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Australia Day. No matter how you celebrate it, is a landmark holiday where we come together as a nation to commemorate what makes our sun blessed country great. Remembering the things that have helped shape Australia and the things we hold of value towards this great land.

I’m looking forward to attending the 2011 Australia Day Celebrations in Canberra. Having gone for a day trip previously on Australia Day, the journey was so much fun and the atmosphere was electric, we’ve decided to make it a family tradition. Having always enjoyed going on family trips, our regular spot was starting to get a bit redundant. This new adventure initially began with an idea my mum had, wanting to visit the National Gallery of Australia to see an exclusive exhibition located only in Canberra. From something as simple as wanting to see an art exhibition, a whole new Odyssey began.

The drive from Sydney took about 3 hours with 2 stops along the way. For me I always enjoy stopping by the Information centre and checking out special deals on new attractions in the area or receiving ‘insider’ information on events. You also receive tourist information and a free map (which is always handy) labelling where the main attractions and places of interest can be found.

Having been to Canberra before on school trips, I’ve always remembered certain aspects of my trip that left an impact. Things like Visiting Parliament house and the Australian War Memorial sites created such a rich foundation for my current visit that it was truly an overwhelming experience to share with my family. Especially with my younger brother who had never been before, it was great to introduce him to a place that holds such relevance in Australian history.

The Commonwealth Park is a perfect setting for a family outing. We stumbled across this location after travelling for about half an hour, around Canberra, searching for an amazing park I remembered from my year 6 excursion. My family, to the day are convinced there never was one.

Having grown up right next to a park in inner Sydney the atmosphere in Canberra was completely different. It may have been partly due to the fact it was a public holiday, but the celebration taking place in the park was so encapsulating. It was a perfect summer day, families crowded the tables and picnicked under the trees. Some bonded over the BBQ and I even noticed a variety of families forming teams to begin a game of cricket.

In 2011 my aim is to change it up a little.  A friend from Canberra called and was telling me about an event taking place that would structure our day perfectly. The Australia Day in the Park and Fireworks Spectacular in Commonwealth Park, a free all day event for the whole family to partake in. There’s no better way to start a beautiful summer’s day than with a bite at the great Australia Day breakfast, with others who want to join in the celebration as much as you do.

The relevance of Australia‘s diverse cultural landscape, laws and community have helped shape our history and can be summed up in one act, becoming an Australian citizen. You can watch the Australian National Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremony which will be held on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

During the day you can enjoy a variety of concerts to entertain the children or take a gander at some local acts in the Australia Day Jam.  There’ll be face painting, novelty games, backyard cricket, rides and lots of food. Other events that will get the heart racing are the skateboarding show and the jet skiing/wakeboarding show at Lake Burley Griffin. Afterwards relax and sit by the lake, for the final marvel of the day, the fireworks display.

If you want to stay overnight and enjoy the celebrations without the pressure of driving home it’s probably a good idea to research the area and explore a variety of hotels that cater to your experience.

Published: Jan 21, 2011 12:05pm by kat15.

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