Gearing Up for Australia Day Whistler 2019
You’ve probably already heard the jokes:
‘What’s the capital of Australia?’
‘What’s the most liveable Australian city?’
These jokes are built upon Whistler’s reputation for being a skiing and party mecca for young Aussies.
Whilst there are no stats to tell us exactly how many Aussies there are in Whistler (whether on working holiday visas or in possession of permanent residency) we can assure you that trying to find an Aussie in Whistler is like trying to find hay in a haystack. And Australia Day in Whistler… well that’s something to be reckoned with.
Australia Day is a tradition stemming back to the day the first fleet of convict ships from Britain arrived on the shores of what was going to eventually be named Australia. This day, January 26th 1788, immediately began being marked every year by the growing and increasingly prosperous settler communities.
Skip forward to the 20th and 21st centuries Australia Day is now a fantastic feat of drinking athleticism, patriotism vocalized through incessant chanting, and green and gold clothing. In case you didn’t know, aussies- like the Brits- like to drink. One of their longest serving prime ministers- Bob Hawke- holds the beer drinking world record (sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds) and one in four people are estimated to over-consume alcohol monthly.
It isn’t surprising, therefore, that in Whistler- a pilgrimage destination for young Aussies who want to party- Australia Day goes far from unnoticed. You mix the high number of Aussies living in Whistler with their highly festive spirits and you get one epic Australia Day in Whistler. Here we’ll outline what you can expect of Australia Day in Whistler 2019.
What is it Like on the Hill for Australia Day?
To use one word to capture what the hill on Australia Day in Whistler is like: chaos.
Aussies from Whistler ascend upon the slopes to ski, snowboard, and party. Expect costuming, from kangaroo heads, t-shirts with Vegemite prints (a culinary stable from Aus akin to Marmite), to full on green and gold body paint. It’s not uncommon to see a couple riders throwing about a cricket ball either.
When on the hill, make your way over to ‘Hecker’s Hill’. This has become a traditional meeting place for the Australia Day celebrations. This hill is an ideal, raised part of the hill that allows it’s festive and temporary population throw abuse at passers-by.
Lots is drunk on the hill on Australia in Whistler. Ski patrol is on standby to make sure that everyone is able to get down the slopes safely, and so far, despite the intensity of the party, the festive-goers generally manage to get themselves back to the Village in one piece. Perhaps the lure of more drink wakes them up.
Others choose to abstain from the slopes for the day and head to the Longhorn, the de-facto Whistler Australia Day HQ, early in the morning to get a coveted table and seats on their perfect people-watching patio. Since the Longhorn has started playing the Triple J Hottest 100- a radio show that lists the 100 songs that year by Aussie musicians each Australia Day- it’s popularity for Australia Day in Whistler has grew and grew.
Events to Hit During Australia Day
Whilst we don’t have information about the events in store for the Australia Day in Whistler 2019, here are some examples of events from the 2018 Australia Day.
Music is a key part of Whistler Australia Day festivities. Last year the bar Garfinkels invited the Aussie DJ team Peking Duk to play for a sold-out show. As mentioned above, live streaming of the Triple J Hottest 100 is a great way to bring in the crowds, Aussie and otherwise. A number of places of different venues have played this best-of radio list over the years, including the Longhorn, Tapleys, and Buffalo Bill’s.
Bar crawling is also a typical way to move through your Australia Day in Whistler. If choosing where to go is proving overwhelming (there is a huge choice and we’ve covered some of it here) why not book a guided tour through Bar Hop Whistler which includes drinks, food, and leaves your day plan-free.
To be honest though, Whistler Village will be teeming with revellers this Australia Day- you won’t need a guide to show you where the biggest parties are happening. Instead you’ll hear the party and spot the queues for the most popular venues (e.g. the Longhorn).
Where to Eat on Australia Day
Since Australia Day in Whistler lasts two days for those most dedicated (to take into account the time difference), people need to fuel up to maintain their stamina.
And for those less party oriented but more just looking for a good time with good company and FANTASTIC people watching (it’s like watching a fresher’s week but the partiers are older, more funny, and more prone to trying out questionable stunts) you may want to share an Aussie-inspired meal together.
Top of our list for Australian inspired food is Peaked Pies. Peaked Pies specialise in Australian pies. They’re most well-known for their meat pies (suitable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner) but they make delicious sweet pies too. They are an affordable option (we’ve written more about them here) and tick the box for patriotic food choice on Australia Day in Whistler.
Keep an eye out for Aussie themed menus at other eateries in Whistler. Last year Stonesedge celebrated Australia Day 2018 with specials for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Lunch was the classic Aussie Brunch Sanga (think BLT… elevated: eggs, bacon, lettuce, pickled beets, and BBQ sauce…!) and was also offered for take-out for those eager to get to the hill asap (and have a delicious lunch on the slopes).
How to Prepare For Australia Day
So, we’ve informed you about what to expect from Australia Day in Whistler 2019 in terms of the vibe, events, and possible dining options. We want to end with two guides to help you prepare for Australia Day.
Things you’ll want on hand:
- a brazen costume, perhaps a kangaroo head or Aussie-flag bikini
- a comfortable ‘carry-on’ bag that is comfortable when riding but also has a big capacity for holding ice-cold beverages
- a fully-charged phone- you’re going to lose at least one of your friend, or all of them, during the Village madness. You’ll want your phone to find your mates, or at least to take photos of them at their most embarrassing.
- A good knowledge of the weather forecast. Don’t be silly- check the weather. It gets cold in Whistler and it’s best to be prepared.
Steps to take to gear up to your Australia Day in Whistler 2019:
- Hydrate 48 hours before the event. WITH WATER is what we mean.
- Get a wax. FOR YOU SKIIS OR BOARD is what we mean.
- Hop onto Facebook and make sure your privacy settings ensure that only you can allow tagged photos to go public. You’ll thank us for this.
- Check out what’s on for music. Spot a great DJ set? Book your tickets fast to avoid disappointment.
Australia Day Whistler 2019
Are you ready for Australia Day in Whistler 2019? You know the date: January 26th 2019. You know what to expect. Grab some mates and maybe we’ll catch you on the slopes!
*As a note: Australia Day isn’t all smiles and good cheer. For Aboriginal Australian communities Australia Day has an entirely different connotation and January 26th is known to some as Invasion Day. It’s important to acknowledge this, especially here in Canada!*