While a growing number of companies are giving their employees the option to work on January 26 or ‘Australia Day’ and take another day off instead, others are keeping the day a public holiday to give workers a rest.
If you’re among those who do have January 26 off, you might be wondering what’s open on the day which, this year, falls on a Friday. 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 what’s open 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 continue 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, here’s a comprehensive list for last year’s January 26 marches and events across Australia here, which can give you an idea as to what to expect this year.
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. If they’re closed on the day, they’ll likely have a note on there saying so. Also, bear in mind you mind have to pay a public holiday surcharge for your meal or drink.
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.
In South Australia, all Westfield Shopping Centres will be closed. In ACT, they’ll trade from 10am – 4pm, while in Victoria, they’ll be open 10am – 5pm.
In NSW, Westfield Kotara will trade from 10am – 4pm, Westfield Bondi Junction, Burwood, Chatswood, Hurstville, Miranda and Parramatta will trade from 10am – 6pm, Westfield Eastgardens, Hornsby, Liverpool, Mt Druitt, Penrith and Tuggerah will trade from 10am – 5pm, and Westfield Sydney and Sydney Central Plaza will trade from 10am – 7pm
In Queensland, Westfield Coomera and Helensvale will trade from 10am – 4pm, while Westfield North Lakes, Garden City, Carindale and Chermside will trade from 10am – 5pm.
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 Australia Post post offices will be shut on the day, so if you need to mail a package or pick one up urgently, plan ahead.