What is Australia Day?
The other day I was speaking with a client on the phone when he asked, “What is Australia Day?” It was a good question that caught me off guard. When I used to live in Australia it was a public holiday where we would typically go to a large park, throw some snags on the BBQ, or if we were up to it, go to watch a little Australian Open at the Rod Laver arena.
Technically, it is the official “national day” of Australia and is recognized every year on January 26th. The country celebrates the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships. More contemporarily though, it’s a day for friends to get together and catch up. It’s normally beautiful and hot weather so the climate generally lends itself to the occasion.
Once someone has gone to Australia and seen the requisite Sydney Opera House, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Barrier Reef, they are go back for the attitude. It’s the, “No Worries Mate” attitude that prevails. Once you go back to Australia and don’t have to see the above sights it really opens up the country in terms of what you can do and see.
For example, a family or a group of friends going back to “Oz” may love nature, relaxation with a taste of adventure, so what we’ll do is find a suitable house for them perhaps in New South Wales on the beach somewhere, or even on Kangaroo Island where wallabies and koalas abound, and plonk them down for a good 4-7 days. After having sufficiently rested, we’ll take them somewhere else like Western Australia (The Kimberleys), or for more adventure, perhaps to the Top End for another 3-4 days. This is a perfect trip in my estimation as you get to have fun in the sun and sand, but add some of that quintessential Aussie experience you can’t get anywhere else.
In fact, the most recent edition of Australian Traveller has their “Best of” awards going for everything from Best Luxury Hotel to Most Romantic City. This is an publication primarily for the Aussie market, and goes beyond the main icons. That’s why when I read that their Most Adventurous Destination being The Kimberleys my ears perked up. This is a fantastic and ruggedly beautiful part of Australia that most Americans ever experience, yet this is where the nationals go for those kinds of experiences!
They say that big cities can impress Australians, but never a beach, and this is for good reason. So for your next trip, if you want to do like the Aussies and embody the “Australia Day” spirit, plan a relaxing and fun time in a beautiful destination with gorgeous beaches and add a little spice at the end as the ingredients for a perfectly planned trip abroad.
Happy (post) Australia Day!