Australia Day, 26 January, is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, & the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove in 1788, and is the day when Aussies all over the world get together to celebrate all that’s great about Australia and being Australian.
To us non-Aussies, one of the best things about Australia is its awesome beaches, which thanks to the equally awesome weather, can be enjoyed pretty much all year round! So if you’re going to be Down Under this Jan 26th, why not celebrate the occasion by heading over to one of these ‘beauties’!…
Cottesloe Beach, Western Australia
Set the world record for the number of inflatable thongs (thats flip-flops to you and me!!) in the water at one time in the Haviana Australia Day Thong Challenge. It was broken at Cottesloe Beach last year – 2088 people in the sea! By participating, you’ll be showing your support for young Surf Life Saving Australia Nippers. Not in Perth? Don’t fear – the Australia Day Thong Challenge is held at a number of beaches across the country including Bondi Beach in Sydney, Torquay Beach in Victoria, Glenelg Beach in South Australia and Moololaba Beach in Queensland. Tickets from A$27.80 (approx £18) www.havaianasthongchallenge.com.au
Bondi Beach, Sydney
There’s nothing more quintessentially Australian than spending Australia Day on Bondi Beach. If the Haviana Australia Day Thong Challenge doesn’t tickle your fancy, a bite to eat and a crisp wine overlooking the dazzling ocean at Bondi Icebergs might do the trick – but get in early! There are plenty of fantastic bars and restaurants to choose from along the beach if you’re up for an afternoon tipple. You can’t go past the bucket of prawns and a beer combo at Bondi’s new Bucket List Bar & Eatery. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!
Hermit Bay, Sydney
Escape the crowds and enjoy a Champagne and seafood picnic on this hidden harbour beach with sparkling views towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Get there in time to see the trademark Sydney ferries race around Shark Island as they compete for line honours in the Annual Australia Day Ferrython. Access via Neilsen Park in Sydney’s exclusive Eastern suburb of Vaucluse. For more information on the Sydney Ferrython visit www.sydneyfestival.org.au
Hayman Island, Queensland
Celebrate Australia Day in style with a scrumptious barbeque as a guest at Hayman in the Whitsundays. The barbeque will serve up fresh seafood and other delicious dishes around Hayman’s stunning pool and will follow with a game of cricket on the beach. Hayman on Hayman Island is a private island resort in the Whitsundays offering world-class dining and easy access to the Great Barrier Reef. The Australia Day Hayman Pool Barbeque is priced at A$55 (approx £36 per adult and A$27.50 (approx £18) per child (under 12). Be sure to pre-book for this event. www.hayman.com.au
St Kilda Beach, Victoria
The funky beachside suburb of St Kilda in Melbourne is the perfect place to let your hair down this Australia Day. Catch the tram from Melbourne and soak up the buzz on Fitzroy Street and Acland Streets – there are plenty of cafes and bars to choose from. For a taste of a true Aussie tradition, head to the St Kilda Bowls Club for an afternoon of barefoot bowls or visit the former bank turned pub, The Branch for a dose of the Triple J Hottest 100 Countdown – it wouldn’t be Australia Day without the Hottest 100. www.stkildamelbourne.com.au
Kingston Beach, Tasmania
Celebrate Australia Day with the locals at ‘A Day on the Beach’ at Kingston Beach, outside of Hobart. Start off with the ‘Big Community Breakfast’ before challenging yourself to a game of ‘Tug-of-war’. There’s also sand castle competitions, live music, inflatable thong races, surf life saving races, Tasmanian Air Adventures scenic flights and beach cricket. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, dig in to an Aussie snag at the Big Aussie BBQ and take a splash in the pristine waters that surround Kingston Beach. For more information visit www.adayonthebeach.com.au
Glenelg, South Australia
There’s nothing more Aussie than a Ute Muster so if you’re a radical truck fanatic don’t miss the annual ‘Australia Day @ the Bay’ Ute Muster in Adelaide’s charming beachside suburb of Glenelg. Start the day at 7.00am with a BBQ breakfast on the beach and stay for the official Citizenship ceremony and Australia Day Awards which commence at 9.15am. If you’re in Adelaide for a few days make sure you come back to Glenelg to go swimming with the wild dolphins. www.holdfast.sa.gov.au
Mindil Beach, Northern Territory
Mindil Beach in Darwin has been rated one of Australia’s 101 Best Beaches. In January, it’s wet season in the Northern Territory and very hot. Stay cool over lunch in one of Darwin’s fine restaurants, try Char Restaurant or Ocean Fresh, and take come cold beers to Mindil Beach in the late afternoon to enjoy the tropical sunset. www.mindil.com.au
Thanks to Tourism Australia for these great suggestions!
Can you add anymore awesome beaches to this list? What will you be doing to celebrate Australia Day this year!?…