Free Ways to Celebrate Australia Day in Sydney

Australia Day in Sydney

Those looking to celebrate Australia Day without spending a fortune have a wide range of options in Sydney, where there will be fantastic free events held right across the city. Here are a few of the many wonderful activities taking place in Sydney this coming Australia Day, all of which are free of charge.

WugolOra Indigenous Ceremony

Get your Australia Day celebrations off to a meaningful start by heading down to Sydney Harbour for the moving WugolOra ceremony. As well as recognising the Euroa Indigenous people as the traditional custodians of the Sydney Harbour area, this magnificent ceremony symbolises the goal of uniting people of all cultures and backgrounds in Australia. The ceremony starts at 7:30am and involves both the Australian and Aboriginal flags being raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge marking the official start of the Australia Day celebrations in Sydney.

The Body Science Great Australian Swim Series 4

Swimmers of all abilities are invited to take part in this magnificent Australia Day spectacle. The Great Australian Swim Series consists of three events; the 2.2km swim for experienced swimmers, the 750m course for those less experienced and a 300m event set up especially for kids. Starting at 8:30am, this event is a wonderful way to stay cool and get active this Australia Day, as well as a fantastic opportunity to swim in one of the world’s most pristine harbours.

If you’d like to take part, register online at

MS Colour Dash

If you want to have fun, get active and raise money for a good cause, head to Darling Harbour for the Australia Day MS Colour Dash. This fabulous event consists of a 5km course that you can run, skip or walk, with the route winding through a set of stations where participants are showered in 100% all natural rainbow dust. Once you have completed the Colour Dash stick around and enjoy the live music and family friendly activities that are organised throughout the day in Darling Harbour. The MS Colour Dash raises money to help Australians living with multiple sclerosis.

It starts at 9am and to register go to

Sample Sydney

Enjoy a behind the scenes look at some of Sydney’s major public buildings and cultural institutions, with many of the city’s most famous places offering free entry or vastly reduced rates to celebrate Australia Day. Destinations include the Art Gallery of NSW, the National Maritime Museum, the Sydney Opera House and the Mint, and some venues are even hosting special Australia Day tours or exhibitions.

For details on participating destinations, opening times and conditions of entry, check out Sample Sydney at Sample Sydney events.

The Hyde Park Summer Playground

Hyde Park will play host to a full day of free family friendly fun on Australia Day this year. There will be a huge colouring corner, an animal farm, jumping castles, a shaded book nook, as well as a stage featuring live entertainment including the ever popular Wiggles. The action starts at 9am and goes until 6pm.


The Australia Day Ferrython will see Sydney’s First Fleet ferries race each other across Sydney Harbour in a colourful and spectacular display that has become one of Australia’s most popular free events. The best way to enjoy it is to pack a picnic and set up somewhere comfortable along the harbour foreshore. Ferrython starts at 11am but you will need to get there early to secure a good vantage point.

The Harbour Concert Series

The Harbour Concert Series will showcase some of Australia’s finest up and coming musical talent, including Dami Im, Nathaniel Willemse, Jessica Mauboy and the Justice Crew. Performances will be taking place at Blues Point which is a 10 minute walk from North Sydney train station or a 5 minute walk from McMahon’s Point ferry wharf. The music will kick off at 1pm.

Tinnie Muster

Boating enthusiasts looking for some free Australia Day fun are invited to head to Athol Bay on the north side of Sydney Harbour for the annual Tinnie Muster. Starting at 2pm, this great event is a celebration of Australia’s National day as well as its finest harbour and there will be live music, a BBQ barge and even games for the kids. Boaties looking for a challenge are encouraged to take part in the fun filled Tinnie Challenge, which will test both rope handling and boat manoeuvring skills along with the ability to eat sausages and tell jokes.

There will be hundreds of amazing free events held across Sydney to celebrate Australia Day this year. To find out about them all contact your local city council or check out the official Australia Day website at