Australia Day In Sydney 2020 Forecast: 70% Chance Of Showers & Chance Of Thunderstorm

THIS IS THE FINAL UPDATE. NO UPDATES WILL BE MADE DURING THE EVENT.

We don’t normally cover the weather forecast in the week prior to Australia Day as the weather is usually near perfect on the day. However, the lead-up to this Australia Day has been anything but normal – tragic bushfires, hazardous air quality & days of poor visibility. Compare all forecasts & current/imminent conditions with historical Australia Day weather data at the bottom of this page.

Weather Warnings

None.

Current Forecast

As of 4:20pm 25 January

  • Minimum Temperature: 23 Degrees Celsius
  • Maximum Temperature: 30 Degrees Celsius
  • General: Shower or two
  • Possible Rainfall: 1 to 6mm
  • Chance Of Any Rain: 70%
  • Fire Danger: Low-Moderate (17%)
  • Sun Protection: Recommended from 9am to 5pm
  • Ultra Violet Index: 12 [Extreme]

Sydney Area Forecast:

Partly cloudy. High (70%) chance of showers, most likely in the afternoon and evening. The chance of a thunderstorm, chiefly in the west. Light winds becoming northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h in the afternoon, then becoming light in the late evening.

Sydney Area Warnings:

None.

Air Quality

You can sign up to an account to get air quality alerts via e-mail or SMS here.

This information is also available by calling the NSW Environment Line:

  • 131 555 (local call cost throughout NSW)
  • (02) 9995 5555 (if calling from outside NSW).

If the predicted Air Quality Index is 100 or more (poor, very poor, or hazardous) an air pollution health alert will be issued.

Air quality index data is based on ‘Sydney East’ region data.

  • Current Air Quality Index (average over past 24 hours): 190 (Very Poor)
  • Australia Day Forecasted Air Quality Index: Fair (67-99 Index)

Disclaimer: The data used in the compilation of this page have undergone only preliminary quality assurance checks. These data may require modification during final stages of validation as a result of calibration changes, power failures, instrument failures etc.

Tips

      • If you’re sensitive to smoke or have a pre-existing condition that could be made worse, please delay coming to the event early.
      • If you suffer from asthma, other respiratory conditions such as chronic bronchitis (also called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD), or cardiovascular disease, make sure you have your reliever medicine handy & take it where necessary.
      • Asthma sufferers need to follow their Asthma Action Plan. 
      • For asthma sufferers, if symptoms get worse, you need to seek medical advice.
      • Don’t smoke indoors.
      • Take public transport.
      • Regularly ventilate your home to remove indoor pollutants and build up of moisture. Turn on exhaust fans, particularly when bathing, showering, cooking, doing laundry and drying clothes.
      • Don’t use wood-fired stoves and wood-burning heaters (fire places) in your home if possible. If you do use a wood-burning heater, follow the recommendations on this factsheet on wood-burning heaters to minimise air pollution
      • Don’t use unflued gas heaters if possible. If you do use an unflued gas heater, follow the recommendations on this factsheet on unflued gas heaters
      • Install a kitchen exhaust fan above your gas cook top if possible
      • Consider limiting burning candles and incense
      • Don’t use ozone generators for managing indoor air pollution or odour problems. Read this factsheet on ozone generators.

Very Poor Air Quality

Sensitive groups include:

  • people with lung disease or heart disease
  • children
  • older adults
  • pregnant women.

Sensitive groups should avoid strenuous outdoor activities

Other adults should reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.

Fair Air Quality

People unusually sensitive to air pollution should reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.

Others are are not likely to be affected when the Air Quality Index is in this range.

  • Visibility

This is the crucial data point as it will give an indication of how well you can see the day’s activities. The most relevant monitoring station (Cook & Phillip Park) is new so there is no comparison to previous data. See note below visibility index average over the past 24 hours.

Visibility is a good indicator for smoke.  While visibility is also affected by dust, the instrument is more sensitive to smoke.

Current Visibility (average over past 24 hours): 26 (Very Good)

Note: The Cook & Phillip Park visibility index has not been available since 3am the 21st of January due to scheduled maintenance of the monitoring station. The next closest ambient air quality monitoring site to there is Rozelle.  Return each day at 4:30pm AEDT to see if it is available again.

Fire Danger

  • Current Fire Danger Rating: Low-Moderate (17%)
  • Tomorrow’s Fire Danger Rating: Low-Moderate (17%)
  • Fire Weather Warnings: None.
  • Total Fire Ban?: None.

There is a precedent from 2003 that fireworks will be cancelled in the event of forecasted extreme/catastrophic (80%+) fire danger, a total fire ban & out of respect for firefighters.

Wind

Very fast winds are normally the only thing that can cancel the fireworks on the night. However, the lead-up to this Australia Day has been anything but normal in Australia with the tragic bushfires being experienced for nearly 5 months non-stop.

If there are very fast winds, it is expected:

  1. Any affected display would be ‘downgraded’. That is, higher & larger pyrotechnics would be ‘deleted’ from the display’s programming. If no pyrotechnics are safe to fire, the below events are expected to happen. Any delay could allow an ‘upgrade’ back to original programming.
  2. Australia Day Live would still be held but without pyrotechnics.

The ideal wind is one not too fast to risk safety but fast enough to blow away the pyrotechnics’ smoke quickly.

The wind forecast currently looks alright. Northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h winds are currently forecast from the afternoon to late evening. Though the wind is more likely to affect the late afternoon’s entertainment & ‘Australia Day Live’ more than the rest. While a chance of a thunderstorm is forecast for tomorrow, it is least likeliest to occur during ‘Australia Day Live’ especially the first 30 minutes. Probability increases during the latter 90 minutes. However, the chance remains during all other times of the day.

These storms could feature strong winds, which would be enough to cancel the fireworks of ‘Australia Day Live’. However, if a storm does not arise or does but passes before the fireworks, it is expected the fireworks will go ahead unless it arrives mid-display.

Pyrotechnic smoke affected areas based on this forecast include:

Shows visitors where pyrotechnic smoke is forecasted to go
Australia Day In Sydney 2020 Predicted Pyrotechnic Smoke Path (based on 25 January 4:20pm Sydney area wind forecast) Satellite Image: Google Maps

NOTE: On the 21st of January, we uploaded a predicted pyrotechnic smoke path which was slightly wrong. The pyrotechnic smoke was meant to head south-west instead of west-south-west.

Any pyrotechnic smoke should leave after a minute or two.

Rain

Prepare for rain. Currently, there is a forecast of a chance of a thunderstorm & a high (70%) chance of any rain/showers, most likely in the afternoon and evening with possible rainfall 1 to 6mm. There is usually about a 30% chance of it raining at some time after 9am on Australia Day. However, rain will not cancel any fireworks. In fact, despite misconceptions, rain makes fireworks look better.

Rain is most likely to occur around mid-afternoon & after sunset. ‘Australia Day Live’ spectators should especially be ready for rain. However a thunderstorm is least likeliest to occur during ‘Australia Day Live’ especially the first 30 minutes. Probability increases during the latter 90 minutes. However, the chance of a thunderstorm remains during all other times of the day. However, as you can read above, if strong winds feature in a thunderstorm, they could cancel the fireworks of ‘Australia Day Live’.

UltraViolet/Sunburn Protection

Ultra Violet Index: 12 [Extreme]

Sun Protection: Recommended from 9am to 5pm

It is therefore advised during those times to:

  • Slip on sun-protective clothing
  • Slop on SPF30+ sunscreen every 2 hours
  • Slap on a broad-brimmed hat
  • Seek shade
  • Slide on wrap-around sunglasses

Historical Average Weather Data

  • Minimum Temperature: 21 degrees Celsius
  • Maximum Temperature: 26 degrees Celsius
  • Rainfall: 5mm
  • Pan Evaporation: 6mm
  • Sunshine Hours: 6
  • Maximum Wind Speed: 38 kilometres per hour
  • Air Quality Index: 29-80 (Very Good/Good/Fair)
  • Visibility Index (Rozelle): 4-17 (Very Good)
  • Fire Danger Rating: None/Low-Moderate (8%)
  • Sun Protection Recommendation Times: 9am to 5:30pm
  • UV Index: 15 (Extreme)

Sources: Bureau Of Meteorology, NSW Department Of Planning, Industry & Environment, Rural Fire Service & NSW Health

Disclaimer: Sydney Spectaculars takes no responsibility for your final choice of vantage point nor whether the event goes ahead. These are only forecasts based on official expert sources. The choice of vantage point is yours alone & the event is run at the discretion of the Australia Day Council Of New South Wales. The weather could change suddenly on the day & during the night of the event. It is a forecast after all.

Sydney NYE2019 Donations Are Helping Bushfire Victims

In light of comments made by the New South Wales (NSW) Minister For Transport and Roads & NSW Legislative Assembly Member For Bega, Andrew Constance MP, we would like to point out to everyone that all the Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2019 donations have been used.

For our international readers, the electorate of Bega is on the south coast of New South Wales between Batemans Bay and the border with the state of Victoria and inland to but not including the Australian Alps/Snowy Mountains. The electorate of Bega especially suffered terrible bushfires on New Year’s Eve, resulting in at least 2 deaths.

Today, the Australian Red Cross announced they have allocated $30 million to victims out of a total $95 million raised since their Disaster Relief & Recovery Fund started (which was before December 2 2019).

The Minister admitted he himself will need trauma counselling & issued a challenge to the managing directors of 3 charities (including the Australian Red Cross) to come and see how people are living (The ‘Greg’ referred to is a local resident):

Meet me in Batesmans Bay at 8 o’clock on Saturday & I will drive you the 300 kilometres of devastation on the Far South Coast.

I will show you the people, you can look them in their eyes & you can see their despair and the destruction that this firebomb brought to our region.

They better turn up, they better have the guts to show up and be with me … I’ll show them communities which haven’t been on the map, like Kiah, like Nerrigundah, like the back of Bemboka, like Cooma.

We need a very real change, very quickly so that the money can get to those who need it most … people are on their knees and we can’t have a drip feed

I also think there is a disconnect between the people running these organisations & what is happening here in our community and that is why I want them here.

I wanted them to show them.

I want them to meet people.

I want them to look each other in their eyes, to see their pain, see the trauma and help & you know to see that report today of only a third of it going out.

I mean, that is just gutting.

I mean, people have given around Australia to Red Cross so that it gets in the hands of  people who need it most & that is people who have lost everything.

You know, we have got in my electorate alone, 870 homes burnt to the ground, hundreds of displaced people, people who used to live in sheds and stuff there.

It’s all gone!

It is just gone!

Um, and, you know, every individual is different so, you know, to, to to Greg’s point, um, you know, the money is needed now, not to sit in a Red Cross bank account earning interest so that they can map out their next 3 years & do their marketing and for administration.

It is just heartbreaking.

The other 2 charities are The Salvation Army & Saint Vincent De Paul’s Society.

In a statement to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Red Cross said Chief Executive Judy Slatyer had been on the South Coast last week meeting with residents and had made “several attempts” to contact the Minister.

The Chief Executive Officers of St Vincent De Paul’s Society NSW & Canberra, Jack De Groot & Barnie van Wyk, have accepted the Minister’s invitation though.

The Minister also said he had met people who are so traumatised they cannot even leave their properties to register for relief.

Between NYE & January 6, $23 million was donated to the Australian Red Cross which was assistance by promotion of their Disaster Relief & Recovery Fund from Sydney NYE2019 & including $13 million from the television & Internet broadcasts of the event from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Before NYE, $6.3 million was also donated but the Australian Red Cross could not clarify if these funds were donated before or after December 3’s Sydney NYE media launch, which was when the event’s partnership with the Australian Red Cross was announced. They couldn’t clarify when the Fund started either but we assume it was sometime in spring (September to November).

The lack of clarification was understandably due to more important priorities (helping the bushfire victims) being allocated time.

Given $30 million was announced today and no more than $29.3 million was donated as a result of Sydney New Year’s Eve, it means the event’s donation appeal was a success and went to the people the donors wanted the money to go to.

It should be pointed out that the remaining $65 million of funds that are yet to be allocated were donated after January 6. That is mostly from the last 2 weeks. That is, roughly, on average, $4 million a day. Most of the donations before January 4 were below that average. January 4-6, though, most likely was over that average at around $7 million per day.

The bushfires since those apocalyptic-like NYE bushfires have not been as severe though most still burn. Some have thankfully being extinguished on the North Coast of New South Wales.

Thunder, hail & dust storms have been a feature of the past week resulting in lots of damage and bird life lost.

More wildlife (especially fish) have been lost due to bushfire ash contaminating waterways.

The iconic Australian animal, the platypus, is also considered by scientists to now be threatened by possible extinction.

Tomorrow, a total fire ban is enforced in most of New South Wales as severe fire danger is forecast with 40-43 degree Celsuis temperatures in Sydney.

Disclaimer: Sydney Spectaculars is not a charity, the organiser of Sydney New Year’s Eve or it’s broadcasts and did not receive any donations as part of their promotion of the Sydney New Year’s Eve 2019 donation appeal.

Our Recommended ‘Australia Day In Sydney 2020’ Itinerary

Australia Day In Sydney has a lot of events. We are here to help you get to the main events with quick ease.

Not all events feature in our recommended itinerary. For 8 other events, click here.

25 January

8pm – The Vigil

Broadcast live on National Indigenous Television (NITV) & Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) On Demand, start your Australia Day In Sydney experience at Barangaroo Reserve with The Vigil.

It is an opportunity to gather campfire-side and experience a night of performance and reflection on the eve of Australia Day.

It is a time to consider Australia’s Indigenous heritage as well as its colonial history and contemporary multicultural migration from dusk on 25 January until dawn on 26 January.

Hear live music and guests alongside choral and poetry performances, and experience the resilience, beauty and joy of First Nations culture.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

AUSLAN interpreters will be in attendance from 8pm – 10pm

Either go get some sleep afterwards at 10pm for the next 14 hour event period or if you are dedicated to see the whole 10 hour Vigil, you would have to not attend every event in our itinerary the next day except for Warrane Stage (until 6:30pm) and Australia Day Live (from (6:30pm) 7:30pm to 9:30pm) to ensure you see more Australia Day In Sydney events without affecting your sleep.

You could also not attend all Australia Day In Sydney events if you do not agree with the event.

26 January

Unlike Sydney New Year’s Eve, which involves waiting all day in 1 spot for the fireworks, Australia Day In Sydney is more like Vivid Light a constant walking trip around Sydney. Unlike Vivid Light, which is a 5 hour event with no time to be sedentary & has a specific route, Australia Day In Sydney has no specific route so we’ve decided to share our recommended route for 2020. Australia Day In Sydney is a 14 hour event though but our route has 4.5 hours total walking time. 9.5 hours are sedentary (or staying in the same location).

Ideally, dress up like an ‘Aussie Legend’ on 26 January. You may need it for later.

Today’s events begin at 7:30am, once again at Barangaroo Reserve so start there:

Our Recommended ‘Australia Day in Sydney 2020’ Morning Route

7:30am to 8:30am – Wugulora Morning Ceremony

WugulOra, meaning ‘One Mob’, is a special moment to begin Australia Day.

Broadcast live on ABC Television + iView, Radio & (some) social media, actor Luke Carroll will be your Master Of Ceremonies as you acknowledge Australia’s shared history & the strength and resilience of the world’s oldest living culture.

There will be special performances by Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander dancers and singers including Isiah Firebrace, KARI and the Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe.

Cleanse the way for new beginnings by taking part in a smoking ceremony – an ancient custom among Aboriginal Australians in which native plants are burnt to produce smoke.

wugulora collage
Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

To conclude the Australian National Anthem is performed in both English & Eora (pronounced ‘iyora’ & meaning simply ‘the people’), the local Aboriginal language, as the Aboriginal & Australian flags are raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The version of the national anthem sung at the WugulOra Morning Ceremony begins with a verse based on a long extinct Aboriginal language of the Sydney district referred to as ‘the Sydney Language’.

The Sydney Language is endorsed by the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council as an contemporary interpretation of the first conversation and words recorded by Lieutenant William Dawes, an Englishman and naval officer with the First Fleet, with Patyegarang, a young Gadigal woman.

The lyrics are not a direct translation of the English words, but rather substitute meanings that reveal the Eora’s deep connection to the land.

As soon as the Wugulora Morning Ceremony finishes at 8:30am, walk along Argyle Street through the Argyle Cut. When walking around through The Rocks, you might find a free barbeque breakfast courtesy of GIO. This breakfast started at 8am and only the first 1000 people get a sausage sizzle for free so hopefully there is some food left over if you miss out on getting it for free!

8:45am to 10:30am – Sydney Street Party featuring 10 Kilometre Wheelchair Race

Unless you find the barbeque breakfast (and lucky enough to get a free sausage sizzle), turn south to walk down George Street. In front of the Museum Of Contemporary Art, you will find the start line of the 10K Wheelchair Race.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

See our greatest wheelchair athletes fly by at exhilarating speeds in the fastest street circuit wheelchair race in Australia.

Once the race has started, wander the streets of The Rocks and experience the Sydney Street Party!

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

At the Sydney Street Party, The Rocks come alive with market stalls, locally designed fashion, jewellery and original art. Entertain yourself with live music, giant games and roving street performers, then indulge in a range of delicious, gourmet street cuisines.

The race should go no longer than an hour. Make sure you get back to the Museum Of Contemporary Art (George Street side) before 10am to see the finish of the race & to congratulate the champions at the winners’ presentations before continuing your Australia Day In Sydney journey!

10:40am to 10:50am – Vintage Bus

Head towards the Circular Quay wharves and follow the foreshore to the Sydney Opera House. South of the Sydney Opera House, behind the buildings of East Circular Quay but on the northern side, you will see a roundabout. Here you can hop on a vintage 1949 double-decker bus – one leaving every 10 minutes. Hop on one! It will take you across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge to your next destination.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

As you cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge, look towards Barangaroo Point, where this year’s Ferrython begins at 10:45am.

When you hop off the bus, you will be at Bradfield Park in North Sydney on the other side of Sydney Harbour. Walk in the park south towards the foreshore and you will find the next event:

Our Recommended ‘Australia Day in Sydney 2020’ Lunch Time Route

10:50am to 12:20pm – Barbeque By The Bridge

A traditional Aussie barbeque…but with a multicultural twist!

Enjoy a free Australia Day party with live music, food stalls and activities for kids.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

With delicious cuisines from around the world, amazing local bands and disc jockeys, a jumping castle, face painting, circus activities and native wildlife displays. it’s an event not to be missed.

However from 10:45am to 12:15pm, go watch the main entertainment occurring on the Harbour in front of the Bridge!

A good vantage point is the nearby Mary Booth Lookout.

10:50am to 11:30am – Ferrython

This event started at 10:45am so by the time you hop off the Vintage Bus, the Ferrython should be heading east on Sydney Harbour.

See Sydney’s beloved ferries in this hugely popular Australia Day tradition, as they race from Barangaroo Wharf to Shark Island and then back to a glorious finish at the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

The Ferrython should finish just before 11:30am.

11:30am to 12:05pm – Salute To Australia

The ceremonial peak of the Sydney Harbour program.

The Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force combine, featuring ships on the water, a 21-gun salute on land and a fast jet tribute in the sky.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

Join Australians young and old to hear the Governor’s Address and to once again, sing our national anthem.

12:05pm to 12:15pm – Tug & Yacht Ballet

See a dance like no other.

Watch a graceful company of yachts, tugboats, jet-skis and ferries glide in precision across the water in harmony with helicopters above, in an epic piece of musical magic.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

At 12:15pm, it’s time to leave Mary Booth Lookout and head back to the Vintage Bus! Head towards Fitzroy Street (the 1st road intersecting Bradfield Park from the foreshore).

12:20pm to 12:30pm –Vintage Bus

Hop back on a vintage bus – again, one leaves every 10 minutes. It will take you back across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Sydney Opera House.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

Once you are off the bus, walk west along the Circular Quay foreshore until you reach the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This should take about 20 minutes.

Our Recommended ‘Australia Day in Sydney 2020’ Afternoon/Evening Route
Red: 12:30pm to 3:29pm
Pink: 3:29pm to 6:30pm
Purple: ‘Australia Day Live’ Vantage Points
Silver: Stages/Big Screens/Pyrotechnic Barges
Black/Purple: Limited ‘Australia Day Live’ Views
Note: ‘Australia Day Live’ runs from 7:30pm to 9:30pm with pre-show entertainment from 6:30pm.

12:30pm to 12:50pm – Chill Out Zone

As you walk past the Overseas Passenger Terminal, you will pass the Chill Out Zone.

Here you can immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture through Virtual Warrane and see what Sydney Cove was like over 250 years ago, experience Koomurri interactive art & workshops including ochre face painting & canvas handprinting.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

Compete against family and friends in a game of wheelchair basketball* (only until 2pm) or make sure Australia Day leaves its mark with a true blue tattoo before heading to the ‘Look Like an Aussie Legend’ photobooth & submit** your photo online to win a P&O cruise on Australia Day 2021!

There is also a selection of delicious and gourmet meals on wheels. You can also snap a selfie with one of the many magical performers roving around while enjoying the smoothest disc jockey beats.

*Only until 2pm

**Only until 3pm

12:50pm to 1:35pm – Harbour Parade & Tall Ships Race

This ain’t no plain sailing as private, charter and working vessels alike show off their Australia Day finest, each vying to be Australia Day’s best-dressed boat.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

This year the Parade begun at 12:45pm across the Harbour underneath both sides of the north Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons before travelling west towards Blues Point, then south to Barangaroo Point then east past your vantage point of Dawes Point at around 1pm.

At this time, if you look towards Bradley’s Head (near Taronga Zoo), you see the Tall Ships Race has begun. It finishes at the Sydney Harbour Bridge at around 1:30pm.

In the meantime, the Harbour Parade is now going to go past the Sydney Opera House before slightly goinginto Farm Cove (east of Sydney Opera House) before heading towards Fort Denison followed by a little bit of a float along Sydney Harbour to it’s final destination of Athol Bay (south of Taronga Zoo) at 2pm.

At 1:30pm though, you will see 5 historic tall ships race side by side for the coveted Tall Ships Trophy with the Sydney Harbour Bridge the finish line.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

Once the race is finished, head east along the Circular Quay foreshore following the Tall Ships (particularly the James Craig) to Campbells Cove, which normally is a 5 minute walk but since you’re following 5 Tall Ships, this walk would take 15 minutes instead.

2pm – The Red Berets

Look up now! The Australian Army’s Red Berets should be parachuting over Farm Cove (east of the Sydney Opera House) now!

Red Berets parachute over Sydney Harbour on Australia Day 2018
Red Berets parachute over Sydney Harbour on Australia Day 2018 Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

2:05pm to 3:20pm – Tall Ships Festival

See the James CraigTribal WarriorSouthern SwanSøren LarsenCoral Trekker as they dock at Campbells Cove.

There are also roving performers from Kush Cabaret.

Then, make a gold-coin donation to the Sydney Heritage Fleet to step back in time & explore the James Craig.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

At 3pm, see the winners of the Tall Ships Race get their deserved trophy.

Then follow the Circular Quay foreshore south back to First Fleet Park (south of Museum Of Contemporary Art).

3:20pm to 3:30pm – Chill Out Zone

As you walk back past the Overseas Passenger Terminal, you will pass the Chill Out Zone once again.

Here you can immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture through Virtual Warrane and see what Sydney Cove was like over 250 years ago, experience Koomurri interactive art & workshops including ochre face painting & canvas handprinting.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

Compete against family and friends in a game of wheelchair Australian rules football or make sure Australia Day leaves its mark with a true blue tattoo.

There is also a selection of delicious and gourmet meals on wheels. You can also snap a selfie with one of the many magical performers roving around while enjoying the smoothest disc jockey beats.

3:30pm to 6:30pm – Warrane Stage

Relax for the next 3 hours listening to some great live music in First Fleet Park

  • 3:30pm to 4:30pm – Dear Violet
  • 4:30pm to 5:30pm – Lolo Lovina
  • 5:30pm to 6:30pm – King Tide

Dear Violet is a young musical trio presenting a wide range of unique vocal harmonies accompanied by acoustic guitar.

Lolo Lovina is the definitive Balkan Gypsy band … made in Australia.

Credit: The Australia Day Council Of NSW

King Tide is Australian Recording Industry Association-Award–nominees and Australia’s premier original Rocksteady Reggae Got Soul band.

Once King Tide has concluded at 6:30pm, depending on your situation, here is what we recommend for the next & final event – Australia Day Live:

  • If you are a ticket holder, you can go to the actual concert.
  • If you are not a ticket holder, find a spot around Circular Quay before 6:30pm though we recommend the Overseas Passenger Terminal wharf.

(6:30pm) 7:30pm to 9:30pm – Australia Day Live

Also broadcast live on ABC Television + iView, Radio & (some) social media, Australia Day Live is now the pinnacle event of the day in Sydney. What is in store this year?

At your Circular Quay-based vantage point, enjoy the 1 hour pre-show entertainment. It begins a 6:30pm with a 15-minute parade of working vessels around Circular Quay. At 6:45pm, the 2020 Australians Of The Year will appear. They were announced the previous night so congratulate them on their achievements!

The main 2-hour show will commence at 7:30pm.

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Australia Day Live is a unique concert taking place both on land and water, featuring live musical performances choreographed to a flotilla of yachts, jet-skis and fly boarders, with a synchronised pyrotechnics display in Circular Quay.

Aussie music icons Vanessa Amorosi, John Williamson, The Original Seekers, Eurovision star Isaiah Firebrace, along with rockers Eskimo Joe, singing star Christine Anu, 2019 The Voice winner Diana Rouvas, opera supremo Daniel Belle, talented Indigenous vocal group KARI and world-renowned didgeridoo player William Barton will move the crowd with their epic ballads, including patriotic and unifying songs such as ‘I Am Australian’.

Artists will be accompanied by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Hint: Keep an eye on the Sydney Opera House.

9:30pm – Happy Australia Day!

That concludes Australia Day 2020. It’s been a long day – 14 hours in fact – so have a good night’s rest and enjoy the public holiday on Monday. Hope you found this itinerary useful.

Source: Australia Day In Sydney 2020

Australia Day 2020 Encourages Unity & Community Spirit

Communities across NSW are being encouraged to come together this Australia Day and stand in solidarity with those who have been affected by bushfires and drought.

On Sunday 26 January, community events will be held across the State with Sydney’s world -renowned Harbour once again taking centre stage with a range of tributes and activities for everyone to come together & mark the day in a way that is right for them.

At today’s official launch, Acting Minister for Multiculturalism, Geoff Lee said Australia Day is about coming together as a community.

“Australians share a unique set of values that define and unite us. They are values based on the spirit of mateship, community, selflessness, sacrifice, courage and resilience,” Mr Lee said.

“They are the same values embodied by our emergency services volunteers who we have all seen band together to courageously and selflessly protect our communities over the past months”

“Australia Day celebrates everyone being part of our community. It’s a day for gathering with family and friends, catching up with our neighbours or attending Australia Day community events around NSW.”

Also announced today was the Australia Day Address speaker for 2020, Grace Brennan, who is the founder of the recent #buyfromthebush campaign. Grace demonstrates how everyday Australians can make extraordinary contributions to the community.

The Address will be delivered in Sydney on Tuesday January 21, and gives a platform for influential and inspiring members of the community to express their unique perspective on the nation’s identity and matters of national importance. This year’s Address will focus on supporting local and regional communities and those affected by drought.

“The bush narrative needed an update, and the story of drought needed to be aptured in a different way – one that called to action and engaged community,” Ms Brennan said.

Australia Day Council of NSW Chair Andrew Parker said he was looking forward to the community coming together to recognise everything that is great about our country.

“This year we want to bring people together to reflect and celebrate the Australian spirit and acknowledge the everyday Australians making a difference to our community. We stand arm in arm, with our mates and for our mates,” he said.

The Australia Day program in Sydney will begin with the WugulOra Morning Ceremony, which will conclude with the singing of the National Anthem in the local Aboriginal language, Eora and English, as the Aboriginal and Australian flags are raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Throughout the day and into the evening, Sydney Harbour will be a buzz of activity on the water, around the foreshore and in the sky with spectacular aerial displays, a Sydney Street Party at The Rocks, the Harbour Parade with decorated vessels, a 21-gun ‘Salute to Australia’ and a truly magical Tug and Yacht Ballet performance.

There will be tributes to the brave men and women who have tirelessly and selflessly protected the community. A group of Rural Fire Service volunteers and their families have been invited onboard HMAS Canberra as part of the day’s Salute to Australia event taking place on Sydney Harbour, where they will receive a personal thanks from the NSW Governor.

This year’s Australia Day Live event at the Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay will be a night to show the Aussie spirit and celebrate our strength. Our national day is about coming together even in times of extreme hardship.

On the night, the audience at the Sydney Opera House forecourt will include hundreds of emergency services personnel, volunteers and their families who will be invited to enjoy the event and also gives the people of NSW an opportunity to show appreciation for their extraordinary heroic efforts.

The line-up at Australia Day Live will let songs and lyrics tell their stories, while creating an atmosphere of optimism and togetherness in a spectacular and heartfelt concert for all involved.

Aussie music icons John Williamson, Vanessa Amorosi, The Original Seekers, Eurovision star Isaiah Firebrace, along with rockers Eskimo Joe, singing star Christine Anu, the 2019 Voice winner Diana Rouvas, opera supremo Daniel Belle, talented indigenous vocal group KARI, and world-renowned didgeridoo player William Barton will move the crowd with their epic ballads, including patriotic and unifying songs such as ‘I Am Australian’. Artists will be accompanied by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Australia Day Live at Circular Quay and Sydney Opera House is a unique concert taking place both on land and water, featuring live musical performances choreographed to a flotilla of yachts, jet-skis, fly boarders and a perfectly synchronised pyrotechnics display on the Harbour.

Australia Day in NSW Creative Director John Foreman OAM said his vision for the 2020 concert is to pay tribute to the nation by showcasing diverse talent from across the country.

“Australia Day is time to celebrate our diversity, and to seek stories, music and performances that help bring us together during what is a very difficult time for our country. We are bringing together some of our best and most successful artists, each with their own unique story and experiences. We hope that the show adds greater meaning to our national day.

Free tickets to experience this unmissable event from the Sydney Opera House Forecourt will be available on Wednesday, 15 January 2020 at 10.00am through http://www.australiaday.com.au. The show will also be broadcast live on ABC TV and iView from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Spectators can head down to Circular Quay and join the 60,000 strong expected audience at one of the many vantage points.

This free and unique Australia Day event is produced by the NSW Government and The Australia Day Council of NSW and brought to you by Destination NSW.

For more information on Australia Day in NSW, please visit www.australiaday.com.au.

Stay connected: #AustraliaDay2020 – #AusDaySyd – Facebook.com/AustraliaDay26
Twitter.com/AustraliaDay – Instagram.com/AustraliaDay26 – Youtube.com/AustraliaDay26

Media Release: Australia Day In Sydney

ABC & Red Cross Bushfire Appeal Raises $13.3 Million

The ABC has thanked Australians for donating more than $13 million to its joint appeal with the Red Cross to help communities impacted by the ongoing bushfires.

The New Year’s Eve donation drive by the ABC, Red Cross and City of Sydney will fund disaster relief and recovery programs, including support for people at evacuation centres and cash grants for those who have lost homes in the bushfires.

In total, Australians gave $13.3 million to the donation drive, between New Year’s Eve and midnight on 4 January, to help the Red Cross support people in need in disasters, whenever and wherever they happen, including the current bushfires in NSW and Victoria and for future emergencies.

The Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund remains open and donations can still be made at any time via redcross.org.au. The overall amount raised by the fund since New Year’s Eve, including the ABC donation drive, is more than $23 million.

Judith Whelan, ABC Director of Regional & Local, said: “Thank you to everyone who gave generously to help communities affected by the bushfire crisis. The scale and severity of the disaster is overwhelming and your donations will bring support and solace to Australians at a time of great need. Thank you also to the Red Cross and the emergency services teams, volunteers and organisations who are helping to keep people safe and well during this long and fierce fire season.”

Noel Clement, Red Cross Acting Chief Executive, said: “The funds raised mean we can ramp up our response and recovery work and expand our emergency grants. This fund has already helped us support people at evacuation centres, recovery hubs and over the phone when disasters strike. It’s now providing cash grants to people who have lost their homes in the recent bushfires, so they can meet everyday expenses. It helps our emergency volunteers get to disaster-affected areas, covers their expenses and funds equipment and training. It means we can be there whenever a disaster strikes and stay afterwards to help people and communities recover.”

Clover Moore, Sydney Lord Mayor, said: “We did not make the decision to go ahead with the New Year’s Eve display lightly and those suffering from the impacts of the bushfires were front of mind through the event. Reminders to donate to the bushfire appeal and tributes to our brave firefighters were projected onto the Harbour Bridge pylons and broadcast throughout the ABC’s sensitive live coverage. Thank you to everyone who gave so generously, these donations ensure the Red Cross can support communities in the wake of bushfire disasters.”

The ABC launched the donation drive during its New Year’s Eve live broadcast, which reached 3.5 million viewers. The ABC was the nation’s leading network on the night, with a five-city metro prime-time share of 26.3% (up from 22% in 2018).

For more information about how to support bushfire-affected communities go to about.abc.net.au/appeals.

Media Release: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

ABC & Red Cross Appeal Raises $10 Million To Support Bushfire-Affected Communities

The ABC’s joint Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal with the Australian Red Cross and City of Sydney has raised $10 million to support communities impacted by the ongoing bushfires.

The New Year’s Eve donation drive will fund disaster relief and recovery programs, including support for people at evacuation centres and cash grants for those who have lost homes in the bushfires.

The donation drive, which ends at Midnight tonight, topped $10 million at about 2pm on 4 January. The money will help the Red Cross give people the support they need in disasters, whenever and wherever they happen, including the current bushfires in NSW and Victoria and for future emergencies.

Judith Whelan, ABC Director of Regional & Local, said: “Thank you to everyone who has given generously to the Red Cross Disaster Relief & Recovery Appeal to help the many thousands of Australians affected by the ongoing bushfire crisis. I also want to thank the emergency services teams, volunteers and organisations such as the Red Cross who are helping to keep people safe and well during disastrous conditions across many regions this weekend.”

The ABC launched the joint appeal during its New Year’s Eve live broadcast, which reached 3.5 million viewers. The ABC was the nation’s leading network on the night, with a five-city metro prime-time share of 26.3% (up from 22% in 2018).

Donations to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund can be made at redcross.org.au.

Media Release: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Millions Of Australians Welcome The New Year On The ABC & Donate To The Red Cross

Australians across the country and people around the world turned to the ABC on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the biggest night of the year and to support bushfire-affected communities. The ABC’s Party of the Decades reached 3.5 million viewers and helped raise more than $2 million for the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

The fund allows Red Cross emergency teams to do their work – including in the bushfires and heatwaves we’re currently seeing and disasters yet to come. It also includes recovery programs, practical support and emergency grants in communities affected by the recent bushfires.

Judith Whelan, Director of ABC Regional & Local, said: “The ABC’s New Year’s Eve broadcast brought together millions of Australians in support of bushfire-affected communities. Thank you to everyone who gave so generously to our joint appeal with the Australian Red Cross and City of Sydney, which raised more than $2 million to help people in need across the country.

“I would also like to thank the ABC staff and crews who worked through the night to bring our New Year’s Eve coverage to audiences here and overseas. Thanks, too, to the ABC broadcasters, reporters, presenters, producers, staff and crew who continue to deliver emergency broadcasting services to communities under threat. People turn to the ABC at such times and we are proud of our role in helping to keep them informed and safe.”

Television and iview Audiences

  • Last night, ABC was the leading network in the metro markets with a 5-city metro prime-time share of 26.3% (2018 result was 22.0%). The highest share was in Sydney, with a prime-time share of 35.4%.
  • ABC TV’s New Year’s Eve: Midnight Fireworks was the #1 program of the night, New Year’s Eve: Countdown to Midnight was ranked #2 and New Year’s Eve: Family Fireworks was ranked #3.
  • New Year’s Eve: Midnight Fireworks achieved an average audience of 1.8 million across ABC and ABC NEWS (Combined Metro & Regional).
  • New Year’s Eve: Countdown to Midnight achieved an average audience of 1.2 million on ABC (Combined Metro & Regional).
  • New Year’s Eve: Family Fireworks achieved an average audience of 980,000 across ABC, ABC NEWS and ABC ME (Combined Metro & Regional).
  • ABC’s NYE coverage was live streamed 209,000 times on iview last night, which was up +132% on the 2018 NYE result. The ABC channel live stream generated 119,000 plays yesterday, (70,000 in 2018) which was the highest result for the channel on iview ever.

Sources: OzTAM & Regional TAM Preliminary Overnight data; OzTAM VPM data, live stream based on: ABC, ABC NEWS and ABC ME channels, highest result ever based on daily results across 2017/18 since measurement commenced.

Social Audiences

ABC’s New Year’s Eve 2019 coverage was live streamed directly to ABC TV and iview’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts and shared to 33 ABC and partner accounts. This included 25 of the ABC’s location-based regional and capital city Facebook pages, allowing Australians across the country to celebrate New Year’s Eve together, regardless of their location, with the message to donate prominently featuring throughout the night.

  • Total views across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram of concert and fireworks so far: 1.6M.
  • On Twitter, the Midnight Fireworks stream has 869K viewers so far. #NYEABC trended #1 on Twitter during the broadcast,  with over 3900 tweets using that hashtag in the last 24 hours and potential reach of 6.5M.
  • On Facebook, the live streams and highlights packages amassed a combined total of 275K+  views across ABC and partner pages overnight.  ABC New Year’s Eve GIFs to celebrate the night reached over 2.3 million views.
  • On YouTube, ABC TV’s live stream and highlights packages had 460K views at the time of reporting.
  • To celebrate the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, five Indigenous language packages from around the country were shared on the relevant local pages. These received more than 22.6K views.

Sources: Facebook Insights, Twitter, YouTube Analytics and Instagram Analytics. Numbers correct at 9am 1 January

Families were entertained early in the night with Susie Youssef and Nazeem Hussain hosting the New Year’s Eve House Party.

From 9.30pm, Charlie Pickering and Zan Rowe hosted the Party of the Decades concert and encouraged viewers to dig deep and donate to the Red Cross.  While the star-studded line up of stars performed the memorable songs from recent decades, our thoughts and best wishes were with our neighbours, friends and fellow Aussies who have suffered through the recent bushfires, floods and drought.

As the clock ticked over to midnight, ABC crews positioned around the harbour beamed Sydney’s iconic midnight fireworks around Australia and the world as singer-songwriter Marlon Williams led a moving rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

This capped off a very special night, highlighting the ABC’s commitment to not only entertaining Australian audiences but supporting the wider community.

Donations to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund can be made via redcross.org.au.

Media Release: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Sydney Celebrates Dawn Of A New Decade

Sydney has welcomed 2020 with a symphony of light, colour and Australian sound, as it once again hosted the world’s best New Year’s Eve party and raised more than $2 million for bushfire relief.

Crowds watching around the harbour and across the world witnessed a stunning fireworks and light show, including the brightest lighting beam in the southern hemisphere for the first time.

The midnight fireworks were synchronised to an all-Aussie soundtrack featuring the likes of Tina Arena, Crowded House, Fisher and Peking Duk.

A Calling Country ceremony shared stories from the Gadigal people, one of the world’s oldest living cultures.

Those watching around the harbour or the ABC broadcast were reminded to donate to the Red Cross disaster relief and recovery fund in response to the bushfires, with a donation link projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons throughout the night.

As of this morning, the total amount raised online has exceeded $2 million, with donations continuing to roll in. Many sites around the harbour also took cash donations on the night.

Projections also featured the official New Year’s Eve charity partner, the Refugee Council of Australia, reminding people to make 2020 a year of welcome to refugees.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore thanked the many staff from the City of Sydney, NSW Police, emergency services and government agencies for making the event happen.

“Sydney New Year’s Eve is the result of an enormous collaboration project between the City of Sydney and NSW Government agencies, and I’d like to thank everyone for making this event such a success,” the Lord Mayor said.

“I’d particularly like to praise the 250 volunteers who gave up their time to be ambassadors for our city, helping the hundreds of thousands of people visiting Sydney for last night’s event.”

The Lord Mayor said those suffering from the impacts of the bushfires were front of mind through the New Year’s Eve event.

“Reminders to donate to the bushfire appeal and tributes to our brave firefighters were projected onto the Harbour Bridge pylons and broadcast throughout the ABC’s live event coverage,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The City of Sydney previously donated $620,000 to bushfire and drought relief, and I want to thank everyone who joined us in making a donation via the ABC broadcast, the City’s social media channels or because they saw the link on the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons.”

Sydney’s celebrations required an enormous clean-up operation to get the City back to normal by early morning on New Year’s Day.

Staff worked through the night collecting around 45 tonnes of waste.

Public recycling bins were trialled on New Year’s Eve for the first time at Herald Square, Wynyard Station and Sydney Town Hall.

Staff also used captured rainwater from a City of Sydney depot to clean the streets, as well as new cleaning techniques, resulting in a more efficient use of water.

Education programs with food vendors in City of Sydney parks saw a greater take up of compostable plates and cutlery. Visitors were also encouraged to place their food scraps in compostable bins.

“To the cleansing and waste staff who worked tirelessly through the night, thank you for ensuring our city sparkles again so quickly,” the Lord Mayor said.

New Year’s Eve 2019 was also the greenest event to date, with City sites and operations using 100 per cent accredited GreenPower.

The City purchased GreenPower certificates to the equivalent of our energy use. These covered 10 sites across the city, including Bicentennial and Pirrama parks and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The certificates will support the production of renewable energy at Sapphire Wind Farm in northern NSW.

For more information, visit the Sydney New Year’s Eve website.

Media Release: City Of Sydney

2020 Arrives In Sparkling Sydney Style

Sydney showed the world why it’s the New Year’s Eve capital with a sparkling fireworks and lighting show to ring in 2020.

The most choreographed New Year’s Eve show to date saw more than 100,000 fireworks set off at 9pm and midnight to create a ‘pyrotechnicolour’ extravaganza.

The midnight fireworks were synchronised to an all-Aussie soundtrack featuring songs from Tina Arena, Crowded House, Peking Duk, Sia, Fisher and more.

Shows how Sydney welcomed in the new decade, the 2020's.
Sydney NYE2019 Midnight Fireworks Opening Sequence From Mrs Macquarie’s Point Photograph: City of Sydney/Daniel Tran

At 9pm and midnight, a diamond sparkle of lighting beams came together to form the unity beam, representing the people of Australia and the world coming together as one.

The beam shone between 16 billion to 20 billion candela, making it the brightest lighting beam in the southern hemisphere.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said there was no better way to welcome a new year than celebrating in Sydney.

“2020 has arrived and we’ve welcomed the new decade with a fireworks and lighting show unlike anything we’ve seen before,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Those watching saw the best of Sydney’s creative talents putting on a show that has become one of the biggest public events in the world.

“New Year’s Eve is about giving hope and happiness to the world and we’ve used the event to make a positive difference.

“Through our official charity partner, the Refugee Council, we showed the world that Sydney is a friendly place by declaring 2020 the year of welcome.

“We also used the event to promote a fundraiser for the Red Cross disaster relief and recovery fund in response to the devastating bushfires that have ravaged much of the country.

“These donations support Red Cross volunteers on the frontline supporting communities in the wake of bushfire disasters.

“Whether you were watching around the harbour, at home, or around the world, I’d like to wish you a safe and happy 2020.”

More than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects were fired from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and seven barges around the harbour.

New Year’s Eve 2019 was also the greenest event to date, with City sites and operations using 100 per cent accredited GreenPower.

The City purchased GreenPower certificates to the equivalent of our energy use. These covered 10 sites across the city, including Bicentennial and Pirrama parks and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The certificates will support the production of renewable energy at Sapphire Wind Farm in northern NSW.

Shows the opening sequence of Sydney NYE2019's Midnight Fireworks
Sydney NYE2019 Midnight Fireworks Opening Sequence From Mrs Macquarie’s Point Photograph: City of Sydney

For New Year’s event information, visit the Sydney New Year’s Eve website.

Media Release: City Of Sydney

Technical Issues Involving Online Donations On New Year’s Eve

We experienced some technical issues involving online donations on New Year’s Eve when our website had high volumes of traffic.

A small number of people advised us of issues, including that they received incorrect tax receipts after donating.

We are very sorry this incident occurred. We believe this only relates to some people who made online donations during our New Year’s Eve donation drive. We have taken steps to ensure this is no longer happening, while we continue to understand why it happened.

If you believe you have received an incorrect tax receipt after making a donation or experienced any other issue whilst donating to Australian Red Cross during New Year’s Eve, please contact our customer care team on email at contactus@redcross.org.au or by phone at 1800-RED-CROSS (733 276).

People have generously donated to our Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund during and since the ABC’s New Year’s Eve donation drive and we are extremely grateful for this support and all of the beautiful messages of support we have been receiving.

Source: Australian Red Cross