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The Ultimate Traveller's Guide to Australia Day

If you're in Australia for Australia Day and aren't really sure what's going on, never fear, our guide gives you the low down on the day.

Every year on January 26, we get together and celebrate the things that makes our country great. Aussies normally do something special for Australia Day, so read on for all the do's and don't's for this day.


Have a barbie

BBQ at Grampians Eco YHA

The humble BBQ is one of the most Australian things ever and we can guarantee that in backyards and parks all across the nation, BBQs will be fired up. If you’re at YHA on Australia Day, check with the staff if they’re throwing a barbie! They probs will be, tbh.

Stuff yo’ face with some Aussie sweets and treats

A Good Aussie Pavlova

There’s pavlova, lamingtons, Iced Vovos, fairy bread, Tim Tams, Wagon Wheels, Golden Gaytimes and now we’re getting a sugar rush just thinking about them. But trust us, if you haven’t tried them, you need to eat them all. Now.

Hit the beach

Swimming at Byron Bay

From Manly to Cottesloe and everywhere other beach in between, there’ll be a patch of sand for you to relax on this Australia Day.

Play a game of cricket

Cricket at Albany YHA  

Playing cricket in the park, in your backyard or at the beach is a time honoured tradition on Australia Day, so if your Aussie (or Kiwi, British or Indian) mates pull out the bat and ball, give it a go - you may become a devotee. Plus it’s actually really funny. Who would have thought a sport would have terms like 'googly', 'silly point' and 'automatic wickie'?

Learn the history of Indigenous Australia

Aboriginal Women at Australia Day Ceremony in Sydney - Destination NSW

Australia Day isn't all cases of VB and the chance to get a killer tan, it's also a time to recognise the over 500 Indigenous nations in Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been taking care of this country for centuries and are one of the world's longest living cultures. There are smoking ceremonies and vigils held in most major cities, the perfect opportunity to learn more about our First Nations peoples.


Forget the sunscreen

When tourists don't heed sunscreen advice.GIF

Just because you never got sunburnt in South East Asia/Europe/the US doesn’t mean you won’t here. There’s a hole in the ozone layer above Australia so the sun’s rays are super strong here and sunburn HURTS. Slather on the SPF 50+.

Overdo the Aussie flag

Tourists with Australian Flag - Destination NSW

Too many Aussie flags is kinda tacky. One or two is fine but remember the mantra "less is more". Be classy on Australia Day by keeping the Aussie flags to a minimum.

Drink way too much booze

Sunset Beers at 1770 YHA

You’re outside in the sun, it’s super-hot because it’s January in Australia and you’ve been drinking booze all day – these are all the puzzle pieces you need to get full on wasted and not the fun kind. This is the heat stroke, regretting your life decisions and passing out kind of wasted, which really isn't how you want to spend Australia Day.

Whether you're finishing your Australia Day with a bit of a headache or surrounded by new friends, celebrating what an incredible country you're in... we've got a bed for you once the sun goes down. Book direct and save on beds across the country, so get to it mate!

Additional Image Credits - Destination NSW

    Sydney Central YHA
    Sydney Central YHA
    Our heritage-listed building, opposite Central Station, is ideally positioned near the Sydney Airport Train line, Darling Harbour, Chinatown and the Powerhouse Museum.
    Sydney Harbour YHA - The Rocks
    Sydney Harbour YHA - The Rocks
    The only hostel in Sydney that has views of Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Sydney Harbour YHA is the best place to stay in Sydney for the New Years Eve fireworks!
    Melbourne Central YHA
    Melbourne Central YHA
    Hip, cool and very Melbourne, Melbourne Central YHA is a trendy travellers hostel located in the heart of the city.
    Melbourne Metro YHA
    Melbourne Metro YHA
    Only a short free tram ride to the CBD and close to the University of Melbourne and Queen Victoria Market. Melbourne Metro YHA has everything you need for a great stay in cultural Melbourne.
    Adelaide Central YHA
    Adelaide Central YHA
    Located right in the centre of the city, Adelaide Central YHA is only a 7-minute walk to Adelaide Central Market and a short bus ride to Adelaide Festival Centre and Adelaide Zoo.
    Hobart Central YHA
    Hobart Central YHA
    Hobart YHA is the perfect base for all of Hobart's galleries and museums including MONA. Located only a block from the city's waterfront.
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YHA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We acknowledge and pay our respects to Elders past, present, emerging and the extended Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community.