Lifestyle & Culture

Australia Day events along the coast

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The Yak team shares what’s happening at the Central Coast, Hunter and Port Macquarie this Australia Day.

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Central Coast
By Shelby Clements

Shelby Clements headshot

Australia Day, a day of temporary tattoos, sunburn and car park sharking. The best part of this fine testament of Australian spirit wrapped up in 24 constricting hours is that it’s like that no matter where you go. So here is a little list of how the Central Coast is kicking it this year.

The Entrance
Head down to Memorial Park for a day of wood chopping, pistol duals, sheep sheering, kids disco and firework fun. With entertainment commencing at 11am and going through until 9pm, it’ll be a day of family wholesomeness.

With a plethora of activities to choose from it’s hard to highlight what you should flock to on Australia Day. My personal favourites include:

  • The Banana Boat Family Fun Day at Gosford Olympic Pool is hosting an aquatic obstacle course. Open 10am-4pm. Normal fees apply.
  • Kibble Park is hosting a huge range of entertainment from 9am-2pm thanks to Star 104.5FM including Christine Anu.
  • Woy Woy waterfront will be adorned with the lantern parade at 8.45pm and followed closely with the fireworks display at 9pm.

That’s just a taste of the family friendly activities, and as for the night festivities over the long weekend there are a few haunts you should definitely check out on the Coast.

  • Terrigal Pub is an official host of Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdown, so you can have a couple of cold ones and listen to some sweet tunes.
  • The Woodport Inn will be starting your long weekend off on the 25th with a Future Music Safari, DJ’s, cheap drinks and chances to win tickets to Future Music Festival.
  • Rojo Rocket is hosting CASA Sunday on January 26, with a limited amount of tickets left ($10 presale). With DJ’s, $5 Tacos and Coronas, who could knock back a fiesta like that?
  • The Crown Plaza Terrigal will have resident DJ Mista Kay playing beats from 3pm onwards on Sunday, January 26, $5 tinnies, BBQ and free entry.

Newcastle & the Hunter
By Tanya McGovern

Tanya McGovern headshot

Slap a flag tattoo on your cheek, turn the dial up on the barbie and celebrate what it means to be Aussie over every worker’s favourite pastime, the good ‘ole long weekend.

Whether you’re indulging in lamingtons, pavlova and rissoles or taking advantage of the only socially acceptable day to don the traditional uniform of a mid noughties teen (head to toe in surfbrand apparrel), remember to get out of your backyard and check out some of the happenings in the Hunter.


The Australia Day National Maritime Festival at Newcastle Foreshore will celebrate with a range of activities on land, in the water and overhead.

Festival highlights include the cross harbour swim races (8am), citizenship ceremonies (8.30am), a firing of Fort Scratchley’s guns (10.30am) and a RAAF flyover (12.30pm).There will be amusement rides to entertain the kids, both young and old. Visit here for more information on the festival schedule.

To listen to Triple J Hottest 100 Countdown, visit one of the many parties at pubs across the region, including the Lass O’Gowrie Hotel and the Burwood Inn on Sunday.

Lake Macquarie

The Lake Macquarie Festival at Speers Point Park will be the hub of the celebrations in the Lake Macquarie area over the long weekend. The family friendly event starts on Saturday with the Lake Macquarie Farmers Markets.

Australia Day festivities will begin at the park on Sunday at 11am with a screening of the Disney children’s film Teen Beach Movie. There will be number of local acts performing on stage and kids activities throughout the day, with fireworks taking place at 8.45pm.

If the weather heats up, take advantage of the $1 entry fee to Speers Point Pool.

Port Macquarie
By Jasmine Burke

Jasmine Burke headshot

 Port Macquarie also has Australia Day festivities set for everyone. While the beaches are sure to be packed, there are also plenty of friendly family activities during the day as well as some local pub fun for those of you who like to celebrate by sinking a few beverages.

Port Macquarie

  • If your one who likes to start celebrating early, then head on down to The Macquarie Hotel on Saturday the 25th. They are celebrating Australia Day Eve with an Aussie face painter and $5 basics from 9-11pm. There will also be a special cocktail and a Sydney DJ! Dress up in Aussie gear to queue jump!
    On the Sunday there will be a Live Aussie Band from 4-7pm as well as an opportunities to win prizes!
  • On Saturday, January 25 you can attend the presentation of the 2014 Aus Day Awards on Town Green from 6-8pm. This is a free community event where the following are recognised: Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Senior Citizen of the Year and Community Group of the Year.
  • Town Green is the place to be on Sunday with a plethora of exciting activities going down from market stalls to jumping castles, face painting and water activities, Mystery History Walk, boat races and a Talent Quest!
    After a big day on the green you can pull up a chair or a rug to sit back and enjoy the Moonlight movie Drift which will screen from 8.15pm.
  • Set amongst beautiful vineyards, the Oysters in the Vines event has something for everyone. From 9am there will be live entertainment, oyster showcase (freshly shucked natural oysters as well as numerous exotic dressings), food stalls, wine and beer sales and kids entertainment. The Artist Markets will also be there so you can enjoy a colourful collection of works by local artists.
    There is plenty of free parking and guests are encourages to bring their own chairs to enjoy the outdoor family fun.

The Laurieton United Services Club is hosting a BBQ breakfast from 6.30am with entertainment by Hastings Highland Pipe band, and then at 7am the Camden Haven Community Band Official flag raising ceremony will be held.

Bain Park will be host to some family fun activities including competitions, demonstrations, face painting and live entertainment! There will be plenty of food on offer as well as Aussie flags and tattoos.

Image: Tanya McGovern

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