With Australia Day looming, it’s about time to start figuring out how you’re going to make the most of your day off. Here are some of the best events Brisbane and the Gold Coast have to offer!

Great Australian Bites

Southbank Parklands from 11am, with fireworks at 7:30pm

Great Australian Bites is back for the long weekend to celebrate the best in Australian food and Queensland produce. Running from Thursday January 26 and culminating on Saturday January 28, this isn’t a festival to miss.

Food stalls will be showcasing great Aussie cuisine (not just sausages in bread) and there will be picnic baskets available for you and the family to go and enjoy in the South Bank Parklands.

Live music will feature all through the long weekend, ending on Saturday night with Phil Jamieson from Aussie band Grinspoon.

Don’t forget the fireworks at 7:30pm, either!

Australia Day Seafood Festival at Gasworks

Longland Street, Newstead, from 11am

Bring your own rug, chair, bean bag, or even just a plastic bag, because you’ll want something to sit on in the grass to enjoy this fantastic day at Gasworks.

With a pop-up sushi and seafood bar, there’s something to tame your hunger. There will be entertainment for the kids, with games, activities and face painting. The Hottest 100 will be playing to help you relive the best music of 2016.

There will also be uniquely Aussie competitions, including prawn peeling, watermelon eating, lamington fun, and best dressed.

At 7:15pm, you’ll be front and centre to enjoy the Gasometer’s sound and light show!

Victoria Park

223 Herston Road, Herston, from 10am to 4pm

Victoria Park is helping us celebrate Australia Day with more than just golf. While the driving range and Putt Putt course are open as per usual, Victoria Park is putting on a day for the family.

There will be a tug of war, sack races, a bouncy castle, and giant outdoor games, not to mention free ice cream for the kids supplied by Maleny Dairies from 10am to 11am! There will also be free Aussie stickers for any kids.

As for the adults, there will be wood-fired pizzas and buckets of Australian beers to enjoy, with an Aussie menu and specials at the Bistro. Remember to book your place at the Bistro for lunch, as places could be limited.

Eat for Free at Delfina’s Bistro 

959 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, from noon

This Australia day, Brisbane favourite Delfina’s Bistro is letting you eat for free.

All you have to do is go to their website, pre-purchase a drinks card, and you’re in. The food offerings will include slow cooked lamb shoulder, herb crusted wagyu brisket, twice-cooked potatoes chorizo and thyme, roast vegetables and salads with house made damper on the side.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Australia Day without a Pavlova, which will be on offer for dessert.

Australia Day by the Bay

Moora Park, Swan Street, Shorncliffe, from 10:30am

Here’s something to enjoy as you congratulate a whole bunch of new Australian citizens in Shorncliffe!

Starting at 10:30am at the Sandgate Town Hall, you can celebrate with them all as the ceremony starts.

This is followed by a BBQ in Upper Moora Park from 1pm to 3pm, which will help fuel those participating in the Billy Cart Races in Cotton Street from 3pm.

Head down to Shorncliffe on Thursday to cheer them on and enjoy the weather by the sea.

Moonlight Cinema

New Farm Park, from 6pm

Moonlight Cinema is embracing Australia Day with a showing of Red Dog: True Blue.

This time, you can pack up the Pomeranian with the picnic basket, as this is a pet-friendly showing!

There’s a fully stocked bar and food truck on site, but you might want to pack the pup his own treats.

Regatta Hotel

543 Coronation Drive, Toowong, from 11am

As always, the Coronation Drive stalwart is putting on a great day to celebrate.

The Courtyard will be smelling delicious thanks to a BBQ, with cocktail jugs available to help wash it all down.

Triple J’s Hottest 100 will be playing all day, with live music to pick up the slack once it’s over.

Definitely a place to enjoy the sun and not have to lift a finger, unless it’s to sip your glass of Pimms.

Story Bridge Hotel Australia Day Street Party

200 Main Street, Kangaroo Point, from 11am

It’s not Australia day if there isn’t a cockroach race. Having taken over the street underneath the bridge, this will go ahead rain, hail or shine. The cockroach races start at midday.

There will be live music, including Busby Marou and Cheap Fakes. There’ll also be a Dunk Machine (bring your togs), Aussie food stalls, food trucks and street entertainers.

The best costume wins a prize, and of course you can bet on the cockroach races. I’ve heard good things about number 8.

Entry is a gold coin donation which goes straight to YoungCare.

Surf’s Up at the Breakfast Creek Hotel

2 Kingsford Smith Drive, Albion, from 11am

Breakfast Creek is making itself the place to be this Australia Day by letting you try your luck on a mechanical surf board for free.

There will be raffles, and loads of giveaways, with kids able to enjoy this family friendly venue.

Of course you can get yourself an iconic steak, and enjoy the Hottest 100 countdown in the Substation no.41 rum bar as you sip Australia-themed cocktails.

Green Beacon’s Fourth Birthday Bash

26 Helen Street, Teneriffe, from 11am

Green Beacon is ready to celebrate their fourth birthday with all of us.

Playing the Hottest 100 all day, Green Beacon will be serving their usual to-die-for seafood and charcuterie platters, and thanks to food truck Char Baby, there will be extra Aussie favourites, including gourmet lamb pies, sausage rolls, hot chips and homemade lamingtons.

Green Beacon is also unveiling a new beer, just for the day, called the Australian Sparkling Ale. You’d be mad to miss this birthday party!

Taxi Ride at Treasury Casino

130 William Street, Brisbane City, from 8pm

Taxi Ride are making their comeback, teaming up with the Treasury Casino for a special performance on Australia Day in the LiveWire Bar.

Kicking off at 8:30pm, you can expect to hear your old favourites, and some new tunes from them.

Bavarian Bier Café

1/45 Eagle Street, Brisbane City, from noon

Ready for buckets of beers? Bavarian Bier Café is having an absolute beaut of a party with buckets of ice cold Urban Craft Brewing Co beers.

There will be a special Australia Day food challenge, with a kilogram of veal schnitzel covered in crispy bacon, pickled beetroot and eggs sunny side up. Eat it all in one hour and you received the meal for free, a Schnitzelmeister t-shirt and a place in the hall of fame.

The Malty Grain

180 Beaudesert-Beenleigh Road, Windaroo, from 10am

Don’t think we’ve forgotten anyone in the south. The Malty Grain, flagship restaurant for The Beard and Brau Brewery, is celebrating Australia Day in style.

A lamb spit roast with all the trimmings will sit alongside the Malty Grain’s tapas offerings. There’s a full array of craft beers, ciders and wine to sip as you listen to the Hottest 100.

There will be a thong-throwing competition, and some backyard cricket happening, alongside all the lawn games you can imagine.

Kookaburra Cruise

Eagle Street Pier, Brisbane City, from noon

Brisbane’s famous river cruise is getting in the spirit for the day. They’ll be running two special cruises on the day with food to go with it. You can sit back, relax and enjoy an Australia carvery buffet, as you enjoy views of Brisbane from the water for two hours.

There’s going to be live entertainment, a best dressed competition and the dinner time cruise will stop in the perfect spot to enjoy the fireworks in South Bank.

The lunch cruise boards at 12pm and the dinner cruise boards at 5pm.

The Gathering Feel Good Festival

Country Paradise Parklands, Nerang, from noon

This Australia Day sees the launch of a brand new music festival on the Gold Coast, The Gathering Feel Good Music Festival.

The inaugural festival will be held at the lush Country Paradise Parklands in Nerang.

International DJs will be there to keep attendees dancing with upbeat and feel-good tunes.

There will also be a Body Mind and Spirit village full of wellbeing consultants, lifestyle coaches, and natural living experts, as well as masseuses to help ease those sore muscles from all the dancing!

$5 tickets at Palace Centro Cinemas

39 James Street, Fortitude Valley

Enjoy the best new-release films with an epic-sized wine, olive oil popped popcorn or a handmade choc top in one of Palace Centro’s five new luxurious cinemas, with all tickets priced at just $5 from Thursday 26 January to Sunday 29 January.

Must-see films include Lion, Live By Night, La La Land, Jackie and Perfect Strangers; tickets are available now at palacecinemas.com.au.

How will you be celebrating Australia Day? Let us know in the comments below!