As the aquathon presentation began, Wollongong’s focus briefly shifted away from the harbour and across to the Wollongong Town Hall for the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony where 57 candidates took the pledge of allegiance.
Wollongong’s Australia Day ambassador Mat Campbell gave the Australia Day address, where he spoke of his pride not just in Australia, but the City of Wollongong.
Mr Campbell said Wollongong was a better place thanks to the many volunteers who selflessly give their time for many causes and encouraged the city’s newest Australians to do the same.
Back at the harbour with kites hovering above Flagstaff Hill and yachts racing beyond the harbour walls, the thong throwing competition took centre stage.
With many different throwing styles on display the winner of the Nippers competition, eight-year-old Aidan Testa of Figtree said the secret to ‘‘throw it high’’, before he took his prize home to enjoy at an Australia Day barbecue.
As the thongs were being thrown, a re-enactment party of soldiers and townsfolk from the 1880s was making its way from the Courthouse to the Smiths Hill Battery on Cliff Rd.
Elaine Hart, a member of the Rotary Club of Illawarra Sunrise,was part of the re-enactment.
‘‘We call ourselves ‘the wenches’,’’ she laughed.
The Illawarra Sunrise club has been involved with the refurbishment of the gun battery.
‘‘It is a great way to spend Australia Day,’’ she said.