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Australia Day flypasts: Every time and location around the country

written by Adam Thorn | January 26, 2023

A F-35 Lightning II aircraft from RAAF Base Williamtown flies off the coast near Newcastle. (Defence, FSGT Mick Bott)

A RAAF F-35 will fly past Sydney Harbor at midday to celebrate Australia Day on Thursday.

The fifth-generation fighter jet will be visible anywhere from Circular Quay in the city up to North Head in Manly.

It will be joined by an MH-60R Seahawk that will fly along the beaches and through the harbour with the national flag underslung.

The Army’s Red Beret parachute team and the RAAF’s formation aerobatic display team – the Roulettes – will bring the day to a close.

Across the country, other aircraft conducting flypasts will include the Poseidon, Wedgetail and Hercules.


To see a full list of displays, locations and times, see the bottom of this article.

The F-35 is the country’s newest fighter, purchased to replace the RAAF’s F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets that were in service since 1985 and retired in late 2021.

Over the coming years, Australia will buy 72 as part of the $17 billion AIR 6000 Phase 2A/B program, with all expected to be fully operational by 2023.

In September, the RAAF took delivery of four more, taking its current fleet to 54.

The aircraft comes in three variants: the F-35A — purchased by Australia — is a conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) version; the F-35B is a short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) variant, and the final F-35C is the carrier type (CV).

Australia similarly placed a second order in September for 12 MH-60R Seahawk/Romeo helicopters in a deal tipped to be worth over $2.5 billion.

The new aircraft will build on the 24 acquired between 2013–2016 and would take the total size of the fleet to 36.

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