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Australia Day

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Oz Day in the Gong
Event Guide

Australia Day in the Gong is a cracker event, with a jam-packed program of fun. Join us at Wollongong Harbour for food stalls, games, performances, activities and much more. There's plenty to do throughout the day and night for people of all ages.

This event is spread over four locations; Wollongong Harbour, Osborne Park, Lang Park and Flagstaff Hill and will run from 8am - 9pm.

Download a copy of the event program today!

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.

For all enquiries please contact the Events Team on events@wollongong.nsw.gov.au

Getting There

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.
 
We recommend catching the train to Fairy Meadow, North Wollongong or Wollongong stations, and then jumping on the free Gong Shuttle Bus. For more bus and train information phone 131 500 or visit www.transportnsw.info

Road Closures

Between 5am to 10.15pm on Australia Day the following roads will be closed:
  • Wilson Street
  • Endeavour Drive to Flagstaff Hill
  • Marine Drive and access to JJ Kelly Park (Springhill road)
Between 5am - 10.45pm: 
  • Cliff Road between Georges Place and Marine Drive

Download a copy of the Australia Day Road Closures Map here.

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 the 29 January. Normal operating hours are from 12noon 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. 
 

Event Guide - What's On?

Download a copy of the Australia Day Event Map & Program or see below for more event details.

 

 
Wollongong Harbour
 
​WHEN ​WHAT'S ON
​8am

​Aquathon
Whether you walk, swim or run, there's something for everyone at Wollongong's MMJ Australia Day Aquathon. Join us at Wollongong Harbour for a fun community event for all ages and abilities.

Registrations open at 6am at the harbour. Visit the Australia Day Aquathon website for more information.

​10am

​Walk for Warrigal
If you're not quite ready to take part in the Aquathon, come along in our Warrigal Australia Day Walk-Run-Roll! It's an all ages event that takes on a flat 4km course along the Blue Mile track.

Find out more here.

​11am

Paddleboard Hire starts
Have a go at stand-up paddle boarding at Wollongong Harbour.

​12pm

Thong Race
Join WaveFM on Brighton Beach for a thong race and throw competition. Make sure to wear your best pair of thongs.

​12-9pm

Lantern Making Workshop
Make a lantern to use during our Lantern Parade at 9pm. This workshop is free.

​1.30pm

Skydivers Beach Landing at City Beach
Landing times depend on weather conditions on the day.

​2pm

Sand Sculpting Registrations Open
Register at Wollongong Harbour.

​2pm Nose Works Exhibition
Watch the adorable dogs us the latest training activities to develop a dogs natural scenting abilities! Located at the base of Flagstaff Hill opposite Lang Park.
​3pm

Sand Sculpting Competition
Try your hand at sand sculpting with WAVEFM on Brighton Beach. Don't forget to register at 2pm.

​3pm Ozzy Doggy Show!
Located at the base of Flagstaff Hill opposite Lang Park.
​5pm

Yasmine Russell
Wollongong electronic harpist.

​5 - 7pm

​Roller Hawks
Have a go at basketball wheelchair and say hello to the Roller Hawks. Find them outside the Old Court House.

​8 - 9pm

Nigh time performances on the Harbour
As we count down to the fireworks, make sure you visit the harbour for nigh time entertainment including a paddleboard display, Lantern Parade, Didgeridoo performance, and song performance by James Vann, lead singer of the Vanns.

9pm Fireworks!
 

Main Stage - Osborne Park

​WHEN ​WHAT'S ON
​12noon

Dragon Mobile Training Zoo
A meet and greet with all sorts of reptile friends.

​12.30pm Science Show
Enjoy a science filled show by the Science Centre and Planetarium.
​1pm Daniel Dwyer Magician Show
Prepare to be amazed by Daniel Dwyer and his amazing magic show.
​2pm Dear Violet
Ashlee, Shalani and Kiya are a young musical trio presenting a wide range of vocal harmonies accompanied by acoustic guitar.
​2.45pm Kirli Saunders
Story telling and poetry performances by well-loved children's poet and author, Kirli Saunders.
​3pm Street Beatz
Hip Hop performance
​4pm Pearl Noire
The London born singer will bring her unique style of jazz, swing and soul to Wollongong Harbour.
​5pm The Groove
Drumming performance will get your toes tapping.
​7pm

Latin Power
Enjoy fantastic Latin Dance performance on the Main Stage.

​8pm ​Reggae
High energy performers, infectious rhythms and some of the best dance moves you’ve ever seen are now being showcased in Wollongong.
 

Fiesta Corner - Lang Park

 
​WHEN ​WHAT'S ON
​All day ​Unity Pole
An inter-generational, diverse, community installation that will create a canopy of colour. The more participants, the bigger the canopy grows. 
​12noon Vietnamese Dancers
​1pm Chinese Ladies Dancers
​2pm Iranian Dancers
​3pm Karenni Dance
​3.45pm Kirli Saunders
Story telling and poetry performances by well-loved children's poet and author, Kirli Saunders.
​4pm Street Beatz
Hip Hop performance.
​5pm Flamenco Dancers
​6pm Salco Dancers
​7pm Reggae
High energy performers, infectious rhythms and some of the best dance moves you’ve ever seen are now being showcased in Wollongong.
 

Youth Chill Out Zone - Flagstaff Hill

Free activities for 12 - 24 year olds
 
​WHEN ​WHAT'S ON
​3 - 8pm Battle of the Bands
Support our local young musicians on the Youth Services stage from 12pm – vote for your band favourite to win!
Australia Day Polaroids
Take a snap with your friends to celebrate living in Wollongong on Australia Day
Water Activities
From 3.30 – 5.30pm up on Flagstaff Hill.
Backyard Cricket
Play a game of backyard cricket with your mates
Chill out Space
Hang out on the hill & chill out with our beanbags in the shade
Giveaways
Come and say hi to one of our youth workers for your Youth Services freebies!
 
While the information provided is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances may impact on the accuracy of the information.

Meet our Australia Day Ambassador - Nicki Bowman

Nicki Bowman is a professional speaker, facilitator and leadership expert who for most of her career has proudly based her national and global career in Wollongong, where she was born and raised.
 
Growing up in Corrimal, Nicki has since completed an Economics/Law degree at the University of Sydney. Her commercial career has taken her from the shiny corridors of Sydney law firms to the blast furnaces of Port Kembla, and from the onion fields of New Zealand Steel to the deserts of Burkina Faso.  
 
Along the way Nicki broke many barriers for women – first female lawyer to lead the legal function at Illawarra Coal and BlueScope Industrial Markets, first woman on the Senior Management Team at New Zealand Steel, first woman on the board of ASX-listed mining companies Blackthorn Resources and Intrepid Mines.
 
An avid football player and fan, Nicki was the founding Deputy Chair of Football South Coast, and is still a Board member. She was appointed to the former Football Federation Australia Women’s Advisory Group, represented Australia at the FIFA Women’s Symposium in 2011, and is currently a member of the group Women Onside which is working to increase the participation of women at all levels of football governance in Australia.
 
In 2017 Nicki was able to combine her passions for her region and for empowering women (and also clothes!) by founding the Illawarra branch of the charity Dress for Success Sydney, of which she is also a Board member.
 
Headshot Blue FINAL.JPEG
    

Accessible Viewing Area

Following the success of past events, we are pleased to offer spaces in our accessible viewing area, with some features to assist people with disability to attend.

A limited number of spaces will be available in front of the shared footpath along Bellmore Basin. This area will be next to the Wollongong Harbourfront Restaurant.

Find out more here.

Assistance animals are welcome and water will be provided.

Need a quiet space?

On Australia Day, we will have a Quiet Space Tent at the Wollongong Foreshore from 12-9pm. It can be difficult to enjoy large events. Crowds and noise might be a problem for you. The Quiet Space is for anyone who needs a break when at Australia Day 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
  • Magnifying glass
  • Equipment to borrow- portable hearing loops and ear defenders

People who might want to visit the quiet space:
  • Older people
  • Adults and children who need a break from crowds and noise
  • People affected by glare
  • People who want to borrow equipment


For more information about The Quiet Space contact Carly Pascoe at Wollongong City Council on (02) 4227 7111 or email cpascoe@wollongong.nsw.gov.au

Australia Day Social Story

We've prepared a social story and it is available for download here. If you have any questions about the event, contact the Events Team on (02) 4227 7111.

Waste Wise Event

​This year, Australia Day is taking additional steps to be waste wise. Council has requested that all stallholders take steps to avoid and minimise waste at community events such as Australia Day. This involves reducing the use of single-use plastics such as cutlery, containers or balloons. Find out more here.
 
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 we encourage you to make sure you put your rubbish in the right bins.
 
Water fountains are located throughout the event so make sure you stay hydrated and re-fill your reusable water bottle.

Are you a 26er?

Are you born on the 26th January? Or do you know someone who is?
 
Wollongong City Council and Tonitto Cakes invite all you to register as a 26er and come along for a 26er Club Birthday Party this Australia Day!
 
When: 4.30pm on Australia Day, Saturday 26 January 2019
 
Where: Osborne Park, Wollongong

All those registered will be part of a special birthday cake cutting. We encourage you to invite  family and friends along to enjoy the Australia Day fun.

Once you are registered, we can give you more details on the birthday celebration proceedings.
If you were born on the 26th of January and you’d like to attend your birthday party register below.
 
 

Ozzy Doggy Show

Enter your faithful family doggie to a 'tail wagging' event to help us celebrate Australia Day 2019.
 
Doggies and their owners will show their doggies and creativity within a dedicated fenced ring.  The judges will view each entrant on their appeal in their category, personality of the dog and the category presentation.  The judges' decision will be final. Prizes awarded to winners in each category.
 
Enter your dog into the Australia Day Ozzy Doggy Show now!
 
Entries close 3pm Friday 25 January 2019 or you can register on the day.
 
The Ozzy Doggy Show is located at the base of Flagstaff Hill opposite Lang Park.

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)

Program

 

 

​Time ​What's On
​2pm ​Nose Works Exhibition: Watch the adorable dogs us the latest training activities to develop a dogs natural scenting abilities!
​3pm ​Australia Day Ozzy Doggy Show
 

 

Rules and Regulations

  • All dogs are to be on a leash at all times.
  • Contestants are responsible for their dog and must have full control of the dog at all times otherwise Council Rangers may ask for the dog to leave the site.
  • Contestants are also responsible for their dog’s poop and poop bags will be provided to each contestant. A special bin will be available on site
  • Drink bowls will be available for your canine’s refreshment.
  • Dogs must leave the park before 9pm, prior to the fireworks commencing
  • You will be advised via email of your entry number in your category/s and be given instructions for the day.
 RSPCA Logo

Train and Helicopter Rides

Australia Day Train Rides

Free train rides will run from 12noon to 7.30pm on Australia Day. The trains will travel from Lang Park to Flagstaff Hill and back.

Helicopter Rides

Helicopter joy rides will be in operation from 1 - 7pm. No pre-bookings. Book your ticket on the day at the top of Flagstaff Hill. An 8 minute flight will cost $80 per person.
 
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