If you’re not headed to the coast for an extra-long weekend, there are plenty of events in town to help you celebrate Australia Day. There is the Great Aussie Breakfast at Commonwealth Park; a family festival at the National Museum of Australia during the day, and a cocktail party there in the evening; a concert featuring British India and local bands Young Monks and Hands like Houses at Regatta Point; and of course fireworks over Lake Burley Griffin at 9pm. There are also plenty of pubs and bars around town tuning their radios to Triple J so you relax with friends and listen to the Hottest 100 countdown.
Australia Day Breakfast
Where: Stage 88, Commonwealth Park
A Canberra tradition, the Great Aussie Day Breakfast is on again in Commonwealth Park, featuring Hoot and Hootabelle on Stage 88. Breakfast is followed by the flag-raising and citizenship ceremony at Rond Terrace between 10am and 11am.
Where: National Museum of Australia
After you’ve had breakfast at Commonwealth Park, you could wander down the bike path to the museum for its Family Festival: A world of history and culture. On between 10am and 2pm, this festival has a packed program. Highlights include battle re-enactments, falconry, dance performances, craft activities and a medieval jumping castle. Then between 5 and 9pm there will be a line-up of local bands playing in the museum’s outdoor amphitheatre and giant versions of the games Jenga, Connect 4, and Viking-inspired Kubb set up for you to play. Bring a picnic or buy food at the museum, and settle in to wait for the fireworks over the lake at 9pm.
Open House: Australia Day Picnic
Where: Lanyon Homestead
Lanyon Homestead is opening its doors this Australia Day, and after you’ve been inside to explore the historic residence hang around to enjoy music from Strings Attached and local band, Hoddle. They’ll be playing from the verandahs and outbuildings. Bring a picnic or enjoy lunch at the Lanyon Café.
Australia Day Concert
Where: Regatta Point
To make up for the cancellation of the Australia Day Live concert, the ACT government is putting on its own gig at Regatta Point from 4pm on Australia Day. Featuring British India, the Choir of Hard Knocks and local bands the Young Monks (well worth checking out) and Hands Like House, the concert will culminate in the fireworks over Lake Burley Griffin at 9pm.
Australia Day Rooftop Pool Party
Where: The Duxton, O’Connor
When: from 12pm
For a very relaxed Australia Day, head to The Duxton which is blowing up its paddling pools and tuning it’s radio to Triple J to listen to the Hottest 100 countdown. Get in early to secure your spot by the pool.
Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers Party
Where: BentSpoke Bradden Brew Pub
When: from 12pm
BentSpoke Brewing is celebrating Australia Day with beer, bikes and Hottest 100s. After a 9am breakfast at their Mitchell Cannery, you can join BentSpoke on a bike ride from its Cannery to its Braddon Brewpub. Then from midday, BentSpoke will be hosting a Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers party which will feature a live countdown of the beers — BentSpoke’s Barley Griffin and Crankshaft are nominated — and will be complemented by the Triple J Hottest 100 playing in the background.
Pictured at top, what attendees can expect from the Australia Day fireworks. Photo: Events ACT