Australia Day is a very special celebration that unites the nation in a festive mood and BBQs.  But in fact it is much more than that.

Australia Day, 26 January, is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788.

Even though the 26th of January marks a specific event, today Australia Day represents so much more than that.  Australians are a very proud nation and for a good reason.  The love their country and its diversity of amazing nature.  They are a happy nation that can reflect on their history and look into the future with optimism and a desire to make their country even better.

And that is all encapsulated in Australia Day where the Australians take part in organised community events or just get together with family or friends to relax and fire up their almighty BBQs.

Chilling out with friends

But Australians being Australians do it all in a very casual, almost informal, relaxed manner.  There is no generated feeling of ‘greatness’ or fabricated self-importance that can be seen in some other countries.  And this is what I loved most about it.  I think it comes from the simple fact that they are genuinely happy and proud of being who they are on a personal level and most of all they know how to relax and party.

I was really looking forward to celebrating my first Australia Day.  Back in London with its miserable winter weather I never felt the jist of it.  This time however, it was a different story.  We were in Australia and were part of the nation ready to celebrate and we were in the middle of summer.  Our lovely Australian/British friends and us decided to celebrate together with a BBQ at their place and an outing to a local community event to see the nation in action.

We got ourselves temporary tattoos of the Australian flag, some Aussie themed outfits and we were ready to go!

The BBQ at Gail and Jamie’s place was lovely and we felt privileged being the first family having a meal prepared on their brand new and shiny BBQ.  So from now on we know that the 26th of January not only represents Australia Day but also marks the day the finest BBQ on Australia’s Central Coast was fired up for the first time.  What a great day to do so!

Local celebrations… sometimes weird but never boring

Our local event on the Central Coast was low key but everybody seemed to enjoy themselves.  A street was closed off and there were market stalls, childrens activities, Aussie sausage sizzles, Lamingtons, thing throwing contests and live music.  The locals all had their barbies and picnics set up along the lake and chatted the day away.

If you are after something a little more spectacular, then head to Sydney where you can have the whole day filled with celebrations at various events.  Free concerts at the Sydney Opera House, performances by some of Australia’s best known artists, Australia Day regatta or the famous Wiggles to entertain the little kids.  All finished off by a fireworks display on Sydney Harbour.

Aussie’s are a nation that like to have a laugh and love all sorts of crazy race  And what better day to enjoy and celebrate this than Australia Day. If you happen to be in Brisbane on Australia Day be sure you visit their esky races or cockroach races.  In the cockroach race, 40 cockroaches are placed in the middle of a green and yellow mat and left to scurry away with the first one to cross the outer ring of the mat deemed the winner!

Aus Day

Australia Day

Quick tips and how to celebrate Australia Day in style:

  • Have a barbie with friends
  • Head to the beach
  • Dress up
  • Organise a pool party
  • Head to the local park
  • Take part in a thong challenge
  • Eat vegemite sandwiches and yummy lamingtons
  • Enjoy the atmosphere and have a laugh!