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The Australia Day events planned for the nation’s capital cities


From dawn services to harbour swims, there are plenty of ways Australians will be marking the national holiday this Friday.

For those planning on staying in, you can watch live coverage of official events on ABC iview, including the Australia Day Live Concert from 7:30pm AEDT.

Here’s a quick guide to some of the events across the country.

Jump to your capital city to find out what’s on near you. All events are in local time.

Sydney

Sydneysiders might need an umbrella at hand, with showers possible on a day where the temperature is expected to reach the mid-30s.

At dawn, the majestic sails of the Sydney Opera House will be illuminated in an artwork celebrating Aboriginal history and culture, an invitation for the community to pause and reflect.

For those keen to hit the water, the Sydney Harbour Splash will kick off from 6am at Rose Bay, challenging participants to follow the shoreline on a course of either 1, 2.5 or 5 kilometres.

At 7.30am, The WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve will showcase dancers, singers and a performance of the Australian national anthem in both the English and Eora languages.

The WugulOra Morning Ceremony is a staple of January 26 events in Sydney.(AAP: Brendan Esposito)

An Invasion Day rally is planned from 10am, meeting at Belmore Park before walking to Victoria Park.

Other activities around the harbour include day cruises, a barbecue and an aerial spectacle from the Royal Australian Air Force’s elite aerobatic display team.

In the evening, the Australia Day Live concert will be held from 7:30pm at the Sydney Opera House forecourt.

The star-studded line-up includes Casey Donovan, Dami Im, GANGgajang and William Barton.

You can find more details on events across New South Wales here.

Melbourne

The day will start in the Victorian capital with two separate dawn services being held in inner-city Melbourne to reflect on the impact of colonisation on Indigenous communities.

The earliest Invasion Day dawn service will take place at Kings Domain Resting Place from 5am to 7am.

The skies above Melbourne will offer a backdrop to a flyover from the Royal Australian Air Force.(ABC News: Simon Tucci)

In the CBD, people are invited to an all-day family-friendly program of music, food and activities at Federation Square from 10am, ending in the Australian Open men’s semifinal being broadcast on the big screen.

It’s expected to be a partly cloudy day with temperatures around the mid-20s.

An Invasion Day rally will meet outside Parliament House at 10am before moving through the CBD.

Government House is also holding an open day, allowing guests to explore the grounds.

A formal flag-raising ceremony will also take place, along with a heritage aircraft fly-past visible from the CBD.

You can find more details on the events across Victoria here.

Brisbane

A muggy Friday with temperatures in the 30s and showers will set the backdrop for Queensland’s capital.

An Invasion Day rally will be held from 9am at Queens Gardens, to reflect on the ongoing impact of colonisation on Indigenous communities.

Brisbane’s riverside areas will host some of the city’s Australia Day events on Friday.(ABC News: Brian Hurst)

From 2pm, Riverside Green in the South Bank Parklands will offer visitors food from a range of pop-up stalls, along with live performers.

You can find more of the events being held across Queensland on Friday here.

Canberra

It’ll be a wet Friday in Canberra, with showers and the temperature sitting a touch below 30 degrees Celsius.

But Canberrans keen for a day outside can join the National Citizenship and Flag Raising Ceremony at Rond Terrace on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin from 9am.

The event will include space to reflect and welcome some of Australia’s newest citizens, with aerial displays overhead.

A Sovereignty Day Rally organised by the Aboriginal Tent Embassy will take place from 9.30am, meeting at Garema Place in the city centre.

Canberra will host one of many flag raising and citizenship ceremonies across the country. (AAP: Mick Tsikas)

At night, the skies will be lit up as part of the Drone SkyShow and Night Markets, which will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 5-11pm.

The event, developed with input from Ngunnawal elder Caroline Hughes, is billed as “breathtaking displays of Australian native flora, fauna and history laid out on the canvas of the night sky”.

You can find more details on Canberra’s events here.

Adelaide

South Australia’s capital will see in Friday with a 7am Mourning in the Morning gathering at Elder Park, which will include musical performances and cultural dance.

The service is part of the Aus Lights on the River program organised by the Australia Day Council of SA. 

There will be a Respecting Country Parade at 7pm and an official Australia Day ceremony from 8pm, which will include more reflections, speeches and performances and end with a fireworks display.

A Survival Day rally is planned for Victoria Square in Adelaide from 11am, on a day that’s expected to be partly cloudy with temperatures in the mid-20s.

Australia Day events in Adelaide included a traditional smoking ceremony in Elder Park.(ABC News: Shari Hams)

In other parts of the city there will be food trucks and light shows — you can find more details here.

Perth

The sun will be out and the temperature up into the 30s in Western Australia’s capital, where the community is invited to join an Australia Day BBQ Breakfast at Victoria Gardens from 7.45am.

The event will include a cultural smoking ceremony and entertainment over the morning.

Chilton Yarran and Thairon Jansen perform at the Australia Day breakfast in Perth in 2022.(ABC News: James Carmody)

Just after midday, an Invasion Day rally is planned at Forrest Place, before marching to the Stirling Gardens for a yarning circle later in the afternoon.

From 3pm, people are invited to join the City of Perth celebrations at Langley Park, which is billed as offering “free and low-cost attractions” including carnival rides and food trucks.

Later that night, the sky above the Swan River is expected to erupt in colour for a 30-minute light show.

You can find out more about the events in Perth here.

Hobart

It’ll be a bit chillier in Tasmania’s capital, with temperatures expected to stay below the mid-20s and some showers on the way.

A street march will be held in Hobart. (ABC News: Katri Uibu)

A Change the Date street march is planned from 11.15am, departing from 198 Elizabeth Street before making its way to Parliament Lawns.

While there are no official activities listed for the city of Hobart, several councils around the state will host community events including awards ceremonies and pool parties.

You can find more of Tasmania’s Australia Day events here.

Darwin

The Top End will see in Friday under muggy, warm skies — but don’t let that stop you if you’re keen to join the Oz Run event at the Darwin Waterfront.

People walk the course during the Australia Day fun run in Darwin.(ABC News: Michael Park)

Afterwards, people are invited to join Larrakia families for a smoking ceremony at 7.45am.

The Australia Day events then move to the Territory Netball Stadium in Marrara for an afternoon program of entertainment, workshops and a food market.

An Invasion Day Rally is planned from 8.30am at Civic Park.

You can find more detail on the events in Darwin here.



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