Smoking Ceremony

Smoking Ceremony is finished


26 January 2018
10:00am – 4:00pm


Campbells Cove
Circular Quay NSW

Smoking ceremonies are an ancient custom among Aboriginal Australians in which native plants are burnt to produce smoke to ward off bad spirits, acknowledge ancestors and pay respect to the land and sea of country. The smoke is believed to have healing and cleansing properties.

Other information

Accessible event

$Free access

Visit Campbell's Cove to learn more about Aboriginal culture and enjoy performances throughout the day.

This interactive experience includes contemporary Aboriginal singer-songwriter performances, face painting, traditional and modern dance and rotating Didgeridoo masters.

Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe, winners of the 2016 National Aboriginal Dance Rites contest, are the caretakers of the fire on Australia Day around Sydney Harbour.


In the video below, listen to Yuin Elder Uncle Max Harrison and Yuin man Dean Kelly talk about the meaning and significance of a Smoking Ceremony. To turn on captions, use the video controls.


  • On 25 January, the Australia Day 2018 Smoking Ceremony flame will be lit at Belmore Park and tended to overnight at Me-mel (Goat Island). 
  • On 26 January, the fire will be transported from Me-Mel to Marrinawi Cove. A procession will escort the fire from Marrinawi Cove to Walumil lawns at 7:45am for the Wugulora Indigenous Morning Ceremony.
  • At 8:30am, after the Wugulora Indigenous Morning Ceremony, the Smoking Ceremony is shared. One part will travel to the Yabun Festival. The other part will sail to Campbells Cove in the Rocks where all are invited to learn more about local Aboriginal culture and enjoy performances throughout the day.
  • At 7:00pm the Smoking Ceremony boards the Tribal Warrior to take part in Live at the Quay! and the nationally televised concert at the Sydney Opera House
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