Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Races

Sport and fitness
ragon Boat Races, Darling Harbour
Photograph: Damian Shaw

Join thousands of spectators lining Cockle Bay for the biggest dragon boat race regatta in the Southern Hemisphere

One of the highlights of the Lunar New Year festival is the annual series of dragon boat races that take place on Cockle Bay in Darling Harbour.

Thousands of paddlers will battle it out over two days, with more than 100 races running every ten minutes, each carrying 22 rowers, plus a drummer to lead the paddling with a rhythmic beat.

It’s worth heading down just to see these ornately designed boats slice through the water – each 12-metre vessel is carved with the head and tail of a dragon, and sports colourful scales painted down the sides. Races begin with the dotting of the dragon’s eye – a symbolic awaking of the dragon before the races begin. 

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