Ah, Australia Day. The holiday commemorating the landing of the First Fleet in New South Wales…
Eh, we guess that’s important. But what do we actually celebrate on Australia Day?
How about the delicious taste of fresh mango, melt-in-your-mouth pavlova, any beer but Fosters and the beautiful marriage of sausage and bread? Or the confronting but inevitable sight of neon yellow and green zinc, Australian flag bikinis and temporary tattoos? The smell of chlorine, sizzling barbecues and general larrikinism in the air?
Perhaps it’s the feeling of hot plastic on your skin while perched on an inflatable pool lounge, swan, or thong, or (even better) while absolutely blitzing it on a slip ‘n’ slide?
Or is it the following response to any question, whether it’s “What’s the big deal about Australia Day?”, “Where’s the closest train station?”, or “Could I please have a glass of water?”:
However you like to kick back on January 26, we’ve got you covered with some noice, different and unuuuusual activities to keep you happy as Larry. So crack open a Gold (or a VB if you must) and follow our guide for the top Australia Day events in Brisbane.
1. Pavlova and Mango Weis Bar Cocktails at The Fox Hotel, South Brisbane
Groove to Triple J’s Hottest 100 and DJs all night with a Young Henry’s beer in hand at The Fox Hotel. With a thong-throwing contest, a sausage sizzle, and four beers and a spit roast lamb roll for $25, it’ll be a bloody ripper.
2. Barefoot Bowls at West Toowong Bowls Club
$5 barefoot bowls? Delicious burgers? Triple J’s Hottest 100 and a free pool to boot? Just try and stop us, West Toowong.
3. All-day festivities at the Southbank Beer Garden
Soak up sunshine, sand and steak this Australia Day at the Southbank Beer Garden’s all-day BBQ. Enjoy crisp beer, delicious barbecue and a great view of South Bank’s beaches from 8am onwards. Don’t miss out on the fireworks later on!
4. Pull up a beanbag at Gasworks
Gasworks has fun for the whole family at its third Australia Day party, with free face-painting, water fun, jumping castles and competitions for the kids. Adults can get excited too, with Hatch & Co.’s pop-up BBQ and beverages at the ready.
5. Australia Day Cruise with Kookaburra Showboats
Take in the best of Brisbane with a classic Kookaburra dinner cruise. With an a la carte Australian menu, live entertainment, best dressed competitions, lucky door prizes and a fantastic view of the fireworks, you’ll be singing Peter Allen ’til all of the ships come back to the shore.
6. APT8 at QAGOMA, South Bank
GOMA and the Queensland Art Gallery are keeping their doors open this Australia Day, so come and visit their amazing 8th Asia Pacific Triennial Exhibition! In addition to fascinating works of art and an insight into other cultures, you can also enjoy AIR-CON!
7. Beer gardens galore at the Pig ‘N’ Whistle, Fortitude Valley
What could be more 'Straya than a lazy afternoon at the Pig ‘N’ Whistle, complete with craft beer from the Newstead Brewing Co, a local Australian barbecue menu and the Hottest 100? Only a koala wearing a cork hat while polishing off a can of Pasito.
8. Cockroach Races at the Story Bridge Hotel, Kangaroo Point
Give a gold coin to Youngcare and be welcomed into one of Brisbane’s longest and most revered Australia Day street parties at the Story Bridge Hotel. Yes, the cockroach races have actual cockroaches, and yes, it’s inspiring.
9. '90s Aussie rock at the Empire, Fortitude Valley
If Triple J’s Hottest 100 isn’t quite what you want to celebrate to this Australia Day, then enjoy some classic Australian '90s rock, giant board games and meat pies at Empire Hotel. Silverchair and Jenga? That’s bonza.
10. Australia Day is every day at Aussie World, Palmview
How could you get more true blue than celebrating Aussie Day at Aussie World? It’s a whole WORLD dedicated to Australia! Featuring dunny races, tug of war, mullet-tossing, and a four-hour Aussie tribute band concert. You’ll be all Australia’d out.
11. Jam at OZFEST, Sunshine Coast
Enjoy the cream of the crop of current Australian music this holiday with live acts from Art vs. Science, Seth Sentry and San Cisco at OZFEST, the Sunshine Coast’s best pop-up festival.
12. Charm some squires at The Charming Squire, South Brisbane
James Squire himself, the bar’s first brewer, set foot in Australia with the First Fleet all those years ago. So why not celebrate that history with some lamb burgers, 1800s-style beer and the Hottest 100?
13. Pineapple Chucking at The Pineapple Hotel, Kangaroo Point
It’s not every day you can win $750 for tossing a pineapple the furthest – just Australia Day at The Pineapple Hotel. If you’re not up for juggling a spiky fruit, enjoy some Fourex, a chicken parmy, and generally great vibes at this 152-year-old institution.
14. Beard Shaving at the Woolly Mammoth’s Hipstralia, Fortitude Valley
If you’re a furry hipster looking to say g’day to a new chin look, get your Australia Day going with a good cause like the Great Australian Shave at The Woolly Mammoth. Pair this with some craft beer and the Hottest 100 and you’re a clean-shaven patriot.
Like this? You should totally check these out