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Published January 4th 2015
Enjoy a feature packed Australia Day Weekend with this guide
Melbourne has many events and festivals for you and the family to enjoy over the January 2015 long weekend. Some are out of town and some are in the city. Some are are suited to share with your mates, while others are more family focused. There is plenty on for all, so do get out and about this coming long weekend to see, participate, and enjoy one or more of these listed here on this handy guide to the best of Australia Day weekend festivals.
Holden EH a classic Aussie to be seen at the picnic
RACV Australia Day Picnic LOCATION- Kings Domain Gardens, Melbourne.
DATE-Monday January 26th 10am to 4pm
This is an all free event with so much on including a working dogs display, tai chi, mini golf, and lots of organised picnic style fun and games and giveaways. Take a picnic rug, your esky full of tucker and all the family, relax on the lush green grass and watch the world go by. In addition to all this excitement the RACV sponsors a huge vehicle display of over 450 classic and veteran vehicles. Pay homage to the classic Aussie cars.
The Festival of Sails LOCATION- Held along Eastern Beach Road, Waterfront Precinct, Geelong DATE- January 22 to 26th
This sailing regatta has been running since 1884, making it the oldest sporting event in the country. Loads more to see and it must be good to being the 100,000 over the five days to see the event and experience the Waterfront Festival on the Geelong forshore with market stalls food and drink and culminating in a fireworks display. See program here.
sail boats sparkling in the summer sun
Herring Island Summer Arts Festival LOCATION Herring Island, Yarra River
DATE Monday 26th January Gallery open 11.30am to 4.30 pm Punt service 11am-5pm costs $2 This festival runs all summer long however the long weekend is an ideal time to take the trip on the punt over to the island which is in the middle of the Yarra River, three kilometres from the city. Access is by punt from the Como Landing. Relax in this pretty setting and take in some of the various art exhibits. Special activities will run over the Australia Day weekend also such as self guided walks of the island, outdoor artists demonstrations, and the current exhibition. This would be a wonderful outing to take your parents or Grandma. See more details here.
The art exhibit is located in the old scout hall on the island
Ballarat Beer Festival
LOCATION- City Oval, Ballarat.
DATE Saturday 24th January
Perhaps you had best take the train for this one. With trains leaving Souhern Cross Station for Ballarat this makes an easy day trip, and a safe one at that. Enjoy the atmosphere and an interesting and varied entertainment lineup, taste test some new craft and boutique beers and ciders. An ideal way to spend part of the long weekend celebrations with your mates. Entry is by ticket only and are available online at $45 which includes a glass and a selection of beers to try. More information here.
A great day out with your mates to celebrate Australia Day with out local brews
Fryerstown Antique Fair
LOCATION, Fryerstown, via Chewton.
From Thursday 22nd at 2pm to Monday 3pm
Grab a friend, a picnic lunch and a sunhat and head for a day in the country at one of the best antique and collectables events in the country. This is a popular outdoor event with dealers and tens of thousands of visitors attending from all over Australia. The event runs for five days over the long weekend. If you love vintage, old wares, and antiques you cant miss this one, and with around 250 sites you will have a full fun day out. Read more here.
Great Australia Day Swim
LOCATION- corner Normandy Streets and Esplanade, Brighton.
DATE- Monday January 26th 7.45 am to 2pm.
There are five races from short junior events to longer ones for adults in this annual Aussie Day event. The most challenging is a five kilometre swim on a marked course. You could then teach the kids how to do the Australian crawl after the excitement of competing is over. Top the day of with your own barbecue in a local park with you family and there is a perfect Australia Day for you. you can enter online here
The Piers Festival
LOCATION- Port Melbourne jetties area;
DATE- Sunday January 25th from 12 noon.
This is a new major event and is billed as a day of "celebration of migration" that has made Melbourne the place it is today. Held at the location where many post war immigrants and refugees came to Melbourne. This is a multicultural event with performers, food, music including top entertainers, and cultural exhibits. A fun filled afternoon for all the family. And my tip is take the tram to the Port for this one, as where would you park?
Enjoy a tram ride to the Melbourne Ports area for a fun day out
These events are in Melbourne or an hour or so drive out of the city. With so much on offer it will be hard to choose just what to attend. So don your Akubra, your zinc cream, and throw in some Aussie flag tatoos in your handbag, and fly the flag this Australia Day.