Sizzling Sydney jump starts January

While you may be too late to enjoy the incredible fireworks on show in Sydney Harbour, if you're in Australia in January don't worry because as the temperature begins to climb in the Australian summer, so too does the amount of things to do.

Australia Day's celebrations centred
around Sydney Harbour rival any in the

The average January temperature in Sydney is a balmy 26 degrees C but with the climate able to scale heights as high as a whopping 45 degrees C, make sure to keep cool if you plan to enjoy the delights of the Sydney Festival 2012.

The Sydney Festival is an almost month long celebration of the arts and culture which involves theatres, music, dancing and art exhibitions.

Particular highlights of the festival include famed DJ Norman Jay who will be parking his double decker bus in Hyde Park on 7th January to kick off a marathon eight hour dance session while on the 13th of January, Clairy Brown and the Bangin' Rackettes will be tearing up the stage to bring a raucous end to the first Friday of the festival.

Aside from music there are more than 20 individual theatrical performances spread over the duration of the festival and if your Sydney Festival experience is aimed toward the end of the month, stick around for the 26th when the whole city comes together to throw a giant party to celebrate the national holiday Australia Day.

Aside from the festival, one of sport's most popular events gets underway in Melbourne in the third week of January with the Australian Open. While the men's game continues to get ever more competitive with Novak Djokovic attempting to solidify his position at the pinnacle of the game and Andy Murray tries to keep up, the women's game remains as unpredictable as ever, although with Sam Stosur becoming Australia's first female Grand Slam champion in decades with her win at last year's US Open, Australian tennis fans have something to look forward since the decline of Lleyton Hewitt.

What would spending the summer in one of the world's hottest and most beautiful locations be if you didn't spend at least most of your waking hours on the beach? While you may not be quite energetic enough to take part, the Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Ironman & Ironwoman Series which takes place in Queensland and New South Wales, just the chance to see 36 of Australia's toughest and strongest lifeguards take to the waves might be just the thing to make you relax, even if the athletes don't as they battle the tide and the heat with swims, runs and paddles.

 - Dominic Ladden-Powell is Online Editor with the Australian Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to Australia.