Yachts sail into Illawarra for Australia Day

America's Cup yachts Steak N Kidney and Australia will make a splash at the Wollongong Yacht Club's Australia Day Regatta tomorrow.

The two historic boats will compete in the five-race event, marking the first time 12-metre class yachts have made port at Wollongong.

The regatta, which coincides with the 30th anniversary of the America's Cup win by Australia II in 1983, will start from Wollongong Harbour at 11am.

The city will dive into Australia Day celebrations at 8am, starting with the Australia Day Aquathon at the harbour.

At 10.30am the largest citizenship ceremony of the year will take place at Wollongong Town Hall with an address by Wollongong's Australia Day Ambassador and Hawks basketball legend Mat Campbell.

A re-enactment of soldiers from the 1880s fort will march from the Old Courthouse to Smith's Hill Battery on Cliff Road at 12.30pm. Cannons will be fired at 1pm, moments before Skydive the Beach Sydney performs a flag and smoke display above the heads of Australia Day crowds.

Due to several road closings, people are encouraged to take advantage of the free Gong Shuttle Bus service and Park and Ride bus, as well as CityRail trains.

Australia Day at Shellharbour will begin with a breakfast by the lake from 7am to 10am.

St George Illawarra Dragons veteran Ben Creagh will give the Shellharbour Australia Day address at Reddall Reserve at 7.30am, before the presentation of Australia Day awards and the citizenship ceremony.

Prizemoney of $1000 is up for grabs in the sand modelling competition that opens at 8.30am.

Family fun activities and live music will begin at 7am and conclude at 11am.

Breakfast events will be held at Jones Beach in Kiama Downs, Reid Park in Jamberoo, Surf Beach in Kiama and Werri Beach in Gerringong from 7am to 11am. Kiama Council will host Australia Day celebrations from 11am at Hindmarsh Park, beginning with the citizenship ceremony.

Singing, dancing, magic and more will take centre stage at The Gong Factor Talent Quest at Lang Park at 4.30pm.

The day will end with a bang when the fireworks burst over Wollongong Harbour at 9pm.


What's on: celebrations in the Illawarra

Australia Day to be a stormy affair

Warning to play it safe in the surf

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