Australia Day 2018

Friday 26 January 2018
3 days from now
10am - 5pm

Newcastle’s Australia Day celebrations will be hosted around the Newcastle LGA, you can find an event in your neighbourhood or join in activities anywhere from the harbour to Beresfield pool.

Australian Formula Powerboat GP

Honeysuckle Precinct
Friday 26 and Saturday 27 January 2018
8am - 5pm

The two day Australian Formula Powerboat GP event will see Newcastle harbour come alive with fast, colourful action with five classes of Formula Powerboats competing in an exciting extreme sport. The drivers and teams involved in the event are the best in the country at what they do - with international drivers also taking part in the chase for the title of Australian National Champion.

The circuit style racecourse will guarantee spectators a great view from any vantage point on the harbour frontage in Honeysuckle.

Paul Bennet Airshow

Fort Scratchley & Newcastle Harbour

A solo aerobatic performance by one of Australia's premier aerial performers, Paul Bennet, with his Wolf Pitts Pro aircraft.

Australia Day Newcastle Harbour Swim

Stockton Ferry Wharf to Queens Wharf
10am, Single crossing 700m from Stockton
11am, Double Crossing 1400 m from Newcastle

Come and join in on a legal swim across the Harbour and help raise funds for Stockton Surf Club. $50 entry ($20 for kids 12-13). Prize money and prizes to be won. Visit to enter.

Citizenship Ceremony and Australia Day Awards

Newcastle City Hall
9am  - 12noon

Newcastle welcomes new citizens every year at a special citizenship ceremony at Newcastle City Hall. The Lord Mayor will also announce the recipients of this year's Australia Day Awards.

The Art of Pressing Flowers

Newcastle Art Gallery
10:30am - 12:30pm

Inspired by the beauty of Australian native flora, and current exhibitions PAINTING MEMORY: From the collection and EVERYTHING CHANGES: Tim Maguire 2002 - 2017, visit the Art Gallery on Australia Day for a special introduction into still life drawing and the art of pressing flowers. Our Gallery educators will teach you how to draw from life, using a native flower arrangement as the subject. Every visitor will also receive a free flower pressing kit to take home with you, and we'll show you how to snip a bloom and press it. We also welcome special guests from the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens, who will bring a herbarium - a collection of preserved plant specimens. Chat with experts from the Gardens about Australian natives that suit our local climate.

Day of the Dinosaurs

Newcastle Museum
Free (admission fees apply for Dinosaur rEvolution)

Erth's Dinosaur Zoo will take over Newcastle Museum on Australia Day for the last week of Dinosaur rEvolution. Get up close and personal with roving puppet performances by large lifelike Dinosaurs, get your face painted and enjoy your own picnic lunch on the lawn while you listen to summer tunes.

  • Bring your own picnic lunch
  • Newcastle Shop café is open all-day
  • Picnic blankets and umbrellas provided.

Australian Day Bush Experience

Blackbutt Reserve
Richley Reserve, Freyberg Street, New Lambton
Free event
10am – 1pm 

Experience Australia day in beautiful Blackbutt with fun activities for the whole family. Come along and enjoy our reptile show, slip down a water slide, bounce on the jumping castle, take a Segway for a spin, get your hands dirty with your take home plant and have fun with some craft.  The face painter will colour up the kids and the DJ will play your favourite tunes. Buy a sausage sizzle, cool down with a snow cone or warm up with some coffee and enjoy the day in the great outdoors.

Swim and Swing at Lambton Swimming Centre

Durham Road, Lambton
10am - 2pm

  • Rosie's School of Rock - a different band every 30min
  • Jumping Castle
  • Waterslide FREE*
  • Pool inflatable FREE*

Entry fees apply:
Adults $5.40
Children $4.40
Family $19.10
* after 2pm the water slide will cost; 2pm-5pm ($1 ride, $5.50 1 hour wrist Band)

Swim and Swing at Beresfield Swimming Centre

Anderson Drive, Beresfield
Friday 26 January 2018
10am - 2pm

  • Jumping Castle
  • Pool inflatable
  • Soloist - Sarah Christine - Female acoustic performer

Entry fees apply:
$2.80 pool entry
Family Day ticket $9.50

Swim and Swing at Mayfield Swimming Centre

Ingall Street, Mayfield
Friday 26 January 2018
10am - 2pm

  • Pool inflatable FREE
  • Volley ball on the grass
  • Willy Doodrop Show with Balloon Sculptures (12.30 - 2.30pm)
  • Jumping Castle

Entry fees apply:
Adult $5.00
Child $4.00
Family $17.50

Swim and Swing at Stockton Swimming Centre

Pitt Street, Stockton
10am - 2pm

  • Jumping Castle
  • Pool inflatable FREE
  • Willy Doodrop Show with Balloon Sculptures (10am - 12pm)

Entry fees apply:

Adult $5.00
Child $4.00
Family $17.50

Swim and Swing at Wallsend Swimming Centre

Frances Street, Wallsend
10am - 2pm

  • Jumping Castle
  • Pool inflatable FREE
  • Soloist - James Naldo - Male Acoustic performer with Electronic Stomp Pedal

Entry fees apply:

Adult $5.00
Child $4.00
Family $17.50  

Giant Book Give Away

Wallsend Library
Bunn Street, Wallsend
10am - 2pm

Come along and help us create a magnificent Australian mural, learn how to Australian birds and butterflies with renowned illustrator, Gwynneth Jones. All materials included - no drawing experience necessary. Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Pick-up a free book from the Big Book Giveaway or grab a free Sausage Sizzle. 

Fort Scratchley Open Day

Fort Scratchley, Newcastle East
10am - 4pm

Be welcomed by Fort Scratchley Historical Society volunteers at a special open day which will include firing of the guns at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

Enjoy a family friendly day out at Newcastle’s famous historic attractions with one of the most spectacular views of Newcastle.

* A fee applies for tunnel tours

Program of events

Time Event
9am - 12noon Citizenship Ceremony and Australia Day Awards, Newcastle City Hall
10am - 1pm Australian Bush Day Experience, Blackbutt Reserve
9am Registrations from 9am, Australia Day Newcastle Harbour Swim, Newcastle Harbour
12:30pm Paul Bennet Airshow, Fort Scratchley and Newcastle Harbour
10.30am - 12.30pm The Art of Pressing Flowers, Newcastle Art Gallery
10:30am - 1:30pm Dinosaur Picnic, Newcastle Museum
10am - 2pm Swim and Swing at the Pool with James Naldo, Wallsend Swimming Centre
  Swim and Swing at the Pool with Rosie's School of Rock, Lambton Swimming Centre
  Swim and Swing at the Pool with Ship O Fools, Stockton Swimming Centre
  Swim and Swing at the Pool with Ship O Fools, Mayfield Swimming Centre
  Swim and Swing at the Pool with Sarah Christine, Beresfield Swimming Centre
10am - 2pm Open Day, Fort Scratchley Historic Site
10am - 4pm    Fort Scratchley Open Display and Gun Firings Fort Scratchley
8am - 5pm Formula 1 Powerboats, Honeysuckle, Newcastle Harbour



Newcastle Foreshore
Wharf Road