• 2022.02.25
If you really want to get to know Australia, you must necessarily experience Australia Day, which is celebrated every year on January 26th.
In fact, this date represents the official National Day of the Australian continent and parties, parades, special events and many more events are organized on this day.
This date marks the anniversary of the arrival of the first British fleet in 1788 in Sydney Harbor and this is a day in which being Australian is celebrated in every way and form. It is a celebration of multiculturalism, freedom and positivity, all values on which Australia was founded.
During this day we also remember the short history of this nation that was born just over 200 years ago, unlike the European countries that can count on a thousand-year old history.
As I was saying, in every part of the country, events, parties, concerts and parades are organized, as well as succulent barbecues on the beach, waiting to admire the fireworks that take place in all major Australian cities.
Australians love fireworks displays and there are some impressive ones on Australia Day.
A few years back, I had visited Brisbane during Australia Day and in Brisbane it was possible to go to the South Bank gardens to listen to musicians, enjoy street food and then admire the fireworks.
For those who spend this day in Sydney, in the Darling Harbor area there are various activities to participate in during the 26th of January, with the inevitable fireworks starting at precisely 9 p.m.
Since Australia Day falls during the austral summer, it is therefore often celebrated outdoors or even on the beach and in many Sydney parks there are facilities to organize a barbecue such as the Grassy Knoll in North Bondi and Centennial Park.
Lamingtons, delicious mini cakes which owe their name to Lord Lamington, are usually eaten as a dessert on Australia Day but some people nowadays have cakes made shaped like Australia instead.
I personally prefer the Lamingtons as they are so typical…They are cubes with a consistency similar to sponge cake stuffed with jam and covered with dark chocolate and coconut flakes.
During Australia Day it is also possible to attend concerts, fairs and parades that take place in the main cities of the continent. For example, a 15-minute drive from the centre of Sydney you can admire live shows, a go-kart race and you can stroll among the stalls of an Australia Day fair.
Australia Day also happens to coincide with the Sydney Festival which is another big event for the metropolis.
Another Australian Day tradition is the ferry race in Sydney: in the morning on January 26th, some ferries, decorated in honour for the event, set sail from Circular Quay and compete in a race to Shark Island, and back to the finish line placed under the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Visitors can watch the race directly at Circular Quay, from the Sydney Opera House or by strolling over the Sydney Harbor Bridge and there is usually quite a cheer.
Australia Day has a certain relevance also from an institutional point of view, as the Prime Minister awards prestigious prizes, such as the Order of Australia and the Australian of the Year. Then there are awards dedicated to citizens, such as the Australia Day Achievement Medallion, which is an award reserved for civilian personalities who have been able to distinguish themselves during the year.
At the same time, however, for the Aborigines this is not a day of celebration, but for them it represents the Invasion Day, referring to the decimation of their ancestors, the confiscations of their lands and the destruction of their culture, caused precisely by the arrival of the British.
And so Australia Day is nothing more than an opportunity to remember the historical origins of the young continent, with all the contrasts of the case.
It goes without saying that Australia Day was different this year too due to Omicron. There were some events that were scaled down like last year and others that were even cancelled.
However, it was a special day, dedicated to reflection, gratitude, and freedom, which are now more important than ever.


  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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