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A free event atop a lush waterside rooftop
Earth Hour is back for a 12th year, being celebrated in 172 countries, and what better way to connect to the Earth than with a picnic and some stargazing. In Sydney, Waverton's Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability is one unique place to do this on Saturday 30 March with its Picnic on the Platform event. It's one of many events you can join to honour our planet.
Once an old industrial site, this Centre was transformed a year or so ago into a lush garden rooftop. With city and waterside views, it's the perfect venue for a sun-soaked afternoon of relaxation.
The free fun for Earth Hour kicks off at 4pm with live music from acoustic acts on stages spread across the rooftop and underneath in the tunnels and chambers. Explore the venue from top to bottom with a guided tour, join a workshop or get creative with the interactive art. There will be plenty to keep children busy with activities, plays and roaming performers.
Food stalls and a pop-up bar are available or you can bring your most sustainable picnic and enter the competition to win a golden ticket to Dessert Under the Stars, taking place in the festival tepee during Earth Hour. Simply take fun shots of your group and your picnic and upload them to the Facebook event page. It's a prize the whole family can enjoy and you can up your chances of winning with bonus points for bringing home-grown produce, innovative ideas and avoiding single-use plastics. Get your thinking caps on now and click here for all the terms and conditions.
Note, in one of many ways to keep this event sustainable, NO bottled water will be available. You can bring your own bottle and refill it from drinking fountains onsite.
Once the lights go out at 8.30pm, Earth Hour begins with an acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land, followed by a smoking ceremony.
Afterwards, Bob Fuller (Indigenous astronomer and academic researcher) and Walangari (Aboriginal Elder, cultural speaker & artist) will take you on a guided stargazing journey through the night sky as they share their research and stories. Discover how Aboriginals have used the sky to enhance their culture and astronomy for thousands of years. With the lights off, you should see the stars at their brightest. Some telescopes will be provided free of charge on the night. If you have your own stargazing machine then feel free to bring it.
There's also a guided spotlight walk through the bushland of Balls Head where you're likely to see a variety of nocturnal wildlife, from brush and ringtail possums to flying foxes and geckos. Suitable for adults and children 5-16yrs (with a guardian present), it is free but you will need to register here as numbers are limited to 25 persons. Get in quick and be sure to bring a torch and wear enclosed shoes on the night.
The event will conclude at 9.30pm when the lights come back on.
Public transport is best. Avoid missing out on the very limited parking by catching the train to Waverton station. It is then only a 6-minute flat walk away to the event.