Business infrastructure,
See & do

Australia Day 2021 Guide to Gold Coast fun

Helen Stubbs | January 20, 2020

There’s no shortage of free and ticketed things to do this Australia Day and Australia Day weekend.

Celebrations look a bit different in 2021, with social distancing and Covid-safe plans making it possible to have fun and stay safe at the same time.

From the 23 – 26 January, the city will host Hottest 100 events, beach hip-hop festivals, an electronic dance music festival, family events including pool parties, fine dining, a bird walk, and an Afro-Cuban dance and culture festival. Read on for details.

Hottest 100 events | Saturday 23 January

Lost Palms Brewing Co | Miami | From 11am

Join Gold Coast brewery, Lost Palms, to listen to Triple J and the GABS Hottest 100 countdown. Featuring Aussie themed beer and food specials, beer slushies and door prizes – this is an event you won’t want to miss.

Balter Brewing Company | Currumbin | From 12pm

Gather the crew and head over to Balter Brewing for live music, epic food and a tonne of giveaways. Balter will also be tuning into the Triple J and GABS Hottest 100 countdown. Entry is free, so get in early on the day to secure a seat.

The Henchman | Miami | From 12pm

Think bingo, thong racing, live music and prizes galore at this year’s Hottest 100 countdown at The Henchman. The Henchy crew will make sure your drinks are cold, your beats are loud and your weekend goes off! Head to their website to book a table.


BALTER Brewing


Festivals | Saturday 23 January

SEND IT FESTIVAL | The Meadows, Gold Coast Turf Club | From 2pm

The SEND IT Festival is one of Australia’s biggest EDM festivals. This 23rd January SEND IT features Australia’s number one DJ Will Sparks, as well as Bonka, Mashd N Kutcher, Lockdown, Brooklyn, Tom Bromley, Yanzo, YROR? + local supporting artists.

The SEND IT Festival promises eight hours of sending it for your last weekend of summer holidays. Drinks, music, fun and games … the list goes on.

Artist Liaison and Event Manager Tom Bromley says, “Send It Festival has built a party for the Gold Coast to go out and forget the world for a day … we strive to bring the best of the best of Australian DJ’s all into one place. We also give the local up and coming talent a shot to showcase what they’ve got to their community. It’s a day to remember—Send It!” Tickets start at $54 – head to the website for more information.

GOLD COAST VIBEZ | Departing Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Drive | From 12pm

This 18+ beach festival includes luxury VIP yachts transporting guests to Courant Cove Island Resort, Stradbroke Island for a hip hop, RNB, oldskool beach festival.

Vibez’s artist lineup includes DJ Tikelz, Shely 210, NUZ, DJ Blaze & DOS, The Banditz, Mister P, Dezastar, J Alexander, Dj Ulahz and more. The official afterparty is at Havana R&BV nightclub.

Boats begin departing Marina Mirage at 12pm, and return every hour from 6.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets start at $60, visit their Facebook event page for more information:

Other events

AFREKETE AFRO-CUBAN DANCE, MUSIC AND CULTURE FESTIVAL | Friday 22 Jan to Sunday 24 Jan | Tugun Village Community Centre

“Come and feel the heartbeat of Cuba and let the rhythm move you.”

To celebrate Australia’s diversity with a Cuban experience on the Southern Gold Coast, join this inclusive weekend of dance and music workshops, performance and Salsa with Australia’s talented Cuban dance and music artists.

Enjoy a Cuban art exhibition and market place, too, with all ages, abilities and levels of dance experience welcome.

The event will be held according to a Covid-19 Events Safe Plan, with workshops and conferences delivered on site and online. The opening night Cabaret Showcase will be a closed event. Please check the website for the timetable and booking information. The event kicks off from 3pm each day with tickets from $25. 

 FINE DINING SUNDAY LUNCH THE NORTH ROOM | Sunday 24 January | Mermaid Waters

To celebrate the finest Australian and local ingredients in a superb dining experience, The North Room is opening for a special Australia Day weekend Sunday lunch.

The menu changes based on the best seasonal produce, including sea and land based ingredients such as Brunswick oysters, Bangalow Pork and perfect botanical ingredients. The pretzel bread and desserts are to die for. The North Room has been awarded 2 wine glasses in the Gourmet Traveller Winelist and was ranked #21 in Queensland in the Courier Mail’s Delicious 100.

Owners Tim and Shannon Stewart say the day’s menu is likely to include one of their signature dishes, with local mud crab, house made bone marrow crumpet, cultured cream and salted yolk.

“The crabs are sourced from an indigenous mob called Currie Country, based in Fingal,” says Shannon. “Try matching it with the La Violetta Das Sakrileg Riesling 2019, from Margaret river, WA.”

Sittings will run from 12.30pm, and can be booked through their website: The North Room.


Instagram: Will Sparks


Australia day events | Tuesday 26 January


Southport Sharks is hosting live entertainment for all the family with a reptile show and disco for kids, and live music from Acoustic BBQ Duo. The Café is open all day and true-blue Aussie Tucker will be on at Frenzy’s buffet from 5.30pm, with chops, bangas, steaks, roast and, of course, pavlova. For more info on ticket prices click here.

AUSTRALIA DAY POOL PARTY | Gold Coast Aquatic Centre

For fun for all the family, grab your friends and splash into Australia Day at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre Pool Party. The main party gets underway from 11am with giant inflatables, dive boards, a sausage sizzle and DJ on the deck until 2pm. Normal pool entry fees and charges apply.

FREE LIVE MUSIC AT THE COOLY HOTEL | Marine Parade, Coolangatta

The Coolangatta Hotel invites you to celebrate with free live entertainment from Mark Sheils at 3.30pm and The Fat Albert Band at 8pm.
For those who prefer something sweet, you’ll be able to sip on one of their Aussie themed cocktail specials—the Lamington Love or Pavlova Martini. Bookings are recommended.  


Enjoy live music and free gelato at Sanctuary Cove, with Wes Taylor playing live at The Village Green and Mark Divola playing live on The Docks. Gelato is free from 11am on The Village Green – get in quickly, while stocks last! The event runs from 10am to 4pm.

GUIDED BIRDWALK | Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Benowa

If Australian birdlife intrigues you, join the Friends of the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens for a walk through the gardens, learning about some of the 130 species of birds that call the place home from 9am to 10am. Explore the lakes, lagoons and acres of native plants in this urban environment, which create the perfect habitat to encounter amazing bird life. The walk begins at the Friends’ Centre. Gold coin donations are appreciated.

Australia Day Gardens Discovery | Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Benowa

Join Gold Coast Rotary and the Friends of Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens to help launch the Botanic Gardens Explorer App this Australia Day! Explore the gardens with the App, discovering new places and answering challenges to earn points and watch your progress on the leaderboard. There’ll be prizes for the highest point scorers, and a free sausage sizzle and displays. The event is free and runs from 10am – 1pm. Numbers are limited, so pre-register online now to secure a spot.

The ubiquitous Australia day barbeque

The perfect Australia Day can mean a swim, surf or snorkel at one of our beautiful beaches or creeks, and cooking up lunch at the park in one of the Gold Coast’s best barbeque spots with some drinks from local distillers or breweries.

Often it’s back into the sparkling water for another splash, or a game of cricket on the grass, or volleyball on the sand, while enjoying family, friends, community spirit, and the beautiful city of the Gold Coast. Have fun and stay safe!


Australia Day celebrations at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre