What To Do On The Australia Day Long Weekend In Sydney

19 January 2018
Read Time: 2.5 mins

One of the most exciting places to be on the 2018 Australia Day long weekend will be in Sydney. With a huge choice of cultural experiences, world-class events and appetising hotspots for foodies, this is your chance to enjoy everything that Sydney has to offer.

Here are just some of the top things to do in Sydney on Australia Day and across the long weekend:

  • Kick off the Australia Day holiday weekend by taking part in a ceremony that is an ancient custom among Aboriginal Australians. The WugulOra Morning Ceremony (WugulOra, meaning ‘One Mob’) will be held from 7:45am to 8:30am on the Walumil Lawns at Barangaroo Reserve. You’ll have the chance to watch the Aboriginal dancers and singers treat the audience to special performances, and hear local elders speak of the strength and resilience of the world’s oldest living culture. At the end of the ceremony, the Aboriginal and Australian flags will be raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to mark the start of Australia Day.
  • Catch Live at the Quay!, a breathtaking maritime, musical and dance extravaganza on the main stage in the middle of Circular Quay.
  • Find your vantage point (and in Sydney, there are many!) to watch the ever-popular Ferrython, one of Australia’s most iconic events. This hugely popular Australia Day tradition sees the ferries venture from Circular Quay to Shark Island and then back to a glorious finish at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can even get a bird’s-eye view of the race on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of a special Ferrython BridgeClimb.
  • Following the race, from 1pm, Sydney’s Tall Ships will lead a fleet of historic vessels from Bradley’s Head to the Harbour Bridge. They’ll be joined by the 182nd Australia Day Regatta, the world’s oldest continuously conducted annual sailing event, from 1.30pm.
boy on beach with australia day flags Fun on the coast is an Australia Day tradition in Sydney. Image: Getty
  • Got kids? There are two free* ticketed concerts by The Wiggles at the Summer Playground at Darling Harbour. *The concerts, at 11am and 2.30pm, are free but tickets are allocated via a ballot system. See australiaday.com.au for more information.
  • It’s not all about the Harbour in Sydney, with some big fun planned for Parramatta. The day starts with aerial hot-air balloons from 6am, a display of lassic and vintage cars at CARnivale, a feast at The Big BBQ competition and enjoy amusement rides and entertainment in the Kid’s Crescent. There will also be a fantastic program of live music and the festivities will finish with a 15-minute fireworks finale at 9pm.
  • Watch as the top-ranked Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens nations contest three days of action in the 2018 HSBC Rugby 7s from 26-28 January at Allianz Stadium.
  • Catch the last of the thrilling 2018 Sydney Festival as it concludes its three-week festival program on 28 January.
  • Culture buffs can explore the Sydney International Art Series, featuring Pipilotti Rist’s Sip my Ocean at MCA and Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age, Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum at the Art Gallery of NSW.
  • Foodies will love exploring The Streets Of Barangaroo by the Harbour, Tramsheds at Harold Park and Chippendale’s Kensington Street for mouth-watering gastronomic delights.
  • Beaches, waterways and more – a visit to Sydney just wouldn’t be complete without dipping your toe in the water somewhere, so make sure you leave time to experience the city’s golden beaches, coves and tributaries as well as the spectacular Harbour. Catch the famous Manly Ferry, do the picturesque Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk or take a refreshing dip in the many outdoor rock pools.

Want to know more about holidaying in Sydney? Check out the travel guide

Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Sydney for Australia Day.

Erin Bennion

Experience Erin's experience

Based in Brisbane, Erin is a writer and content creator with a penchant for using fancy old French words wherever possible and an insatiable hankering for trawling through vintage markets in small Scandinavian towns (no really). One of her dreams is to take her family to see General Sherman in Sequoia National Park and give that big, old guy a group-hug.