Wollongong City Council is promising to host another cracking Australia Day event with a jam-packed program of activities for all ages throughout the day and night.
About 50,000 people are expected to attend the January 26 event.
What time does the event start
Activities start from 8am. The event will end after fireworks at 9pm.
Where is the event
The event is spread over four locations; Wollongong Harbour, Osborne Park, Lang Park and Flagstaff Hill.
What to see and do
The Australia Day Aquathon will see competitors swim and run in Wollongong Harbour from 8am. There is a long, short, mini and kids race. Registrations open at 6am. There will be a walk, run, roll event over a four km course along the Blue Mile track for people with all abilities from 10am.
Revellers can hire a paddleboard from 11am and the Thong Race and throw competition will start at 12pm on Brighton Beach.
There will be a lantern making workshop from 12pm and a sand sculpting competition from 3pm (register at 2pm).
Wollongong electronic harpist Yasmine Russell will perform from 5pm.
Meet the Roller Hawks players and have a go at basketball wheelchair outside the Old Court House from 5pm to 7pm.
From 8pm, there will be a paddleboard display, Lantern Parade, Didgeridoo performance, and song performance by James Vann, lead singer of the Vanns.
The night will be capped off with fireworks at 9pm.
This year’s theme is ‘under the sea’ and there will be large inflatable sea creatures along the harbour.
Main stage at Osborne Park
There will be a reptile show from 12pm, a science show from 12.30pm and the Daniel Dwyer Magician Show will start at 1pm.
Musical and poetry performances will start from 2pm including Dear Violet, The Groove and London-born singer Pearl Noire.
Fiesta Corner at Lang Park
The Unity Pole, which is an inter-generational, diverse, community installation that will create a canopy of colour can be seen all day.
From noon there will be Vietnamese, Chinese, Iranian, Karenni, Flamenco, Salco and Reggae dances from 12pm. Kirli Saunders will give a story telling performance and Street Beatz will perform a hip hop dance.
Youth Chill Out Zone - Flagstaff Hill
Free activities for 12 to 24 year olds will be held from 3pm to 8pm
Young musicians will compete in the Battle of the Bands from 12pm.
Young people can also take polaroid photos, participate in water activities, backyard cricket and chill out on beanbags.
Amusement rides and stalls
This year all amusement rides will be located in Lang Park. On Australia Day, rides will open at 10am and finish at 9pm.
Amusement rides in Lang Park will be open to the public until January 29. Normal operating hours are from 12pm to 8.30pm.
All food and craft stores are located in Lang Park, Cliff Road and Osborne Park and will operate from 8am to 9pm.
Tops of 32 degrees in Wollongong are expected.
Getting there and parking
A free Park n Ride service will be operating from JJ Kelly Park from 12noon until 11pm, every 15 minutes. The buses will pick up attendees from the park and drop-off at WIN Stadium (on Harbour Street).
The free Gong Shuttle Bus will be operating on a diverted route while Cliff Road is closed and will run every 10 minutes for the duration of the event starting at 12noon. The route will include travelling along Corrimal Street and then turning into George Place.
The council recommends revellers catch the train to Fairy Meadow, North Wollongong or Wollongong stations, and then jump on the free Gong Shuttle Bus. For more bus and train information phone 131 500 or visit www.transportnsw.info.
Between 5am to 10.15pm on Australia Day Wilson Street, Endeavour Drive to Flagstaff Hill and Marine Drive and access to JJ Kelly Park (Springhill Road) will be closed.
Between 5am to 10.45pm Cliff Road between Georges Place and Marine Drive will be closed.
Accessible viewing area
The council has dedicated an area for people with a disability to have easy access to watch the fireworks.
A limited number of spaces will be available in front of the shared footpath along Belmore Basin. This area will be next to the Wollongong Harbourfront Restaurant.
A quiet space
There will be a Quiet Space Tent at the Wollongong Foreshore from 12pm to 9pm for those adults and children who need a break from the hustle and bustle of the busy event.
The Quiet Space will have chairs to sit in the shade, maps of the event layout and accessible points of interest, tepee with sensory toys, a magnifying glass and equipment to borrow such as portable hearing loops and ear defenders.
Council suggests older people, adults and children who need a break from crowds and noise and people who are affected by glare might want to visit the quiet space.
Are you a 26er?
If you were born on January 26 then the council has organised a special celebration. The 26er Club Birthday Party will be held at 4.30pm at Osborne Park. There will be free cake for those who register and their friends and family.
The council is encouraging those who will celebrate their birthday on January 26 to register via the council’s website.
Ozzy Doggy Show
Pet owners are encouraged to enter their dog in the tail-wagging event. The Ozzy Doggy Show will start at 3pm. Judges will view each entrant on their appeal in their category, personality of the dog and the category presentation.
Entry Categories (can be very creative or simply funny)
- Wollongong's Top Dog - Best Dressed Ozzy Doggy
- Best dressed Australia Day Theme - Both owner and Dog
- Most Outrageous or Creative - both Owner and/or Dog
- Best Ozzy Doggy Trick
- Best Ozzy Doggy under six (6) months
- People's Choice (most loved dog on the day)
The Ozzy Doggy Show will be held within a dedicated ring. All dogs must be on a leash at all times. Dogs must leave the park before 9pm.
At 2pm there will be a Nose Works exhibition. Adorable dogs and their trainers will show viewers the latest training activities to develop a dogs natural scenting abilities.
This event is a single-use plastic free event and all attendees are encouraged to bring along a reusable water bottle and to make sure they put their rubbish in the bins provided.
The council has requested that all stallholders take steps to avoid and minimise waste. This involves reducing the use of single-use plastics such as cutlery, containers or balloons.
The council has also employed the services of Green Connect to carry out waste management throughout the event. There will be red (general waste), yellow (recyclables) and green (compostable waste) bins onsite and revellers are encouraged to put rubbish in the right bins.
Water fountains are located throughout the event so people stay hydrated and re-fill their reusable water bottle.