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7 must-knows for celebrating Australia Day when travelling Down Under

Whip out your eskys, budgie smugglers and vegemite, because ‘Straya Day is upon us!

Yep, in the blink of an eye Christmas has flown by and January 26 is fast approaching. If you’ve never experienced Australia Day (or even heard of it for that matter) and are wondering what the fuss is about, then fear not because I’ve got you covered.

Growing up here, Australia Day has always one of the most memorable days of the year. Not only is it a public holiday (you little ripper!) but it normally goes off like a cut snake. Think of every cliché you could dream up of Australia and cram it into one day. I’m talking Goon of Fortune, cockroach racing, budgie smugglers, riding motorised eskys (cooler box), and more snags on the barbie than you could possibly dream of.

If you’re travelling Down Under and this is your first ‘Straya Day I’ve got your 7 must-knows to help you get amongst the action.

1. Hit the beach!

There are SO many events happening around the country but with Jan 26 falling in the middle of summer it’s generally a scorcher (hot as!). Join the rest of the country as we try to avoid the heat and hit the beach!

Grab a $15 Kmart inflatable, squeeze into some Budgie Smugglers (speedos) and join in the festivities.

Hot tip: Grab a cheap cricket set and play some Aussie style beach cricket! Learn how here. 

2. Chuck a ‘snag’ on the barbie!

Nothing says ‘Straya day without some good old classic Australian food, and no true celebration is complete without an iconic sausage sizzle. Whether you’re planning to be by the beach, in a park, or at someone’s house – pack the esky, crank up the BBQ, throw some snags (sausages) on and enjoy!

Hot tip: If you’re looking for some Aussie themed snack ideas check out this list of must-try aussie food with everything from TimTams to Iced VoVo’s, vegemite and more!

3. Goon of Fortune

Ah Goon of Fortune. This traditional Aussie drinking game is a classic, and no Australia Day experience would be complete without it!

For those who haven’t heard of it yet, Goon of Fortune is a drinking game played in the backyard on the Aussie invented Hills-Hoist washing line. Loosely based on the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ game show, the game has become an Aussie custom that’s played in thousands of backyards across the country.

Scratch up on how to play here and remember to drink responsibly!

4. Nollsie – the man, the myth, the legend

Nollsie, aka Shannon Noll was the runner up on the very first season of Australian Idol. He’s an Aussie icon turned forgotten star – and has become the butt of national jokes. Still surfacing in trolling memes and fan pages today, absolute legend Shannon Noll is definitely one to celebrate on Australia Day.

Be sure to stream the iconic cover, What About Me?, 2004 on January 26!

Hot tip: Check out his Facebook page and follow the comments.

5. Dress to impress

If there’s one day of the year to get crazy with an Aussie outfit, this is it! Head to the shops (the bargain/discount shops are general the best for this!) and pimp out your outfit with a fully Australian-inspired-outfit.

For this, more is definitely more. Go nuts friends!

6. Aussie Anthems

What better way to celebrate ‘Starya Day than with a few absolute bangers. Aside from Shannon Noll (obviously) there is actually a few brilliant singers from Down Under (insert gasps here).

So sit back, relax, and stream away with tunes from Sia, Jimmy Barnes, AC/DC, Cold Chisel, Hilltop Hoods or even Gotye.

Spotify users – try Aussie BBQ, or G’day Australia. Spotify Here, or even (my personal favourite) bogan aussie songs. 

Apple Music-ers– try 100 essential Australian Songs or for something more chilled Aussie Pub Rock Essentials.

Hot tip: For the true-blue experience, bust out your vocal chords and learn the iconic AC/DC parody – ‘It’s a Long Way to the Shop’

7. Last but certainly not least: be respectful

While for many January 26 means a day off work and getting sloshed on goon, it’s important to acknowledge that for a lot of people it holds a lot more significance than just a sausage in bread and a sack of wine. While we’re a young country, Australia has a history much like any other and no matter how you celebrate, Australia Day is a time to respect, acknowledge and reflect on the past. If you’re looking to attend a more traditional ceremony, check out the official Australia Day website as there is plenty on. 

We’re a vibrant, multicultural country so whatever you may choose to do, make sure to join the festivities this January 26. It’d be un-Australian to not join in!

So scratch up on some Nollsie memes and come say G’day this Australia Day!


by Jaimmi McGregor

Digital Marketing chicka for Wake Up! Serial choc-a-holic, Dad joke enthusiast and travel lover from Australia. Follow along on @jaimmimcgregor_

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