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What’s On? Australia Day in Byron Bay

What’s On? Australia Day in Byron Bay

Australia Day 2018 falls on a Friday, so it’d be the perfect opportunity to get away and schedule a long weekend holiday. Combine sun, surf and the celebration of our national holiday into your plans. Byron Bay area festivities feature a breakfast, community awards and live entertainment.

So, go for it and enjoy that holiday you’ve been needing by taking advantage of 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.

Celebrate Australia Day

For the actual Australia Day, you’ll find lots of activities going on in the Byron Bay area.


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.

Another breakfast option is in Brunswick Heads at the Housie Tent from 7:30 to 10 am. Breakfast will be $5 (with vegetarian and gluten-free options), and the activities include a sing along and live music.

Australia Day Paddle

Image source: Australia Day Paddle

According to the Byron Shire Council website, the popular Byron Bay Australia Day Paddle will take place in 2018. Registration costs $10 and is available from 7 am to 9 am. You can register at the Byron Bay Surf Club from 7 to 9 am or 8-9 am at Wategos Beach, where the paddle starts. The paddle starts at 10 am and takes participants from Wategos to the Byron Bay Surf Living Saving Club on Main Beach. Each year more than 1,000 people typically participant.

However, you won’t find any information on the Australia Day Paddle official website as it hasn’t been updated since the 2017 event. You also can’t purchase your registration online as the link is for 2017. Best bet is if you’re interested in participating, get in touch with the Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club.

Post-paddle, the SLSC hosts a BBQ and refreshments.

If you’re interested in more Byron Bay water activities or you miss out on the paddle, check our guide to these fun things to do.

Official Australia Day Ceremony

The official holiday ceremony, where the community awards will be given out, begins at 11 am at the Ocean Shores Country Club. After an address about Australia Day, the following awards will be given:

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Young Citizen of the Year
  • Sports Person of the Year
  • 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. Note: This ceremony is by invitation only this year. But you can join in the fun by attending the Aussie BBQ sponsored by the Ocean Shores Community Association. See below.

Afternoon Byron Bay activities

Australia Day on the beach.

There are a variety of things to do on Australia Day 2018 in the Byron Bay area during the afternoon 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 3 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 4 pm in Gaggin Park.

The Aussie BBQ, held by the Ocean Shores Community Association, will be from 4 to 6 pm at the Ocean Shores Public School. The event will feature a free sausage sizzle, ice pops, cake, refreshments and Australian flags. Activities available range from live music and a singalong to a rainforest walk and mullet throwing championship.

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 weekend in Byron Bay. Keep costs low by booking your stay at Broken Head Holiday Park where you can choose budget accommodation from an unpowered campsite, to a beach shack. 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.

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