Australia Day

Australia Day thumbnail

Australia Day, 26 January, celebrations on Sydney Harbour feature an amazing line up of events including ferry races, tall ships, sailing regattas, fly-overs, fireworks and much more. Take in all the action aboard an Australia Day Lunch or Dinner Cruise on MV Sydney 2000, or take the kids out on a fun family cruise.  

Australia Day 26 January 2016
- 2016 details coming soon - refer More Info below as a guide ...

2016 details coming soon


See our full range of Australia Day Cruises including:-

Sky Deck Australia Day Lunch
Australia Day is one of the feature events on the Sydney Harbour calendar. The Sky Deck Lunch includes 4 course premium menu with premium wines, beers & spirits. Download flyer & sample menu

Club Deck Australia Day Lunch 
Basking under blue skies on Sydney Harbour is an absolutely magnificent way to spend Australia Day. The Club Deck Australia Day Lunch features a hot & cold buffet lunch, beer, wine & soft drinks. Download flyer & sample menu

Show Deck Australia Day Lunch 
Enjoy a fabulous Aussie buffet feast on the main deck of MV Sydney 2000. Show Deck Lunch includes a buffet lunch and welcome drink. Download flyer & sample menu

John Cadman 3 Australia Day Lunch
Join us for Lunch aboard MV John Cadman 3 for front row seats to the Ferrython & the Sydney Harbour action this Australia Day including fabulous Aussie buffet feast and drinks. Download flyer & sample menu

More Australia Day Cruises -

Ferrython Cruise
The Ferrython is one of Australia's best-loved spectator events. Cheer on the beloved First Fleet ferries as they race around Shark Island to the Harbour Bridge, battling it out for line honours. Download Flyer

Parade & Tall Ship Cruise
Experience the Australia Day afternoon highlights including Tug & Yacht Ballet, Tall Ships Parade, the annual Australia Day Regatta and RAA FA18 Hornets over Sydney Harbour. Download Flyer

Australia Day Premier's Parade & Fireworks Cruise
Be onboard a super rocket, one of only a small number of vessels in the Australia Day Spectacular in Cockle Bay Darling Harbour. The vessels will parade around the bay before a breathtaking inferno of pyrotechnics and light will explode from a specially commissioned 21m high sculpture. Download Flyer

Shark Island Picnic
Shark Island is one of the best vantage points on the harbour for Australia Day events including the Ferrython, sailing regatta & aerial displays. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the day on this fabulous Harbour Island. Download Flyer

Fort Denison Aus Tour
On Australia Day 26 January 2014, visitors will have the opportunity to experience a special mini-tour of the Island's Martello Tower and access to the fully operational tide guage room and Fort Denison Museum. Download Flyer

Regular Cruises

A special timetable operates on Australia Day 26 January. Download a sample Australia Day timetable or click on the links below to check availability

Australia Day Sydney Harbour Program 2015 - Subject to change

7.45am - 8.00am WulgulOra Indigenous Ceremony
The raising of the Aboriginal and Australian flags on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Location: Sydney Harbour Bridge
8.30am - 10.30am Great Australian Swim Series Final - Great Sydney Swim
2.2km swim around Farm Cove commencing from the Opera House. Location: Farm Cove
11.00am - 11.45am   Ferrython
Dressed and decorated to the nines, Sydney's beloved First Fleet ferries line up for annual Ferrython dash to the Harbour Bridge. Location: Shark Island to Harbour Bridge
11.00am - 7.00pm Cruising Concert
This year’s Cruising Concert will mean you don’t miss out on any of the action as it makes its way around Sydney Harbour entertaining crowds at different locations throughout the day. The floating stage will be dropping‐in on the most popular locations around the harbour. The first stop is Bradfield Park, before moving onto Blues Point Reserve, Dawes Point, the Sydney Opera House, Farm Cove, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, Kurraba Point, and Cremorne Point from until 2.30pm. The cruise will settle into the Athol Bay Playground for a feature concert at 3pm before drifting across to Cockle Bay for a special performance at 6pm.
12.00pm  Salute to Australia
In a grand ceremonial display of respect, Salute to Australia will see the Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force combine their efforts to pay tribute to our magnificent country. The action-packed event will fire up at midday with a 21 Gun Salute at Bradfield Park, under the north side of the harbour bridge.  A host of dignitaries will receive the Salute from a Royal Australian Navy Flagship positioned between the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Synchronised groups of choirs positioned all around the harbour will lead the crowds in singing the national anthem, before an aerial flyover of Hawk fighter jets completes the Salute. Location:Bradfield Park, Between Opera House & Harbour Bridge, and various other locations
12.15pm - 12.30pm Tug and Yacht Ballet
Two agile and powerful tug boats will dance with a flotilla of yachts giving harbour spectators a precision sailing display, manoeuvring in unison in an amazing show of colour and movement. Location: Eastern Sydney Harbour
12.30pm - 2.00pm Australia Day Harbour Parade - Best Dressed Vessel Competition
With so much going on, Australia Day is all about doing whatever floats your boat. If that happens to be enjoying boats, then the Harbour Parade is for you. All set to make waves, the event will celebrate some of Sydney’s most iconic vessels parading around the harbour in a dazzling display of national spirit. Vessels of all shapes and sizes are welcome to join the flotilla and encouraged to deck their decks out with colour and flags. Location: Sydney Harbour 
12.45pm - 2.15pm

Aerial Program:

  • Qantas A380 Flyover  12.45pm
  • ​Russian Roolettes  1.45pm
  • Red Berets Australian Army Parachute Display  2.00pm - 2.15pm
    See the team showcase their fast and agile skills with streamers and smoke trailing whilst flying the Army flag and a large Australian national flag.

Location: Sydney Harbour

1.00pm - 1.45pm Tall Ships
Sydney's five Tall Ships will lead an impressive fleet of historic and charter vessels as they sail from Bradley's Head and finish under the Harbour Bridge. Location: Bradley's Head to Harbour Bridge
1.15pm - 6.00pm   179th Australia Day Regatta
The world's oldest continuously conducted annual sailing Regatta has been held since 1837. Up to 700 vessels, including traditional and classic yachts from around the nation will take part. Location: Eastern Harbour
2.00pm - 2.15pm  Red Berets Australian Army Parachute Display
See the team showcase their fast and agile skills with streamers and smoke trailing whilst flying the Army flag and a large Australian national flag. Location: Sydney Cove
2.00pm - 6.30pm Athol Bay Playground
Over 200 vessels are expected to moor in the bay to celebrate our nation’s day with a floating café, live music and a giant inflatable playground. Location: Athol Bay
6.00pm - 7.00pm Cruising Concert
The floating concert will feature live music performances on-board a floating stage. Location: Darling Harbour
8.30pm P&O Ships Fireworks
Fireworks display from a barge between the two P&O ships for passengers on board, nearby vessels and foreshore spectators. Location: Between the two ships at Athol Bay & Point Piper

The Rocks & Darling Harbour 
Both The Rocks and Darling Harbour will have non-stop entertainment throughout the day on open air stages. Don’t miss this opportunity to see some of the best home-grown & overseas talent perform free as Sydney once again shows Australia how to party. 


  • This is a special event cruise
  • Special prices, times, ticketing and conditions apply
  • Full payment is required at the time of booking, all payments are non-refundable and agent commissions are limited
  • Not valid with any other discount or special offer
  • Special boarding passes are issued for this event which must be collected directly from Captain Cook Cruises offices at least 48 hours prior to the cruise
  • Boarding passes can be Express Posted to your nominated postal address if confirmed 3 weeks prior to the cruise (international) or 2 weeks prior (within Australia). Additional charges apply

Accessibility for people with a Disability Policy

Select cruise and date below

Options Tue Jan 26 Wed Jan 27 Thu Jan 28 Fri Jan 29 Sat Jan 30 Sun Jan 31 Mon Feb 01
Options Travel date Price from  
Dinner Cruises More Info 26Jan15 $89pp

To book a Dinner Cruise on Australia Day, visit the Starlight Dinner, Captains Dinner or Gold Dinner page and select travel date 26Jan15.

Other Cruises - Special Events

Christmas Day
25 December
Valentines Day
14 February
Vivid Festival
May - June
Seniors Week
Whale Watching
May - November
Boxing Day
26 December
Christmas in July
Football Transfers
June - October
Earth Hour
Food Festival
Good Food Month High Tea
New Years Eve
31 December
Christmas Parties
November - December
Mothers Day
Syd Intl Boat Show
Easter Show
Sydney Royal Easter Show
Australia Day
26 January
Melbourne Cup
Fathers Day
March - June 2014
Cricket World Cup
February - March 2015