Australia Day is 26 January, and was gazetted to remember the date on which the First Fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour on 26 January 1788. This was a fleet of convict ships, store ships and war ships which set sail from England in mid 1787 to travel to New South Wales to establish a convict colony, principally because the Revolutionary War in the USA meant that Great Britain could no longer ship convicts to that destination. Arriving about 4 days prior to the 26th January, in Botany Bay to the south of Sydney Harbour, (which had been recommended by James Cook and Sir Joseph Banks as a possible site for future colonisation, they found a lack of suitable water supply so Captain Arthur Philip, the Commandant, and Governor-General, set out by long boat to explore the surrounding area. They loved what they found in Sydney Harbour, as most who have visited since can agrfee, and thus the infant colony was moved a few miles north.
The 43 things below represent a very small portion of what Australia has to offer its citizens and visitors.
43 Things to Do on Australia Day.
1. Go to the Surf Carnival at Freshwater Beach.
2. Visit the Sydney Opera House.
3. Take a ride on a Sydney Ferry
4. Visit Taronga Park Zoo.
5. Wonder through The Rocks.
6. Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridgeto catch the fun and excitement going on in Sydney Harbour.
7. Try fish and chips for lunch at Manly Beach.
8. Spend some time in the Sydney Botanical Gardens
9. Wonder Macquarie Street and view the static and moving displays of veteran, vintage and special vehicles.
10. Visit a naturalisation ceremony.
11. Hold your head up and don’t feel self conscious singing Advance Australia Fair.
12. Spend some time learning about our country’s Aboriginal heritage. There was 40,000 years of human habitation before 1788.
13. In Melbourne, visit the Yarra Parklands and Australia Square.
14. In Hobart visit Mt Wellington or Constitution Dock.
15. In Adelaide, wonder along the Torrens River through the city centre.
16. In Perth, visit Kings Park, or the city’s beaches.
17. Soak up the multiculturalism, and the heat and humidity of Darwin.
18. In Cairns, visit the waterfront, or take a trip out to Green Island.
19. In Brisbane, wander the parklands along the Brisbane River.
20. In Canberra, visit Old Parliament House, Parliament House, Lake Burley Griffith buildings such as the National Library, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum, the High Court etc.
21. Visit the Snowy Mountains in summer, for the walking and the wildflowers.
22. Visit Broken Hill and its mines, art galleries and desert sculptures
23. Visit Ayers Rock and Kata-Juta.
24.. Visit Alice Springs.
25. Go scuba diving. parasailing or try some sport or pastime that is new to you.
26.. Host, or take part in a barbecue lunch.
27. Try a Vegemite sandwich, but not too thick.
28. Extend your hand to a stranger, smile and say “G’day”.
29.. Spare a thought for our armed forces and other volunteers serving overseas in areas a whole lot less fortunate than ours.
30. Round out the day by watching the Fireorks over Sydney Harbour.
31.. Read up on great Australisns such as June Bronhill, Victor Richardson, Sydney Kidman,
32. Throw some coins in a collector’s bucket, or give some change to a homeless person.
33. Try some Pavolva,
34. Or a lamington,
35, Or some Peche Melba,
36, Or a meat pie with sauce (or a floater, with peas if you’re in South Australia).
37. Read up on some of our earlier Prime Ministers and the struggles and triumps they’ve had since 1901.
38. Discover what caused men and women to become bushrange such as Ned Kelly, Ben Hall
39. Be inspired by countless stores of battlers mad good, such as Franco Bongiorno-Netti, Bod Dyer, Jack Davey and olthers who have played a large part on Australia’s industrial and entertainment heeritage.
40. Enjoy a cold drink in a country pub, (juice or soda are acceptable; whatever your pleasure).
41. Don’t be ashamed to wear shorts if its hot. Long socks are acceptable but look somewhat daggy. Still don;t be a slave to fashion.
42. Listen to a community radio station, such as Campbelltown's 2MCR-100.3 on your FM dial, or any other local community radio station, dependant upon where you are in this wide, brown land.
43. Finally, if you have to work (like me) then put in a fair day's work and hopefully you'll get a fair day's pay.
Take care everyone, and Advance Australia Fair.