Parramatta’s Australia Day is one of the largest Australia Day celebrations in NSW. It offers a chance for all cultures to come together to celebrate what it is to be Australian and showcases all there is to love about Australia through food, live music and a range of fun activities for people of all ages.
Kicking off from 6am with the ever-popular hot air balloon display, the celebrations continue all day with kid’s workshops and activities, The Big BBQ competition, CARnivale display, Parravision Grand Final and a great line up of performances. Then finishes with a spectacular fireworks display at 9pm.
- There is non-stop free entertainment from 6am to 9pm.
- The Crescent will be a magic playland for kids from 10am to 4pm.
- The event celebrates the diversity of our community with a range of cultural and Indigenous performances and workshops.
- Australian singing icons Daryl Braithwaite and Kate Ceberano will headline the evening concert at the Crescent stage.
- There is lots of room to spread out in the park. Bring a picnic rug and picnic or grab a bite to eat from the many food stalls and trucks.
- You can bring eskies, low lying beach chairs and pop up beach style tents. But no glass in Parramatta Park.
- There is the Domain Creek playground and Pavilion Flat playground (near George St Gatehouse) for kids to enjoy.
- Old Government House will be open by gold coin donation from 10am to 4pm, with ground-floor tours of the House set in the time of Governor Macquarie. There will also be a sausage sizzle and a cold drink, kindly provided by the Friends of Old Government House.
- Take public transport or ride your bike there, with free valet bike parking from 10am – 9.30pm. You can also drive and park your car at one of the many nearby carparks and then walk to the park. Remember, Parramatta Park will be vehicle-free all day.
- Dogs are welcome in the Park but must be on a lead and under the control of an adult at all times.
- Parramatta Park is a no smoking zone.
- All entertainment, activities and workshops are free, except amusement rides are $7 each but cheaper with family/multi ride passes.
- Fill up your water bottle at the free Sydney Water tap stations
Our Top Picks
There really is something for everyone at Parramatta’s Australia Day event and you can pick and choose when you come depending on what your family will be interested in.
Our top picks for families are:
- Kids Crescent: This magic playland is THE PLACE to be with kids on Australia Day! From 10am to 4pm, kids can get creative, explore and learn through a range of fun and interactive activities. Plus there will be live on-stage entertainment and an awesome animal parade!
- Aerial: For the early risers, watch Sydney’s largest hot air balloon display from 6am to 9am.
- The Crescent Stage: Sing and bop along to some of the best in Aussie rock, pop and contemporary music on the main stage from 4:30pm to 9pm.
- Amusement Rides: On the Pavilion Flat, near the George St Gatehouse, kids can get some thrills and spills. But be prepared for long lines as the day goes on.
- CARnival: Kids should love checking out the old and new fire trucks and racing cars on display.
Full Day of Free Activities at Parramatta’s Australia Day Event – 6am to 9pm
Enjoy a 15-hour marathon celebration this Australia Day, across six areas with a great mix of entertainment, kids activities, live music and yummy food.
As the sun rises, start your day marvelling at the skies at Sydney’s biggest hot air balloon display (6am to 9am) and be entertained by live music on the Aerial Stage, hosted by Heidi Hillier. Plus enjoy a range of tasty treats, have the kids learn some entertaining skills at Sids Circus School and catch the roving performers as they wander through the Park.
The beautiful hot air balloons should be a hit with the kids (and early risers!). Note: Hot air balloons may be cancelled in the event of high winds or inclement weather.
- 6am – Circular Keys Choir
- 7am – Western Sydney Youth Orchestra
- 8.15am – Stormer Music Student Showcase
- 10am – Carla Wehbe: Singer and music creator of pop with electronic and R&B influences.
- 11am – Michael Duchenesne Band: Sydney based vocalist, guitarist and songwriter.
- 12pm – Blessed
- 1pm – Losty: Sought-after MC, Losty’s music tops the iTunes and Triple J Unearthed charts and is played on both mainstream and independent radio around the country.
Just like a mini kids-only carnival, the Kids Crescent will have lots of FREE activities, workshops, roving performers, stage performances and music to exercise little minds, imaginations and bodies. Workshops and activities do not require booking – just turn up (line up) and play!
The Kids Crescent is set under trees and domes, so bring a picnic rug, settle in and relax. Plus you can grab a coffee at the mobile cafe!
- Circus Playground (10am – 4pm): An interactive circus workshop where families can learn the skills of juggling, swirling, hula-hoop, walking on beams, and stilt-walking!
- Face Painting (10am – 2pm): Face painting will be available at the Kid’s Crescent, so make sure you get your animal face painting done in time to join the Parade of Creatures! There were LONG queues last year so be prepared to wait or line up early.
- 10am – Yoga: Start your Australia Day with a morning stretch and yoga to wake up your body and mind.
- 10.30am – A Very Fairy Adventure: The Sugar Plum Fairy, along with her puppet friend Billy the caterpillar, takes you on a journey of singing and dancing as they learn about nature, resilience and friendship.
- 11am – Jump in Kids Show
- 11.30am – Indigenous Storytime and Dance: Listen to the stories of our Country and the didgeridoo, and learn Indigenous dance.
- 12pm – Fizzics ‘Kaboom’ show
- 12.30pm – Meet and Greet with HI-5
- 12.45pm – Storytime
- 1pm – Magic Show: Magician Jonas Joost will amaze you with his unique style of magic and illusion.
- 1.30pm – Lavender Lily Show: Lavender Lily will help you explore movement and the world around you!
- 2pm – PARADE OF CREATURES: Wild animals with freshly painted faces join the jungle mania performers in a stage parade.
- 2.15am & 3.15pm – DJ Zapfish with the Amazing Amy Chase: Sing along with to your favourite tunes.
Healthy Imaginations WORKSHOPS – Make and Create
- Lavender Lily (10am – 11am)
- Jaloola Storytime Craft Station (11am – 12pm): Make Australian animal masks or decorate wooden native animals. Children are invited to participate in the PARADE OF CREATURES (at 2pm on stage) wearing their handmade animal masks.
- Jaloola Entertainment Craft Station (12pm – 1pm): Mask and amazing creature workshop
- Jaloola Storytime Craft Station (1pm – 2pm): Craft activity inspired by themed stories.
- Indigenous Art (2pm – 4pm): Experience the art of indigenous craft and decorate your own boomerang.
Healthy Minds WORKSHOPS – Investigate and Explore
- Recycled Art Workshop (10am – 1pm): Hosted by The Bower, kids get to make their own piece of art.
- Fizzics Education (1pm – 1.45pm): Explore real science with giant bubbles and slime making.
- Magic Workshop (2pm, 2.45pm, 3.30pm): Magician Jonas Joost showcases some magic skills and tricks. 30 minutes duration
Healthy Lives, Healthy Bodies WORKSHOPS – Move and Grow
- Jump in Kids – Dance workshops (10am – 11am & 12pm – 1pm): Get up and moving as the dance troupe take you through a range of dance styles and fun exercises
- Lavender Lily (11am – 11.20am & 11.30am – 11.50am): Mindful movement dance party.
- Indigenous Storytime and Dance (1pm – 2pm): Noel shares stories relative to his Country, play the didgeridoo and teach children a dance.
- Healthy Cooking (2pm – 4pm): Make your own healthy treat!
A showcase of the ultimate collection of classic vehicles including cars, fire engines, trucks, coaches, motorbikes and vintage speedway cars. The race cars and fire trucks that are sure to be a hit with the kids.
Smoked, grilled and basted delights from Australian and international barbecue pitmasters. Watch some of Australia’s best barbecue teams battle it out for the 2018 BIG BBQ Battle. Teams will compete in chicken, pork ribs, lamb and beef to the seasons first grand champion.
Grab a drink at the bar and catch the sounds of emerging Western Sydney female DJ artists as they hit the Red Bull Stage:
- 12pm – Alexandra Sjolin Falk
- 1.30pm – Gozo
- 3pm – Nicole Tania
- 4pm – Yemisul
- 5pm – KT Kosmic
- 6pm – GiGi
As the sun sets, join thousands of people in a massive party with MC Losty as some of the best in Aussie rock, pop and contemporary music hit the main stage..
- 4.30pm – Welcome Ceremony: Led by Aunty Jacinta Tobin and includes Darug dancers and singers for this very special opening of the Crescent evening concert.
- 5pm – Hi-5: Join the amazing world of Bailey, Courtney, Joe, Lachie and Shay from Hi-5 as they light up the stage with their best moves and tunes.
- 5.40pm – Teischa: The unmissable, emerging, 20 year old singer-songwriter from Western Australia will grace the stage with her gripping song writing and strong vocals to deliver an outstanding performance.
- 6.30pm – Busby Marou: The unmissable Australian duo Thomas Busby and Jeremy Marou had their current album ‘Postcards From The Shell House’ debut at #1 on the Aria Charts. Their track Days of Gold has been selected as the Commonwealth Games 2018 Theme song.
- 7.15pm – Parravision Winner: Grand Final Winner performance
- 7.30pm – KATE CEBERANO: Award-winning songwriter, Kate Ceberano will perform some of her hits including songs from her 24th album, Anthology, released in 2016.
- 8.30pm – DARYL BRAITHWAITE: Recently inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, Daryl will perform some of his greatest hits including ‘The Horses’.
End the night with a bang as we ring out Australia Day with a massive fireworks spectacular! Enjoy a ten-minute fireworks and pyrotechnic display set to NOVA’s music soundtrack.
Australia Day in Parramatta Park is a vehicle-free event. Make sure you plan your trip and arrive early.
- The closest train stations are Parramatta and Westmead, both about a 10min walk to Parramatta Park.
- Leave your bike at the free bike valet parking service thanks to Camwest Bicycle User Group Inc. Bike valet is located just inside the park, enter through the O’Connell Street (Tudor Gatehouse) entry. Open 10am to 9.30pm.
- There are more than 7,000 metered on and off-street parking spaces available across the Parramatta CBD. We usually drive to either the Hunt Street or Eat Street carparks and then walk into the Park. The nearby carparks are:
- Hunter Street Car Park – closest carpark to the event but there will be delays in leaving. (exit only between 8pm – 10pm)
- Eat Street Car Park – entry via Erby Place. This car park is about a 400m walk down George Street to the event.
- City Centre Car Park – entry via George Street. This car park is about a 400m walk down George Street to the event.
- Parramatta Station Car Park – entry via Wentworth Street.
- Riverbank Car Park – entry via Phillip Street, Dirrabarri lane.
- There is limited parking on-site at Parramatta Park for people with a mobility parking permit. This needs to be pre-registered prior to the event by emailing Fiona Jia or calling 02 9806 5957.