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

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 and the Hunter.

Newcastle

Newcastle City Council Celebrations

Newcastle’s Australia Day celebrations will be hosted at Foreshore Park in Newcastle East from 10am to 2pm. The event includes music, dance, food and markets. There’s lots of family fun including free Parkour workshops, free inflatables and life-size games and a skate park (so bring boards and scooters).

There’s also fireworks. At 8.30pm the fireworks postponed from New Year’s Eve will be let off from Stockton, offering a clear view right along the Newcastle Foreshore and from higher vantage points such the Obelisk.

Public transport is recommended on Australia Day, but the Wright Lane, Throsby carpark and The Mall carpark will all be free.

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

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 10am to 4:30pm includes an Australia Day BBQ fundraiser, fresh seafood, live entertainment, face painting, kids games and activities, best dressed and more. For more information, visit the event page.

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 www.oceanswims.com.au

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

Celebrate Australia Day at the Lake Mac Festival at Speers Point Park on Saturday 26 January. There are tons of free family-friendly activities on offer from noon to 9pm including family movie “The Sapphires”, inflatable funhouse, rock climbing wall, bungee trampoline, face painting and The Rover.

The day features live music by local performers and the annual Scouts canoe race kicks off at 4pm. The evening concert features Australian rock pub band The Choirboys on at 7:45pm. A spectacular fireworks finale will cap off the night at 9pm.

Visit the Lake Macquarie City Council website for more information.

Australia Day at Charlestown Bowling Club

Enjoy the last day of the Inflatables on the Green from 11am to 3pm until 26 January. It’s the perfect school holiday entertainment for the kids. Entry is $5 per child for one day entry. The event is recommended for kids age 1 (need to be walking) to age 16. There is an inflatable for those 4 and under, as well as bigger inflatables with an inflatable slide and 24m adrenalin obstacle course. Children for the inflatable rollers on water are required to be 90cm or above. Full adult supervision is required. Swimmers aren’t required for inflatables but bring a towel, swimmers and/or change of clothes as there’s two sprinklers for the kids to run under. There will also be a sausage sizzle for the family to enjoy. 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

Maitland City Council is presenting Australia Day in Maitland Park on Saturday 26 January 2015 from 7:30am to 3pm.

The event kicks off with a free BBQ breakfast hosted by the Lion Club of East Maitland. Throughout the day there will be a range of fun and interactive activities running from 9am – 3pm, loads of food stalls plus an Official Ceremony which will include a Citizenship Ceremony and Citizen of the Year Awards. For the kids, there’s free amusements, free face painting & craft activities, Australian Native Animals Displays and Shows from Hunter Valley Zoo and free miniature pony rides. Bring your swimmers as there’s free entry to Maitland pool between 10am and 3pm.

Visit the Maitland Events website for more information.

Australia Day Newcastle

Cessnock

It’s a weekend of fun in Cessnock. Members of the community are invited to join in on a weekend of celebrations from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 January with three days of FREE activities for everyone to enjoy. Council kicks off this Aussie bonanza with a screening of the beloved “The Castle” at CPAC on Friday evening. Make sure you grab a seat by 6:30pm.

Saturday 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 by the Mayoral Cup Cricket at East End Oval. Relax on Sunday at Cessnock Pool with free entry from 9am and a BBQ Breakfast.

Visit the Cessnock City Council website for more information.

Singleton

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 from the Jade Holland Band, 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 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 startrs 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. There’s also cultural displays and music from local Indigenous groups.

Visit the Port Stephens Council website for more information.