Every year, on the 26th of January, Australia hosts the national celebration, Australia Day. This date marks the first declaration of sovereignty by the British over the country’s eastern seaboard, all the way back in 1788 (when the territory was still known as ‘New Holland’). The HMS Supply, having left a fleet anchored in Botany Bay, landed in Port Jackson in what is now Sydney Harbour. The area was deemed far more suitable for settlement than Botany Bay, and a new colony was thereby born.
Centuries later, Australians mark the occasion with a public holiday – and there are a variety of public events put on to celebrate, alongside mass citizenship ceremonies which welcome new Australians into the national fold. These events are attended by more Australians than those marking any other holiday – making Australia day a very big deal indeed.
Among the most popular of these public events take place around the city that’s grown up around the HMS Supply’s first landing point: Sydney. So, throughout the day, the city’s famous harbour hosts a variety of events: some of them on the water, others on the shoreline. Among these events is a ferry race between the area’s two most famous landmarks: the harbour bridge and the opera house. There’s also a regatta in which prizes are awarded for the ‘best dressed’ boat and a race in which a small army of more than a hundred boats sprint around the harbour. So, this is a tradition that’s been observed for more than a hundred and eighty years, and which looks to persist for a while yet.
After the day’s boating draws to a close, a spectacular display of fireworks takes place in Darling Harbour – and, across the waters in Circular Quay, a free public concert featuring some of the country’s most popular musicians.
An Australia Day Cruise is a splendid way to celebrate one of the biggest days on the calendar
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in this crucial pillar of Australian tradition, then there are few better places to get a decent view than from the deck of a chartered boat in the centre of the harbour. There are myriad vessels to choose from, each offering a different experience. Why not charter a luxury yacht for the day, and head out into the harbour to watch proceedings from the deck? You’ll have world-class catering talent at your disposal, who’ll provide you with some of the city’s famously high-quality cuisine to get you through the celebrations. On the other hand, you might decide to take a handful of friends or family out on a smaller boat – bring your own food and toss it onto the onboard barbeque, and plug your mobile phone into the onboard speaker system and take in the day’s events while lounging on the deck.
However you’d like to celebrate this most significant of Australian dates, there’s a boat anchored in Sydney harbour that’ll match your needs. So, if you’re in search of a recommendation, then be sure to get in touch; we’ll point you towards a vessel that’ll make your Australia Day one to remember!