A dazzling fireworks display, particularly in Sydney, ushers in the first day of January after a New Year's Eve night of celebrations.
New Year's Day, a public holiday throughout Australia, marks the beginning of a month of arts and sports events that highlight the first month of the calendar year in Australia.
January in Australia is the middle of summer with average temperatures ranging from a high of 36°C (97°F) at Alice Springs to 22°C (72°F) in Hobart and a low of 12°C (54°F) in Hobart to 25°C (77°F) in Darwin. Note that these are average maximum and minimum temperatures and actual temperatures may exceed the averages at certain times and in different regions.
Except in Darwin which may record an average 15 inches of rainfall in January, most city capitals would generally be dry with no more than 2 inches of rainfall.
Major Australian events spanning a number of days in January include the Sydney Festival and the Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne.
In Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia's Country Music Festival normally takes place in January.
The public holidays celebrated in January are New Year's Day, January 1, and Australia Day, January 26.
The Sydney Festival is a celebration of the arts, particularly the performing arts, and comprises music events; theater, dance and physical theater; visual arts and cinema; and a variety of outdoor events.
Performing arts venues may include the Sydney Opera House, Capitol Theatre, Sydney Theatre, Theatre Royal, Riverside Theatres in Parramatta, and Parade Theatre at the University of New South Wales, Kensington.
Event details and booking information may be found at sydneyfestival.org.au.
The Australian Open is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments during the year (followed by the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open). The Australian Open is held at Melbourne Park with center court events at the Rod Laver Arena.
For Australian Open information visit australianopen.com.
Australia Day commemorates the 1788 landing at Sydney Cove by Captain Arthur Phillips who founded the first European settlement in Australia in the Sydney area now known as The Rocks.
Appropriate ceremonies mark Australia Day throughout Australia. In Sydney, most Australia Day events, such as the Sydney ferry race in Sydney Harbour, are encompassed within the Sydney Festival.
Be safe on Australian beaches.
Along the north Queensland coast past Great Keppel Island, be wary of the poisonous box jellyfish, including the deadly Irukandji jellyfish. January is the jellyfish season of October/November to April/May.