But spare a thought for the people who already happened to be here when the boats turned up. Unsurprisingly, they’re less keen to celebrate the day.
Most Aussies, nonetheless, will follow the time-honoured tradition of hitting the beach, kicking back on their Aussie flag towel and listening to the Triple J Hottest 100 on the radio. All while getting smashed, naturally.
Iconic Australia Day event when Sydney’s ferries race head-to-head from Circular Quay to Shark Island and back to the Sydney Harbour Bridge finish line. 11am.
More Boat Shenanigans
It’s not just the ferries that have all the fun. Events on the water throughout the day include the Tug and Yacht Ballet, the Tall Ships Race and the Australia Day Regatta. It starts with the Wugulora Indigenous Ceremony by the Opera House at 7.30am.
Harbourside Party & Fireworks
One of the main Sydney celebrations is in Darling Harbour. There will be circus acts, roving performers, music stages and then the official ceremony and fireworks display. Noon-9pm.
Australia Day Concert
Free (advance ballot)
Sydney Opera House forecourt. Day and evening shows. Acts include The Wiggles, Jessica Mauboy and Justice Crew.
Australia Day BBQ
The Paragon, Circular Quay.
Macquarie Street and College Street. More than 700 classic cars, buses, trucks and fire engines line up. 9am-5pm.
Vintage Bus Service
Gold coin donation
Get around the CBD, between Circular Quay and Central Station, onboard the fleet of special vintage buses. 10.30am-5pm.
Australia Day in The Rocks
Head to George Street, First Fleet Park and Atherden Street. You’ll find markets, two music stages and even part of George Street covered in AstroTurf to transform the CBD’s busiest thoroughfare into a games lawn. 10am-6pm.
Stacks of family-style entertainment and a public citizenship ceremony in Hyde Park. 9am-5pm. Noon will see the RAAF jets fly past.
Discover the dinosaurs and other animals that call the College Street museum home, for half the usual price. 9.30am-5pm.
Great Australian Swim Final
Join the 1,000 people expected to swim the 2.2km route around Farm Cove, starting at the Sydney Opera House. You need to register online first. 8.30am-10.30am.
Red Berets Parachute Display
See the soldiers fly into Circular Quay, complete with flares and a giant Aussie flag. 2pm.
AFC Asian Cup Semi-Final
It’s getting to the business end of Asia’s biggest international football tournament, being hosted by Australia throughout January. Kickoff is at 8pm at the 83,500-capacity Stadium Australia in Olympic Park.
Rainbow Serpent Festival
This four-day psytrance festival in Lexton (starting on Friday 23 January) celebrates music and the arts with an eclectic mix of 100-plus bands and DJs.
Australia Day Party
Lucky Coq, 179 Chapel St, Windsor, Melbourne.
Australian Open Tennis
It’s the start of the fourth round of the year’s first Grand Slam tennis event. Expect massive support for any Aussie survivors.
Australia Day Fireworks
Details are yet to be announced but expect Melbourne’s main celebrations to go off with a bang from New Quay Promenade, by the Etihad Stadium.
Federation Vehicle Display
Kings Domain in Melbourne will be playing host to more than 450 veteran, vintage and classic vehicles throughout the day.
Brisbane’s South Bank Parklands will be taken over by music stages, culinary delights, market stalls and fireworks from Friday 23 to Monday 26 January.
Epic organised club crawl taking in five venues. Includes food, VIP entry and plenty of party games and entertainment.
Australia Day Celebrations
Check out the Whitsunday Sailing Club in Airlie Beach for plenty of live music and all-round merriment.
Catch the main show from 9pm (but get there earlier). The fireworks go up over Lake Burley Griffin, with the best vantage points being Regatta Point, the lawns of the National Library and Rond Terrace.
Australia Day in the Park
Head to Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park for music, rides, markets and plenty of entertainment.
Australia Day in the City
Join crowds of 40,000 in Adelaide’s Elder Park. It evolves from a giant street parade into a concert and then fireworks.
Tandanya Survival Day
Australia Day isn’t celebrated by everyone. Many Aboriginal people see it more as Survival Day or Invasion Day. Head to Semaphore, in Adelaide, for this day of music, culture and protest.
One of the stranger ways to celebrate Australia’s national holiday. Head to the Port Lincoln foreshore, from Friday 23 to Monday 26 January for events that include the tuna toss.
Rides, music and entertainment at Sir James Mitchell Park, South Perth Foreshore. The fireworks start at 8pm. 2pm-9pm.
Indian Ocean Fireworks
Head to Bathers Beach, Fremantle, for music and plenty more entertainment from 3pm. The fireworks get going at 8pm.