One of the largest celebrations held throughout the country year after year is Australia Day. Celebrated on January 26th, Australia day is a public holiday that honours the arrival of the first British Fleet on Australian soil.
Visitors to Melbourne often join in the festivities to commemorate the day, with many community events held around the nation each year including barbecues, ceremonies, parades, live entertainment and fireworks.
Australia Day Melbourne, 2023 Dates, Parade, Ceremony & Public Holiday
In Melbourne, Australia Day is celebrated by all residents and visitors. The Australian of the Year awards is also held on this day where people who have made outstanding contributions to Australia are recognised on this special day.
The Official Flag Raising Ceremony marks the beginning of Melbourne’s Australia Day celebration. The Official Flag Raising Ceremony is hosted by the Premier of Victoria and attended by the Governor of Victoria and other dignitaries.
The Air Force Roulettes will conduct a flypast of Melbourne CBD on Australia Day at 12.30pm. Following this flypast, the Roulettes will conduct an aerobatic display over Kings Domain Gardens and the Shrine of Remembrance.
Australia Day (26 January) is the day to reflect on what it means to be Australian, to celebrate contemporary Australia and to acknowledge our history. It is commemorated on this day each year with a 21-gun salute fired from the Shrine’s Lower Forecourt by the Royal Australian Artillery.
The tradition of the Gun Salute originated in the early 14th Century, firstly as a ceremonial method of creating noise to honour a guest and secondly for the practical purpose of confirming the guns were empty. Salutes were considered a gesture of friendship and trust, and are always fired with an odd number of rounds as this was considered lucky.
This Australia Day public holiday, Fed Square has partnered with Australia Day Victoria to bring you a full program of free family-friendly activities. In the morning, it’s all about iconic kid-magnet superstars – Bananas in Pyjamas will drop in to visit, followed by everyone’s favourite, Bluey, and her sister Bingo.
There’s freebies galore, live music with the Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra, the Roulettes will perform a breathtaking air show and there will be heaps of giant roving entertainment throughout the day (Giant lifeguards! Giant kangaroos! Giant seagulls! Giant cockatoos!), to keep you snapping away.
Visit Cupid’s Koi Garden to get sprayed with water if it’s hot, then find a deckchair to settle in to watch the glorious Olivia Newton-John in the 1980 musical fantasy spectacular, Xanadu.
Bring the fam, stay for the tennis, and enjoy some relaxed good times at Fed Square.
Enjoy a picnic, food trucks and free live music in Flagstaff Gardens this Australia Day. You are welcome to bring along your own picnic food, rugs and fold-up chairs.
The City of Melbourne, in partnership with the Victorian Government, bring you Summer Nights Drone Show. Two 8-minute drone shows run over Victoria Harbour at 9.30pm and 10.30pm in an enchanting visual specular combined with poetry landscapes.
If you are travelling into the city, public transport is the most convenient as there are a number of road closures including parts of St. Kilda Road, Flinders Street and Swanston Street. Outside of these events, the common way to enjoy Australia Day is simply with a BBQ at home or at a local park.