Whether you think of it as Invasion Day, a nation's birthday or Triple J Hot 100 day, 26 January is a great public celebration. Here's what's going down.
Woggan-ma-gule Morning Ceremony
The day's celebrations begin in the Royal Botanic Gardens with Woggan-ma-gule (the meeting of the waters). The ceremony continues the custodial traditions of local Aboriginal clans through song and dance.
Farm Cove, Royal Botanic Gardens. 8–8.30am. Free.
Head to Hyde Park
Sydney's communal backyard will play host to entertainment including Ross Wilson, Gervais and the African Diaspora, kids activities and the annual Lord Mayor's Citizenship Ceremony (10am–7pm). At Hyde Park North join the Great Aussie BBQ (10am–5pm) for snags, steaks and Petaluma wines and then make your way to College Street for the NRMA Motorfest and see one thousand vintage cars cruise the city's streets (10am–5pm). Hyde Park. 10am–7pm. Free.
Darling Harbour Australia Day
Darling Harbour's celebrations begin mid-morning with the ABC for Kids' Concert and continues well into the evening with a world music line-up on the Floating Stage. The big finale comes in the form of a huge fireworks display over the harbour. Darling Harbour. 11.30am–9pm. Free.
Australia Day at the Rocks
The Rocks' take on Australia day is a musical one. Katie Noonan and the Captains, Hungry Kids of Hungary, Tijuana Cartel and Andy Bull will all perform in the historic laneways. And that's a mere sample. Over the course of the afternoon, revellers will be treated to 10 hours of free performances from 70 Aussie musicians.
Around the Rocks. 11am–9pm. Free.
Find a harbourfront picnic perch to take in the day's boating events. Watch costumed boats cruise past during the Best Dressed Vessels Competition (12.15–1.30pm), see Sydney's favourite public transport vessels go head to head in the Ferrython (11am–12 noon) and catch the Awesome Forces Aerial Displays above the harbour (12.15–3pm). Around Sydney Harbour. 8.30am–9pm. Free.
Great Aussie Swim
Alternatively, you could plunge right into the harbour in the final installment of the Body Science Great Australian Swim Series. Participants can choose to swim either a 2.5km or 750m race, while little superfish can make a splash in the 300m Junior Kids Swim. Farm Cove, Sydney Opera House. 7.30–11am.
Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under
It's a very special Australia Day celebration as Amanda Palmer hits the Concert Hall stage for a showcase performance featuring a number of guests. Sydney Opera House, 8pm. $40.
Haviana Australia Day Thong Challenge
Australia’s most iconic beaches will become a sea (literally) of giant inflatable thongs as beachgoers attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for “the longest line of inflatable air beds" with simultaneous competitions held in different states.
Kick back with a cocktail at Sydney's most unique watering hole at this extra special Australia Day BBQ. Island Bar, Cockatoo Island.
Australia Day at Pirrama Park
Pyrmont's Pirrama Park will be in full swing with James Morrison, the Vince Jones Band and the Ray Beadle Big Blues Band in a free community concert (4–9pm). Pirrama Park, 4-9pm. Free.
Australia Day at Parramatta Park
A day of hot air balloons, a massive BBQ breakfast, international circus performers, a model aeroplane display, an animal farm, and a diverse line-up of performers for the Dig 1100 Concert. Parrmatta Park, 6am-9.30pm. Free.
Australia Day at Olympic Park
Spend your day off at a free festival at Olympic Park. There'll be sheep shearing, whip cracking, sheep dog trial shows, an animal farm, pony rides, face-painting, magic acts, crafts and Indigenous art workshops, amusement rides, a bush band and a multicultural mix of music and dance from across the globe. Sydney Olympic Park, 12-9pm. Free.
Australia Day at ivy
Spend your Australia Day in style at the ivy, with sets from D-Cup, Bang Gang, TV Rock, Timmy Trumpet and many more. ivy, 2pm-late. $30.
Australia Day (and Australia Day Eve) at the Argyle
Start the celebrations early on Tue 25 Jan with DJs and a BBQ from 5pm. Australia Day festivities kick off from 11am with Mr Wilson playing from 2.30pm, DJs from 5pm and aussie BBQ from midday in the courtyard. The Argyle, Tue 25-Wed 26 Jan.
Vegemite Wrestling at Doctor Pong
For something more unusual don't miss the annual Australia Day Vegemite Wrestling at Doctor Pong.