On January 26, 1778, Captain Arthur Phillip led a fleet of 11 British ships across the world and settled in New South Wales, Australia. Every year since then, Australians worldwide have celebrated Australia Day, a national holiday marking the day their country was effectively founded.
But celebrating Australia Day isn’t just about remembering Australian history and embracing its culture; it’s about embodying the Aussie spirit – the no-worries, super friendly, passionately outdoorsy vibe that sustains the country and makes our wines taste so authentic.
Other than enjoying a glass of rich and fruity Australian wine, we’ve created a list of top ideas and tips to help you celebrate Australia Day in the UK, but in the proper Down Under way.
Need some inspiration to help celebrate Australia Day in the UK? Check out our curated collection of small-batch Australian wines in our wine shop.
What to do to celebrate Australia Day
Fire up the barbie
Australians use any excuse to stoke up the barbie, so the birth of the nation seems like a pretty solid one. Sure, British BBQ weather lasts for a measly one weekend a year in the summer, but you’ve all got thick coats, right?
Brave Brits celebrating Australia Day certainly won’t let the cold, rain and thick cloud put them off. For that authentic Aussie barbie, serve up a sausage sizzle (sausages – affectionately known as ‘snags’ – served in sliced bread with grilled onions), lamb cuts, beef steaks, and chicken wings. You might be tempted to throw a couple of shrimps on the barbie too, but we find it’s more fun to sit shelling with our guests and eat while the chef does their thing. Umbrellas and indoor seating may be required.
Need the perfect BBQ wine? Pour a generous drop of our Dogs of the Barossa Shiraz – its oaky spice and oh-so-velvety black fruit make it the ideal pairing for grilled food.
Head to the beach (yes, really)
Those of us on the coast benefit from living a bit more of an Aussie life than the city folk (we can dream, anyhow). Many Australians spend Australia Day surrounded by surf, sand and sea, but for Brits, just the surf, driving rain and sand will do.
Pack a cooler full of delicious snacks and get your hearts racing with a dip in the sea (not for the faint-hearted). Afterwards, bundle up in towels that don’t keep you as warm as you want and indulge in our Harmonie Rox Chardonnay – the perfect bottle for the beach.
Fill your face with Aussie food
A country as big as Australia will have a serious selection of delicious foods – think meat pies, Lamingtons, Vegemite, seafood, Tim Tams and fairy bread. Food is a huge part of Aussie culture – whether it’s gourmet dining to simply sitting around with mates. To Aussies, food is another way to bring us closer and share the experience.
If the weather’s well, too British, to break out the barbie for Australia Day, instead put on a spread of Australian delicacies for your guests. Make sure to put a mouth-watering pavlova centre stage, topped with whipped cream and juicy fruits. And yes, fact fans, the pavlova is Australian. (Kiwis, take note.)
If you’ve got too many different foods to know what to match with, go for something that’s great with everything, like our Coco Rôtie Syrah Viognier.
Besides rugby and Aussie rules, no sport is as beloved by the Australians as cricket – and backyard cricket is a non-negotiable activity on Australia Day.
The rules are more flexible, meaning young and old can play, and you don’t even need an actual bat, ball, or wickets. Improvisation is key to the fun – how about a rolling pin, a ball of socks, and a rubbish bin?
Don’t forget the Australia Day outfit!
Just like the four Saint’s days in the UK, Australia Day wouldn’t be complete without the cringey, kitsch merch.
Don your t-shirts, hats, glasses, flag underwear – anything you can think of. If you wanted, you could hold a competition to see who dressed the most Aussie, with a prize for the winner, like a bottle of our bona fide Aussie classic The Red Sedan Cabernet Sauvignon.
Note: face paint is worth extra points.
Watch an Aussie classic
If you’re looking to celebrate Australia Day with more low-key plans that don’t involve beaches and BBQs, what could be more chilling than getting comfy with some Aussie grub and enjoying an Australian film?
For the ankle biters there’s Finding Nemo, but all the rellies might appreciate Australia (it’s not Australia Day without Hugh Jackman) or The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. But for those who want less emotion and something scarier? Wolf Creek is the obvious choice… or Crocodile Dundee 2.
Create your Triple J playlist
If you’re Australian, chances are you’ll tune into Triple J‘s Hottest 100 – a countdown of the year’s best tunes as voted for by Aussie listeners. Can’t wait. Create your playlist of Australian classics. Stuck for ideas? Explore the range of Australian classic tunes such as dance floor fillers by Kylie and Sia, or rock out to AC/DC or INXS.
Australia Day to-do list:
- Find Tim Tams – available in most supermarkets.
- Practise your Mel Gibson impression (“Grab the cat!“).
- Use any leftover fireworks from Bonfire Night to end your Australia Day celebrations with a bang.
- Create the ultimate Kylie Minogue playlist.
- Stock on up lager and delicious Australian wine from our wine shop – Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are popular amongst Aussies.