Dec 24, 2012 11:00 - holly | 1,793 views
Australia is one of the most popular holiday destinations on the planet, and one of the best ways to experience all it has to offer is by planning your trip to coincide with the national extravaganza that is Australia Day. So what’s going on, where, and why should you try to be there?
Australia Day is a jam-packed day full of celebration held annually on January 26. It was established in 1788, when Captain Arthur Phillip founded the colony of New South Wales for the British. Nowadays, Australia Day celebrates Australian cultural heritage in its entirety and provides a podium for the recognition and celebration of all things great in modern Australia. Sydney, as the capital of New South Wales, is therefore, one of the best places to be on Australia’s national day.
In 2013, Sydney’s Central Business District will play host to the Australia Day CARnivale, a parade of all things automotively Aussie. It will kick off at 10 in the morning and it will finish up at 5. At the same time, Sydney Harbour will be filled to the brim with water-based events. From a Tall Ship race to Armed Forces and water sport demonstrations, the port will be a hubbub of Oz-oriented activity.
In Hyde Park, there will be a day-long music festival for kids, with accompanying workshops and activities for families. At Sydney’s Olympic Park, the KFC International Twenty20 Cricket match with Sri Lanka will be opened by Good Charlotte’s Madden brothers who will have composed a song especially for the occasion as part of KFC’s ‘Good times’ pro-Australia campaign.
The Australia Day Address is another ‘authentic’ experience that should not be missed. First instituted in 1997, it is a rousing speech delivered by leading Australian individuals – previously Sir Michael Parkinson CBE, Dr Tim Flannery, and Rick Farley. This year, Kurt Fearnely OAM will be delivering the address. You can read the 2012 version here, but there’s really no substitute for hearing it for yourself, on the day, while it’s simultaneously being broadcast across the nation.
Of course, one of the best things about visiting Australia in January is the weather – it’s has been pretty good for the past few years, and 2013 looks no different. Even if the sun doesn’t decide to shine, the waving of flags and whole-hearted singing of the Australian National Anthem ought to bring a bit of cheer and warmth to the cockles of your heart on the 26th. So, go away now and think about booking your flights as soon as you can!