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Fun Ways To Spend Australia Day

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Sarah, 12, and Devika Moss, 15, travelled all the way from Melbourne to visit family and enjoy Australia Day events last year at Nanango Showgrounds

January 25, 2019

There’s probably nothing more Australian than enjoying a long weekend … and we’re all getting an extra one this year because January 26 falls on Saturday, pushing the Australia Day public holiday to Monday.

As usual, the South Burnett will be spending the weekend in a wide variety of ways.

Following recent tradition, the official South Burnett Regional Council Australia Day awards ceremony will be held on the eve of January 26.

This annual event rotates between towns. This year it will be held from 6:30pm on Friday at the Blackbutt Memorial Hall.

Federal Agriculture Minister and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud, State Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington and Australia Day Ambassador Justine Christerson will be special guests.

Everyone is welcome to attend and the award presentations will be followed by a light supper.

Some of Saturday’s events will be official occasions supported by the South Burnett Regional Council, while others are “unofficial” community events put on by local groups and businesses.

A smaller number will also be held on Sunday.

Here’s all the different ways you can mark Australia Day in the South Burnett this year …

* * *

Saturday – Official Events

  • Nanango
    South Burnett Regional Council, NaTDA and the Nanango Show Society will be sponsoring an Australia Day Community Breakfast at the Nanango Showgrounds in Cairns Street from 7:00am to 9:00am. The breakfast will be followed by a flag-raising ceremony and a recognition of Nanango’s Australia Day award winners. Then there’ll be bush poetry, dog high jumps, a tug-o-war, live entertainment from Jeff Hancox and a morning tea of damper and golden syrup at around 10:30am, followed by watermelon until noon. Coffee, tea and cold drinks will be available all morning.
  • Kingaroy
    Kingaroy’s official Australia Day proceedings will be held at the Town Common Hall in Oliver Bond Street, kicking off with a free community breakfast at 7:00am. This will be followed with a range of family fun activities including face painting and a jumping castle for children; bush poetry; and a Cooee competition. At 9:00am, a Flag Raising Ceremony will be performed by the 125 Army Cadet Unit. This will be followed by a citizenship ceremony, an affirmation and the National Anthem along with performances from Sue Dowideit-Reiger, the KSHS Choir and Grant Jeppersen and friends. South Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark Pitt will be this year’s special guest speaker and he will introduce this year’s Australia Day Award winners from the Kingaroy area. The morning will then round out with pie and lamington-eating competitions at 9:45am, followed by a raffle draw and cane toad races.
  • Wondai
    A free Australia Day Community Breakfast will be held at the Wondai Town Hall in Mackenzie Street, Wondai, from 7:00am to 9:00am. As well as the brekkie prepared by the Wondai Lions Club there’ll also be live entertainment from the Wondai Town & District Band, an Australia Day Affirmation and a flag-raising ceremony.
  • Murgon
    Murgon will be marking Australia Day with a community breakfast and family fun morning at the Queensland Dairy & Heritage Museum in Gesslers Road. The barbecue breakfast will be held from 7:00am to 8:00am, and this will be followed by a recognition of Murgon’s Australia Day Award winners at 8:30am, then live musical entertainment, a flag-raising ceremony and morning tea.
  • Hivesville
    Hivesville residents can enjoy a community barbecue breakfast from 7:00am at Anzac Park (opposite the Hivesville Hotel) hosted by the Hivesville Progress Association.
  • Proston
    The Proston Scouts will be hosting a flag-raising ceremony accompanied by a free afternoon tea with damper and lamingtons at the troop’s scout den in Rodney Street, Proston, from 2:30pm to about 4:00pm. Cold drinks will be on sale.
  • Boondooma
    Historic Boondooma Homestead on the Durong-Mundubbera Road at Boondooma will be hosting an evening dinner and concert from 5:00pm. Activities will kick off with a flag-raising ceremony followed by a barbecue dinner. A bus will be running from Murgon on the day (picking up at Wondai, Hivesville and Proston), but you’ll need to pre-book a seat by phoning the Proston Country Bus Service on (07) 4168-9296.
  • Blackbutt
    The Blackbutt Avocado Festival committee, the Blackbutt Benarkin Heritage and Tourism Association, Blackbutt Benarkin Aged Care and the Taromeo Rural Fire Brigade will be jointly hosting Blackbutt-Benarkin’s Australia Day activities at the Blackbutt Memorial Hall in Bowman Road from 8:00am to about 11:00am. Activities will kick off with a free sausage sizzle followed by a range of free family activities including a jumping castle, best-dressed hat competition, gumboot tossing, rolling pin throwing and avocado rolling competitions. There’ll also be live music.

* * *

Saturday – Other Events

  • Ringsfield House
    Historic Ringsfield House at 45 Alfred Street, Nanango, will be open from 8:00am and will be offering tea, coffee and scones in its air-conditioned cafe overlooking Ringsfield’s beautiful gardens. Bookings aren’t necessary, but if you’re bringing a large group you should ensure your seating by phoning (07) 4163-3345.
  • Nanango RSL
    Nanango RSL in Henry Street, Nanango, will  have an all-Aussie fun afternoon featuring Aussie meals, games with prizes, raffles and live entertainment from noon. Admission is free. More details from the RSL on (07) 4163-1375.
  • Cloyna Family Fun Day
    Murgon Lions Club, in conjunction with the Cloyna Rural Fire Brigade and Cloyna Hall Committee, is hosting a Family Fun Day from 3:00pm to 6:00pm at Cloyna Hall on Cloyna West Road. There’ll be games for all ages, including gumboot throwing, egg and spoon, potato sack and three-legged races. A sausage sizzle and cold drinks will be available.
  • The Palace Hotel
    The Palace Hotel at 77 Drayton Street, Nanango, will have an evening of live music from 5:00pm until late featuring Alex The Frenchman and Rowan Edwards. There’ll also be some fun fundraising activities to help build an inclusive playground at Nanango’s Butter Factory Park. Everyone is welcome and admission is free. More details? Phone Beau or Nathan at the pub on (07) 4163-1287.
  • The Royal Hotel
    The Royal Hotel in Toomey Street, Yarraman, will have a dinki-di barbecue lunch from noon, along with a jam-packed program of live entertainment all afternoon featuring a Best Mullet competition, horseshoe tossing, gumboot tossing, a lamington-eating contest and fire twirling. There’ll also be a jumping castle and face painting to keep children amused, plus a prize for the best Australian outfit. Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for children aged 6-12 (age 5 and under are free). More details? Phone the Royal on (07) 4163-8219.
  • The Cooyar Hotel
    The Cooyar Hotel will have an afternoon of fun activities kicking off at 4:00pm. The get-together will feature thong throwing competitions, a tug-o-war, yabby and cane toad races (with a calcutta on each race), live entertainment and a jumping castle for kids. An evening meal will also be available. More details? Phone the hotel on (07) 4692-6185.
  • The Maidenwell Hotel
    The historic pub will have its popular monthly Pig On A Spit evening from 6:00pm until late (dinner is served from 6:00pm to 8:00pm). There’ll also be live entertainment and lots of cold beer. More details? Phone the pub on (07) 4164-6133. PS. For those who want to come earlier, there’ll also be a City v Country cricket match kicking off at noon with sign-ups around 11:30am.
  • The Kingaroy Hotel-Motel
    The Kingaroy Hotel-Motel, at the corner of Haly and Youngman streets, will have a free sausage sizzle from 1:00pm, accompanied by live music from Tyson (1:00pm to 6:00pm) and followed by DJ Ty from 9:00pm until late. There’ll also be blow-up pools on the hotel’s front deck, so bring your swimmers if it’s hot. More details? Phone the hotel on (07) 4162-1677.
  • The Carrollee Hotel
    The Carrollee Hotel in King Street, Kingaroy, will have popular South Burnett duo Tucker & Chop performing favourite Aussie hits in the beer garden from noon until late. There’ll also be meat pie, Vegemite and Chiko roll eating competitions during the afternoon, with prizes to be won. More details from the pub on (07) 4163-6599.
  • The Commercial Hotel
    The Commercial Hotel, at the corner of Glendon and Haly streets, Kingaroy, will have acoustic jams from 7:30pm to 9:00pm, followed by DJs iLLp, Direx and Schoolboy XP jamming it up until close. Admission is free. More details from the hotel on (07) 4162-1380.
  • The Royal Hotel
    The Royal Hotel, at the corner of Lamb and Gore Streets, Murgon, will have toad races, a pie-eating competition and live music from Clowry Kennell. More details from the pub on (07) 4168-1799.
  • Bunya Nut Cafe
    The Bunya Nut Cafe in Coulson Street, Blackbutt, will be hosting an Australia Day Dinner from 5:00pm to about 8:00pm in the Scrubby Creek Bistro. For $18 per head, guests can chow down on a two-course dinner of roast lamb and vegies followed by pavlova while they enjoy live entertainment from guitarist Jonathan Hayden. Places are limited so a booking is advisable. Phone (07) 4163-0375.
  • Kingsley Grove Estate
    Kingsley Grove Estate winery at Stuart Valley Drive will be hosting an Australia Day Lunch with two sittings: one from 11:00am to 1:45pm, and a second sitting from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Each sitting will offer guests a cheese plate to start, followed by a selection of wood-fired pizzas and salads (including a garlic prawn pizza) and rounded off with a dessert of pavlova, fresh cream and fruit. Tickets are $30 per head for adults and $10 per head for children aged 5-15. Bookings are essential. Phone Jo on 0414-230-128.
  • Kingaroy Pool
    Kingaroy Swimming Pool will be closed all day on Saturday because it will be hosting the annual Kingaroy Swimming Carnival, but spectators are welcome to come along and watch. The meet starts at 8:30am and will conclude between 2:00pm and 4:00pm, depending on how many competitors take part. (The pool will be marking Australia Day on Sunday, see below).
  • Murgon Pool
    Murgon’s Jubilee swimming pool in Gore Street will be have fun activities between noon and 5:00pm including water volleyball and Red Rocket blasts. Floaties are welcome, too, and the $5 admission covers all activities.
  • Goomeri and Kilkivan Pools
    Goomeri and Kilkivan Swimming Pools will both be open from 11:00am to 5:00pm and will be offering free entry (Kilkivan will also have a sausage sizzle).
  • South Burnett Speedway
    The South Burnett Speedway Club will be running their three-day Kings Royal event – their biggest race meeting of the year – from January 25-27. On Australia Day they’ll be holding a Fan Appreciation Day at the Cheers Triangle end of the Kingaroy Showgrounds in Youngman Street from 9:00am to noon. This free event will give speedway fans the opportunity to meet the drivers competing in this year’s Kings Royal, get autographs and see their cars up close. There’ll also be a jumping castle, giveaways, a sausage sizzle, Kings Royal merchandise on sale and more, plus a live broadcast by CROW-FM between 9:00am and 11:00am. Later in the day, the second round of Kings Royal racing will get under way at 5:00pm. The program will feature the second round of the IBRP Kings Royal Modified Sedans, plus Junior Sedans. Admission is $25 for adults, $15 for students (with ID) and aged or disability pensioners, or $65 for a family of two adults and up to three students (children 12 and under are free). There’ll also be canteen facilities operating on site.

* * *

Sunday Events

  • Pink Stumps Cricket Morning
    A special Pink Stumps Cricket Morning will be held at the Hivesville Sports Grounds from 9:00am to about noon in conjunction with the monthly Hivesville Markets to help raise funds for the McGrath Foundation. Bowlers will be using a tennis ball (rather than a cricket ball) and there’ll be two teams – one captained by Cr Kathy Duff, and the other by Garin Muirhead from the Coverty Creek Community Development and Social Club. The morning aims to raise $250 for the Foundation. There’ll be a coin toss at 8:50am to determine which side starts off batting and bowling. More details? Phone Garin on (07) 4168-9574.
  • Family Fun Day – Kingaroy
    The Kingaroy Swimming Pool, at the corner of William and Alford Streets, Kingaroy, will be holding a Family Fun Day from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Apart from general swimming (normal entry fees apply), the pool will also be bringing in a giant inflatable red rocket at 11:00am – a great hit with children of all ages that they can try to ride for an extra $10. There’ll also be a sausage sizzle available from 11:00am. More details? Phone the pool on (07) 4162-1863.
  • Outdoor Movie Night – Kingaroy
    The Kingaroy Swimming Pool will also be holding an Outdoor Movie Night at 6:30pm, screening the family-friendly Australian movie, Paper Planes. Admission is $12.
  • South Burnett Speedway
    The final day of the Kings Royal will be held at Kingaroy Showgrounds. Racing will get under way at 5:00pm. The program will feature the finals of the IBRP Kings Royal Modified Sedans, along with a women’s-only Queens Royal event for Production Sedans and Street Stocks combined, followed by fireworks. Admission is $25 for adults, $15 for students (with ID) and aged or disability pensioners and $65 for a family of two adults and up to three students (children 12 and under are free).

[UPDATED]


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