We may have only just returned from the Christmas/New Year’s break, but we’ve been gifted with yet another reason to sit back and relax in the sun, and it would be such a shame to waste it. We’re sharing all of the best ways to spend your Australia Day long weekend (and chucking a few prawns on the barbie is just one of them!)

AROUND THE HOUSE

Australia is without a doubt a sporting nation, and there are plenty of sporting events to watch this weekend to get you feeling all patriotic. The first of two Sri Lanka test matches continues into this weekend, promising plenty of entertainment from now until January 28. The final days of the Australian Open will give you yet another reason to stay close to the telly on Australia Day, with the world-class tennis event coming to a close on Sunday January 27. And, for the surfing obsessed, while January 26 may mark the final day of the Carve Pro in NSW, it kicks off the Qualifying Series leg of the 2019 Australasian World Surf League promising plenty of frothy action over the next few months.

If you’re not into sport, throw some blow-ups into the pool (or blow up your pool, if need be) and sit back and relax. Australia’s just as much about fun in the sun as it is about sport, after all…

AROUND TOWN

From Southbank…

Australia Day on the Green will kick off at River Quay at 1pm, promising soulful performances from talented local artists – Birdman Randy, the Ivory Street Preachers and special guest DJs, just to name a few – until 5.30pm. Then at 7.30pm, the Australia Day Fireworks will light the night with a dazzling display of green and gold fireworks, complete with pyrotechnic jet ski performers who will launch fireworks while they perform in front of the Promenade. Seriously, this Australia Day at South Bank is not one to miss.

To Southport…

From 4pm until 8pm, the Broadwater Parklands will come alive with the ultimate free event! Australia Day at Broadwater Parklands is set to feature the winners of the Gold Coast Music Awards’ Best Live Act award, Mason Rock Band, as well as an impressive line-up of local talent for you to groove along to. Refuel with grub from a selection of food trucks, or enjoy some family fun in the Aussie Activities Zone. Then, at 8pm, the free event concludes with a fireworks display sure to rival New Year’s Eve.

And, make sure you stop by the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre during the day for their classic Aussie pool party! For just the normal admission charge, you and the fam can enjoy an overflowing program of fun activities from 11am until 2pm, including thong throwing, novelty races, dive bomb competitions, giant inflatables, games, giveaways, sausage sizzle, free fitness classes (8am and 10am) and so much more!

And even more…

NightQuarter is going all out for their Australia Day celebration this year – a kind of ‘last hurrah’ for the Gold Coast institution, which is sadly closing its doors early February – with fun and feasts for the whole family! Take part in cockroach races, thong and dunny roll throwing, lamington eating and more, while filling up on Aussie-classics-with-a-twist, like Golden Gaytime cocktails, Tim Tam cronuts, fairy bread donuts and Caramello Koala jelly cups, just to name a few. There will also be talented performers and plenty of reasons to dance!

The Craft House is hosting an All Aussie BBQ, and you’re invited! Feast on snags, lamb, prawn kebabs, pies and chips, and wash it all down with an ice cold beer or chardy. Then, try your luck at the thong throwing competition or test your skills in the pie eating comp!

And, at The Oasis, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into! The Loose Moose is offering up an all-Australian special, with the Green Beacon Brewing’s Mango Milkshake Indian Pale Ale pairing perfectly with shrimps on the barbie – get chargrilled local prawns with smokey chilli mayo and fresh lemon, just for 24 bucks! Also on the Aus Day menu, the skyscraper Aussie Burger (made with Byron Bay beef, onion, pickles, tomato, crisp lettuce, beetroot, pineapple, smoky bacon, cheddar, secret sauce and an over easy egg) and a Pavlova Mess, with homemade meringue, whipped cream, Queensland mangoes, strawberries, kiwi fruit, blueberries, passionfruit and raspberry dust. Wash it down with a Lamington Cocktail (vodka, white cacao, dark cacao, chamomile tea syrup, sugar, egg white, pineapple juice, chocolate and shredded coconut) and you’re good to go. You can also head to nearby Elk Espresso for their Native Waffle – peppered rhubarb gel, wattle seed ice cream, honey thyme glossed macadamias, blackberries and white chocolate goodness.

And, of course, check out our What’s On listing for plenty of other fun things to do this Aussie Day weekend!

BEACH + BARBIE

It’s the ultimate Aussie beach day – lounging on the sand in the shade of your beach umbrella, only getting up for a splash in the surf or a spot of beach cricket. Then, when the smell of smoky sausages becomes too much to bear, you chuck a few snags, patties and even a pineapple or two on the barbie and consider lunch sorted. Sounds like a dream, right?

TRADITIONS

Do you have any Australia Day traditions? Whether it’s a catch up with family and friends on the beach, an outdoor lunch in your tackiest Aussie t-shirts and bucket hats or just spending all day by the pool, this year is as good as any to start a new Australia Day tradition!

FRIENDLY COMPETITION

With Aussie mateship comes a bit of friendly rivalry, and there’s no better way to battle it out than with a good old-fashioned thong toss. Whether you’re throwing them near a flag/marker or into a bin, a thong toss is the traditional Australian display of strength and ability, and the only way to determine who has the right to the last snag on the barbie.

For those seeking a more complex sport, beach cricket is just perfect – requiring all of the skill of regular cricket with the added challenge of running on (scalding hot) sand, beach cricket is a favourite amongst Australian families for its ability to strengthen some bonds and shatter others. But don’t fret – all grudges are washed away with a post-match frolic in the ocean.

AUSSIE TUNES 

From Daryl Braithwaite to Shannon Noll, Australian musicians truly are the cream of the crop. We’ve done the hard work for you at collected the best Aussie music icons to provide the perfect soundtrack for your Saturday.

Anastasia White

Anastasia White  

Anastasia (‘Anny’ to her friends and family, thanks to some nickname experimentation in year 4 that unfortunately stuck) is a born-and-bred Brisbanite with a love of coffee and her cat, Olive. Having recently finished a degree in journalism, Anastasia loves being able to learn and write about so many different topics for a variety of audiences.