What to do in Melbourne on Australia Day 26th Jan 2017...

Nine free Australia Day activities in Melbourne

LOOKING for something to keep the whole family busy on Australia Day, that won’t break the bank? Melbourne has a wide variety of free activities and events that will get you out of the house and feeling patriotic.

Official flag raising ceremony outside Melbourne Town Hall at 10.30am

Victoria’s flag raising ceremony is followed by the vibrant Australia Day Parade and sees thousands of people line Swanston Street each year. Picture: Tony Gough

This ceremony marks the beginning of Victoria’s official Australia Day celebrations.

Once the flag is raised, attendees are invited to take part in the Australia Day affirmation and singing the national anthem.

Australia Day Parade, Swanston Street at 11am

Four-year-old Tom is ready to watch the parade. Picture: Jason Sammon

Thousands of people are expected to line the streets as the vibrant and colourful procession celebrating Victoria’s vast cultural heritage takes place on Swanston Street.

It is the only parade held on Australia Day morning across the nation’s capital cities.

RACV Australia Day Festival, Kings Domain at 11am — 4pm

Crowds of people will be heading to the RACV Australia Day Picnic in Kings Domain. Picture: David Crosling

This festival continues the theme of Victoria’s rich diversity, with free family-focused activities and displays from a broad range of community groups.

There will be a free childrens’ concert, vintage cars on show and a multicultural-themed Food Truck Park showing off a range of international cuisines.

Don’t forget to look to the sky at 12.30pm as the Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes put on a show across the Melbourne city skyline.

National Gallery of Victoria Kids Summer Festival

Take the kids to take in the sights at the National Gallery of Victoria NGV and enjoy some of the free activities on offer. Picture: NGV Photographic Services

Let the kids get crafty with a series of free workshops in the NGV Garden including a dachshund dog parade and a model dog park for children to display their handcrafted doggie creations.

Pirate Treasure Hunt at Harbour Town, 11am — 6pm

Alex Pratt as Penelope Pirate and Cassidy, nine, look for clues at Harbour Town's treasure hunt. Picture: Matt Loxton

Take the kids hunting for treasure at Harbour Town on Australia Day. Collect your free pirate bag and treasure map at the pirate booth next to KFC.

Make sure to explore the new summer pirate playground while you’re there too.

U-Nite Fan Day at Docklands, noon-4pm

Soccer lovers are invited to a free fan clinic before Melbourne Victory play Sydney FC at Etihad Stadium. There will be face painting, an inflatable pitch, a target zone and a DJ.

Fireworks at Docklands, 6pm — 10.30pm

The fireworks display over Victoria Harbour is always a highlight on Australia Day — but this year fireworks will come from Etihad Stadium. Picture: Mike Keating

With roaming artists, entertainment and a sizzling Food Truck Festival that celebrates the great Australian BBQ, Docklands is the perfect family friendly spot to end Australia Day.

Don’t forget to stick around for a spectacular fireworks show launched from the top of Etihad Stadium to a soundtrack of Aussie favourites.

Melbourne Town Hall Tours

Check out where Lord Mayor Robert Doyle works with free tours of Melbourne’s historic Town Hall. Picture Yuri Kouzmin

Free tours of Melbourne’s historic Town Hall give visitors the chance to learn about the architectural, social and political significance of this impressive 19th century building.

Government House open to the public

Governor Linda Dessau will throw open the doors of Government House on Australia Day.
Picture: Nicki Connolly

Government House will be open to the public as part of Australia Day celebrations.

Visitors are invited to tour the historical building or bring a picnic and enjoy live music on the West Lawn and an array of other childrens’ activities.

melissa.meehan@news.com.au

@melissameehanau

Originally published as Nine free Australia Day activities