that underpin our nation.Online4:30 PM - 5:15 PMFree

Things to do on Australia Day in Sydney

Australia Day harbour cruises

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.

Private Sydney Harbour Sunset Cruise with Hamper and Bubbles
Private Sydney Harbour Sunset Cruise with Hamper and Bubbles

RedBalloon

Head to the beach

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.

Enjoy the sunshine with a picnic

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.

Centennial Homestead Picnic Hamper
Centennial Homestead Picnic Hamper

Klook Australia

Go to the movies

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.

This year's Westpac showcase is Matrix Resurrections, while Moonlight Cinema is showing West Side Story.

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. This year SIX the Musical is showing at 7:30pm.

Check out a festival

Festival season is here and with it are stacks of arts and cultural events that you can tuck into. 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.

Top free things to do on Australia Day

  • Host a barbecue. Pick up some snags and a couple of six-packs and invite your mates over.
  • Bake on the beach. Australia Day is notorious for being one big swelter fest. The best way to cool down? At the beach, naturally.
  • Catch the Sydney Harbour fireworks. When it comes to pyrotechnical displays, Sydney doesn’t hold back. So for a crackin’ good end to an awesome day out, flick on the TV and catch the action at 9pm.
  • Visit an art gallery or museum. Art galleries and museums don't tend to close on Australia Day. The Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Australian Museum are a handful of options in the city that have free entry on 26 January.

What's open on Australia Day in Sydney?

AttractionAustralia Day trading hoursWhere to book advance tickets
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium10am-4pmAdrenaline
Jet Boat Tours10am-3pmAdrenaline
Tandem SkydivingAll dayAdrenaline
Virtual Room Sydney10am-9pmAdrenaline
Escape Hunt10am-8.30pmAdrenaline
TreeTop Adventure Park7am-7pmAdrenaline
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo10am-4pmRedBalloon
Taronga Zoo9:30am-5pmViator
Sydney Opera House – guided tours10:30am, 12pm and 2pmViator
Calmsley Hill City Farm9am-4pmScoopon

Are shops open on Australia Day in Sydney?

Here are the major shopping centres that are typically open on the Australia Day public holiday (26 January) and their trading hours.

When shopping you must wear a mask in Greater Sydney.

  • Westfield Sydney (Pitt Street Mall): 9:30am-7pm
  • Westfield Bondi Junction: 10am-6pm
  • Broadway Shopping Centre: 10am-6pm
  • Westfield Warringah Mall: 10am-5pm
  • Supa Centa Moore Park: 10am-5pm
  • Westfield Miranda: 10am-6pm
  • Chatswood Chase: 10am-5pm
  • Westfield Chatswood: 10am-6pm
  • Macquarie Centre: 10am-6pm
  • Westfield Parramatta: 10am-6pm

Individual store opening times may vary.

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