Every year on Australia Day, we celebrate all the things we love about Australia - land, sense of fair go, the lifestyle, democracy, the freedoms we enjoy, but especially … we celebrate our people.
Australia Day is all about acknowledging and celebrating the contributions that every Australian makes to our modern and dynamic nation. From our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who have been here for thousands of years, to those who have lived here for generations and to those who have come from all corners of the globe, to call our country, Australia, home.
The First Peoples are the traditional custodians of our beautiful lands and waterways and have a fundamental role in the great Australian story - Image: Celebrate Australia Day FB
The marking of 26 January is an important date in Australia's history. Initially, this date specifically marked the arrival of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by commander, Captain Arthur Phillip. Today, Australia Day has evolved into what is now a celebration of Australia's diverse people, reflecting our society, our landscape, our remarkable achievements and our bright future together.
To help families celebrate this important date, here are seven family friendly Australia Day events in and around the Sunshine Coast. Please note due to Covid, these events may be cancelled at very short notice - readers are encouraged to check on the relevant Facebook links and/or websites to ensure they are going ahead.
Spend the whole day at Australia Zoo - Image: author
Australia Zoo have a fabulous family day planned for Australia Day with live entertainment; an Australia Day Hopscotch Competition; a Koala Throwing Competition (not real koalas, silly); a Treasure Hunt plus an opportunity to win an awesome family camping prize.
John Williamson, the true blue Aussie country singer, will be performing live in the Mount Franklin Crocoseum. Join in and enjoy all your favourite Aussie songs. This show is FREE with your paid entry to Australia Zoo.
Hop like a kangaroo as part of the Australia Day Hopscotch Challenge and win a free prize on your last jump. Prizes are only available while stocks last, so make sure you hop along there early.
Starting at 10.45am, the annual Koala Throwing Competition is a fun Aussie game that challenges your ability to toss plush toys. You have to be in it, to win it - get there early for a shot at a prize!
Visitors to Australia Zoo have a chance to win the ultimate family camping prize - Image: Australia Zoo FB
Until 31 January, visitors to Australia Zoo have a chance to win the ultimate family camping prize - a Toyota Hilux and Jayco Camper, worth $90,717, including on-road costs. Just by visiting Australia Zoo for a day of adventure, you will receive an entry ticket on paid admission. Entries can be registered here, via the Australia Zoo website.
Buderim Mountain State School Oval, Main Street, Buderim Tuesday 26 January | 3.00pm to 7.00pm
Rotary Club of Buderim are proudly hosting 'Picnic on the Park' in celebration of Australia Day 2021. Bring a chair and picnic rug to relax and enjoy the live entertainment and atmosphere at the 'revamped' Australia Day festivities, to be held at Buderim Mountain State School.
Fabulous festivities are planned for Australia Day in Buderim! Image: Australia Day in Buderim FB
Join in the Australia Day celebrations at the spectacular Brennan Park on Bribie Island for an easy-going, dinkum Aussie affair. Bring a picnic blanket and fold-up chairs, find yourselves a perfect spot and relax, as the kids play in the water.
Visitors to Australia Day on Bribie Island will definitely not go hungry with a variety of yummy food stalls, selling their tempting delights. Australia Day is not Australia Day without live music. The Main Stage will host a fabulous variety of live performers, including local talented bands - Main Stage entertainment to be confirmed.
The Caboolture Historical Village is back to trading normally seven days a week, with the folk at the Village busy planning a fabulous Australia Day event for all.
Invite your family and friends to celebrate Australia Day at the Caboolture Historical Village and help to make it one of the biggest and best yet.
5. Australia Day at Marcoola Surf Club - FREE Event
In and around the Club at 64-76 Marcoola Esplanade, Marcoola
Tuesday 26 January | From 7.00am onwards For additional information re activities, please contact Ms Amanda Janssen at firstname.lastname@example.org
There's heaps to do at Marcoola Surf Club on Australia Day! Image: Marcoola Surf Club FB
Marcoola Rocks is a family friendly event that caters for all members of the community. Marcoola Rocks hosts kids' rides, carnival games, street food stalls and live band entertainment. All the events take place on the sand dunes to showcase Marcoola Surf Club and the larger Surf Life Saving movement to the community, while celebrating everything that is great about Australia.
7.00am - Fun Run
9.00am - Marcoola Youth Surf Comp
12.00noon to 5.00pm - Tinnies and Tunes downstairs
12.30pm - Youth Cheerleaders
1.00pm to 3.00pm - Face Painting with Suzy
2.00pm - Snakes with VIP Reptiles
3.00pm - Thong Throwing
3.30pm - Pie Eating Comp
6. Australia Day - Family Fun Day at historic Gympie Station - FREE Event
Old Gympie Station, Tozer Street, Gympie
Tuesday 26 January | 8.00am to 2.00pm
Enjoy Family Fun Day at the historic Gympie Station - Image: Mary Valley Rattler FB
As a special thank you to emergency and front-line workers to recognise their hardwork and efforts in 2020, the Mary Valley Rattler train journey has already been fully booked, but family fun is still happening at the historic Gympie Station.
Families are invited to join in the FREE entertainment and kids activities at the Family Fun Day. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from the Rusty Rails Cafe. Local favourite bands will be entertaining visitors throughout the day. The Australia Day - Family Fun Day at Gympie Station is supported by the National Australia Day Council.
7. Australia Day in Redcliffe - FREE Entry
Suttons Beach, Redcliffe
Tuesday 26 January | 4.00pm to 8.00pm
Aussie-themed festivities and free family fun at Suttons Beach - Image: Moreton Daily FB
Aussie-themed festivities and FREE family fun will take over Suttons Beach in Redcliffe on Australia Day, promising families a ripper of a time at the beach.
Bring a picnic blanket and chairs, find the best spot and chill as you indulge in divine foods from the variety of food trucks. From 4.00pm the Redcliffe stage will host a selection of very talented local performers - entertainment to be confirmed.
Turn your eyes to the sky from 8.00pm to take in a spectacular fireworks finale.
Parking is available in Suttons Beach car park and surrounding streets.
Reflect, respect and celebrate on Australia Day! Image: Celebrate Australia Day FB
Australia Day is so much more than barbecues and fireworks. At its heart, Australia Day is a day driven by communities and unified by the celebration of what is truly great about Australia and being Australian. Reflect, respect and celebrate on Australia Day! However you choose to celebrate, celebrate Australia Day your way!