Welcome to the special list of national days dedicated to Australia. This list highlights 21 national days celebrating Australian culture, iconic Australian animals, and beloved local foods.

Each national day is accompanied by a brief description, providing insights into the significance and origins of these special days, offering a glimpse into what makes Australia truly unique.

Complete List of Australian National Days

  • January 26: Australia Day marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales. It celebrates Australian culture, history, and achievements.
  • Last Sunday of January: Australian National BBQ Day celebrates the great Australian tradition of barbecuing during the summer months. January, being a summer month in Australia, is ideal for outdoor activities. This day encourages Australians to gather with friends and family to enjoy grilled meats and veggies, a beloved aspect of Australian culture. Barbecuing, or “barbie,” is a quintessential Australian pastime, highlighting the country’s love for outdoor cooking and social gatherings.
  • February 16: National Tim Tam Day celebrates Australia’s favorite chocolate biscuit, the Tim Tam. Created in 1964 by Arnott’s, Tim Tams consist of two malted biscuits separated by a light hard chocolate cream filling and coated in a thin layer of textured chocolate. This day is the perfect excuse to enjoy this beloved treat.
  • First Saturday in March: Platypus Day focuses on raising awareness about the unique platypus, an egg-laying mammal native to Australia. Known for its distinctive appearance with a duck-bill, webbed feet, and beaver-like tail, the platypus is a symbol of Australia’s rich biodiversity. Conservation efforts are crucial to protect this species and its freshwater habitats. Just as the kangaroo, an iconic Australian marsupial, represents the country’s unique wildlife, the platypus also holds a special place in Australia’s natural heritage.
  • First Sunday in March: Clean Up Australia Day encourages Australians to clean up their local environments by participating in community clean-up events. It was initiated in 1989 by Ian Kiernan, an Australian sailor.
  • March 21: Harmony Day celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity and promotes inclusiveness, respect, and a sense of belonging for everyone. It coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
  • April 25: ANZAC Day commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. It originated in 1916 to honor the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli during World War I.
  • May 3: Wild Koala Day promotes the conservation of koalas and their habitats, raising awareness about the threats facing this iconic Australian species.
  • May 26: National Sorry Day commemorates the mistreatment of the country’s Indigenous peoples, particularly the Stolen Generations. It was first held in 1998 following the tabling of the Bringing Them Home report.
  • June 16: National Vegemite Day celebrates the uniquely Australian spread, Vegemite, invented in Melbourne in 1923 by chemist Cyril Callister. Initially developed as an Australian alternative to British Marmite, Vegemite is a salty, savory spread made from brewer’s yeast. Despite being owned by an American company for several decades, Vegemite became a distinctively Australian food, and returned to Australian ownership in 2017 when purchased by Bega. This day is for Australians to indulge in their love for this iconic spread, which they carry around the world to reaffirm their connection to home.
  • First week of July: NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.
  • July 21: National Lamington Day honors the iconic Australian cake, the lamington, which is made from squares of butter or sponge cake coated in chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut. The thin chocolate mixture is absorbed into the sponge cake, creating a unique texture. This over-century-old treat was named after Lord Lamington, the Governor of Queensland.
  • September: Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal Day is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the conservation of the Tasmanian devil. These iconic marsupials play a crucial role in Tasmania’s ecosystem by suppressing invasive species like feral cats and black rats, thus protecting smaller predators and prey animals. The decline of Tasmanian devils on mainland Tasmania has led to the decline of small native animals like bandicoots and other small mammals. This day emphasizes the importance of supporting conservation efforts to protect and restore the Tasmanian devil population.
  • September 7: National Threatened Species Day commemorates the death of the last known Tasmanian tiger in 1936 and raises awareness about threatened species in Australia. Currently there are over 500 species listed as threatened under Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
  • Second Sunday in September: National Bilby Day focuses on the conservation of the endangered bilby. Greater Bilbies are a type of bandicoot native to Australia known for its long, pink ears and silky grey fur. The Greater Bilby plays a crucial role in its ecosystem by digging for food, which helps aerate the soil and promote seed dispersal.
  • September 26: World Cassowary Day celebrates cassowaries, Australia’s heaviest birds. These flightless birds use their long, powerful legs to navigate dense vegetation in search of food
  • October 22: National Wombat Day. This day celebrates wombats, marsupials closely related to koalas. Found only in Australia, wombats are among the largest burrowing mammals in the world.
  • October 24: Kangaroo Awareness Day aims to raise awareness about kangaroo conservation and the importance of protecting their habitats. Kangaroos are a national symbol of Australia, known for their powerful hind legs and ability to leap great distances. They are found throughout Australia in a variety of habitats, from forests to grasslands. This day highlights the need to preserve these unique animals and ensure their survival for future generations.
  • Last Friday of October: National Bandanna Day raises awareness and funds for young people living with cancer, supported by CanTeen Australia.
  • November 20: National Pavlova Day honors the popular Australian dessert made of meringue, topped with whipped cream and fresh fruits. The pavlova is named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. Both countries claim to have created the dessert in her honor. The meringue-based dessert has a crisp crust and a soft, light inside, making it a favorite at celebrations and gatherings.
  • November 24: National Fairy Bread Day celebrates the nostalgic treat, a staple at children’s birthday parties in Australia and New Zealand since the 1920s. First mentioned in The Hobart Mercury, it consists of bread with butter and colorful sprinkles.

Before You Go:

We have many more national days lists that you might also want to check out.

Categorized in:

National Days,

Last Update: July 10, 2024