A Guide to Celebrating Australia Day 2012 in Newcastle
It’s that time of year again where many of us pull out the green and gold clothing & plaster ourselves in Aussie flag tattoos (while others take more laid back approach) to celebrating our nation! Yes that’s right, Australia Day 2012 is just around the corner & if you are planning on spending it in Newcastle, there is no shortage of things to do.
Held over the 25th and the 26th, the National Maritime Festival celebrates Newcastle's rich and diverse maritime history. On Australia Day Eve a host of events and entertainment will take place both on the water and off, including the much anticipated Newcastle fireworks display at 9pm. On Australia Day there will be over 30 activities and displays throughout the entire Honeysuckle Precinct and through to Nobbys Beach from 9am-5pm for a jam-packed day of celebrations!
It wouldn't be Australia Day if you couldn't tune into Triple J & listen in to the countdown of the Hottest 100. This year, do it in style overlooking Newcastle Harbour at the Hottest 100 Countdown Party at Queens Wharf Brewery! Starting at midday on the Wharf, and continuing into the night with local DJ's from 5pm, there cannot be many better ways to celebrate the nation rather than looking over Newcastle's beautiful harbour.
Fort Scratchley is giving Novocastrians the chance to celebrate Australia Day in conjunction with Newcastle's own history, with discounted tours guided tunnel tours running throughout the day. A former coastal defence installation, now turned museum, Fort Scratchley was built in 1882 to defend the city against a possible Russian attack. For just $5 per person (children under 14 are free), these guided tunnel tours will take you back in time to explore Australia (and Newcastle's) rich history! Visit the Fort Scratchley website for a full list of Australia Day activities.
Feel like getting a bit competitive this Australia Day? If so, Stockton Surf Lifesaving Club will be hosting the 18th annual Harbour Swim! Starting at 8am from the Stockton Ferry Wharf is the social swim, a 700m swim (one way) to Newcastle Wharf. The real competition then kicks off from 8.30am with a 1400m race from Newcastle side, swimming over to Stockton, around the buoy, and finishing up at Newcastle Wharf. If you are interested, entry forms are available from oceanswims.com, the Stockton Surf Club website and local swimming pools.
Punk rockers Guttermouth will be gracing The Cambridge Hotel this Australia Day. After completing one of the longest Australian tours by an international act in 2010, they return this year to spend some more time in their second native country, and are celebrating our nation's favourite day in Newcastle. This is an over 18's event kicking off at 8pm, tickets are $25+bf.
Haven't been lucky enough to get Aussie Day off? No worries, just head to King Street Hotel on Australia Day Eve to relish in the sounds of one of Britain's greatest DJ's, DJ Yoda. Sure to get the party atmosphere pumping and start off many Australian Day benders, this is an event not to be missed for the party enthusiast.
Another venue that will be playing Triple J's Hottest 100 Countdown, The Albion Hotel in Wickham is hosting a pool party! Pop on your speedos, bikinis and pluggers and listen to the countdown poolside, while enjoying 100% Australian beers complemented with the traditional Aussie barbie. This one's a good choice for Newcastle's craft beer lovers, and a great way to have a party minus the clean up. Kicking off from 11am this is an over 18's event.
Don't particularly feel like making the trek into Newcastle City for Australia Day? Well Lake Macquarie Festival is your calling. Held at Speers Point Park, this is an all-ages event that is sure to provide a great day of entertainment! There will be markets, amusement rides, Rio (PG) on the big screen from 11am, local entertainment on stage throughout the afternoon with an evening show from Mental as Anything and Ganggajang. The night will finish with a bang at approximately 8.45am, with a spectacle of fireworks. Even better, this is a free event.
The Burwood Inn will be hosting their first Australia Day event since their refurbishment in 2011! They reckon they know the way to an Aussies heart and it's $3.50 Coopers, $4 Little Creatures & $4 White Rabbit beers, $12 carafes of punch, raffles, games & an all-day BBQ. Kick off is midday.
If you're looking to start the party early in Newcastle this Australia Day Eve, the Fanny's Foam Party could be your port of call! Since it’s a celebration of our ‘Aussie’ culture, thongs shorts and beach wear are allowed... and prepare to be soaked! Featuring DJ Brooke Evers, the party includes free entry for students and $4 drinks!