26th January marks Australia Day and celebrations take place to commemorate the landing of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove back in 1788.
With parties and events happening all around the country, I was lucky enough to spend two consecutive years in Sydney to join in. Rising early is a must as we found that the festivities can begin pretty early.
Classic Car DisplayWe only had to head to Hyde Park in the centre of the city to delve into the annual Motofest and our first taste of the day's events.
Lining the street on the east side of the park and down Macquarie Street were hundreds of cars ranging from the modern rally cars to those dating back decades.
I'm not a big car fan but it was easy to appreciate those on display. Owners proudly shined their bonnets as the crowds shuffled from one vehicle to the next.
Ferry Race at Sydney Harbour[caption id="attachment_2156" align="alignleft" width="200"] Australia Day at the Opera House (click to enlarge)[/caption]
At 11am the famous green and gold ferries, whose normal day job is to move passengers around the harbour, take part in the annual Ferrython.
Racing from Circular Quay to Shark Island and back the race lasts about an hour.
We'd settled in a spot in the Royal Botanic Gardens overlooking the Sydney Opera House but were left a little disappointed. Once the last of the ferries pass out of sight it seemed like quite a wait before we began to see the leaders of the pack racing towards the finish line underneath the Harbour Bridge.
Food Stalls in Hyde ParkWith stomach rumbling around 12 it was time to head back to Hyde Park and to try and keep our mouths from watering as we walked around the numerous food and drink stalls.
Tucking into some traditional Aussie BBQ cuisine of a hog roast sandwich we grabbed a spot on the grass to watch part of the citizenship ceremony where people are welcomed in from other countries as new Australians.
Fireworks over Darling Harbour[caption id="attachment_2159" align="alignleft" width="200"] Darling Harbour Fireworks (click to enlarge)[/caption]
The day culminated in a spectacular fireworks display over Darling Harbour set in time with selected music.
Both years we arrived early to secure a spot from where we could get the best view, and both times it was sat along the edge of the harbour outside the shopping centre.
Sitting there I got a real sense of pride from the locals surrounding us and the fireworks display was the perfect ending to the day.
Celebrate and be proud, AustraliaBeing from the UK we don't have a day of celebration for the entire country such as Australia Day or the American Independence Day and in general I wouldn't say I was proud to be British and therefore celebrate it. So on the 26th January I will be a little bit envious of Australians around the world as you celebrate your country and the pride you feel of your nationality.
Be proud and enjoy.
Are you Australian? How do you celebrate Australia Day? If you're not Australian, have you ever been in the country to celebrate the day?