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What’s on in Canberra this Australia Day

By Amy McPhillips - 19 January 2015 26

Australian flag

What’s not to love about Australia Day? It’s the perfect excuse to crack open a beer or two, wear your nicest pair of thongs and put a few lamb chops on the barbeque (to eat any other meat on 26 January would be considered un-Australian, as Sam Kekovich would have us believe).

If you don’t have plans yet, here’s our guide to where to go in Canberra on Australia Day 2015.

Australia Celebrates Live
25 January 2015, 5.45pm to 10.30pm at Federation Mall, Parliament House

Australia Celebrates Live takes place on the day before Australia Day, and the organisers claim it’s a national tribute to everything that is great about Australia on Australia Day. The free celebrations kick off with the Australian of the Year Awards, followed by the Australia Celebrates Live concert with performers including Jessica Mauboy and Paul Kelly. There’s also a glass and alcohol-free zone especially for families.

Australia Day in the Park
7am – 2pm, Stage 88, Commonwealth Park

Head to Stage 88 for some free Australia Day family fun including a children’s concert, rides, amusements, games, crafts and face painting. Stage 88 is also the place to be if you’d like to belt out Advance Australia Fair at the top of your lungs at lunchtime. (It’s part of the National Australia Day Council’s new campaign to encourage Australians to sing the national anthem together at noon on Australia Day.)

A Spirited Australia Day
10am – 3pm, National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton

Inspired by the exhibition Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story, A Spirited Australia Day at the National Museum of Australia celebrates Australia Day and all things horse. There will be country music, horse rides, puppet shows and performances by X Factor star Caitlyn Shadbolt and country musician Warren H Williams. Entry is free but costs apply to some activities.

Australia Day Hottest 100 Party
12pm – 9pm, National Portrait Gallery

Looking for something different this Australia Day? Head to the Portrait Gallery for drinks, a barbecue, vintage games, fashion and entertainment. Triple J’s Hottest 100 will be counting down on the stereo too. This event is free and bookings aren’t required.

Australia Day Cocktail Cruise
2pm onwards, Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club

Why watch fireworks by the lake when you can watch them from a privileged position aboard the M.V. Southern Cross? Tickets are $99.55 per person and include canapés, cocktails and drinks. Tickets are available from Ticketek.

Australia Day Fireworks Spectacular
6pm-9.30pm, Lake Burley Griffin Central Basin

End Australia Day by enjoying the Australia Day Fireworks Spectacular on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. You’ll apparently get the best views from Regatta Point, the lawns of the National Library and Rond Terrace, but set your picnic blanket down early to get a good spot for the 9pm show.

UPDATE (22 January 2015): Here are some events we missed earlier in the week:

  • Little Brooklyn in Kingston is hosting a Triple J Hottest 100 party
  • Hopscotch Bar are finally firing up the spit and will launch it this weekend (there’s live music all weekend too)
  • Smoque in Civic and Woden have a special Australia Day smoqued kangaroo tasting plate and $25 buckets of beer – available all weekend
  • Knightsbridge is celebrating Straya Day Eve with XXXX Gold and maybe even the odd Shandy on Sunday night
  • Duxton is open from 12pm on Monday and playing the Triple J Hottest 100. It’s also the place to go for $35 Corona buckets, $5 house wine and $5 Coopers
  • Thredbo will host the nation’s highest Australia Day barbecue at the summit of Mount Kosciusko
  • DEEKS Café and Lounge at Pearce Shops is celebrating the Aussie spirit with a family fun day on Saturday 24 January from 10am to 2pm. Rob de Castella will be on hand to fire up the barbecue alongside fellow DEEKS co-founder Bill Giles

Have a good long weekend!

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What’s on in Canberra this Australia Day
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dungfungus 7:51 am 22 Jan 15

rommeldog56 said :

dungfungus said :

Testfest said :

My favourite part of Australia Day is the flyover by the RAAF fighter jets – which should occur at approx 10 – 10:25am on the day.

Beats summernats any day of the week… 🙂

The RAAF jets would be well advised to stay away from the Mugga Lane tip. The smell is so bad today that it would stall a jet engine.
Perhaps they could napalm the place.

Well, Im sure the Chief Ministers new press officer, Mr Tony Hodges, will be able to put a new “spin” on the smell.

Not even someone as good as him could find any positive spin for this atrocity. The smell is back again today – it is absolutely putrid. Calls to ACT MLAs are not returned. No one wants to know anything about it.
What a joke, a bush capital with a third world city odour.

ozdownunder 10:46 pm 21 Jan 15

Cant wait to relax and unwind on the lawns of Regatta point

rommeldog56 10:21 pm 21 Jan 15

dungfungus said :

Testfest said :

My favourite part of Australia Day is the flyover by the RAAF fighter jets – which should occur at approx 10 – 10:25am on the day.

Beats summernats any day of the week… 🙂

The RAAF jets would be well advised to stay away from the Mugga Lane tip. The smell is so bad today that it would stall a jet engine.
Perhaps they could napalm the place.

Well, Im sure the Chief Ministers new press officer, Mr Tony Hodges, will be able to put a new “spin” on the smell.

dungfungus 6:09 pm 21 Jan 15

Testfest said :

My favourite part of Australia Day is the flyover by the RAAF fighter jets – which should occur at approx 10 – 10:25am on the day.

Beats summernats any day of the week… 🙂

The RAAF jets would be well advised to stay away from the Mugga Lane tip. The smell is so bad today that it would stall a jet engine.
Perhaps they could napalm the place.

Testfest 4:51 pm 21 Jan 15

My favourite part of Australia Day is the flyover by the RAAF fighter jets – which should occur at approx 10 – 10:25am on the day.

Beats summernats any day of the week… 🙂

dungfungus 4:11 pm 21 Jan 15

switch said :

dungfungus said :

In fact, I think every Australian PM has done the same and it is not cringeworthy in any way as we are still in the Commonwealth and Queen Elizabeth is the Queen of Australia.

Paul Keating once did the typical good Aussie thing of just trying to help the Queen by holding the elbow of the old bat. And didn’t the UK press go mental!

I think the UK press referred to him a the “lounge lizard of Oz”.
‘Onya Paul.

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