If you are a new Aussie backpacker like me, it may come to a surprise to you that there is an ‘Australia Day’. We don’t have an England Day, or a Germany Day… that I know of. So what is Australia Day? I’d never heard of it before in my life.

Everyone’s talking about Australia Day, ‘the celebration that inspires the nation’, but what’s it all about?

Well, if you want the short version, Australia Day is when we all get together and celebrate just how wonderful our country is … although, every day is Australia Day at Ultimate Oz in that case!

Basically, in 1788, Captain Cook (not to be confused with Captain Hook!) came along and settled with the First Fleet and 26th January became the anniversary of the foundation of a new colony. Over the centuries, the significance of that date has evolved as the country has grown and prospered. Today, the celebration embraces the way Australia has become multicultural, it honours all ethnic backgrounds, all racial differences and all politic perspectives. Modern day Australia day celebrations are about diversity and tolerance in our Australian society.

So whoever you are, wherever you’re from, regardless of why you’re in Australia, you play a part here and Australia Day is your celebration too! There are events everywhere! Why not check out what is happening where you are:



Our Ultimate Oz crew will be celebrating all things Australian in Ultimate style (obviously!) … What will you be doing?

Perth has an array of events promising to make Australia Day one you’ll remember! In and around Perth, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing how to celebrate! You might want to check out these popular events:

Havaianas Thong Challenge

Head to Cottesloe Beach and take part in Western Australia’s attempt to set a new world record – the aim is to create the longest line of giant inflatable Havaianas in the water! All the states take part but it’s all eyes on WA as they fight to retain the title they won in 2013, with a total of 2093 people paddling out on to the water!

Find out how to get involved here.

Australia Day Skyworks

2014 will be a great year for Skyworks as it marks the 30th anniversary of the event. With BYO picnic zones, you can get your favourite people together, chill with a beer and take in the fabulous display that unfolds before you. There will be a Laser and Water Spectacular, a Water Regatta and Langley Park Entertainment Zone … amongst many others!

Have a look at the full schedule here.

If you’re not spending Australia Day in Perth, why not take a look at what is happening in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.  Let Ultimate Oz know what you’re doing for Australia Day 2014 … are you going along to one of these events or are you holding your own? We can’t wait to see all your photos!

Australia Day in Brisbane leaves you spoilt for choice! With everything on offer, you’ll be in for a jam packed, fun filled day if you want to get to everything. Here’s a snippet of what you could be getting up to but be sure to check local sites for events as there are far too many for us to fit on one page!

Australia Day Festival

Southbank is where it’s at for some of the best Australia Day celebrations in Brisbane. The South Bank Parklands will be buzzing with excitement all throughout the day! There’s the traditional flag raising ceremony , the RAAF flypast and the twenty-one gun salute to kick things off with a bang (literally)!  A day out filled with fun, food and friends, finishing with Fireworks … what more could you ask for?!

Check out where you need to be here.

Australia Day on the Green

Also at Southbank (so handy if you want to pop over to the fesitival at some point)! Head towards QPAC between 12and 7pm for some great Aussie food and a nice cold beer with your friends while you listen to some free live music!

Take a look here for more information.

Aussie Beach Party

If you fancy getting out of the city for the celebrations of Australia Day, head to Moreton Bay for an Aussie Beach Party. Entertainment, food, live music and markets will keep you occupied for a while. Enter the Sandcastle Competition, get a free temporary tattoo (of the Australia flag?) or join the Lamington Eating Competition! All this and so much more!

Take a look at the full program here.

Australia Day Cockroach Races

Looking for something a little quirky and different to do on 26th January? Well, you have that right here! Known to attract crowds of up to 7000 people, the cockroach race is described as ‘historic’! It will certainly make for a different story a new experience (unless you’re a seasoned cockroach race enthusiast?!) Please please please let us know if you go along to this!!

Check this out for more details!

Let Ultimate Oz know what your favourite part of the day was! Have a great time!

Australia Day in Melbourne is a fun filled affair! There are almost too many events and choosing between them will most likely give you a stress headache! There’s an event on every corner, including:

The Piers Festival!

Start your celebrations early with The Piers Festival, held at Princes Pier, Port Melbourne the day before Australia Day. Here, you’ll find a musical mashup of everything from Jazz to African drumming and an interactive dance program, where you can get involved in traditional dance from Sri Lanka all the way to Albania. Bursting with culture, The Piers Festival has something for everyone!

Want to get involved? Find out more here.

Australia Day Cider Festival!

This does what it says on the tin! Come and sample many cider delights, from French cider, to traditional ciders to apple and fruit wine infused ciders! Sounds tasty! Head down to Brunswick St Cider House between 12pm-1am.

Find out more about what’s on when here.

The Australia Day Big Backyard at Docklands!

So much is on offer here. There will be entertainment along the NewQuay Promenade, a variety of Australian cuisine available from restaurants along the Docklands and some great Aussie music to see you through Melbourne’s celebration of the ‘Great Aussie Backyard’! So if you fancy getting up close and personal with a kangaroo or a dingo while you chow down on some Aussie tucker after you’ve been on the bungee trampolines, rock climbing or through the pitching tunnel, then this is the place for you!

For the first time, the Australia Day Fireworks will be held at Docklands for 2014.You can expect a spectacular display, which will be visible from various locations around Victoria Harbour. Cue lots of ‘Ooohing’ and ‘Aaahing’ amongst the crowds!

Find out more about when, where and what here.

Tell us at Ultimate Oz how you plan to celebrate Australia Day for 2014! And have a great day!

Australia Day in Sydney is always filled with fab events! Theme of the day = FUN! If you’re looking to get involved, there’s so much you can do, including:

The MS Colour Run!

What the heck is a Colour Run you ask? That’s a good question! Turn up in a white tshirt for what will probably be the most fun you’ve ever had doing a 5k! You don’t have to be a superstar runner, just  travel through the course at your own pace. Each time you pass through a Colour Station, you’ll be showered with Rainbow Dust. By the time you finish, your white tshirt will resemble a rainbow! All this fun is extra worth it because it’s for a great cause … you’ll be raising money for Australians who live with Multiple Sclerosis.

Want to get involved? Find out more here.

The Big Issue Street Football Festival!

More than 1000 players. 300 matches. A floating football pitch. Sounds like awesome fun! The Street Football Festival is one of the country’s most significant sporting occasions. Held from 17th to 26th January, you can expect a spectacular climax as part of the Australia Day celebrations on the Harbour. With players from all walks of life, from juniors to government agency teams, pop along and support this program, which supports homeless and disadvantaged people across the country.

Find out more about what’s on when here.

The Rocks Rocks Out!

If music is your thing, head towards The Rocks for some of the best melodies of the day. Whether it’s Indie, Rap or even a bit of Karaoke that tickles your fancy, you’ll find it all and more right here!  Wander through the markets on your way, then grab a beer, sit back and chill.

If you want information about who’s around or what’s on, you can find out more here.

Australia Day Spectacular – Cockle Bay

Finish off the day (or get the evening started!) with the biggest events of the day on Darling Harbour. Expect incredible special effects and a remarkable fireworks display that will make you ‘Oooh’ and ‘Aaah’ long after the last burst of colour has disappeared from the sky.

All this and so much more makes for a day of celebrations to easily see you through to the next big calendar event! This is just a snippet of what you could be getting up to! For more, take a look here.

Let the Ultimate Oz crew know what you get up to! And have a great day!