IT was a day to celebrate all things Australian but it quickly descended into an afternoon of violence and racism echoing the ugly stain of the 2005 Cronulla riots in NSW.
Once the embodiment of all things good about the country, Australia Day today became a scene of brawls and vandalism across NSW - with anger spreading from Shellharbour in the south to Port Macquarie in the north, The Daily Telegraph reported.
In Manly hundreds of youths draped in "Aussie pride" livery wore slogans declaring "f--k off we're full" as they smashed car windows and ran up the famous Corso targeting non-white shop keepers.
A 18-year-old Asian female in one of the cars was showered with shattered glass, giving her numerous cuts to her arms. She was treated on the scene by ambulance officers.
A taxi driven by a Sikh Indian was also targeted while an Asian shopkeeper was reportedly assaulted.
Groups of men jumped up on cars chanting race hate to the terrified passengers within, and were heard singing "tits out for the boys" at passing girls and yelled "lets go f--k with these Lebs".
What started as chants of "Aussie Aussie Aussie" at 1pm (AEDT) had in an hour had developed the potential to resemble Cronulla Beach in 2005.
By 3.30pm (AEDT) Manly Police called in the public order and riot squad and PolAir in an attempt to control the crowd, made up of a core group of troublemakers estimated by police about 80 drunks teenagers from out of town.
By 4.30pm (AEDT) the rain came and the cooled tensions as police began to regain control.
By the end three cars were damaged, one 16-year-old boy was charged with assaulting police, two 16-year-olds were cautioned for offensive behaviour and one cautioned for jumping into the water infront of the ferry.
Manly Superintendent Dave Darcy said group of teens came in from out of town.
"We are significantly ramping up our investigative response and we're determined to hold these people to account for their behaviour," he said.
"We've brought in some police from the areas where these people are from with their local knowledge in identifying these people.
"If they came over to manly seeking anonymity for their behaviour they're sadly mistaken."
Police were called to a report of a 30-person brawl on Shelly Beach Road at Port Macquarie while another 30 people were reportedly fighting on Towns St in Shellharbour.
For those people: