The only two words sweeter than “public holiday,” in the Australian vernacular, have to be “long weekend.” On Australia Day this year, we’ll get to enjoy both at the same time. If you find yourself at a loose end, never fear, we have some fun things you can do with the family to make your long weekend celebrations extra special.
Mornington is not only a lovely place to visit because of the rolling hills and wineries. It’s also lovely to visit because of the Mornington Racecourse which will be the venue for the Australia Day Races on Friday, January 26. It will kick off an Australia Day weekend of racing which includes a day of racing at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday, January 27. Gates open an hour before the first race.
- Mornington Racecourse, 320 Racecourse Road, Mornington
- Caulfield Racecourse, 22 Station Street, Caulfield East
The Bayside Food Truck Fiesta will be visiting Williamstown over the Australia Day long weekend offering delicious food, rides for kids and a pet friendly environment. The event will include market stalls and live music led by local artists on January 25-28.
- The Food Truck Fiesta is on between 12pm and 10pm at Seaworks Williamstown, 82 Nelson Place.
You can watch the Australian Open while enjoying a cold drink and a BBQ courtesy of The Common Man at 39 Dukes Walk, South Wharf on January 26. In celebration of the special day, the space will be transformed into a lawn and include activities for the whole family to enjoy. There will be face painting and outdoor games for kids (big and small).
- Australia Day: Riverside on the lawn starts at 12pm at The Common Man.
Government House will again open its doors on Australia Day to let the public take a self-guided tour of the historic home. Visitors can go on a tour of Government House, the stables and mews and explore 11 hectares of gardens. There will also be a range of activities throughout the grounds including free children’s activities, and roving entertainers.
Gates open at 10am and last entry is at 3pm. Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the Western Lawn, or buy something from a range of food vendors on site. (The Country Women’s Association will also be offering its famous scones with jam and cream in the original 19th Century kitchen).
- Government House is open between 9.30am and 3.30pm. (Tours of the house start at 10am and entry through the gates will be allowed until 3pm) on January 26 at Government House Drive, Melbourne.
Kings Domain Gardens will be home to the Australia Day Festival for another year with lots of fun for the whole family on offer. Free entertainment is on offer with performances at 11.15am and 1pm by Peppa Pig and Peppa’s family. For the bigger kids, the Australia Day Party Band will be playing some Aussie rock anthems. Some of Melbourne’s favourite Food Trucks will be on hand and celebrations will also include a 21-gun salute at midday and a flyover by the Roulettes at 12.30pm.
- The festival is on January 26 from 11am to 4pm.