Things to do this Australia Day long weekend

There's pig races, bull riding, yabby races and thong throwing and the chance to win free ice cream!
08 Jan 2024
Ashleigh Howarth, Freelance writer

From live entertainment to pig races, bull riding, pie-eating competitions, thong throwing, drifting and swimming, Ipswich has lots of great events this Australia Day long weekend.

Find a golden ticket for six months’ of free ice cream!

Lamington choc tops are available at UB's Milk Bar for Aussie Day.

UB’s Milk Bar will be open on the Australia Day public holiday because it’s their sixth birthday!  They’re celebrating with lamington choc tops and inside one will be a golden ticket for six months’ of free ice cream – the deal is one take home tub a week for 26 weeks! 

One in five ice creams will have a prize inside, with one lucky person taking home the golden ticket and major prize.

The Lamington choc tops feature vanilla bean ice cream with a strawberry jam swirl dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with coconut – yum!  UB’s will also be open for delicious burgers, milkshakes and desserts on the day.

Bull riding at the Ipswich Showgrounds


With its blend of tradition and adrenaline-pumping action, the Aussie Day Bull Ride at the Ipswich Showgrounds is a must-see spectacle that captures the essence of Australian culture with edge-of-your-seat sporting entertainment from start to finish. The day will also feature gourmet food trucks, stallholders, amusement rides, live entertainment, a DJ and more. Gates open at 4pm. The bull ride commences at 5.30pm, followed by an after party. Tickets are limited and only available online. 

Backyard cricket with Australian cricketer Jack Wood

Rosewood Hotel backyard cricket

The Rosewood Hotel is hosting a session of backyard cricket on Australia Day.  Special guest on the day will be Australian cricketer Jack Wood, who will play on the field and on his guitar.  To join the fun, two teams are being fielded for the inaugural backyard cricket test and need seven on each side.  There will be prizes, tunes and a lamb on the spit for lunch.

Sips at the Cellar Door

Gin tasting at Imbibis Craft Distillery

The Cellar Door at Imbibis Craft Distillery will be open all this long weekend including Friday from 10am to 6pm. On Friday you can sip on Lamington cocktails, and pair them with Lamingtons and vegemite sandwiches.

Saturday and Sunday they’ll open from 12pm to 6pm.  Think refreshing cocktails, laughter with friends, and that perfect summer breeze. Whether you’re a seasoned Imbibis fan or a first-time visitor now’s the perfect time to enjoy.

Aussie beers and lamb pies at the PA Hotel

Craft beer at Tap'd

Head into the PA Hotel to taste Aussie beers and a home-made lamb and rosemary pie on Australia Day.  They’re also running their normal menu on the day, open for lunch and dinner, and there’s no public holiday surcharge!

Pig Races at Falvey’s Hotel Yamanto

Close-up of a pig on a farm, piggy playing with fun

The third annual Australia Day pig races return to Falvey’s Hotel Yamanto on January 26, with the event raising money for Variety Children’s Charity. There will also be an animal farm, face painting and a dunk tank. The restaurant will be open from 11am with the full menu available. 

Music galore at Brothers Leagues Club

Dirty Dice will perform on the Australia Day long weekend at Brothers

Grab your dancing shoes because the team from Brothers Leagues Club have planned three massive days of live entertainment to celebrate the Australia Day long weekend. There will also be $100 cash draws every 30 minutes from 2pm, as well as raffles, lucky door prizes, and prizes for the best dressed. 

Fire and Whistle Theory to appear at Karalee Tavern

Fire and Whistle Theory will perform at Karalee Tavern on Australia Day 2024

Brisbane band Fire and Whistle Theory will be appearing at the Karalee Tavern for a special Australia Day performance. All the fun begins at 2pm, with lots of cold beverages and fun for the whole family.

Car park party at CSI

Australia Day at CSI

The upstairs car park at Club Services Ipswich (CSI) will be transformed into a family-friendly fun zone on Australia Day, with lots of live entertainment, a dunk tank, face painting, petting zoo, jumping castle, traditional pie eating and thong throwing competitions, plus a pop-up bar and food stall. Head down between 11am-3pm.  CSI will also have a menu full of Aussie cuisines to tantalise your tastebuds including a seafood feast, homemade pies and pavlova.

Munch on Aussie-inspired dishes at The Rusty Nail


The Aussie cuisine is a unique one, so if you’re looking to feast on some classic dishes, head on down to The Rusty Nail. The bartenders will also be creating lots of colourful cocktails, and there will be live music throughout the day.

Yabby races at the Walloon Hotel


In true Aussie style, the Walloon Hotel will be hosting yabby races and a mullet competition in celebration of Australia Day, which is sure to have the crowd cheering in more ways than one. You might even get lucky and win some great prizes in the raffle, or you can spend the day singing and dancing on the dance floor.

Aussie Day buffet at the Raceview Hotel


Treat your tastebuds to mouthwatering lamb chops, party pies and sausage rolls, mini parmigianas, barramundi, pavlovas, freddo frogs in billabongs, Tim Tam lava cake, lamingtons and so much more at the special Aussie Day buffet at the Raceview Hotel. The buffet will be open over lunch from 11.30am-2pm. Bookings are required.

Family fun day at Mt Crosby Bowls Club

Australian Day 26th Jan

There will be plenty of fun for both kids and adults at the Australia Day extravaganza at the Mt Crosby Bowls Club on January 26. There will be lots of live music, free face painting, jumping castle, raffles, a thong throwing competition, and even a competition to see who can nibble a Sao biscuit into the shape of Australia! The bar will also be open with plenty of cold beverages including beer, wine, soft drinks, poppers and snacks available for purchase. 

Pub grub and live music at Orion Hotel

meat pie

Enjoy a few cold ones while filling up on traditional Aussie food specials the entire weekend at Orion Hotel. All the fun begins on Thursday, January 25 with live music from 6pm, then on January 26, 27 and 28 live Aussie rock from 12pm to closing time. A pie eating competition and meat tray raffles will also be held on Australia Day. 

Rock on at the Royal Mail

Powerhouse rock and blues band The Massive Fergusons will be performing all your favourite rock hits, including some Aussie crackers, when they take to the stage at Royal Mail Goodna on Australia Day at 2pm. Everyone is encouraged to come dressed in their best Aussie outfit, and even bring some blow up beach balls to add to the fun. 

Drift into fun at Queensland Raceway

Queensland Rcaeway Willowbank Ipswich

Knowing that Aussies love their cars, the team from Queensland Raceway knew one of the best ways to celebrate Australia Day would be to hold a full day of drifting! Two drift tracks will run simultaneously on January 26, allowing everyone the chance to burn some rubber. Spectators, pit-crew and passengers are all welcome. In addition, the go kart track will also be in action from 12-5pm. Bookings are recommended. 

Cool off at the Orion Lagoon

Orion Lagoon Photo: Lady Brisbane

If you feel like taking a dip on Australia Day, head to the Orion Lagoon in Springfield. Bigger than Streets Beach in Brisbane, the Orion Lagoon has lots of interconnected pools with different depths to cater for swimmers of all ages. Plus, there is also an aquativity section with squirting spots and stepping stones for younger kids to enjoy.

Free entry to all Council-owned pools


With Australia Day set to be a scorcher, families can beat the heat at one of the many Council-owned swim centres, with free entry on January 26. This applies to the Bundamba Swim Centre, Goodna Aquatic Centre, Rosewood Aquatic Centre and Georgie Conway Leichhardt Community Swim Centre from 10am to 4pm. Don’t forget to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide!

Ashleigh Howarth Freelance writer
Ashleigh Howarth is a journalist with more than 12 years experience in the media industry. Her passions include travelling, dessert bars, cocktails and attending music concerts. She aims to inspire others to unlock their own sense of wanderlust to explore this beautiful big world, whether that be on a local or more global scale. You can keep up to date with her stories by following @journo_ash_ on Instagram.

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