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What’s on in Canberra this Australia Day

By Amy Birchall - 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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26 Responses to
What’s on in Canberra this Australia Day
dungfungus 9:27 am 21 Jan 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

rosscoact said :

The notepad was invented in Australia
The ute
solar hot water systems
the hills hoist
the bionic ear

So many things that have fundamentally changed the way the world works to mention really

I believe Mr. Ford developed the ute first in 1925, known as a “Ford Model T Runabout with Pickup Body.” Pretty much a tray-back ute in my opinion.

The others there are good examples of our ingenuity. Unfortunately our current government doesn’t want us to be bright, forward thinking inventors. Rather, they are pricing higher education out of our reach, reducing funding for future technologies and making it harder to get anywhere with production in this country. Really un-Australian, but what do you expect from a Pom.

I wasn’t aware that Andrew Barr was born in the UK. How about that?

wildturkeycanoe 8:02 pm 20 Jan 15

rosscoact said :

The notepad was invented in Australia
The ute
solar hot water systems
the hills hoist
the bionic ear

So many things that have fundamentally changed the way the world works to mention really

I believe Mr. Ford developed the ute first in 1925, known as a “Ford Model T Runabout with Pickup Body.” Pretty much a tray-back ute in my opinion.

The others there are good examples of our ingenuity. Unfortunately our current government doesn’t want us to be bright, forward thinking inventors. Rather, they are pricing higher education out of our reach, reducing funding for future technologies and making it harder to get anywhere with production in this country. Really un-Australian, but what do you expect from a Pom.

Masquara 7:48 pm 20 Jan 15

rosscoact said :

The ute

I think you’ll find the United States “small truck with tray” predates the Australian version …

astrojax 4:13 pm 20 Jan 15

chuck another witchetty grub and bogong moth on the barbie, cobber. have a bonza day, whatever ya get up t’.

dungfungus 3:19 pm 20 Jan 15

rosscoact said :

The notepad was invented in Australia
The ute
solar hot water systems
the hills hoist
the bionic ear

So many things that have fundamentally changed the way the world works to mention really

Those items you mentioned were largely productive ones.
For a bit of balance please consider our contributions to the workplace sector with the invention of holiday pay loadings and paid maternity/paternity leave.

rosscoact 2:03 pm 20 Jan 15

The notepad was invented in Australia
The ute
solar hot water systems
the hills hoist
the bionic ear

So many things that have fundamentally changed the way the world works to mention really

Roksteddy 1:16 pm 20 Jan 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

We are truly lacking in our own identity, something really, really Australian. Can anyone come up with an Aussie thing that hasn’t been brought over from somewhere other than the sunburned land we stand on?

The didgeridoo
Aussie Rules
WiFi
Pacemaker
Black box flight recorder
Spray on skin
The wine cask and many others, including the ability to find something negative to say about everything that’s posted on here even if it’s just providing information (but that’s really just two people)
But still, I don’t see our identity as being defined by THINGS.
I think the origin of the pav has long been debated. Wherever it originated, my mum perfected it 🙂

Alexandra Craig 12:04 pm 20 Jan 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

We are truly lacking in our own identity, something really, really Australian. Can anyone come up with an Aussie thing that hasn’t been brought over from somewhere other than the sunburned land we stand on?

Vegemite, Lamingtons?

Amy Birchall 12:00 pm 20 Jan 15

Alexandra Craig said :

Just Wiki’d the pavlova. I was right on Anna Pavlova, but Wiki insists it happened in NZ. I really could have sworn it was in WA. Oh well. Let’s just focus on how delicious it is 😀

Wiki caught me out too. I was so certain pavlova was a true blue Aussie dish. Ah well… it still tastes good!

Alexandra Craig 11:51 am 20 Jan 15

Just Wiki’d the pavlova. I was right on Anna Pavlova, but Wiki insists it happened in NZ. I really could have sworn it was in WA. Oh well. Let’s just focus on how delicious it is 😀

Alexandra Craig 11:49 am 20 Jan 15

Amy Birchall said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

Nice to see that the first thing about being Australian is drinking beer [originating from the Middle East], then wearing a pair of thongs [worn originally by ancient Egyptians then made popular here by Americans bringing them back from Japan after WW2]. Why eating lamb is Australian is beyond me, I would have thought that originates also to ancient times and kebabs. The flag, an emblem of British rule, really doesn’t move us forward from the colonial days either.
I suppose multiculturalism is what it is all about then, bringing together an array of traditions from all around the world it seems. We are truly lacking in our own identity, something really, really Australian. Can anyone come up with an Aussie thing that hasn’t been brought over from somewhere other than the sunburned land we stand on?

As a nation, we’re very good at taking what we like from other cultures and adopting them as our own. I was going to say pavlova, but it turns out even that was invented in New Zealand!

I am pretty sure the pavlova was invented in Australia, in a WA hotel restaurant…. but the chef was a New Zealander. He created the dish and named it after a ballet dancer staying at the hotel; Anna Pavlova. I think.

dungfungus 11:44 am 20 Jan 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

Nice to see that the first thing about being Australian is drinking beer [originating from the Middle East], then wearing a pair of thongs [worn originally by ancient Egyptians then made popular here by Americans bringing them back from Japan after WW2]. Why eating lamb is Australian is beyond me, I would have thought that originates also to ancient times and kebabs. The flag, an emblem of British rule, really doesn’t move us forward from the colonial days either.
I suppose multiculturalism is what it is all about then, bringing together an array of traditions from all around the world it seems. We are truly lacking in our own identity, something really, really Australian. Can anyone come up with an Aussie thing that hasn’t been brought over from somewhere other than the sunburned land we stand on?
[My sources for information above come from Wikipedia, if anyone wants to know. I know somebody will ask]

A sickie?

Amy Birchall 9:32 am 20 Jan 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

Nice to see that the first thing about being Australian is drinking beer [originating from the Middle East], then wearing a pair of thongs [worn originally by ancient Egyptians then made popular here by Americans bringing them back from Japan after WW2]. Why eating lamb is Australian is beyond me, I would have thought that originates also to ancient times and kebabs. The flag, an emblem of British rule, really doesn’t move us forward from the colonial days either.
I suppose multiculturalism is what it is all about then, bringing together an array of traditions from all around the world it seems. We are truly lacking in our own identity, something really, really Australian. Can anyone come up with an Aussie thing that hasn’t been brought over from somewhere other than the sunburned land we stand on?

As a nation, we’re very good at taking what we like from other cultures and adopting them as our own. I was going to say pavlova, but it turns out even that was invented in New Zealand!

John Moulis 9:10 am 20 Jan 15

It must be that time of year again, the annual “Invasion Day” letters have started appearing in The Canberra Times. And this year’s batch are even more bizarre than usual. Check out today’s letters page, I’m still laughing my head off.

wildturkeycanoe 5:37 am 20 Jan 15

Nice to see that the first thing about being Australian is drinking beer [originating from the Middle East], then wearing a pair of thongs [worn originally by ancient Egyptians then made popular here by Americans bringing them back from Japan after WW2]. Why eating lamb is Australian is beyond me, I would have thought that originates also to ancient times and kebabs. The flag, an emblem of British rule, really doesn’t move us forward from the colonial days either.
I suppose multiculturalism is what it is all about then, bringing together an array of traditions from all around the world it seems. We are truly lacking in our own identity, something really, really Australian. Can anyone come up with an Aussie thing that hasn’t been brought over from somewhere other than the sunburned land we stand on?
[My sources for information above come from Wikipedia, if anyone wants to know. I know somebody will ask]

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