New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Fun & Fireworks around Lake Burley Griffin
Australia Day is back for another exciting year, with kid's activities, shows, events, picnics, concerts and fireworks over Lake Burley Griffin. Although Canberra is a friendly city all year around, Australia Day brings out the best in most people, with a fun and festive atmosphere that takes over the city. Families get together, friends catch up for the day and new Australians are officially welcomed at the Australian Citizenship Ceremony by the lake. This year we also have the special inclusion of the Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton Relay in the Capital City on the 25th and 26th January. It is the perfect time to say "G'day" to new neighbours and visitors to the city.
So "what's on" around the city on the 26th January? See below for a list of 5 events that will be happening around Canberra - particularly Lake Burley Griffin - this Australia Day.
Watch the official National Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremony by Lake Burley Griffin. Image: Australia Day website
Each year, the National Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremony is held at Rond Terrace, attended by the Prime Minister. This formal ceremony includes a Flag Raising Ceremony featuring Australia's Federation Guard and the Royal Australian Navy Band. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will then hold a Citizenship Ceremony to welcome new Australians to the country. Listen out for the Royal Australian Air Force Flyover in the skies and 21 Gun Salute from Regatta Point. This event will be broadcast from 9am on the ABC, hosted by Stephanie Brantz. See here for details.
2/ Australia Day in the Capital - Commonwealth Park (7:30am - 2pm)
This event is a favourite amongst Canberra locals and visitors, held at Commonwealth Park on Lake Burley Griffin. The day begins with the ActewAGL Great Aussie Day Breakfast between 7:30am - 10am, costing a gold coin donation to support Menslink Canberra. Kids will enjoy the free kids activities, jumping castles, face painting, food trucks and children's entertainment on Stage 88. See the program for times, with the shows held early to avoid the hottest part of the day. The festival finishes at 2pm, so locals and visitors can have a rest before coming back for the evening events and fireworks. See here for the program, when advertised.
Kids shows on Stage 88 at Commonwealth Park (photo taken on Australia Day in the Capital, 2017).
3/ Australia Day Fireworks over Lake Burley Griffin (4pm - 9:15pm)
The Australia Day evening begins at 4pm with a free concert at Regatta Point - so get there early and nab your spot! On the other side of the lake at Patrick White Lawns, a kid's area will be set up with an obstacle course, face painting and jumping castles. Keep your eyes to the skies for the Australian Air Force aerial display over Lake Burley Griffin! If you are just turning up for the fireworks, lay down a picnic blanket at Rond Terrace, Patrick White Lawns or Regatta Point for the best views of the 9pm firework display. Relax and listen to the music soundtrack as the fireworks light up the Canberra sky. See here for all the details closer to the event.
Australia Day fireworks, from 2017. Image: ACT Events Facebook
4/ Australia Day Family Festival - National Museum of Australia (10am - 1pm)
Every Australia Day, the National Museum of Australia has a Family Festival to celebrate the country that we live in. Each year the festival relates to a current exhibition and in 2018 the festival will celebrate their "Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters" exhibition. There will be music, dance, demonstrations, games, craft and family fun! Some activities will have a small charge. Entry into the museum is free and will be open between 9am - 5pm, so you can explore it before or after the festival. See here for details.
Live Music & Games (5pm - 9pm)
In the evening, head back to the National Museum for live music, food and lawn games between 5pm - 9pm, before watching the 9pm fireworks. See here for details.
Lawn games, food & live music at the outdoor ampitheatre at the National Museum of Australia. Image: National Museum website
This annual sailing event is held on Lake Burley Griffin each Australia Day, with an array of different boats racing each other on the water. Starting at noon, hundreds of boats will sail around buoys in the lake at the western end of Lake Burley Griffin - with great views from the National Museum. The afternoon concludes at 2:30pm at the Canberra Yacht Club in Yarralumla with prizes for the fastest boats. See here for race details.
Australia Day National Carillon Concert (12:30pm - 1:20pm)
Another way to celebrate Australia Day is by having a picnic at Kings Park and enjoying a true-blue performance of Australian songs at the National Carillon. This 50 metre tall spire has 55 bells at the top, which are played by a talented carillonist on an organ on the level below. Hear some of your Aussie favourites, echoed around the lake. See here for details.
With so many options to choose from this Australia Day, where you be celebrating in 2018? Wherever you are, Happy Australia Day Canberra!
Enjoy Aussie classics from the bells of the National Carillon