Australia Day - How to Celebrate as an "Aussie" | EMSA

What is Australia Day and things to do

Are you wondering why all shops and supermarkets start selling Aussie products at the end of January every year? Inflatable kangaroos, yellow and green are some of the authentic items for the Australia day, but why is this so important for Australians?

In this post, we are going to explain the story and traditions of this special day and give you some ideas of activities to do for this upcoming weekend.

The 26thof January commemorates the establishment of the first European settlement in Sydney – New South Wales, in 1788. Initially, it was only NSW that celebrated the day, 50 years after the First Fleet arrived, Australian Day was declared Australia’s first public holiday in NSW.

By 1935, January 26 was known as Australia Day in all states. Because it marks the day of colonization, in recent years, efforts have been made to make the holiday include all Australians, and in 2013, the Australian and Aboriginal flag were raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the first time on Australia Day.

Nowadays  Australia Day celebrates all the things Aussies love about Australia: land, sense of fair go, lifestyle, democracy, the freedoms but particularly the people.

Activities to do in Brisbane

1.   Cockroach races

Do you like to do different activities? See things you have never seen before? For over 37 years Story Bridge Hotel has been hosting its annual “cockroach races” where speculators can put their little cocky to the test to try and win the big bucks. Entry is a gold coin donation and it is given to charity.

Live bands, alcoholic drinks, and friends don’t miss out, the event starts at 11:00 am and goes till late.

2.   Make a BBQ for your family or friends

Nothing better than food and cold drinks on a summer day, bring out the chef in you and cook some meat for those you love the most. If you don’t have a BBQ try to get some of the free ones that Brisbane City Council provides, there are plenty of them around the city including Roma Street Parklands, South bank, Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Captain Burke Park, Victoria Park among others.

Don’t forget to take some aluminium foil, oil, spices, your favourite meats, and some kitchen paper to clean after you use it.

Aussie bbq


3.   Brisbane Fireworks at South bank

Australia Day celebration is not complete without that grand finale of fireworks. The lights display into the night at South Bank by 7:30 pm.

Recommended viewing locations are Clem Jones Promenade, the Cultural Forecourt and River Quay. Give yourself time to go before 7:00 pm and get the best spot with your friends and family.

South bank fireworks

4.   Redcliffe Australia Day festival

If you have children and would like to enjoy this day in a family atmosphere, Suttons Beach in Redcliffe is the perfect spot for you. From 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm there will be live performances, food trucks, sand and water activities, free inflatables and the famous lamington-eating contest.

Redcliffe festival

5.   Have a good Saturday night out

If you are 18+ don’t miss out Fortitude Valley on Saturday night, celebrate Australia Day listening to your favourite music and dancing with your friends. Some of the clubs open until 5:00 am and will be a great idea to meet people if you are new to the city.

Fortitude valley night out







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