While a growing number of companies are giving their employees the option to work on January 26, known as ‘Australia Day’, and take another day off instead, others are too late to the game. Their employees have already counted on the day being a public holiday so have gone ahead and made plans.
If you are among those who do have it off, you might be wondering what’s open on the day which this year falls on a Thursday.
If you are planning to make the most of the day off and have a barbecue with friends, can you buy drinks the day of, or should you plan to do so the day before? Or, if you’re not celebrating and simply want to enjoy the day off with a long lunch, are you even able to do so?
Ahead, we share a general overview of what exactly will be open across the country on ‘Australia Day‘.
Note that if you do have the day off and want to recognise and honour past sufferings and the continuing strength of Indigenous culture, there are many event opportunities for you to do so. Every year, they’re continuing to grow in size and appeal.
These events, and the day itself, are variously referred to as Survival Day, Invasion Day, and Day of Mourning events. If you’re looking to attend one, we have a comprehensive list of January 26 marches and events across Australia here.
Restaurants, Bars, or Cafés
One year on from the pandemic, it’s still worth showing your support to local businesses by spending some coin at a restaurant, bar or café on the day.
Almost all restaurants and bars are expected to be open on Australia Day, though, you might want to check the venue’s website or Instagram or Facebook page beforehand as, if they’re closed on the day, it’s likely they’ll have a note on there saying so.
Like restaurants, most bottle shops, including Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and First Choice, will be open on Australia Day. In saying that, a select few bottle shops in South Australia, Western Australia, and Queensland may have reduced trading hours or be closed on the day. Check online or call ahead before heading to the store.
Westfield Shopping Centres are open during their usual trading hours on Australia Day, closing at 6pm, though some centres in ACT, South Australia and Queensland may close earlier, at 4pm, 5pm or 5:30pm.
Woolworths, Coles, and ALDI are all expected to be open, though some stores may have reduced trading hours. Again, check online or call ahead to avoid disappointment.
In observance of the public holiday, all post offices will be shut on the day, so if you need to mail a package or pick one up urgently, plan ahead.