PREPERATIONS are underway for Australia Day celebrations in Sydney Harbour, and the Port Authority of New South Wales is facilitating its maritime program.

Activities include a tall ships race, the Australia Day Ferrython, a harbour parade, the 186th Australia Day Regatta, and a new high-action performance called Maritime Mayhem.

With all major events to be held around Sydney Harbour, the program is designed to inspire and unify the nation while reigniting one of the world’s most famous waterways.

Port Authority of New South Wales CEO and director Philip Holliday said his team is delighted to be part of the celebrations and anticipates a particularly busy and challenging day.

“The celebrations are pretty much centred around the harbour, and that’s what the port authority is focused upon: the workings of the largest natural harbour in the world,” he said.

“Our role on the day, like every day, is to ensure the safety of the harbour and of our people.

Mr Holliday said the port authority will be involved in the midday salute, Welcome to Country, and will lead the tall ship parade alongside the Water Police.

“Sydney harbour has long been the lifeblood of the economy and continues to be a working port that continues to support and provide great economic gains,” he said.

“The role of the port authority is to oversee that movement and that commercial activity; everything from the commercial vessels that come and go – and will continue to come and go – on Australia Day, and the commercial activity that we see alongside the recreational activity on the day.”

Mr Holliday said the Australia Day celebrations are an opportunity to respect and reflect on the rich culture and heritage of the Traditional Owners of the land surrounding the harbour.  

“Sydney Harbour really is a natural treasure viewed both on the water and on land, and the Port Authority is delighted to be part of the celebrations on Australia day next week.”