Paddle Boards, Vegemite Pizza and Parties Galore

Stuck for ideas for how to spend your Australia Day? Here are some of the best parties in town.

The Australia Day long weekend is an established summer celebration, a beacon of guaranteed good times with family and friends at the end of the first month back at work. 

Sydney is always awash with fun things to do, whether you tend to gravitate towards the sun, sand, live tunes or barbeques. From harbour-side parties to specialty meat pies, here’s our rundown of the best ways to celebrate this Australia Day. 

Superbergs featuring Melbourne's Supernormal's lobster roll at Bondi Icebergs on Australia Day Eve
This Australia Day eve, two of the country’s hottest restaurants, chef Andrew McConnell’s Supernormal from Melbourne, and Maurice Terzini’s Icebergs, will combine forces for one night only. From 2pm in the Icebergs bar, SuperBergs (as they’re calling it) will offer three of McConnell’s stand-out dishes from Supernormal, including the New England lobster roll; cobia with yuzu, kosho, fennel and seaweed cracker; and smoked beef tartare with clam mayonnaise and pickled shallot. Each will be matched with Besserat de Bellafon champagne or Kirei Shuzo “Karakuchi 80” Junmai Nama Genshu (2013) sake. There are no tickets, just show up hungry from 2pm.

Barbeque and Cheese and Vegemite pizza at Manly Wharf Hotel
Soak up the sun in true Australian fashion with a barbeque on the jetty at the Manly Wharf Hotel from 11am. Listen to Triple J’s Hottest 100 Countdown while snacking on a genius Aussie twist on the margherita; a cheese and Vegemite pizza.

Croc on the spit and Frosty Fruit slushies at The Golden Sheaf Hotel, Double Bay
The Golden Sheaf is reliably busy come Australia Day. Upstairs, the Chandon Summer Party will host house music DJs from 3pm, while downstairs you’ll find barbeque croc on the spit and spiked Frosty Fruit slushies. Little ones aren’t left out, with fairy bread and Vegemite sandwiches also on the menu. 

Fresh oysters and Pavlova cocktails at The Little Fish, Pyrmont
Eating freshly shucked oysters with the Harbour Bridge as your backdrop is about as quintessentially Sydney as one could hope for on Australia Day. Add one of Little Fish’s specially created pavlova cocktails, and you’ve got yourself a sweet celebratory set-up. 

Get lamingtons and kangaroo pies at Infinity Bakery
Overdosing on lamingtons and meat pies isn’t just acceptable on Australia Day; it’s encouraged. Infinity Bakery is here to aid your culinary endeavours, serving an assortment of the aforementioned Aussie staples as well as a special kangaroo pie from early morning until mid afternoon. 

Bowl under the sun at Bondi Bowling Club
What better place for a lawn party this Australia Day than a bowling club? Bondi Bowling Club is putting its grassy expanse to good use, hosting an outdoor celebration complete with music, food and of course, bowls, from 12pm–11pm. 

Triple J Hottest 100 Countdown and cocktails on the rooftop at The Glenmore Hotel
With views over the rooftops of The Rocks across to The Opera House, the Glenmore Hotel is a fitting spot for an Australia Day soiree. Expect live music over the weekend and on the day itself, the Triple J Hottest 100 Countdown.

Live music all day long at The Annandale Hotel
True to its music-focused form, The Annandale Hotel is putting on a live concert on Sunday January 25. Catch DJ Lou Lou from 2pm–4pm and The Strides from 4pm–6pm. 

Australia's Got Talent party on The Island Bar
As part of its Summer Sounds series, Cockatoo Island’s stand-alone bar is throwing an Australia’s Got Talent bash this Sunday January 25. The ticketed event will have guests kicking back by the water, entertained by a line-up of local DJs including Goodwill and Danny T. Music starts at 12.30pm and goes until 7.30pm. 

Beers and ping pong contest at The Welcome Hotel
There’s nothing wrong with being pub-bound on our national holiday. The Welcome Hotel beckons this Australia Day with its quirky line-up combining craft beers, the Hottest 100 and a ping pong championship. Be sure to register to secure a spot. 

Street games and concerts for Australia Day at The Rocks
The historical Rocks precinct is undergoing an Australia Day makeover. George Street South will be closed to the public from 12pm and transformed into The Common; a greenery-filled garden replete with croquet, street-party games and live performances. The Green at First Fleet Park will host live performances from artists including Dustin Tebbutt and Saskwatch, while the Rocks markets will have you covered for food and knick-knacks. 

Big brunch, barbeque and stand-up paddle contest with dogs at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel
Head to the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel for a beachside, all-you-can-eat brunch at the Beach Club, then stay for DJs, drink specials and a beach barbeque in the afternoon. If you’re a dog lover, gear up for round two of the “every man and his dog” stand-up paddle boarding contest, presented by WATSSUP.

The Hottest 100 and Ozzie Tinnies at The Oxford Tavern
A meal at Black Betty’s BBQ on Sunday January 25 could be the ideal way to prep yourself for the drinking festivities of the following day. After its Sunday barbeque, The Oxford Tavern is hosting another day of festivities, counting down the Triple J Hottest 100 on Monday, with $4 Ozzie Tinnies to boot. 

Live music, cocktails and kangaroo tacos at The Norfolk
The Norfolk is hosting an Australia Day eve party to get you geared up for the big day, with live music from the Mariachi Rock Trio and a fun range of themed food and drink; pavlova jugs, Bloody Bogans, green-and-gold shots and kangaroo tacos to name a few. 

Fireworks and DJ Havana Brown for NSW Australia Day Spectacular
Darling Harbour is putting on a free show from 7pm–9pm this Australia Day. Expect fireworks and a live performance from DJ Havana Brown as well as the official NSW Australia Day ceremony. For kids, there’s a circus playground at Palm Grove, with juggling, hula-hoop and stilt-walking lessons. 

Reinvented Aussie drinks and live music at The Charing Cross Hotel
The Charing Cross Hotel is planning an Australia Day based around the legendary Chiko Roll. Head chef Stephen Scott has prepared a modern twist on the favourite called, The Charo. It will have further specials with an Australian flair and cocktails based around classic Australian drinks. Local live bands will play over the whole long weekend.

Full-Party at GOODGOD on Australia Day Eve
Goodgod is throwing one hell of a party on Sunday, featuring live sets from B Wise, Marky Vaw and Booby baby aka b00bjob, and DJ sets from One Day’s Joyride, Adit and Raph, DJ Levins and Captain Franco from Halfway Crooks, Jayteehazard, Mike Who and Batesy. It starts at 10pm, make sure to RSVP.

Originally published on Broadsheet