Sydney’s got all the pomp and circumstance, but Melbourne’s got the history (and a lot of fun, too!). Here’s what you should check out in Melbourne on Australia’s favourite holiday.
This three-day event cumulates with a re-enactment of the arrival of Confederate cruiser CSS Shenandoah in Melbourne by the crew and a firing of the ship’s canons. The maritime-themed festival celebrates the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Shenandoah, which is one of the only tangible ties to the Civil War.
The Seaworks site will host several different activities and displays over Australia Day, including the Seaworks Maritime Discovery Centre, ship models, wooden boats, the Sea Shepherd’s Steve Irwin, Emergency Service displays, Deep Sea Diving display, face-painting for children, music and food. Participants willing to participate in activities will be able to do sea kayak paddling and Melbourne Seaplanes Scenic flights.
Australia Day is a time to celebrate the country’s history, and Federation Story lets you do just that. This is a free, interactive exhibition that traces the history of the Federation and explores significant moments in Australian history.
Most notable is the feature that allows visitors to browse a collection of personal stories of events, people and ideas that have shaped Australia. Federation Square in Melbourne is inviting Australians to share their stories at federationstory.com to see it streamed in real time at the permanent, multimedia exhibition.
Sportingbet Park hosts its annual races for the public summer holiday. Not only will there be racing, there will also be cricket on the big screen and family entertainment on the course. The best perk? Kids under 13 years of age are free!
The Dandenong suburb will be hosting one hell of a celebration for Australia Day. The community sees the holiday as a time for people of different backgrounds and experiences to gather together and reflect on what it means to be Australian, and to celebrate everything Aussies have in common.
The themed festival, this year titled “Australiana”, will include live music, roving performers, fireworks, food and market stalls, rides, family activities, workshops and games. Here’s a (not-so) brief list of the fun: Welcome to Country and a Smoking Ceremony, flag raising ceremony, Air Force Roulettes aerial display, cultural art activities, a Native Australian animals show and display, including a live crocodile and a dingo, special Under 5s World, storytelling in a magical Narnian-like tent, all hosted by Master of Ceremonies Dame Edna Average (Dame Edna Everage impersonator)
In the evening, celebrate the holiday at MC Square with free children’s activities like face painting, a mobile animal farm, magic demonstrations and indigenous cultural activities. Attendees will be provided a free sausage sizzle, fairy floss and popcorn.
This is a great event for families, as Muppets Most Wanted will be shown at 9pm.