Buvette Masthead

15+ things to do across the Australia Day weekend

Elsie Adamo

However you choose to spend your long weekend, we have you covered.

26 January

Australia Day 2018 at the National Museum of Australia

The National Museum of Australia is the place to be on Australia Day 2018. Here’s what’s happening:

10 am – 1 pm Australia Day family festival

Celebrate with music, dance, family tours, craft and fun activities.

5 – 9 pm – Live music in the outdoor amphitheatre

Larger-than-life lawn games, Food and drinks, fantastic local bands

9.30 am – 4.30 pm Space Descent VR with Tim Peake

Experience the thrill of being an astronaut in this virtual reality mission.

Exhibitions open until 9 pm:

  • Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters
  • Midawarr | Harvest: The Art of Mulkun Wirrpanda and John Wolseley

For details on all activities and parking at the National Museum on Australia Day – visit nma.gov.au/australia-day 


Take a journey across the Australian desert in this Aboriginal-led exhibition about the epic Seven Sisters Dreaming, Don’t miss out – this exhibition is a journey unlike no other. Only on show until 25 February 2018. Book your tickets online now: nma.gov.au/songlines.

Exhibition open 9 am until 9 PM on Australia Daywww.nma.gov.au/songlines


Two artists with completely different approaches but one passion. An exhibition not to be missed.

Free entry, donations welcome

Exhibition open 9 am until 9 PM on Australia Daywww.nma.gov.au/midawarr


Celebrate with music, dance, craft and family fun inspired by our Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters and Midawarr | Harvest exhibitions.

Some activities may involve a small charge

10am–1pm | www.nma.gov.au/festival


Join the NMA as the sun sets on Australia Day 2018 for live music and free larger-than-life lawn games at the National Museum of Australia.

Bring a picnic or grab a meal and settle in for the Australia Day fireworks display at 9 pm. Kick back and enjoy live local music with:

  • Betty Alto (pictured) for rock pop party sounds
  • Zackerbilks for sultry vocals, bold brass, wicked woodwinds and a rollicking rhythm section
  • The Crossbones for high-energy, good-time rockabilly tunes.

5–9 pm | www.nma.gov.au/australia-day


Experience the thrill of being an astronaut in this virtual reality mission.

Session times run between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm.

Advanced bookings essential.

Visit www.nma.gov.au/space for session times and costs.


See this new exhibition which pays tribute to the eight extraordinary finalists chosen for the Australian of the Year Awards 2017. The exhibition features personal objects of special significance chosen by the finalists.

On show in the Hall | nma.gov.au/aoty

For details on all activities and parking at the National Museum on Australia Day – visit nma.gov.au/australia-day 


This Australia Day you’re invited to the 19th ActewAGL Great Aussie Day Breakfast, proudly supported by the ACT Government and Canberra Milk.

The event is a fun-filled morning for the whole family and includes:

  • Nick Jr’s Dora the Explorer Sing-Along Adventure show at 8:10am, 8:55am and 9:35am.
  • An Aussie barbecue of sizzling sausages supplied by ActewAGL.
  • Live entertainment on Stage 88 from 7:30am featuring the ‘Sing Australia’ choir at 7:30am
  • Jumping castles and face painting for the kids
  • All gold coin donations from the sausage sizzle will be donated to Men’s Link.

On 26 January from 7.30am – 10.00am at Commonwealth Park, near stage 88

Entry is via gold coin donation to support Menslink.

Visit the website for more information: www.actewagl.com.au/Community/Whats-on/Aussie-day-breakfast.aspx.

Australia Day in the Capital

Australia Day in the Capital will be happening at Regatta Point, with entertainment, activities, and plenty of food options. Justice Crew si the headliner for this year’s concert, with Jess & Matt and Tuchasoul supporting.

You can also head over the Patrick White Lawns for a picnic and family-friendly entertainment. There will be cricket, a giant slide, opportunities to live out fairy tales, face painting and of course a jumping castle, it will be impossible for the kids to get bored.

There will be local food trucks all day to make sure you’re enjoying delicious morsels too. Fireworks will be on at 9 pm to light up the sky and cap off your night.

Happening January 26 from 4 pm to 9 pm at Regatta Point, Parkes. Free event, more details can be found online.

Australia Day Picnic Lanyon Open House

For an alternative to hectic crowds, you can slow down and celebrate Australia Day at Lanyon Homestead with music and an open house.

Spend your Australia day in the beautiful gardens discovering some of Canberra’s rural history. BYO picnic rug and food or you can purchase lunch at the Barracks Espresso Bar and Eating House (bookings required). Musicians will be there to recreate music from Lanyon’s past from 12-2 pm.

Happening on 26 January from 10 am until 4 pm at Lanyon Homestead, Tharwa. Free entry, more information can be found on website.

AusDay DogDay: Murrumbateman Winery

Wine dogs Mollie and Tannin entertain the guests at Murrumbateman Winery.

Celebrate Australia Day with two of our nations favourite things: wine and dogs. Murrumbateman Winery is putting on a child-friendly, dog-friendly, wine-friendly day for the whole family.

There will be wine, cheese, scones and refreshments for the humans among the family and doggie snacks for the canine family members. The local Murrumbateman cellar door regulars, dogs Mollie and Tannin were both adopted from the RSPCA and will be supporting the organisation from the sales of Mollie’s Block Fume Blanc, Tannin’s Wild Pinot Grrr-is and homemade dog biscuits.

Happening 26 January from 10 am until 5 pm at Murrumbateman Winery, Mcintosh Circuit, NSW. Free event, more information on their website.

Old Fashioned Twilight Picnic Fair Cooma Cottage

The Cooma Cottage is putting on an Australia Day Fair, a great way for families to spend their public holiday. Cooma Cottage was the home of Australian explorer Hamilton Hume, which was purchased in 1840 and is a slice of Australian History. There will be refreshments, heritage activities, old-fashioned kids games and Clydesdale horses. Bring your picnic blanket and food to make a day of it.

Happening January 26 from at Cooma Cottage, Yass Valley Way. Gold coin donation, more information can be found on website.

Australia Day in Yass Valley

As an alternative to spending the day in town, you can take a Drive to Yass to celebrate your Australia Day morning. The Rotary Club will be providing breakfast in the park and there will be all sorts of activities for the kids including a jumping castle, face painting and the playground. There will be Yass Valley Australia Day citizen awards to recognise community members.

Happening 26 January from 7 am until 10 am at Coronation Park, Yass. Free entry, more information can be found online. 

Blackout Party at La De Da

Looking for something fun to do in the evening of Australia Day? La De Da will be hosting their Blackout Party featuring Afrobeats vs Trap, the Sydney vs Canberra DJ off celebrating some local talent. The Dresscode is all black.

Happening 26 January from 9 pm until late at La De Da, Belconnen. See the Facebook event for more information.

Back to the 80s Band Australia Day Edition at Hellenic Club Woden

If you’re feeling a bit nostalgic this Australia Day you can head on over to Hellenic Club Woden to be time warped back to the 80s, with an Australiana theme. Think Dragon, Sunnyboys, INXS, Pseudo Echo, Goanna, Midnight Oil, Choirboys and many more.

Happening January 26 January from 9 pm at the Hellenic Club Woden. See the Facebook event for more information

27 January

Pool Party at The Duxton

The Duxton Pool Party is back in 2018. There will be pools set up on the Duxton’s rooftop terrace for the Hottest 100 Countdown. The event will give you the perfect way to stay cool by the pool whilst listening to the best songs of last year.

Complete with blow up pools, inflatable pool toys and (of course) bar access, what else do you need for the Countdown in the sun? Free entry, but it’s recommended to get there early so get yourself a good spot in a pool.

Happening January 27 from 12 pm to 7 pm at the Duxton, O’Conner. Free entry, must be over 18, see the Facebook event for more information.

Hottest 100 Celebration at Capital Brewing Co.

Capital Brewing Co. will be hosting an event to celebrate the Triple J Hottest 100 Countdown and to celebrate the GABS Hottest 100. The GABS Hottest 100 is the Great Australian Beer Spectacular craft beers countdown, where you can vote for your favourite craft beers from around the country.

To celebrate the two countdowns, Capital Brewing Co. will host a fun-filled day with activities including backyard cricket, cornhole vertical golf along with the countdown to keep you entertained. There will be misting machines, slushies and ice cold tinnies being sold outside to keep you cool all day.

Happening January 27 from 12 pm to 8 pm at Capital Brewing Co., Fyshwick. More information can be found on Facebook event.

Hottest 100 Party at King O’Malley’s

If you’re looking for somewhere to listen to the Hottest 100 in the city, Kingos will be playing the countdown in the afternoon, with a BBQ outside in the beer garden.

Happening January 27 from 3 pm at King O’Malley’s, Civic. More information can be found on Facebook event.

Hottest 100 Party at BentSpoke

BestSpoke will be playing the Triple J Hottest 100 all day long while celebrating the GABS Hottest 100 countdown of the best Australia craft beers. There will be good music, good beer and good times. BentSpoke will be offering sweep tickets for you to predict where in the poll they will come in – to enter be there by noon.

Happening January 27 from 12 pm at BentSpoke Brewing Co, Braddon. More information can be found on events website.


Elsie Adamo

Elsie originally hails from South Australia but after almost five years in the Capital likes to consider herself now as a local. A student at ANU she keeps herself busy on campus with student societies and now interning at HerCanberra. Her great loves include sitcoms, podcasts, bookstores, cider, brunch and online shopping. More about the Author