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Australia Day: Places to Visit, Where to Celebrate

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By Vittorio Hernandez | January 25, 2013 3:58 PM EST

Since Australia is a multi-cultural country, it would not be surprising that Aussies would celebrate their national day in different ways. While Australia Day is Jan 26, since it is a Saturday, the country would observe it on Monday, Jan 28 which is a public holiday.

The day commemorates the establishment of the first settlement in 1788 in Port Jackson, now part of Sydney. On Jan 26, 1788, 11 ships that comprise the First Fleet from Great Britain docked at Port Jackson. The fleet was led by Captain Arthur Philip who established the Colony of New South Wales, the first penal colony in Australia.

Being a public holiday in the whole country, all schools and post offices are closed, some public transport services do not operate, but stores are often open.

Being summer, most Australians celebrate the day by having a picnic at a park, shopping, watching sports events or public fireworks displays like those at Lake Burley Griffin. Here is the video of the 2012 fireworks display.

Here are some places that Aussies could go to celebrate the country's 225th national day:

  • Yass - Rotary Breakfast at Coronation Park, 7 a.m. Includes flag-raising, speech from Australia Day Ambassador Rev. Graham Long, presentation of shire's Australia Day Awards and citizenship ceremony.
  • Murrumbateman - Breakfast at Jones Park, 7:30 a.m., sponsored by the Lions Club, followed by the grand opening of the Murrumbateman Farmers Market. Other activities include tennis coaching tips, balloon artist performance, karate display, busking and face painting.
  • Blackburn - Opens 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The garden is a favourite picnic destination.
  • Wee Jasper - The Wee Jaspers and Billy Grace campers will battle on the cricket pitch for the Billy Grace Garry Anderson Memorial Trophy as part of the Australian Day Cricket Match. Game starts 9:30 a.m.
  • Gunning - Australia Day presentations to be made at the breakfast in Barbour Park on Saturday, 8 a.m. The Lions Club of Gunning will cater at $6 per head or $10 per family.
  • Salt - Ping pong, live music, food and drinks special at the Saltbar Beachbar and Bistro, Kingscliff.
  • Kingscliff - Flag-raising, BBG breakfast and entertainment at Lions Park Marine Pde.
  • Tumbulgum - BBQ breakfast, flag-raising, awards for local residents, entertainment, display by Rodders, cricket, tennis and novelty events.
  • Tyalgum - Features the traditional parade at the Norco Park, cricket match at Bruce Bartrim Oval and Tyalgum Cup Cycle Race in front of Tyalgum Store at 2 p.m.

Those who opt to celebrate the day with family or friends in an unstructured way may opt to head for the beach, but revelers are advised to go outdoors early because of the possibility of showers and thunderstorm strike in the afternoon.

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