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Celebrate Australia Day 2017 in Sydney

Sydney First Fleet ferries on Australia Day 2016. Image Credit: Destination NSW

On 26 January each year, Australians come together to celebrate our national day. True to tradition, Australia Day 2017 in Sydney will deliver plenty of lively events and great activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Here are just some of the activities taking place in Sydney on Australia Day 2017:

  • Much of the action of Australia Day takes place on and around Sydney Harbour. The WugulOra Indigenous Morning Ceremony marks the official start and honours the traditional land owners with the raising of the Aboriginal and Australian flags on the Sydney Harbour Bridge from 8.00am.
  • Another harbour highlight is the Ferrython race, one of Australia’s most famous free Australia Day events. Watch as the ferries venture from Circular Quay to Shark Island and then back to finish under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. For the first time ever, visitors can participate in the Ferrython by booking a place as a passenger on one of the ferries. Tickets start at $120 and include morning tea on arrival, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and a lunch box. Tickets can be purchased via sydneyfestival.org.au. Visitors can also get a bird’s-eye view of the race from atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of a special Ferrython BridgeClimb
  • The Salute to Australia ceremony is a 21-gun salute fired from Bradfield Park and received by the Governor of New South Wales on board HMAS Canberra. Tina Arena will then sing the national anthem at 12.00pm. Everyone is asked to join in no matter where they are in Sydney.
  • From 1.00pm, Sydney’s Tall Ships will lead a fleet of historic vessels in a race from Bradleys Head to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. After the race, the ships will be on display at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.
  • Two free Australia Day Concerts, held in association with Destination NSW, cater to all ages and are a highlight of the Australia Day program. Australia’s biggest, brightest and wiggliest entertainment group, The Wiggles, will perform as part of the Children’s Festival in Darling Harbour from 11.00am. Families are advised to arrive early to secure their spot. In the evening, the Australia Day 2017 – Live at Sydney Opera House concert will commence at 7.30pm and will feature Australian superstars Dami Im, Tina Arena and Guy Sebastian. Tickets for the concert will be released at midday on January 16 via australiaday.com.au.
  • If it’s music you’re interested in, popular Cruising Concerts feature a custom-built floating stage dropping into popular locations around the harbour from 12.15pm onwards. Stops include Hickson Road Reserve, Bradfield Park and the Sydney Opera House.
  • Further west, Parramatta has an action-packed Australia Day line-up starting with hot-air balloons from 6.00am. Throughout the day, visitors can get up close to restored classic vintage vehicles at the CARnivale vintage car display, feast at the Big BBQ, enjoy amusements rides and entertainment in the Kids Crescent, listen to triple j’s iconic Hottest 100 Countdown and finish with a spectacular fireworks finale at 9.00pm.
  • To close the day, head to Cockle Bay for the traditional 9.00pm firework display as part of the Darling Harbour Spectacular.

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