Newcastle and Lake Macquarie residents will not be short on having something to do during the Australia Day weekend with the area's councils set to host a range of events and activities across beaches, foreshores, the harbour and inner city.
A citizenship ceremony where 270 people will pledge their allegiance to Australia will be one of the first events kick off Newcastle's jam-packed Australia Day schedule on Sunday, January 26 which also features the Oceania Championships, Trans-Tasman youth touch football tests, harbour swim and family activities on the foreshore.
"City of Newcastle has teamed up with several partners to put on a raft of events and activities on Australia Day," Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"The city has supported the touch football Tests with $20,000 as they will attract thousands of extra visitors and boost the local hospitality industry to the tune of $1.7 million over three days. The event will also generate some good-hearted parochial excitement on our national day, so no pressure whatsoever on the Aussie teams."
Triathletes and elite international visitors will race alongside Newcastle Paralympian Lauren Parker from 7am as she defends her 2019 Oceania Paratriathlon title before a field of hardy swimmers take on Stockton Surf Lifesaving Club's cross-harbour challenge mid-morning.
A Trans-Tasman Youth Touch Football Test series will see Kiwi sides take on Australia's best in a city-backed tournament at No.2 Sportsground while parkour, skateboarding, inflatables and a temporary waterpark make a big splash with families on the foreshore.
Waterfront activities have been planned across Lake Macquarie for the Australia Day weekend.
The Lake's festivities will kick off on in Croudace Bay on Saturday, January 25 with a free breakfast and family fun, followed by afternoon events at Wangi Wangi, Rathmines, Pelican and Swansea with a fireworks display over the water proposed for 9pm. A final decision on whether the fireworks will proceed will be made closer to the event, pending weather conditions.
A traditional Australia Day citizenship ceremony at will be held at the council's Speers Point administration building on Sunday morning which will see 90 people from all corners of the globe become Australian citizens. This will be followed by a laid-back concert in Speers Point Park.
Lake Macquarie City Council's manager arts, culture and tourism, Jacqui Hemsley, said hosting multiple events throughout the area for Australia Day made celebrations more accessible to a greater number of people.
"This is about activating our local communities, bringing people together and igniting our night-time economy," Ms Hemsley said.
"We'll have food trucks at the park, but families can also bring their own picnic, pull up a chair and enjoy the lakeside setting."
Newcastle Australia Day events
- Citizenship Ceremony: 270 new Australians will take their pledge of allegiance in a citizenship ceremony at Civic Theatre from 9am on Sunday, January 26
- Fun in the City: Live entertainment, food trucks, parkour and skateboard workshops, inflatables and more at Queens Wharf and Foreshore Park from 10am-2pm on Sunday, January 26
- Newcastle Harbour Swim: Roll the arms over for the 24th edition of Stockton Surf Life Saving Club's Australia Day Harbour Swim in either the 700m single crossing from Stockton to Queens Wharf (10am) or 1,400m double crossing from Queens Wharf (11am) on Sunday, January 26
- Oceania Championships for Paratriathlon: An Olympic selection event for elite paratriathletes and also a long, mid and short-format triathlon for the general public and corporate teams. 750m swim in Newcastle Harbour, 20km cycle leg around Nobbys, Newcastle Beach and Foreshore and 5km run around Horseshoe Beach and Pit Lane from 7am to 9.30am. Wharf Rd East of Watt St, Nobbys Rd north of Stevenson Place, and Shortland Esp to Zaara St will all be closed from 5.30am to 9.30am.
- Youth Trans-Tasman Test Series: Best of Three Touch Football Test Match series for six youth divisions - 18 matches of elite international standard touch football at No.2 Sportsground from Friday to Sunday.
- Newcastle Waterworld Central: Small format water park hosted by Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation on corner of Scott and Watt Streets until Monday, January 27.
- Fort Scratchley Canons: Firing 11am, 1pm and 3pm (seven guns at 1pm). Catch re-enactments, vehicle displays and the first discharge in almost 100 years of an historic 80-pound gun following a two-year restoration project by the Fort Scratchley Historical Society.
Lake Macquarie Australia Day events
- Free Family Breakfast and Fun Day: At Thomas H Halton Park, Croudace Bay from 7.30am to noon on Saturday, January 25 featuring yoga, live music, free BBQ breakfast and Scouts canoe race.
- Big Bang: At Pelican Foreshore, Lakeview Parade, Pelican on Saturday, January 25 from 4pm to 10.30pm featuring market stalls, food stalls, inflatables, live music.
- Big Bang: At Swansea Foreshore, Cedar Street, Swansea on Saturday, January 25 from 4pm to 10.30pm featuring BBQ food trucks, live music and inflatables.
- Big Bang: At Foreshore Reserve, Watkins Road, Wangi Wangi on Saturday, January 25 from 4pm to 10.30pm featuring buskers, fundraiser BBQ, inflatables and hula hoop workshops.
- Big Bang: At Rathmines Park, Stilling Street, Rathmines on Saturday, January 25 from 4pm to 10.30pm featuring pop-up bar, food trucks and performers.
- Citizenship Ceremony: A traditional Australia Day citizenship ceremony at Council's Speers Point administration building on Sunday morning will naturalise more than 90 people from all corners of the globe
- Sunday Sessions: At Speers Point Park on Sunday, January 26, 3-7pm. An afternoon in the park with chilled-out music, laid-back vibes provided by feature local artists Tim Harding, GENR8, Hurricane Fall and the Komiti Levai Band, food trucks and BYO picnic.