Nothing says 'Straya day better than a scorching summer day filled with plenty of pavlovas, lamington, lamb chops and beer.
How bout pulling out the radio that you only use once a year for the Hottest 100 countdown, ideally by a beach, in your waterfront mansion? 😏 But there is MORE to celebrating our multi-cultural country than just gorging ourselves in patriotic - though delicious - food that we eat for the sake of being Australian and lazying around in the comfort of our cool homes. (We promise.)
If you want to switch things up this year, we've searched wide and far into the depths of the internet and found somethings that will suit you. Whether you're into live music, historical buildings, food trucks or a nice cruise, we've got it sorted. So celebrate differently this year, and be sure to bring your kids, husband, wife, friends, mother in law and 20 cats too! (If you really must.)
1. Government House Open Day
Source: Flickr, phunnyfotos
It's the one day of the year where the Government House swings its doors wide open for the public. While we can't guarantee that the Governor will be at the door welcoming you, it's a great chance to get a sneak peak into one of Australia's most historical buildings from the 19th century. In celebration of our country's founding day, you'll be free to roam the State Apartments and its huge (11 hectares!) gardens. Make sure to pop over to the Hopetoun Stables and say hi to some retired racehorses from Living Legends! Pack a picnic or support the Country Women's Association who'll be serving scrumptious scones and tea, and enjoy the live music on the West Lawn with your family!
BEST FOR: You've never been to the Governors House, you want a relaxing day to catch up with friends and family
WHERE: Government House Drive, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
TIME: 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM
2. Swimland Great Australia Day Swim 2017
Source: Swimland Great Australia Day Swim
Whether you are shedding those last kilos hanging on from your Christmas feast or want to spend most of the day in our crisp blue waters, the annual Swimland Great Australia Day Swim is on again! What better way to celebrate than a bit of competitive swimming. There are open water 1400m courses around Middle Brighton Pier or challenge yourself to a 2500m course, there's even a 300m one for the kids, so the whole family can join in!
BEST FOR: You love getting up bright and early, nothing better than a bit of competition with the family
WHERE: Middle Brighton Baths
TIME: 7:30 AM - 1:00 PM
PRICE: Early Bird Online Open Water Swim Adults $55, Under 18 $40, Junior Dash (7-12 y.o.) $20
NOTE: Online registrations close at 6pm on January 23rd
3. Australia Day at the Docklands with Fireworks
If you're looking for the festive spirit that Australia Day brings, then there is no better way to celebrate than at Docklands. There'll be live local artists, an array of Food Trucks bringing delicious multi-cultural cuisine and a show of blazing fireworks lit from the top of the Ethiad Stadium to end the night!
BEST FOR: You love the festivities of Australia Day, whether you're with friends or family
TIME: 6:00 PM - 10:30 PM
4. Stony Creek Music Festival
Back for it's second Australia Day celebration, the Stony Creek Music Festival is the perfect way to celebrate Australia Day with your local community. Kicking off at 2pm, your afternoon will be packed with live music from talented local artists, such as Gretta Ray, who won Triple J's Unearthed radio competition last year. Mimi the Muttaburrasaurus will be the centre of attention, which the little ones will love exploring. And for older kids, there are plenty of workshops that'll keep them fascinated, from a garden workshop to a henna stall! Don't worry, there'll be lots of choices for the adults too! From community stalls displaying local arts and crafts to the abundance of food trucks serving up your favourite local dishes - you'll find something for everyone to soak in the Aussie atmosphere.
BEST FOR: You want something local and to relax with great music
WHERE: McNish Reserve, Cruickshank Park, Yarraville (opposite Clare Court Children’s Hub)
TIME: 2:00 PM - 7:00 PM
5. Australia Day Sunset Cruise
If you want to see historical buildings, but don't want to queue up, if you want the festivities of Australia Day, but nothing too crazy from the drunken crowds and if you want great music, without the hoards of people, we've saved the best to last! There is nothing better than watching the sun shine on the glistening waters as you cruise past Melbourne icons like St. Kilda's Beach to Williamstown. With a yummy cocktail in hand or a nice cold beer, spend the afternoon or early evening relaxing with your friends and family. Don't worry, this cruise is family friendly, so whether you're 30 or 60, it's the perfect cruise to dance your way in honour of our beautiful country, all on our picturesque harbour!
BEST FOR: You want all the festivities of Australia Day, but you also want to relax and enjoy the day off
TIME: Daytime Cruise (2:00 PM - 5:00 PM), Sunset Cruise (7:00 PM - 10:00 PM)
PRICE: Daytime Cruise Early Bird Tickets: Adults $25, Child (4-14 y.o.) $15, Child (under 4) FREE (must be registered)
Sunset Cruise Early Bird Tickets: Adults $30, Child (4-14 y.o.) $15, Child (under 4) FREE (must be registered)