Australia Day in Sydney

Australia Day.. I have spent the last 10 years not really being able to celebrate as it is in the middle of Winter in the UK. My friends have thought I have been making up the day, they don’t understand how to do a proper Sausage Sandwich (just one slice of bread) and when they come over for dinner they think Beetroot in a Burger is shocking.

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So to be able to have the chance to be in Australia for Australia Day was going to be exciting.

I just want to say that I am writing this blog as a person who hasn't lived in Australia for almost a decade. I celebrate the landscape and warm sun that I miss at the beginning of the year to welcome in a new year. Australia is a new country but a country with a huge amount of history and diversity from creating Australian culture to the sad beginnings of our country with the behavior towards the Aboriginal people, but I heard a wonderful saying today by the Premier of NSW "the Aboriginal Culture is the longest continuous culture in the world." 

We are a land of extreme landscapes, weather, history and multiculturalism. I feel is in a patchwork quilt of such wonderful things that make up Australia.

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So onwards to celebrating Australia Day in Sydney. For my whole life we never did anything or went to a local park for a festival or the little party they had. Never once did I think something happened in Sydney Harbour.

This by fair was the best Australia Day I have ever had and boy does Sydney put on a show. From Darling Harbour, to Hyde Park, Barangaroo and all over the iconic Sydney sites and Harbour.

I wanted to be able to do everything on offer. We started our day off watching the Wugulora Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo on the TV where we got to see the Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe perform a smoking ceremony. It was the perfect way to start off the day in the culture that has defined Australia, so we headed into Sydney to start off our day at Barangaroo. Along the way to Barangaroo Reserve we strolled along Pyrmont Bay seeing all the Ships and Boats dressed to the nines to celebrate the day.

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Barangaroo is a great place to start the day off as you get the stunning views of the harbour around you with the cityscape in the background. There were so many iconic moments such as the ALWAYS sculpture part of the Sydney Festival, ice cream vans with delicious treats from my childhood such as a Bubble O’Bill. Walking along the edge of the harbour at Barangaroo Reserve is one of the most beautiful spots in Sydney.

As we walked along the harbour front towards Circular Quay, we stopped to have a Lemon Squash at Pier One ‘The Kerrigan’, looking out into the Harbour which just happened to be the perfect stop to watch the Ferrython. Now if you don’t know what a Ferrython is, either did I until that moment. The iconic Ferries in Sydney Harbour race from Circular Quay to Shark Island and back, along with so many other boats in the harbour taking a trip with them and what a sight it is, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face from this unique viewing.

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As the activity in the harbour picked up more we were able to find the perfect spot underneath the Harbour Bridge looking towards the Opera House where HMAS Choules began a 21-gun salute followed by RAAF helicopters flying above us to a Yacht Ballet around the Opera House to Tall Ships racing, there really was never a dull moment on Sydney Harbour from that point. Every time we looked out into the Harbour there was some show or just local Sydneysider’s sailing their boat decked out in iconic Australiana decorations.

Around Circular Quay and The Rocks there were many Street Parties serving a traditional BBQ Sausage Sizzle Sandwich, local artist playing Australian hits or games in the street Australians have played all their lives. Just walking around was a wonderful experience to see the community and joyful smiles by everyone as they got to experience Australia Day in Sydney Harbour.

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By this point it was extremely hot with the sun pouring down on us, we decided to head home for a nice nap, but we had to do it Sydney style by catching the Ferry from Circular Quay to Milsons Point where not only where we meet by the massive smile of Luna Park but another event underneath the Harbour Bridge at Bradford Park where there where live bands, BBQ stalls, games for the children and my least favourite Snakes and Lizards to look at.

We had originally planned to go back into town to see the Concert in the dark underneath the Sails of the Opera House and the Fireworks but ABC did a great show of it on TV, where we were able to see all the Famous Aussie Singers on all the Stages dotted across the Harbour and we where able to not miss a second watching the stunning Fireworks along the Harbour front, it was like we where there as the echos from the Fireworks in the harbour reached us 25kms away. If you are able to go into Sydney Harbour for the night show it is a must, there are so many places where you are able to watch the Fireworks from a perfect view.

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There is so much to do in Sydney for Australia Day, I can not believe it has taken this long to discover them. I was truly blown away by everything I saw and loved every second. So if you are in Sydney for Australia Day I would highly recommend spending a day enjoying what there is on offer all over the City. For more information closer to the date have a look at the Sydney Australia Day website, or Whats on Sydney or even if you just happened to walk onto the scene you will be able to find kiosk’s around Circular Quay with everything that is on offer.

I am glad I was able to celebrate Australia Day in Sydney after being 10 years living in a European Winter, what a fantastic way to experience the best of Sydney and the Australian Culture.

Check out my Vlog about experiencing Australia Day in Sydney.