Australia Day 2022 in Sydney marks the return to a jam-packed Sydney Harbour program that starts early with the dawn projection and flag raising and continues through to the Australia Day Live concert at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt, choreographed to spectacular pyrotechnics and maritime manoeuvres, as the finale.

At first light, before any activity takes place, the tranquillity of Sydney Harbour will set the scene for a reflective Australia Day moment honouring the traditional custodians. The symbolic illumination of the Sydney Opera House sails with First Nations artwork will coincide with the raising of both the Australian National and Australian Aboriginal Flags atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Later in the morning, the Sydney Harbour Splash swim off Woollahra Sailing Club rolls into the traditional Ferrython race which starts at 10.45am from Fort Denison with four of Sydney’s beloved Emerald Class ferries dressed for the first time in honour of their namesakes – May Gibbs, Victor Chang, Pemulwuy and Catherine Hamlin. The Tall Ships take their turn at 1pm, starting at Bradleys Head.

The Harbour Parade invites boats and crews dressed in their national day finest to vie for best dressed or cheeky prizes such as the Going Overboard Award (the most imaginative vessel) and the Budgie Smuggler Award (best small vessel). To join in the fun, register online by 20 January, 2022 at

Thrill-seekers will be equally excited by the overhead program including the RAAF’s fast jet fly-past and handling display and crowd favourite, the Navy Helicopter flag tow traversing Sydney’s southern beaches and harbour.

Those land-based and relishing a summertime waterfront picnic or stroll among the many Australia Day Sydney activations can head to Hickson Road Reserve for the ceremonial Salute to Australia and tri-service 21-gun salute ringing out from Bradfield Park and in view of HMAS Adelaide.

The world’s oldest continual sailing competition, the 186th Australia Day Regatta, is expected to draw up to 600 boats at multiple events around NSW waterways. Sydney Harbour’s time-honoured harbour race boasts the largest starting fleet and coincides with the CYCA’s City of Sydney Sesquicentenary Ocean Race to Botany Bay and return. Full details at

In the evening, a shimmering lit vessels parade and maritime show in Circular Quay are cleverly choreographed to the traditional outdoor concert at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt, where some of Australia’s best musical talent will belt out well known Aussie songs while a brilliant light and fireworks spectacular illuminate Sydney’s greatest landmarks.

Registered commercial vessels that make up the lit vessels parade will have front row seats to this spectacular show and the land-based audience can watch all the excitement from around the Circular Quay foreshore and on ABC TV and iview.

Skippers, please be aware of exclusion zones, speed limits, anchoring rules, and all the usual boating regulations as you and your guests enjoy the national day on the water.

The Australia Day 2022 Sydney Harbour program is produced by the NSW Government and Australia Day Council of NSW and presented by P&O Cruises and the Port Authority of New South Wales.

Australia Day Harbour Activities 2018

Day-time events:

  • 8:30am – Sydney Harbour Splash
  • 10:45am – Ferrython
  • 11:30am – 12:05pm – Salute to Australia – 21-gun salute and HMAS Adelaide
  • 12:00pm – RAAF Fast Jet Flypast and Handling Display
  • 12:05pm – 12:30pm – Maritime Mayhem
  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm – Navy Helicopter flag display
  • 12:45pm – 2:00pm – Harbour Parade
  • 1:00pm – 1:30pm – Tall Ships Race
  • 1:30pm – 186th Australia Day Regatta
  • 2:00pm – 4:00pm – Working Harbour Festival (OPT)

For more details on Australia Day events, visit

Stay connected: #AusDayNSW – #AusDaySyd – – –

Note: Event schedule subject to change