For many Australians January 26 is Survival Day, not Australia Day as it’s marked on most calendars. It can be a day for remembrance or a day to celebrate the best of Australia. Whether you’ll be spending it at protests or watching fireworks, there's a lot to do with your three days off. Spend it at the best cafes, restaurants, bars and exhibitions, or at cultural events and protests that centre on Australia's First Nations.
EAT AND DRINK
Tokosan Free Barbeque
Greville Street Izakaya Tokosan is firing up the barbeque for a free feast. All you need to do is buy a drink to get access to free grilled yakitori skewers with a teriyaki and shichimi sauce, and grilled pork skewers with a chilli miso. Entertainment comes from DJs and a pool table, and the bar’s karaoke room is open from 6pm.
142 Greville Street, Prahran
Burch & Purchese’s Lamington Week
Pick up some twists on the classic lamington at South Yarra’s Burche & Purcehese Sweet Studio. Variations include ice-creams, cakes, chocolate bars, dessert tubes and a classic lamington made from Callebaut Belgian chocolate.
January 21 to 27
647 Chapel Street, South Yarra
The Builders Arms
From midday until late across the entire weekend, The Builders Arms will be serving $6 Young Henrys tinnies and pouring magnums of skin-contact pino gris for $13 per glass. On Saturday, visitors can grab a Meatsmith sausage with burnt beer onions from the grill or add spiced butter and grilled shrimp for an $18 deal. Porchetta with potatoes, chard and gravy will be served on Sunday with a DJ in the courtyard from 2pm.
January 26 to 28.
211 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Bang Bang Bottomless Brunch
Bang Bang will continue its bottomless brunch on the 26th and 27th. Book a table at Bang Bang at the Rifle Club for two hours of French-Indochine cuisine including shucked oysters and Wagyu beef bao, which will be accompanied by a bottomless selection of prosecco, grapefruit Aperol spritzes and pink pomelo Mimosas.
January 26 to 28
11am–1pm and 1pm–3pm
294 Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick
All You Can Meat
On Sunday January 27, Riverland bar will team up with NSW’s 4 Pines BrewPub to serve an all-you-can-eat selection of steaks, flanks, Lancashire and Cumberland sausages and suckling pig for just $35 a head. 4 Pines will have a pop-up bar serving free tasters. Book here.
1–9 Federation Wharf, Melbourne
Seafood ‘n’ Spritz Sunday Sesh at Hotel Sorrento
Nick Mahlook, executive chef of The Atlantic, will take over Hotel Sorrento’s waterfront Salt Bar for an evening of interactive seafood stations, roving canapes and premium booze to match. Guests will be greeted with a St Germain elderflower spritz upon arrival, followed by wine pairings to complement the dishes. Tickets are $120. Book here.
5pm–8pm exclusive to ticketholders, walk-ins from 8pm
5–15 Hotham Road, Sorrento
Great Australian Bites and Rose St. Artists’ Market at Docklands
Docklands’ many restaurants, bars and ice-creameries will be dishing up speciality treats inspired by beloved Australian classics. Creations include Lamington Martinis and Tim Tam crumble waffles at restaurants Cargo and Berth. Head to Limonetto Gelati for decidedly Australian ice-cream flavours such as Milo, Tim Tam, Fairy Bread and Cherry Ripe. Fitzroy’s Rose St. Artists’ Market will also be migrating south for the day, bringing more than 20 stallholders to Harbour Esplanade.
The District, Docklands
One Day Sunday – New Zealand Chefs at Ides
If you’re feeling unpatriotic, experimental Collingwood kitchen Ides will be hosting talented Kiwi chefs from some of Victoria’s most celebrated restaurants. Hayden McMillan of Etta, Guy Stanaway from Doot, Doot, Doot, Dan Lidgard of Point Leo Estate and Ramblr’s Charlie Snadden Wilson will collaborate with Ides’ own Peter Gunn on a $100 10-course degustation. Book here.
92 Smith Street, Collingwood
Australia Day Fundraiser at Galah
Windsor bar Galah has created four Australiana-themed cocktails to celebrate Australia Day, and it’s all for a good cause. Galah will donate $1 from each of the four cocktails sold to Bird Life Australia, a not-for-profit bird conservation organisation. Try the Galah (a colourful grapefruit Margarita), the Cockatoo (a Mezcal Sour complete with a hand-stencilled cocky on top), the Kookaburra (blueberry juice with a strawberry syrup gum, Never Never gin, amaro and lemon juice), or the Rainbow Lorikeet (a tutti-frutti layered drink).
January 26 to February 3
216 High Street, Windsor
Johnny’s Italian BBQ
King & Godfree finally re-opened at the end of last year and now its rooftop bar, Johnny's Green Room, will host an Italian barbeque on Sunday. Arrosticini (meat skewers) and seafood will be coming hot off the grill. And there will be Aperol spritzes on tap and cocktail jugs such as Johnny’s Smash – Poor Tom’s gin, sparkling yuzu, ginger, mint, lime and white wine. There’ll be a DJ set from former community radio host Woody McDee.
293–297 Lygon St, Carlton
Pop-Up Beach Club
Port Melbourne pub the Exchange Hotel is heading to the beach to open The Exchange Beach Club, a multi-level container bar and barbeque. Entertainment includes live-music, volleyball, face painting and totem tennis. Coming off the barbeque will be Wagyu beef and Flinders Island lamb skewers as well as pork sausages and beer-braised onions – both of which can be paired with a selection of salads.
January 26 to 28
Port Melbourne Beach, at the end of Bay Street
Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) Narrm Protest
Members and supporters of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community will come together at Parliament House to protest for the abolition of “Australia Day”. More information here.
Parliament House, Spring Street, Melbourne
Invasion Day Dawn Service
A dawn service will be held to remember the Sovereign First Peoples who were involved in the Frontier Wars. More information here.
Kings Domain Resting Place, Alexandra Avenue, Melbourne
Share the Spirit Festival
Share the Spirit Festival is a cultural gathering for the local and regional community that showcases the diverse styles of music created by Indigenous artists. Performers include Mojo Juju, Stiff Gins and Brothers in Arms. More information here.
Treasury Gardens, 2–18 Spring Street, Melbourne
Belgrave Survival Day
Belgrave Survival Day is a celebration of Indigenous culture and survival. Singer-songwriter Dave Arden will perform, as will the Mullum Mullum Choir and The Djirri Djirri dance mob. There will also be a Didjeridoo meditation. More information and here.
Borthwick Park, Benson Street, Belgrave
Company Ink – Queer Life Drawing with Eureka
Queer artist Eureka will host a life-drawing class for artists and non-artists alike that explores queerness through life drawing. Champagne will be served on arrival. Book here.
1 St Heliers Street, Abbortsford
Hottest 100 Party at The Corner
After changing the date of the Hottest 100 in 2017 Triple J will hold its annual countdown of 2018’s best tracks on January 27. There will be a round of Hottest 100 Lotto, where attendees can submit their picks for the top 10 songs and, if correct, win a double pass to any upcoming gig being held at The Corner.
57 Swan Street, Richmond
Activity Sheet: Indigenous Art
Koorie Heritage Trust and NGV Australia have teamed up to create a children’s activity sheet that directs gallery attendees on a tour of Indigenous art, design and culture.
January 26 to 28
The Ian Potter Centre: NGV, Federation Square, Melbourne
DJ Franfine and Hypeman Maxwell
Fresh from her set at Falls Festival, DJ Franfine will be accompanied by Hypeman Maxwell to play hits from the noughties and ’90s from the Midsumma Festival Bar.
Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt Street, Melbourne
Music in Exile Launch Party
Local label Bedroom Suck Records launches its new Music in Exile project, a not-for-profit initiative that aims to increase access and visibility for diaspora musicians who live in Australia. The first release is by Gordon Koang, a South Sudanese pop-star who is now based in Dandenong. Koang will be joined by DJ Lady Erica. Listen to Koang’s single here.
Lazerpig, 9–11 Peel Street, Collingwood
Zoo Twilights: Archie Roach and Briggs
Zoo Twilights’ January 26 line-up features Briggs, Archie Roach and Alice Skye. Briggs is an Indigenous Australian writer, rapper and one half of A B Original. He has collaborated with Paul Kelly and Midnight Oil. Briggs will share the stage with iconic musician and storyteller Archie Roach. Tickets here.
Melbourne Zoo, Elliot Avenue, Melbourne
Australian Open Finals Long Weekend at the Corner
The Corner Hotel will be showing the final days of the Australian Open on screen with drinks specials in the Aperol spritz rooftop garden lounge. Booking is not necessary, but you can secure a table here.
January 26, 12pm–3am
January 27, 12pm–late
57 Swan Street, Richmond