WugulOra Morning Ceremony

WugulOra Morning Ceremony is finished

WugulOra Morning Ceremony


26 January 2019
07:45 AM - 08:30 AM


Walumil Lawns at Barangaroo Reserve and Sydney Harbour Bridge, NSW, 2000

Other information

Accessible event

$Free access

One country, one mob. As the sun rises, connect with the world’s oldest living culture. Join the Premier of New South Wales and the Governor of New South Wales to celebrate our traditional custodians, watch Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe perform a smoking ceremony, then sing the national anthem as the Aboriginal and Australian flags are raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

WugulOra, meaning ‘One Mob’, is a special moment to begin Australia Day.

Actor Aaron McGrath will be your Master of Ceremonies as we acknowledge our shared history and the strength and resilience of the world’s oldest living culture.

Witness special performances by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dancers and singers, including Christine Anu and the Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe.

Cleanse the way for new beginnings by taking part in a smoking ceremony, an ancient custom among Aboriginal Australians in which native plants are burnt to produce smoke. In Aboriginal culture, this smoke, dependant on which leaves are used, has different healing and cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits.

Listen as Jason Owen sings the national anthem in English and Eora, the local Aboriginal language. Then watch as the Aboriginal and Australian flags are raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to mark the start of Australia Day.

Before the ceremony

The Australia Day 2019 Smoking Ceremony flame will be lit on 25 January and tended to overnight at Me-mel (Goat Island). The fire will be transported from Me-mel to Marrinawi Cove, Barangaroo by the Tribal Warror. A procession will escort the fire to Walumil lawns, Barangaroo, at 7:45 AM on 26 January 2019.

After the ceremony

After the WugulOra Morning Ceremony, embers from the flame will be taken to the Yabun Festival in Victoria Park, Camperdown. The remaining embers will sail to Tallawoladah Stage in The Rocks, where they will be used to smoke and cleanse the crowd during the day, before lighting up Circular Quay for the Australia Day Live Concert in the evening.

Watch on TV or Facebook

Facebook Live

Watch WugulOra live and in full via the official Australia Day Facebook page.


Watch WugulOra live and in full on the ABC News Channel.

Plan ahead

Leave the car at home. Extra public transport services are running to help you travel to and from Australia Day celebrations. Plan your trip at transportnsw.info.

To support the celebrations, road closures will be in place. 

Visit livetraffic.com for details and real-time traffic conditions. For Sydney Harbour special event and safe boating information, visit rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime or call 131 236.

Stay safe

Heatwave conditions are peaking across the Australia Day 2019 long weekend. Check for total fire bans and the fire danger rating in your area.

Be sun safe, eat well, drink plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing for summer weather conditions.

There is no BYO alcohol and no glass allowed at the Rocks, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay, Hickson Road Reserve, Circular Quay East, Darling Harbour, and Bradfield Park in North Sydney. 

Remember, Australia Day is for everyone. Be respectful of people at all times.

Presenting Partners

Major Sponsors