Things to do on Australia Day in NSW

24 January 2013

Byron Bay is a great place to celebrate Australia Day. Photo credit: Hamilton Lund

Australia Day is one of the country's most celebrated occasions, with millions of people commemorating the date on which the First Fleet arrived at Sydney Cove in 1788.

On January 26 every year, tourists and locals alike get together and enjoy the many different things to do on Australia Day across the nation.

Whether you fancy a trip to Hunter Valley, Sydney, the North Coast or various other destinations in NSW, you can rest assured there will be like-minded individuals looking to take part in events and festivities.

For many, Sydney is the place to be on Australia Day and events spring up all across the city, including beach barbecues, Darling Harbour activities and even fun runs and races in the CBD.

Bringing the kids out for the day? A visit to Hyde Park will be sure to keep them happy, as the area becomes a summer playground for children, with baking workshops, petting zoos, performers and much more.

If you are keen to explore the Hunter Valley, it is easy to plan for your Australia Day activities – with the region offering a number of options.

A popular choice is to kick off the day by taking part in a barbecue breakfast at Dungog's Jubilee Park, which begins after a welcoming ceremony from the country town's ambassador.

There will be speeches and award presentations, although you may be more interested in enjoying the Australia Day cake on offer afterwards!

From there, spending an afternoon at the Wollombi Markets is an option, with more than 100 stalls available and thousands of people flocking to see their wares over the course of the three-day event.

Spending time in the North Coast? There are still plenty of things to do on Australia Day, including attending the National Australia Day Maritime Festival in Newcastle.

This two-day event is a port-based spectacular that celebrates the nation's maritime history.

Events and activities include wooden boat and steam boat displays, a harbour swim, national ski racing, laser shows and much more.

However, if you are looking to relax on Australia Day and fancy getting away from it all – simply take a trip to Byron Bay.

Well-known for its popular beaches, the area is the perfect place to sit back and soak up the sun, take in the surf culture or explore the laid-back towns located nearby.