How to spend Australia Day in Sydney – 26 January

Longing for a long weekend? Back from your Christmas break and already need a holiday? Turn the Australia Day long weekend into the refreshing break you need at Coogee Beach.

Plus, book before 22 January and save up to 35%* off with our Easy Like Summer sale.


Australia Day on 26 January marks the anniversary of the arrival of the British First Fleet in 1788, though this symbolic day represents much more. It is a day of reflection and to celebrate the diversity of modern Australia, our early history, and the significance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people to our country and cultural identity.

Here are our top tips on how to enjoy your Australia Day in Sydney.

WugulOra Indigenous Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve

From 7:45am to 8:30am, witness a mesmerising morning ceremony honouring Australia’s Indigenous ancestors, with Indigenous singers and dancers performing traditional song and dance as the Aboriginal flag and the Australian flag are both raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Australia Day Harbour Parade

Grab a spot by beautiful Sydney Harbour to see the display of colourful of boats all striving for the ‘Best Dressed Boat’ honour. Departing from Milsons Point at 12:45pm, before cruising a loop around the harbour and finishing at Athol Bay by 2:15pm where the winners will be announced.

Australia Day concert – live at the Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House Forecourt will host some of the nation’s most accomplished musicians including Guy Sebastian, John Paul Young, Casey Donovan, Marcia Hines, Christine Anu, Dami Im, Anthony Callea and more. Held from 7:30pm to 9:30pm for a performance that will also be aired live on Channel 10. A ballot form will offer tickets to the lucky winners. Enter here!

Cinema under the Stars

Catch a film from what has been described as ‘the world’s most beautiful cinema’. Over the Australia Day long weekend St George OpenAir Cinema at Mrs Macquarie Point will screen the following movies:

  • Friday 25th – Crazy Rich Asians
  • Sunday 27th – A Star is Born
  • Monday 28th – Destroyer

A kaleidoscope of colour at Sydney Festival

Each January, Sydney transforms into a bold, colourful celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus and art with both free and ticketed events for all ages. 2019 dates are 9-27 January.

Highlights on the 2019 program:

  • Pigalle – a disco-burlesque-cabaret spectacular set in the decadent Paris neighbourhood of Pigalle.
  • A Ghost in my Suitcase – a magical adventure about family, secrets and ghosts, adapted from Gabrielle Wang’s award-winning book.
  • In The Heights – Lin Manuel Miranda’s (Hamilton, Moana) quadruple Tony-award winning musical with salsa rhythms.

Free saltwater therapy

Start the day right with a rejuvenating swim at Coogee Beach, renowned for its calm, protected waters and lifeguard patrolled waters. The spectacular Wylie’s Baths ocean tidal pools are also just around the corner from the hotel, and a perfect spot to spend the day with a picnic basket full of Australian goodies. Pass the lamingtons…


To book your Sydney seaside break, staying at Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, contact our friendly team on +61 2 9315 7600 or at reservations.crowneplazacoogee@ihg.com