Proud Australians Celebrate Australia Day 2016 – Everyone, Everywhere

Today proud Australians came together to celebrate Australia Day 2016 and this year’s theme Australia Day - Everyone, Everywhere was embraced across the state with events that celebrated the many cultures that make up Australia.


Early morning swimmers made a splash at the Great Sydney Swim, while P&O Cruises joined in the celebrations bringing four of the world’s most impressive cruise ships, Pacific Aria, Pacific Eden, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl into the harbour.

The much loved Ferrython saw Sydney’s beloved First Fleet ferries dressed and decorated to the nines as they made waves in their final dash to reach the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Salute to Australia at midday included six choirs around Sydney Harbour sing the national anthem as our armed forces combined efforts to pay tribute to our nation.

Front and centre of the Salute to Australia was the Australian Navy’s largest flagship, the newly commissioned HMAS Adelaide, along with a 21 Gun Salute and aerial flyover by RAAF Fast Jets.

The middle of the harbour played host to a graceful set of Svitzer Tugs, East Sail Yachts and helicopter squirrels dance for the popular Tug and Yacht Ballet, set to the music of Leo Delibes’ Pizzicato from the ballet, Sylvia, demonstrating an amazing display of nautical manoeuvring to a musical score.

For those who preferred to nestle in for the day and have the action come to them, the Cruising Concerts made their way around Sydney Harbour, dropping in on popular locations including Bradfield Park, Blues Point Reserve, Overseas Passenger Terminal, the Sydney Opera House and Barangaroo Reserve.

Entertaining the crowds on the Cruising Concert stages was The Enormous Horns, an eight piece all singing and all dancing party band and Junkyard Beats, creating rhythms from around the globe by using everything from plastic buckets, kitchen utensils and angle grinders.

As we move into the afternoon, the Tall Ships Race took to the harbour to compete in a race from Bradleys Head to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, followed by the world’s oldest annually conducted sailing event, the 180th Australia Day Regatta.

Celebrations then turned to the skies for the Qantas flyover while the Russian Roolettes dazzled spectators with their aerobatic display and the Red Berets marvellous parachute display over Sydney Harbour.

Boaties showed their true Aussie colours as they toured Sydney Harbour for the Australia Day Harbour Parade before flocking to Athol Bay.

The end of the day ended in a bang with P&O Cruises hosting a fireworks display off a barge in the inner harbour.


Around Sydney Harbour spectators could view the special WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve which acknowledged Australia’s Traditional Custodians.

The ceremony included raising the Aboriginal flag and the Australian flag on the Sydney Harbour Bridge in honour of our nation’s First Peoples, along with a performance by Jessica Mauboy of the national anthem in Sydney Aboriginal language and in English.

More than 500 people, including children from the NSW Public Schools Choir, participated in an Aboriginal Smoking Ceremony under the guidance of Aboriginal Elders.

With the smoking ceremony taking place around the harbour, this traditional cleansing ritual acknowledged our ancestors and paid respect to the land and sea of Country, as well as embracing the many different cultures that make Australia what it is today.

Barangaroo Reserve saw spectators witness the culmination and demolition of Olivier Grossetete’s month-long cardboard construction the Ephemeral City and Shaun Gladwell’s latest video artwork, Skateboarding v’s Minimalism.

The Overseas Passenger Terminal was a great place for families to chill-out and take advantage of the action on Sydney Harbour. With entertainment, food and the incredible waterside location, the Overseas Passenger Terminal proved to be a great vantage point for the day’s festivities.

The Lord Mayor’s Citizenship Ceremony took place at the Overseas Passenger Terminal to welcome our newest Australians from 20 different countries. Across the state, over 3,000 people became new citizens from over 100 countries. Around the corner at Hickson Road Reserve, KIIS FM on the Harbour gave spectators the best views of Sydney Harbour from the giant KIIS 1065 swing, complete with a photo booth, fairy floss and the KIIS street team.

Sunset at Nawi Cove at Barangaroo Reserve provided the opportunity to enjoy the Nawi Sunset Sounds performances on Dukes Pier. The three-hour line-up featured some of your favourite young Australian entertainers, with roving theatre performances around the cove.

A special Sunset Ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve marked the end of the day to say goodbye to grandfather - the Sun - in a traditional Aboriginal Sunset Ceremony.

Darling Harbour was the spot to be with the best in home-grown music, dance and entertainment. The official NSW Australia Day Ceremony closed with an amazing Australia Day Spectacular, with a breathtaking display of pyrotechnics at Cockle Bay, set to a soundtrack specially produced and performed by Sneaky Sound System.


The iconic Sydney Opera House once again hosted some of Australia’s most talented artists on Australia Day, with two free concerts on the forecourt, The Wiggles Australia Day Concert andAustralia Day 2016 – Live at Sydney Opera House.

The event was brought to you by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

As part of their 25th anniversary celebrations, The Wiggles performed their first concert of the year at The Wiggles Australia Day Concert. Families joined in singing along with their favourite Wiggle as well as Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus and Captain Feathersword.

The evening included a tribute to Australia, with Australia Day Creative Director, John Foreman, bringing together a collection of Australia’s brightest performers for Australia Day 2016 – Live at Sydney Opera House, including host Grant Denyer, Jessica Mauboy, Justice Crew, Kate Ceberano, Thirsty Merc, Cyrus, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Greta Bradman, Roy and H.G. and Bachelor Girl.

The Australia Day at the Sydney Opera House 2016 also aired live and exclusive on TEN at 7.30pm AEDT.

The city wasn’t the only place people were celebrating – Australia Day Ambassadors visited different communities across the state to celebrate Australia Day in their own unique ways.

To see how Australia celebrated Australia Day 2016 and relive all the fun and festivities, visit or jump on Facebook - AustraliaDay26, Twitter - AustraliaDay or just search for #AUSDAY.



Men’s Open


  • 1st – Kurt Fearnley, Australia, 20;35
  • 2nd – Kota Hokinoue, Japan, 21.35
  • 3rd – Sho Watanabe, Japan, 21.36


Women’s Open


  • 1st – Manuela Schar, Sweden, 25.46
  • 2nd – Madison de Rozario, Australia, 27.07
  • 3rd – Angela Ballard, Australia, 27.19




  • 1st – Pierre Fairbank, France, 21.39
  • 2nd – Sucman Hong, South Korea, 23.40
  • 3rd – Hitoshi Matsunaga, Japan, 23.43




  • 1st – Brad Temberton, Australia, 28.59
  • 2nd – Julie Charlton, Australia, 38.51
  • 3rd – Gregory Luff, Australia, 33.33



  • 1st Place Men’s – Kai Van Kool
  • 1 st Place Women’s – Heather Campbell


  • Meriton


  • Southern Swan


  • 1st Place – It’s Alive – Australiana Home Amongst The Gum Trees
  • 2nd Place – Buccaneer - Australian
  • 3rd Place – Wanderlust – Green n Gold with Aus Flags

The Australia Day Council of NSW would like to thank all the Australia Day sponsors including: NSW Government, Destination NSW, Australia Post, City of Sydney, Port Authority of NSW and P&O Cruises, as well as all the Government agencies, venues and local government councils who help to make Australia Day happen across New South Wales.


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