Australia Day is all about national pride. It is a time where all Australians get together and spend the day saying "G'day" to everyone, whilst celebrating everything that makes this country so great. In Canberra, there are events held around the city to get the community together which include citizenship ceremonies, family activities, fireworks and cultural performances. Although the televised Australian on the Year Awards and Concert from Parliament House has been cancelled for future years, since a freak Summer storm disrupted the concert last year, this has not dampened the Australia Day spirit in the Capital.
To see the real spirit of what it means to be an Australian, watch the Citizenship Ceremony at Rond Terrace as part of the Australia Day in the Capital celebrations. The pride and joy you see in the eyes of all ages, shows the freedom and hope that becoming an Australian means to them. It can't help but put a smile on your face and appreciate this beautiful and diverse country even more, this Australia Day.
Australia Day in the Capital is held at Commonwealth Park each year between 7:30am - 2pm. The day kicks off with an Aussie BBQ Breakfast for hundreds of people near Stage 88, as well as family fun with jumping castles, inflatable obstacle courses, rides, children's shows, food trucks and fun for all ages. Many of these activities are free, so get there early to enjoy all the excitement - and before it gets too hot! Also, ensure you check out all the "Aussie" themed activities on offer and try a lamington flavoured ice cream to finish off your day.
At 10am, the crowds move to Rond Terrace by Lake Burley Griffin to watch the National Flag Raising, Flyover, 21 Gun Salute and Citizenship Ceremony. Kids and all ages will enjoy the thrill and excitement as the jets roar overhead and noise and theatre of the 21 Gun Salute. The festival finishes at 2pm, so locals and visitors can enjoy an afternoon by the lakeside watching the yacht and boat races.
The Fireworks Spectacular starts at 9pm over the lake and is set to an Australian music soundtrack. This popular event lights up the Canberra sky as a fitting end to an enjoyable, patriotic day in the Nation's Capital. See here for the official program of the day.
Free concert and family fun at Australia Day in the Capital
The National Museum of Australia will be having a free Australia Day activity area, "A World of History and Culture", which relates to their current exhibition A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum. The museum invites you to dress up and celebrate the history and the many cultures of Australia and the world. There will be music, dance, demonstrations, workshops, games, craft and family fun. There may be small charges for some activities. See details here.
Lanyon Homestead in Tuggeranong will be having an Open House with free tours and an Australia Day Picnic. This historical homestead will come to life with music from the early days of settlement with fiddles, flutes and songs from the Old Country. Take your own picnic or enjoy food from the Lanyon Café. See details here.
Celebrating Australia Concert at the National Carillon will be held between 12:30pm - 1:20pm, on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. The concert will begin with the Welcome to Country, acknowledging the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the Canberra Region, and pay respects to their elders, past and present. Sit back and enjoy Aussie classics such as You're The Voice, Working Class Man, It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll), Waltzing Matilda and I Still Call Australia Home played on the 55 bells at the top of the building. See details here.
Hear the bells at the National Carillon, Kings Park
Queanbeyan Australia Day Celebrations will be held at Queanbeyan Park (20 minutes from Canberra's CBD) starting from 4:30pm. There will be a citizenship ceremony, presentation of the Australia Day Awards, free kids' merry go round, jumping castle, face painting, live music and fireworks at 9pm. See details here.
Australia Day Fireworks Cruise is run by Southern Cross Cruises and begins at 7pm and finishes at 10pm, to include the 9pm fireworks. Enjoy this night cruise around the lake and celebrate Australia Day with hot and cold canapés and a premium drinks package. The cost is $99 per person, see details here.
Whilst on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, why not take a stroll along the Australians of the Year Walk and pay tribute to the previous recipients of the Australian of the Year Awards since 1960. For more details, see here.
Australia Day in Canberra is a day to celebrate the culture, humour and quirks of the Aussie way of life - where strangers soon become friends and laughter can be heard around the city. So wave your Aussie flag and come together as one - in one of the most fitting places to celebrate - Australia's Capital.
Happy Australia Day! Source: Southern Cross Cruises website