Summer is well and truly here and the party season is in full swing, with Australia Day leading the pack as one of the most anticipated holidays of the new year. Whether you're celebrating in the backyard, on the beach, at a local park or throwing a huge party, you can theme your event with delectable food and uniquely Australian decorations!
Let's take a look at some popular ideas, from food to fun and games.
Most Australia Day celebrations kick off mid-morning, so chances are you'll need to feed the hungry hoards before lunch as the main event.
Perfect options for nibbles include triangle vegemite sandwiches, macadamia nuts, mini sausage rolls, barbecued prawn skewers and platters of Aussie mango and pineapple. Damper is another Aussie icon, and you can make your own or buy pull-apart varieties.
The main event
Mobile catering in Sydney is the easy way to keep everyone happy, especially for large gatherings. Consider a hot dog cart for an outdoor party, as a typically laidback Aussie approach to casual dining that appeals to young and older alike. There are loads of relishes to choose from, and there’s no need to be chained to a barbecue cooking enough to feed everyone – you can just enjoy celebrating the day.
Salads are a refreshing option on a hot day as well, so it’s worth complementing your meat with platters of fresh summer greens. Try adding an Aussie flavour twist with mango, pineapple and zesty citrus dressings.
The sweet stuff
The unwritten 'rule' of Australia Day is that there must be pavlova! Top yours with fresh fruit, such as strawberries and blueberries, or go with the Aussie colours of green and gold and decorate with alternating strips of kiwi fruit and mango. The next best dessert is trifle, with green and gold jelly.
If you'd rather not serve dessert and, instead cater for sweet tooths all day, options include mini lamingtons, Tim Tams, Anzac biscuits, cupcakes with green and gold icing, biscuits in the shapes of kangaroos and koalas, and frozen fruit cubes.
Australian wines and beers top the list for drinks on our nation's holiday. Tropical punch is a great option for non-alcoholic beverages, or create your own cocktails using the fruits of summer and your favourite spirits. Home-made lemonade is the ultimate thirst quencher and you can add a refreshing twist to water jugs using sprigs of mint and frozen fruit cubes. For the little ones, fruit juice poppers offer an easy, mess-free solution.
The all-important decorations
It wouldn’t be Australia Day without a few green and gold balloons, Australian flags, pairs of thongs and cork hats as decoration.
If you really want to go all out, invite your guests to dress up as their favourite Australian sporting heroes or celebrities. Organise games such as 'pin the tail on the kangaroo' and cricket matches, and get everyone involved in the fun.
Most of all, enjoy the day in true, Aussie style!