When it comes to celebrating our national day, no one does it quite like Sydney, and when it comes to providing front row seats to these celebrations no one does it quite like Any Boat - the Australia Day Cruise specialists. 

Today however I wanted to take a look at the events and activities themselves and see why Australia Day in and around Sydney harbour is such an incredible experience for everyone who has ever enjoyed an Australia Day Cruise.

Every year on the 26th of January Australians celebrate their (our) national day, and with a backdrop like Sydney harbour it is no surprise that the bulk of events planned for this day happen right in it's heart - the harbour's that is ;) Let's see exactly what these events are and see whether it's worth a look-in or not.

Australia Day - BBQ cheers mate

Things to do on Australia Day in Sydney Harbour

Throw a BBQ! - the above quote/image already eluded to the integral importance of the Barbie to Australians and as such it would be very UN Australian to celebrate this national day without burning a snag or two -right?!

australia day and bbq

Ok so this isn't officially one of the 'events' planned around Sydney Harbour (it should be!) but it is part of our tradition, and since it is an option on nearly all Australia Day Cruises it is a must.

Enjoying a few snags in the middle of the harbour surrounded by mates and few cold ones.... now that's what I'm talking about!

Australia Day Events on Sydney Harbour

things to do on australia day - thongs in the sand

The above image really does capture the essence of Australia Day on Sydney harbour, with the magnificent Tall Ships making their way towards the bridge, shadowed by those smart enough to be enjoying Australia Day Cruises.

Events are as follows:

  • Tug & Yacht Ballet
    This is a fantastic sight to behold as ten yachts and two impressively large tugboats dance around in a display of nautical precision.
  • Cruising Concert
    A floating stage with music being performed by the Enormous Horns and Junkyard Beats
  • Harbour Parade
    This is something that everyone gets involved with - including those enjoying an Australia Day Cruise. Boats of all shapes and sizes join a flotilla of national pride en route to Athol Bay.
  • Morning Indigenous Ceremony
    The Wulgulora Morning Ceremony is the very first event of the day and commemorates our connection to the land and the original peoples of this land.
  • Tall Ships Race
    The splendour and grace of the tall ships is something to behold as the Tall ships race from Bradley's Head to finish under the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Salute to Australia
    At midday the entire city comes together to sing our national Anthem and Salute this great Southern Land of ours. This is finished off with a 21 gun salute and an aerial fly over. Incredible scenes and something that is so much better experienced from out on the water.
  • Ferrython
    One of Australia Day's most iconic events, the Ferrython is a race between 9 brightly coloured ferries.
  • Australia Day Regatta
    This year marks the 180th anniversary of the Australia Day Regatta, the world's longest running annual sailing event. Up to 700 boats from all over the world will take part in this event, with over 100 racing through the heart of Sydney Harbour.
    180 years. Incredible
  • Great Australian Swim
    Watch more than 1,000 enthusiastic Aussies finish a 2km swim (race for some) from the Sydney Opera House to Farm Cove. Watch from the comfort of your Australia Day Cruise boat as they take to the water and make their way towards Farm Cove.
  • In the Sky: Red Berets and Russian Roolettes
    Watch in amazement as the Russian Roolettes and the Red Berets perform an array of aeronautical stunts over Sydney Harbour. This is followed by a Qantas flyover - in true 'Spirit of Australia' style
  • P&O Cruise Ships in the Harbour
    4 of P&O's star cruiseliners will be there to join in the festivities. Seeing one of these cruiseliners is a spectacle but to see 4 of them together will be a sight to behold. Fireworks will be set off in celebration of their arrival further adding to the experience.

australia day - tall ships regatta

The majesty of the tall ships is something to behold.