Australia Day 2020: What’s on in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & the Hunter

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Australia Day is coming up and it’s a day for Australians to celebrate Australia and its people and history as well as acknowledge the significance of January 26 to Indigenous Australians. To mark the day, there are lots of family-friendly events happening around Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and the Hunter.


Newcastle City Council Celebrations

Australia Day Newcastle

Come and join the Australia Day fun in the Newcastle CBD on Sunday 26 January 2020.

There’s something for everyone from dawn till dusk. Swimmers will take on Stockton Surf Lifesaving Club’s cross-harbour challenge early in the day before the fun starts at Queens Wharf later in the morning. There’s lots of family fun including free Parkour and skateboard workshops, free inflatables, food trucks and live entertainment.

A Trans-Tasman Youth Touch Football Test series will see Kiwi sides take on our best in a City-backed tournament at No.2 Sportsground; local triathletes will race alongside Paralympian Lauren Parker as she defends her 2019 Oceania Paratriathlon title* and a newly restored 80-pound gun will fire for the first time in 100 years from Fort Scratchley.

*Wharf Rd East of Watt St & Nobbys North of Stephenson Place will all be closed from 5.30am to 9.30 am for the triathlon.

Australia Day Newcastle

Schedule of Events

  • 7am – 9.30am  – Oceania Paratriathlon, Customs House Jetty
  • 8am – 3pm – NRL Touch Football 2020 Youth Trans-Tasman Test Series, No 2 Sportsground
  • 10am – 2pm Live Entertainment, food trucks, parkour & skateboard workshops, inflatable land and more. Queens Wharf – Foreshore Park
  • 10am Newcastle Harbour Swim (Single Crossing from Stockton)
  • 11am Newcastle Harbour Swim (Double Crossing from Queens Wharf).
  • 11am, 1pm & 3pm Canon Firing Fort Scratchley (seven guns at 1pm). Catch re-enactments, vehicle displays and the first discharge in almost 100 years of an historic 80-pound gun following a two-year restoration project by the Fort Scratchley Historical Society.

For more information about Australia Day in Newcastle, visit the City of Newcastle website for more information.

Newcastle Harbour Swim

Start Australia Day by participating or watching the Newcastle Harbour Swim. Participants can do either a social swim from Stockton to Newcastle (700 m) or a ‘double crossing’ from Newcastle’s Queens Wharf to Stockton and back (1400 m). For more event details and entering,visit

Australia Day at The Station

Head on down to The Station Newcastle to enjoy a day of live entertainment, games and traditional Aussie foods! The event which runs from 12pm to 7:30pm includes food trucks, games and activities for the whole family and more. For more information, visit the event page.

It’s also the final days of Waterworld Central, Australia’s first mobile water park, is at The Station in Newcastle for the first time! Join in for some summer fun with giant inflatable pools and slides to splash and play around in. Enjoy activities like sliding through the Shark’s mouth or if relaxing is more your thing, head to the wading pool to chill out. For the daredevils at heart, take a ride down the massive Dino Slide! For more information, visit the Waterworld website.

Australia Day at Miss Porter’s House Celebrate Australia Day by visiting a heritage property and reliving early twentieth-century Australia. See the home created by the Australian born children of nineteenth-century migrants. Newcastle born Herbert Porter and his wife Florence (nee Jolley) from the Singleton area, raised a family in Newcastle West. Their freestanding Edwardian home is now a National Trust museum containing a century of household memorabilia including many which reflect their interest in the local area and all things Australian. Cost: Adults $10, Concessions $8, Family $25, children under 5 free. For more information, visit National Trust website.

Lake Macquarie

Lake Macquarie Council Celebrations

Australia Day Lake Macquarie

Celebrate the 2020 Lake Mac Festival with waterfront activities planned across the Australia Day weekend. There are activities planned in a variety of locations including Croudace Bay, Pelican, Swansea, Wangi Wangi, Rathmines and Speers Point.

Saturday 25 January

Free Family Breakfast and Fun Day

Thomas H Halton Park, Croudace Bay

7:30am – noon

  • yoga
  • live music
  • free BBQ breakfast
  • Scouts canoe race

Saturday 25 January

Big Bang

Pelican Foreshore, Lakeview Parade, Pelican

4pm – 10.30pm

  • market stalls
  • food stalls
  • inflatables
  • live music
Swansea Foreshore, Cedar Street, Swansea

4pm – 10.30pm

  • BBQ food trucks
  • live music
  • inflatables

Foreshore Reserve, Watkins Road, Wangi Wangi

5pm – 10.30pm

  • buskers
  • fundraiser BBQ
  • inflatables
  • hula hoop workshops

Rathmines Park, Stilling Street, Rathmines

4pm – 10.30pm

  • pop-up bar
  • food trucks
  • performers

Fireworks display over the water is proposed for 9pm. A final decision on whether the fireworks will proceed will be made closer to the event, pending weather conditions. FIREWORKS CONFIRMED AND WILL BE GOING AHEAD.

Sunday 26 January

Sunday Sessions at Speers Point Park

3pm – 7pm

Enjoy an afternoon in the park with chilled-out music, laid-back vibes, food trucks and BYO picnic.

Visit the Lake Macquarie City Council website for more information about Lake Mac Festival events.

Australia Day at Charlestown Bowling Club

Enjoy the last day of the Inflatables on the Green until 26 January. It’s the perfect school holiday entertainment for the kids. There are now two sessions per day with the morning session from 10am to 1pm and Twilight sessions from 5pm to 8pm. Entry is $6 per child per session. There’s a toddler zone with two inflatables for under 5s plus three larger inflatables for the older kids up to 12 years of age. For more information, see Club reception or call 4943 3766. Charlestown Bowling Club is located at 5 Lincoln Street in Charlestown.

Australia Day Lake Macquarie


Maitland City Council is presenting Australia Day in Maitland on Sunday 26 January 2020 from 10am.

The event kicks off with the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony at 10am at Maitland Town Hall. Following the Citizenship Ceremony there will be a range of free activities in Maitland Park including, free entry to Maitland Aquatic Centre from 12pm – 5pm, a free barbeque from 12pm – 1pm, stalls, thong throwing competition, beach activities and more, it’s a perfect day out for the whole family!  For the kids, there’s free amusement rides, beach cricket, craft activities, Australian.

Visit the Maitland Events website for more information.

Australia Day Newcastle

Cessnock / Hunter Valley

It’s two days of fun in Cessnock for Australia Day. Council kicks off this Aussie bonanza with a screening of the beloved “Muriel’s Wedding” at CPAC on Friday evening (January 24). Make sure you grab a seat by 6:30pm. Sunday 26 January begins with a Citizenship Ceremony followed by Australia Day Awards at the East Cessnock Bowling Club from 10am to 12noon.  The official proceedings will be followed a BBQ breakfast between 8am and 10pm and the Mayor’s Cup Cricket at East End Oval. Those looking to cool down and enjoy a splash will be able to head to the Cessnock and Branxton Pools for FREE between 10am and 4pm. 

Visit the Cessnock City Council website for more information.

Enjoy Australia Day at Lovedale Bar at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley. The fun starts at 11am on Sunday 26 January. Gather your friends and family for some friendly competition with a variety of fun lawn games, then at 5pm settle in to enjoy the family movie classic ‘Kangaroo Jack’. Our celebrations will continue into the night with plenty of delicious food and drink specials and our Outdoor Moonlight Cinema kicking off at 7pm featuring ‘The Man from Snowy River’. It’s free entry! Visit the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley website for more information.


Celebrate Australia Day in Singleton. Entertainment, kids activities, market stalls are some of the highlights of this event for the whole family. The Australia Day long weekend celebrations begin on the Friday evening with Twilight in Civic Green, a free community event featuring live music, food and wine and children’s activities to take advantage of cooler evening temperatures.

Along with live music, Twilight will feature a range of free family-friendly activities. Kids can enjoy face painting, jumping castles, a balloonist and craft stations while parents can relax with friends with a glass of wine, listening to live music and enjoying delicious food. There’s also the return of the classic car showcase, and the army’s tug-of-war competition. Official proceedings, including the Australia Day awards and citizenship ceremony and traditional BBQ breakfast will still be held on Australia Day at the Singleton Civic Centre on 26 January.

For more information, visit the Singleton City Council website.

Nelson Bay


If you’re up at the Bay, there’s plenty to keep you and your family entertained while you celebrate all things Australian on Saturday 26 January.

Australia Day starts with an Australia Day parade. Festivities in Fly Point Park include flag raising and citizenship ceremonies, and live entertainment. The event features loads of fun for kids including a children’s magic show by JD’s World of Magic, Australian Reptile Parks shows and educational talks, free Australian flags and chips for kids and free pony rides and jumping castles.

There will also be a vintage and classic car display and a RAAF fly over. There will be over 90 market stalls including a food court if you feel like a bite to eat. For more information, visit the Port Stephens Council website.

Raymond Terrace

There’s loads happening at Riverside Park in Raymond Terrace with free family activities from 8am to 2:30pm. Activities include a free “Great Aussie Breakfast” from 8am, music, jumping castles, face painting, pony rides family fun amusements, market stalls, RAAF flyover and speedboat display. Visit the Port Stephens Council website for more information.

Lemon Tree Passage

Join the family-friendly Australia Day celebrations at Henderson Park in Lemon Tree Passage from 8am to 1pm on 26 January 2020! Enjoy a BBQ breakfast, fun activities and some great entertainment including live music. This event is proudly supported by the Lions Club of Tilligerry and Port Stephens Council. Visit the Port Stephens Council website for more information.

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