While for many, Australia Day is just a day off work where you get absolutely sloshed in a blow-up Kmart paddling pool in Craig’s backyard, it’s also important to acknowledge that for a lot of Australians, January 26 holds a lot more significance than just a sausage in bread and some afternoon radio, and in fact represents a day of great loss and very little celebration.
Official Flag Raising Ceremony
The flag raising marks the official opening of Australia Day Celebrations. The Tri-Service Royal Guard will be there and the event will conclude with a rendition of the Australian Anthem.
Where: Melbourne Town Hall, CBD
Australia Day Parade
Thousands of people will line the streets of the Melbourne CBD to celebrate our culturally diverse city and soak in the entertainment as they bare witness to over 90 cultural and community groups take part in the festivities. This is also Australia’s only official Australia Day parade.
Where: Swanston Street
RACV Australia Day Festival
This long standing Melbourne event is held in the beauuuutiful Kings Domain Gardens and features free family-friendly activities, displays from a broad range of community groups, as well as a showcase of vintage and classic cars, because why not. There’ll also be a big range of culturally diverse food trucks serving up delicious grub and then at 12:30pm, the Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes will hit the sky and put on an insane show across our very own Melbourne city skyline.
Where: Kings Domain Gardens
Flag Lowering Ceremony
If the flag’s been raised, then it’s gotta be lowered (right?). In the afternoon, the Order of Australia Association will host the annual Flag Lowering Ceremony, which will recognise the second centenary of the First World War and Gallipoli. The event will conclude with an Ode to the Fallen.
Where: The Shrine of Remembrance
Australia Day At The Docklands
Rounding off a day of official Australia Day festivities, the Harbour Esplanade will be chocka-block with a Food Truck Festival celebrating multicultural perspectives, roaming artists and entertainment, and of course, the Great Australian BBQ. The event will conclude with a top-notch fireworks display to the soundtrack of some all-Australian classics.
Where: Harbour Esplanade, Docklands
Wharf Hotel Australia Day Party
Spend the day sipping Pimms on the banks of the Yarra, watching the tennis on one of EIGHT big screens, and putting those twelve months of hard work and training into action with the almighty Thong Throwing Competition (win a $200 bar tab). The Hottest 100 will kick off at midday and entry is free so git on down to the Wharf Hotel, fellas.
Where: Wharf Hotel, CBD
Hotel Barkly Australia Day BBQ On The Rooftop
All we’re gonna say is FREE BBQ, FREE ENTRY (and also the Triple J Hottest 100 blaring hard). Register your spot here.
Where: Hotel Barkly, Barkly St, St Kilda
Django’s Hottest Australia Day Party
These guys have vowed to throw the hottest AD party, and we’ll admit they’re on the right track with the promise of shrimp on the barbie, snags, lamingtons, toasted Vegemite sangas and of course the Triple J Hottest 100. Django's knows what's up.
Where: Django’s, Auburn Road, Hawthorn
Kensington Australia Day Festival
Attended by over five-thousand people last year, this year’s festival promises yet another billy cart championship race, live entertainment from local artists, a massive food spread of various global cuisines, plus a dog show (YAS) and market stalls. This event if free and a bloody good time.
Where: Macauley Road, Kensington
Grosvenor Hotel’s Australia Day Celebrations
Wash down some true blue Aussie grub with $10 pints of craft beer at the Grosvenor Hotel this Australia Day. The Triple J Hottest 100 will be pumping and there’ll be prizes for the best and worst Aussie get-up.
Where: Grosvenor Hotel, Brighton Road, St Kilda East
Australia Day Boat Party
Hit the water this Australia Day with Melbourne River Cruises’ huge Australia Day party on the water. Get a free welcome shot, free pizza (TAKE MY MONEY) and loads of killer entertainment. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased here.
Where: Melbourne River Cruises, Southbank
Wah Wah Thursdays Australia Say Party
This is Wah Wah’s first ever day party (we’ve certainly all clocked up a few night parties there) and they’re promising a huge lineup, plus a FREE BBQ. Drink specials will be running all day, plus they’ll also be playing the Hottest 100 in the smoking area. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.
Where: Wah Wah Lounge, Lonsdale Street
Australia Day Cider Festival
Voted 3rd best Hottest 100 Party in Victoria of 2016, the Australia Day Cider Festival promises to be absolutely bonza. Doors open at 9:30am (so the crack of dawn) where you can relive the top 20 songs of 2016, and then the official party kicks off at 11am. Tickets are $28 and include your own personal AusFest Stein (FILLED). Tickets can be bought here.
Where: Brunswick Street Cider House, Fitzroy
Events Of Support To Indigenous & Torres Strait Islander People
Share The Spirit Festival
The Share The Spirit Festival is an annual event held in the CBD’s Treasury Gardens, which showcases the diverse music styles of local Indigenous artists. It also features traditional dance groups, craft and cultural workshops and activities, hip-hop lessons for teens, and art market stalls.
Where: Treasury Gardens, Spring Street, Melbourne
Belgrave Survival Day
Another annual event, the Belgrave Survival Day presents an opportunity for people in the area to celebrate the survival of Australian Indigenous people by showcasing the culture and heritage that is still present today. In its tenth consecutive year, the Belgrave Survival day will once again be a free family-friendly event where you can hear stories of history, tradition and culture, while also having the opportunity to browse goods stalls and engage in the cultural activities on offer.
Where: Borthwick Park, Benson Street, Belgrave
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