What’s On? Australia Day in Byron Bay
Commemorate Australia Day 2016 this year by taking a long weekend in Byron Bay, and you’ll be able to combine sun, surf and a celebration for the national holiday. Australia Day, which takes place this year on Tuesday, January 26, typically features an awards ceremony as well as other fun activities such as BBQs, live music and children’s entertainment—and Byron Bay won’t disappoint.
With Australia Day falling on Tuesday this year, it’s easy to put in for one day off and gain a four-day weekend. Spend that long weekend in Byron Bay taking advantage of the chance to enjoy all the excellent things to do in Byron Bay. The summer weather will aid you in your quest to try out the Byron Bay essentials, including the beaches, surfing and a walk up to the Cape Byron lighthouse. Especially if this is your first time in Byron Bay, check out our blog post about what to do in 24 hours in Byron Bay—it’s too short to capture everything, but it’s a start!—and try to check off many of these must-dos.
For the actual Australia Day, you’ll find lots of activities going on in the Byron Bay area.
Breakfast – Come down to Byron Bay’s most popular beach, Main Beach, and grab some delicious brekkie and live music, starting at 7:30 am. This event, put on by the Rotary Club of Byron Bay, will provide free Australian flags and food to attendees. Taking place next to Byron Bay Surf Club, the morning event will run through 11 am.
Official Australia Day Ceremony – The official holiday ceremony, where the community awards will be given out, begins at 11 am at the Byron Bay Services Club, located at 132 Jonson St. After an address about Australia Day, the following awards will be given:
- Citizen of the Year
- Young Citizen of the Year
- Senior Sports Person (16 years and over)
- Junior Sports Person (under 16 years)
- Community Event of the Year
- Volunteer of the Year
- Environmental Volunteer Project of the Year
The ceremony is scheduled to be complete by 1 pm.
Afternoon Byron Bay activities: There are a variety of things to do on Australia Day 2016 in the Byron Bay area during the afternoon and evening hours. In Byron Bay proper, there will be a Celebration of the Survival of Indigenous Culture at Main Beach that will feature dancing, music and kids activities. This event runs from 11 am to 2:30 pm.
Suffolk Park, just a short drive from the main drag of Byron Bay, will hold a sausage sizzle and provide attendees with cake, drinks and free Australian flags among other things between noon and 5 pm. If it happens to be rather hot that day, you might head over to Mullumbimby where a BBQ is planned at the local pool to celebrate Australia Day from 3 to 6 pm. Or perhaps you might like to listen to a Ukulele band and eat supper so take the less than 20-minute drive over to Bangalow.
You should note that the annual Byron Bay Australia Day Paddle won’t take place this year. The event previously raised money for local charities and typically involved more than 1,000 participants. Organisers hope to have the popular event return in 2017. However if you’re looking to take part in popular water pursuits, check out our guide to those types of fun activities.
Book Your Australia Day Holiday at Broken Head
Celebrate the national holiday, Australia Day, this year by using it to give yourself a well-deserved long weekend in Byron Bay. Keep costs low by booking your stay at Broken Head Holiday Park where you can choose anything from an unpowered campsite, to a beach house. Our location makes it easy to join in on the festivities in the area for Australia Day as well as take in the Byron Bay essentials.