Sydney preview

Australia

Public Holidays

New Years Day 1 January

Many people stay up late New Years Eve to celebrate and count down to the new year. Sydney comes alive News Years Eve with parties and fireworks, with an especially extravagant fireworks display along Sydney Harbour and the Harbour Bridge. Thousands of people start gathering early in the day around the harbour for a good spot to have a picnic and watch the fireworks. New Years Day is a relaxed affair and many Sydneysiders spend it at the beach or at barbecues.

Australia Day 26 January

January 26, 1788 is the date Captain Arthur Phillip, along with 11 convict ships from Great Britain, first arrived in Sydney Cove. Sydney was established as a penal colony by the British. Sydney Harbour was already home to the indigenous Cadigal people and many of their ancestors and supporters view this day as a day of invasion or survival as nearly all of them were slain or wiped out by disease. This happened across the country. In early 2009 the Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, apologised to indigenous Australians on behalf of the Australian government and Australia now embarks on the slow process of reconciliation. Australia Day could be seen as taking on a more unified meaning moving forward.

There are many activities on Australia Day to participate in around Sydney, a great deal of them are outdoors, family-friendly and free. You can find out what's on by checking the links below closer to the date.

Easter Holiday

Easter is the most significant event in the Christian calendar. However, not all Australians are Christian nor celebrate this holiday for its religious context. There are 4.1 million people in Sydney, half of which do not identify as Christian.

What is very common during this holiday is the giving of chocolate eggs, rabbits and bilbys, particularly on Easter Sunday. Rabbits are a pest in Australia and so since 1994 there has been heavy campaigning to replace the Easter Rabbit with the Easter Bilby, which is native to Australia, and sadly endangered. Bilby's look similar to rabbits, with long ears and are a similar size. Bakeries sell hot cross buns over the Easter period. Hot cross buns are sweet breads with sultanas, …