Make Your Australia Day 2018 a Fair Dinkum Ripper
Besides Christmas, New Year’s Eve and possibly your birthday, for many people, Australia Day is the biggest event on the calendar. It’s not a day to give presents and it’s not affiliated with a particular religion. It’s simply a day to celebrate all things ‘Straya’ – all those things that make our sunburnt country unique.
While we’re certainly not complaining about the day off work, being a public holiday in every state and territory, Australia Day is a day that requires planning – no matter how casual a day you plan to have. Many shops close, many of your favourite places to eat and drink may tack on a surcharge, and many popular activities and locations may be packed to the brim. So the key to a fair dinkum ripper Australia Day is to plan ahead – and it just so happens, we’ve compiled our ultimate list of how to do so.
Where to go
Without sounding too much like a cliche, where you decide to spend your Australia Day doesn’t really matter if you’re spending it with a good group of people. But unless you’re happy to laze around at home all day, a little planning ahead can go a long way. Here are our suggestions:
- Hire a boat. A day out on the water with your mates spent fishing, swimming, exploring, eating and drinking – it doesn’t really get much better than that.
- Go to the park. Tell everyone to pack a picnic and get ready for a gorgeous lazy day amongst nature. Even if you live inner city, and it’s more of a nature strip, you can still make it a good day. Just make sure to get there early to “shotgun” your spot.
- Go down the beach. Because nothing says ‘Aussie summer’ quite like a day at one of our spectacular beaches around the nation. Similarly to the park idea, make sure to get there early to nab a good spot.
- Go to your mate’s place (preferably the one that has a pool). Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to go – and we Aussies sure do love a backyard barbecue. If you can convince that one mate who has a pool to play host, that’s a bonus.
What to do
Again, if you’re in good company and have plenty to eat and drink, what you do isn’t so important. But nonetheless, here are our top ideas for what to do on Australia Day:
- Play cricket, of either the wheelie bin or beach kind. Even if you find it boring to watch on TV, a friendly game of cricket is way more fun to play in person – and when you’re in a street or beach environment, it’s also a great way to make new friends
- Create your own countdown. In case you hadn’t heard, Triple J’s Hottest 100 is moving to the 27th of January this year. This iconic countdown has long been a staple playlist for Australia Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own. Create and share your own playlist with all your mates you’ll be celebrating with, and give everyone the option to add their own 2017 and/or Aussie favourites. Then on the big day, everyone’s guaranteed to hear a handful of songs they know and love.
- Celebrate with the community. No matter where you live, Australia Day celebrations will be all around, with plenty of community events to participate in at your leisure. Whether you’re watching the citizenship ceremonies, helping out with a community barbecue or simply walking around and taking in all the festivities, if you’re up for a day out, you’re bound to have a good time.
- Do nothing but eat and drink. Because let’s not forget that it’s a public holiday, and for many of us, a chance to catch up on some R&R. If all you feel like doing is lazing about with a cold drink, delicious food and decent company, hey – that’s totally fine by us.
What to eat
Speaking of delicious food, a big part of Australia Day is the eating – as after all, us Aussies sure do like a good feed! You might already have an idea of what to prepare, but just in case, here are our must-have foods for Australia Day:
- Barbecue. That one word says it all really – snags, rissoles, chops, corn… anything you can grill really. Including pineapple.
- Cheese and kabana. No matter how many times you’ve seen it at a party, a platter of cheese cubes and kabana will never go astray – it’s one of those classics that pretty much everyone loves grazing from.
- Seafood. 26 January is generally a hot one, wherever you are in the country – and fresh, delicious seafood complements the weather perfectly. Just make sure to stock up on your prawns ahead of time, as this Aussie favourite has a habit of selling out.
- Lamingtons and Tim Tams. And Minties and Fantales and all the rest. Australia has produced some fantastic homegrown goodies over the years, and there’s literally never been a better day to celebrate that!
- Fruit. Australia Day doesn’t have to be all about over-indulging, and as a nation we’re pretty lucky to have access to the fresh and colourful fruits that we do. Plus icy cold fruit is totally welcomed on a hot day like Australia Day!
What to drink
And of course, let’s not pretend that Australia Day isn’t a big day for drinking either. It is, after all, a day off for many, and this year it’s also the beginning of a long weekend – so we’re certainly not going to judge if you feel like celebrating with a few bevvies (responsibly of course). Here’s what we recommend:
- Local craft beers and ciders. Because there’s nothing more Australian than good old Aussie beer! We’ve come a long way over the last few years, and there are many craft beers and ciders out there for those who don’t typically drink beer. Make sure to check out companies like Booze Bud in advance too – they’re a great way to stock up for the big day and save!
- Aussie wine. We’re known as one of the best wine-producing countries in the world, so that’s extra reason to celebrate with a glass or two! Similarly to the beers and ciders, wines can also be stocked up on in advance, so make sure to check out online companies like Just Wines Australia to see how you can save.
- Plenty of water. Without wanting to sound like a drag, the combination of booze and sun can often cut Australia Day short – so make sure to stay on your game by drinking plenty of icy cold, fresh Aussie water.
What not to forget
Last but not least, to make sure this Australia Day truly is a ripper, we’ve kindly written a list of things to NOT forget to pack this year:
- Sunscreen. Most of us spend Australia Day outdoors, and all Aussies know just how strong that sun can be. Slop it on to avoid getting a nasty red souvenir from the day.
- Power bank. This is more for those who’ll be spending the day outdoors, but if you’re planning on streaming music from your phone all day, you’ll definitely be wanting a quality power bank. Because nothing puts a dampener on the day like the music coming to an end!
- Ice. Whether you’re using it to cool down your drink or throw it down people’s backs, it’s going to sell out fast. If you can make your own, or buy it ahead of time and store it, you’ll be right.
- Paper towels. It’s not that we want to sound like your mum… but no one has ever said “man, I wish we hadn’t brought those spare paper towels along today”!