Top 10 (free) Australia Day events across Victoria
RACV Australia Day Festival
Kings Domain Gardens, Melbourne, 11am to 4pm
The much-loved RACV Australia Day Festival returns to the Kings Domain Gardens with something for the whole family. Children’s favourites The Giggle and Hoot Show and Lah-Lah take to the stage while the “great Aussie backyard” area has activities for all ages. Highlights include a 21-gun salute, a flyover by the Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes, a showcase of heritage Australian-made vehicles and food from all over the globe.
Music and more music
Mornington Park, Mornington, from 3pm
The line-up for this event is so impressive you’d pay for it, except it’s free and has something for everyone. Prolific Australian recording artist Kate Ceberano is the headline act for this Mornington's Australia Day festival, while kids will delight in appearances from Marshall, Chase, Skye and Rubble of Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol.
Roving entertainers will keep the crowds amused during the day while on stage the energetic crew of Indigenous Hip Hop Projects will get you moving. There will be old and new on stage, including emerging artist Oskar Proy and ARIA award-winning crowd favourites The Badloves.
For more Australia Day events on the peninsula visit mornpen.vic.gov.au/australiaday.
BYO plate, empty plate that is
Park Lake Reserve, Creswick, from 8am
This community Australia Day Breakfast event is essentially a huge breakfast feast with bacon, eggs and snags on the barbie as well as cereal and toast. It’s free but there’s a catch. You must BYO crockery and cutlery to avoid disposable waste. A few hundred are expected to turn up for the event which includes a flag-raising ceremony and the national anthem performed by the award-winning Creswick Brass Band.
Psst. Watch for men in black sunglasses
ANZAC Park, Scott Street, Warracknabeal, from 8am
Keep an eye out for men in dark suits and sunglasses with ear plugs when local lad Josh Gunn addresses the crowd at the Warracknabeal Aus Day celebration. Josh has rubbed shoulders with the United States Secret Service through his work as a professor of forensic toxicology. He returns home to tell the tale of his journey from Warracknabeal to America where he identifies drugs, toxins and poisons to determine the cause of death in such cases as homicides and overdoses.
Another local, classical singer Sofia Laursen Habel, who won the inaugural 2019 Alex Rathgeber Performing Artist Scholarship, will perform, and there will be a flyover and a flag parade by guides and scouts.
Sun, surf and fun
Taylors Park, Torquay, from 10am
What better location to welcome Australia’s new citizens than next to the nation’s iconic surf beach, Torquay? Surf Coast Shire mayor Rose Hodge will perform a citizenship ceremony while the shire’s Australia Day Ambassador Grant Monks, a kidney health crusader, will address the crowd. There’ll be children’s face painting and music and a barbecue brunch.