Australia Day in Wollongong is celebrated usually by the beach with a picnic of fresh seafood or a barbeque.
Wollongong Council put on an all day all ages event down by Wollongong Harbour and this is how this years cloudy Australia Day went.
The day started off with a bit of rain but by the time the Aquathon started all we were left with was a high tide and wet grass. The Aquathon events start at 8am with a number of events running through to 11:30am. The longest event is a 900m swim with a 7km run. I opted for the Community 3km walk hosted by Warrigal Care. Where we walked from the fish market to the North Wollongong and back.
By the time we were finished the crowd had died down a bit and you were able to roam around the numerous stalls and check out what you might have for lunch. There had to be over 20 different food trucks, there was gozleme, sausage sizzles, Lebanese, pizza, a deli and so much more. A lot of the places you see at the Eat Street Markets on Thursday nights.
They had the rides split into two sections. One for the littlies in Osborne Park being the McDonald’s stage and the other in Lang Park for the older kids near the Telstra main stage. They had entertainment on stage from 12pm till 8pm. Apart from the normal rides at every carnival they also had Laser Skirmish and a Silent Disco. Unfortunately no-one was participating in the silent disco when I was around so I didn’t get to see how it works.
They have a few major events like the citizenship ceremony, a sand sculpture competition (which took me ages to find because of high tide), the gun battery march and firing of the cannons and of course the Fireworks at 9pm.
The highlights of the day for me were seeing the:-
- Austin Motor Vehicle Display – about 8 vintage cars were parked next to the Meatery and most of them were in pristine condition. It always makes me smile seeing the old car enthusiasts showing off.
- UOW FSAE car on display near the Telstra main stage. A group of University Engineering students participated in the Formula SAE competition. The students are to design and build an open wheel, formula-style race car.
- Gun Battery March & Firing of the Cannon – Re-enacted by a local Rotary or Lions club. This was the first time I had ever watched this and I thought it was amazing. They fire blanks but the atmosphere is amazing it can take you back to a twenty-one gun salute in Edinburgh.
In all it was a good and even turned out sunny. I hope next year instead of just going to the local beach you check out what your local council has put on and support them.