Australia Day was celebrated with patriotic gusto around the country, with the iconic pub leading the charge to out-Aussie all comers.
Dangling prizes valued up to $2000, the institutional event draws hundreds of partakers and offers no-nonsense corporate boxes to the bug-race for up to 12 serious people.
On Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the quintessential beer garden pub the Newport Arms hosted its 19th Annual Australia Day-Eve Garden Party, with party anthems serenading the moonlit dancefloor, and a fireworks display over Pittwater at midnight to bring in the big day.
The institutional Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdown featured prominently across the country, but particularly in Melbourne where Aussie-themed barbeques and cider bars popped up and serviced revellers to the tune of the best music of 2014. Hip to this trend were: Abbotsford’s Aviary Hotel, Prahran’s College Lawn Hotel, and Melbourne’s Campari House, The Village and Wharf Hotel, amongst others.
St Kilda’s The Grosvenor also put on an all-you-can-eat barbeque followed by traditional pavlova and trifle that promised to test the waistline.
Oz-themed food made a strong show in pub bistros, with Sydney venues particularly embracing the concept. The Manly Wharf Hotel offered ‘Cheese & Vegemite pizza’; Little Fish made ‘Pavlova Cocktails’; The Norfolk served up Aussie-Mexican hybrid ‘Kangaroo Tacos’.
The Charing Cross Hotel hosted its Australia Day party based around the legendary Chiko Roll.
And The Golden Sheaf showed why it is one of the big names in pubs, bringing the punters ‘Croc on a spit’.