Aus Day: Fun starts early and doesn’t stop

FOR those who like to party in public there’s always plenty on for the Australia Day weekend in the capital. aus day1

On Saturday evening, the Australian of the Year announcements combine with performances from top Australian musicians including Matt Corby, Megan Washington and Lior on one stage outside Parliament House for “Australia Celebrates Live”.

Local entertainment and ceremonies in Commonwealth Park start bright and early the next morning and continue for most of the day, and the fireworks are set to light up Lake Burley Griffin at 9pm.

Two of the ACT’s historical homesteads are also opening their doors free of charge over the long weekend, offering a chance for a picnic and quiet reflection on the nation’s past.

In the park

AUSTRALIA Day celebrations in Commonwealth Park get going at 7.30am, when the “Great Aussie Day Breakfast” will be served free of charge at Stage 88. ActewAGL, the Fyshwick Markets and Canberra Milk are providing sausage sandwiches, fruit, yoghurt, tea and coffee. Local sports stars will serve food and sign autographs, and donations for the SouthCare rescue helicopter will be taken.

The official events start at 10am on Rond Terrace with a raising of the Australian flag, a military aircraft flyover and 21-gun salute before the citizenship ceremony at 10.25am.

Children’s entertainment is taken care of by the live stage show “Dora’s Dance Party” on Stage 88, which is giving three half-hour shows in a row, at 10.30, 11.30 and 12.30.

Local blues and roots band “The Bridge Between” will then play two 45-minute sets, at noon and 1.15pm, with a half-hour break in between.

At 6.30pm some of the Australian Defence Force’s best aviators will aim to wow the crowds below with an aerial display and the Traditional Boat Squadron will launch into the lake at 7pm.

At 7.50pm, the Canberra Ice Dragons will show off their outrigger racing skills at Regatta Point, which also happens to be one of the best spots to see the fireworks at 9pm.


What: Various Australia Day events around Lake Burley Griffin.

Where: Stage 88, Commonwealth Park.

When: Sunday, January 26, 7.30am to 9pm.




Bidvest Race Day: eight races at Thoroughbred Park, free entry, 3pm-7.30pm, Randwick Road, Lyneham




Mugga-Mugga historic cottage open day: free entry, 1.30pm-4.30pm, 129 Narrabundah Lane, Symonston.


Australia Celebrates Live: free entry, 5pm-11pm (gates open 3pm), entry behind Old Parliament House.




Great Aussie Day Breakfast: gold coin donation appreciated for Snowy Hyrdo SouthCare Rescue Helicopter, 7.30am-10.30am, Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park.


Australia Day in the Park: free entertainment at Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park with rides, art and craft and face painting.


MS Colour Dash: 5km fun-run fundraiser at 9am for people with multiple sclerosis at Black Mountain Peninsula with runners showered in colourful dust. Adults $50; children under 16, $25; families with two adults and two kids, $100.


Australia Day Festival: Family day out at the National Museum of Australia with children’s entertainment, hip-hop dance lessons, reptiles to play with as well as two exhibitions, one featuring Aboriginal bark art, the other indigenous land and sea management practices. Free entry, 10am-2pm, Black Mountain Peninsula.


Australia Day at Belconnen Arts Centre: Singing and dancing workshops, live music, barbecue, arts and crafts activities. Free entry, 10.30am-4pm, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen.


Mugga-Mugga historic cottage open day: free entry, 1.30pm-4.30pm, 129 Narrabundah Lane, Symonston.


Chief Minister’s Regatta: More than 100 boats hit the water at the Canberra Yacht Club. Free of charge, noon-5pm, Mariner Place, Yarralumla.


Fireworks Spectacular: 9pm above the central basin of Lake Burley Griffin in the centre of the Parliamentary Triangle, a 15-minute display synchronised to a soundtrack of Australian music.




Lanyon historic cottage open day: free entry, 10am-4pm, Tharwa Drive, Tharwa.


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