Ruggers, pluggers and snags – the best Australia Day parties around Brisbane
We’re just going to put it right out there to diffuse the tension – whilst Australia has a lot of rad qualities, it still has a heck of a long way to go when it comes to respecting the traditional owners of the land. Here at The Weekend Edition we are firmly for changing the date of Australia Day to something that every Australian can enjoy (May 8, anyone?), bringing us together in a celebration of the mateship, unity and multiculturalism that make our country great. It’s great to see these conversations in place and hopefully in the not too distant future these changes will occur, but until then there are plenty of cool events that you can take advantage of on Friday January 26 to celebrate all of the things that make Australia such a fantastic place to live – just remember to take a moment to reflect on the significance of this date for Aboriginal Australians.
South Bank: If you’re after a low key, family-friendly vibe or a spot to kick back with your mates and a picnic, Australia Day at South Bank is just the ticket. The River Quay Green stage will have awesome live music all day long, capped off with a stunning evening fireworks show.
Eagles Nest: When it comes to a glorious long weekend, we recommend kicking it off in style. What better way to celebrate than by getting sky high with it? Eagles Nest is throwing a super-luxe rooftop bash with Australian-themed tapas, flowing drinks and one of the most breathtaking views in Brisbane – very Instagram-worthy.
Green Beacon: It’s always a bit of a treat when your birthday falls on a public holiday, mostly because there’s no excuse for your mates to bail on the party. Good thing for all of us that the legendary Green Beacon Brewing Co. is celebrating five rotations around the sun with a killer bash including great tunes, chilled vibes and loads of beer – be sure to check out the special Mango Milkshake brew that’s been made especially for the weekend!
The Elephant Hotel: The only thing better than karaoke is Aussie themed karaoke, so head down to The Elephant Hotel for some live rockaoke action! Channelling your inner Barnsie or Farnsie on an empty stomach is simply foolish, so be sure to take advantage of the $15 lunch menu – with no pesky public holiday surcharges.
The Charming Squire: If the thought of a big meaty feast makes you a bit giddy, the Great Brewers Australia Day Barbecue at The Charming Squire is for you. House-brewed beers, crispy air conditioning and a selection of treats such as rosemary and lamb sausages, coffee crusted beef brisket and barbecue pork ribs all lovingly prepared in the venue’s Radar Hill smoker combine to make one succulent day out.
The Bavarian: Two words that any true blue Aussie can get around are ‘cheap’ and ‘beer’, so you’d best make tracks for The Bavarian’s January 26 celebrations. There will be live music, snags, pale ale and even a limited edition 1kg Oz Day Schnitzelmeister with bacon, three eggs and cheese. Good lord. Shut up and take our money, cheers.
Victoria Park: If we had to sum up the Victoria Park Australia Day offering in one word, it would be ‘wholesome’. As well as the bistro serving up delicious Aussie-inspired meals, you can get amongst all sorts of fun activities like tug-o-war, sack races and giant outdoor games, plus the kids will be thoroughly entertained with a jumping castle and playground up and running.
The Fox Hotel: Keen to party but on a bit of a budget? The Fox has your back! Its famous happy hour is coming into effect all day long this Australia Day, which means you can get your hot little hands on $4 pizza, $5 burgers and $8 double stacked burgers. Wash it all down with some frosty beverages and you have a recipe for a thrifty day out.
Oxford 152: Name a more iconic Aussie due than meat pies and beer – we’ll wait. Lucky for everyone, Bulimba’s Oxford 152 knows a winning combo when it sees one, so this Australia day the venue will be hosting a pie eating contest and some 4Pines beer pong to get the vibes going. There will also be live tunes cranking fro 5:00 pm to keep the good times rolling into the night.
Little Big House: The old song may say something about a home amongst the gumtrees, but this Australia Day it’s all about palm trees at Little Big House. South Bank’s coolest new permanent house party destination is really turning it on for its first Aussie fest with live tunes, Young Henrys Queenslander beer on tap, tasty bites and frosé – yassss! Psst … jugs of beer are $18 for the whole of 2018 if that sways you.
Down Under Bar: Not afraid of getting a little bit messy? The Down Under Bar may just be your dream Australia Day destination. As well as some good old-fashioned Vegemite wrestling, the bar will also be holding a pie eating competition and a blindfolded pillow fight – don’t ask questions, just embrace it and avoid all white clothing on the day.
The Triffid: A wise man once mused that it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’roll – or sausage roll, depending on who’s talking. The Triffid’s Australia Day celebrations include both of these things and then some – premier AC/DC cover band Dirty Deeds will be thrashing through the hits, plus you can get your hands on some delicious food and try your hand at trivia.
Woolly Mammoth: Cocktail drops and Australian hits make for a great party starter, but when you throw in a prize for best tropical Australian garb things get pretty serious. The Woolly Mammoth will be celebrating the public holiday with a lush party, and you’d best believe the venue is going to be decked out like a tropical paradise worthy of our steamy summers.
Pineapple Hotel: Tradition is what you make of it, which is part of what makes the Pineapple Hotel’s annual Australia Day party so memorable. Bring your thongs, thirst and strong arm to this iconic Queensland pub on January 26 to indulge in saucy pies, ice-cold beers and (of course) a spot of pineapple throwing. There is a cash prize up for grabs for the furthest distance thrown, so don’t hold back.
Story Bridge Hotel: Do the words ‘cockroach races’ spark your interest? If so, the Story Bridge Hotel is the place to go to sate your curiosity. The venue’s annual Australia Day Festival includes all sorts of goodness such as the aforementioned roach races, as well as delicious food from mobile snacking vendors Mac From Way Back, The Bun Mobile and Pizzantica.
The APO: Sure, you could have your own backyard bash – or you could just rock up to The APO and take advantage of its amazing Aussie Day party. The beer garden will be teeming with tuckshop classics, tallies and tinnies galore, not to mention some of the finest homegrown tunes from decades past – you might even hear some Savage Garden if you’re lucky.
The Defiant Duck: Once a year, The Defiant Duck lowers its American flag and trades it in for another red, white and blue job. The Aussie spirit will be alive and well with a mouth-watering lamb on the spit, frosty local beers and loads of live tunes to see you through until closing time.
Archive Beer Boutique: Us Aussies are famed for our love of sport and accompanying competitive streak, which is why ‘Straya Day at the Archive Beer Boutique is a perfect fit. The beer mecca will be holding a retro ping-pong tournament with cash prizes, as well as live music and oodles of beverages for those not too keen on ball sports.
Dalgety Public House: All of us have an inner bogan – how about instead of trying to repress it, we all embraced it? This is the basis of Dalgety Public House’s Australia Day Bogan Brunch, where it’s all about letting your mullet flow freely. The brunch includes three hours of the most bloody bonza food and drink to wrap your laughing gear around – think snakebites, dagwood dogs and VB longnecks amongst other choice morsels.