Australia Day in Australia in 2021

  How long until Australia Day?
This holiday next takes place in 123 days.
  Dates of Australia Day in Australia
2022 Australia Wed, Jan 26 National Holiday
2021 Australia Tue, Jan 26 National Holiday
2020 Australia Mon, Jan 27 National Holiday (in lieu)
2019 Australia Mon, Jan 28 National Holiday (in lieu)
2018 Australia Fri, Jan 26 National Holiday
On January 26th 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip became the first Governor of the colony of New South Wales

When is Australia Day?

Australia Day a public holiday on January 26th and is Australia's National Day.

It marks the arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales on that date in 1788, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain by Captain Arthur Phillip.

In each State and Territory, when January 26th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the date of the public holiday is moved to the following Monday. 

History of Australia Day

Captain Arthur Phillip became the first Governor of the colony of New South Wales and the fledgeling colony soon began to celebrate the anniversary of their arrival.

During the early nineteenth century, the anniversary was called 'Foundation Day' and was marked by sporting events. In the 1820s, Horseracing was popular but by the 1830s regattas had become popular.

Fifty years after Phillip landed, Australia's first public holiday was announced to celebrate Foundation Day 1838. The inaugural holiday became an annual event and has continued to be held on or around January 26th. In Sydney, January 26th was referred to as "First Landing Day", and celebrated with anniversary dinners and later an annual regatta on the harbour.

By 1888, all the colonial capitals, except Adelaide, proclaimed 'Anniversary Day' a public holiday and celebrations took place throughout the individual colonies.

The 150th anniversary of white settlement in 1938 was marked with official ceremonies around the nation celebrating the arrival of Captain Phillip.

In 1946, the Commonwealth Government, States, and Territories agreed that there should be one national day -  'Australia Day' - under one banner and on the same day.

However, the Australia Day public holiday was still held on the Monday closest to January 26th.

In the bi-centenary year, 1988, Australia Day was held around the nation on January 26th. The highlight of the many celebrations was a re-enactment of the First Fleet's trip which departed from Portsmouth on May 13th 1987 and arrived in Australia in early January.

It was not until 1994 that all the states and territories endorsed the celebration of Australia Day on the actual day, instead of the nearest Monday. United Australia Day celebrations have been held on January 26th or the following Monday ever since.

Australia Day consists of formal ceremonies around the nation along with local fun events.

Did you know?

Three facts about Australia Day

The Indian Pacific train route between Sydney and Perth has the longest straight section of train track in the world.

Two native Australian animals, Platypus and Echidnas, are the only two mammals in the world that lay eggs to give birth

Australia was the second country in the world to give women the right to vote. This occurred in 1902.

More facts about Australia Day

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