Stoneography

How to Celebrate Australia Day

Stoneography

Australia Day is a day of celebration, to embrace all the things that makes Australia unique – our beautiful landscapes, our kooky wildlife, our love of sports, live music, gorgeous beaches, and the great Australian spirit.  The awesome thing about Australia Day is that it’s a public holiday so you score a day off work or a long weekend!

 

Back in Melbourne, we celebrated Australia Day in a variety of ways, but whatever we did, it was with mates and with the Triple J Hottest 100 was always playing.  Below are some pictures of our previous celebrations (BBQ kiddy pool party, picnic in the park & winery camping weekend).

 

 

Since we’ve been on the road, we’ve celebrated two Australia Days.

The first was in Whyalla SA, and we got involved in the town’s community celebrations down at the foreshore – sandcastle building, dummy spitting, market stalls, and some goon before bed. Dave even came second in the thong throwing competition!

 

Dave accepts his trophy at the Australia Day presentations

 

The second was in Darwin NT.  Juz was sick unfortunately but we still managed to do as much as possible.  Toad races, the Annual Australia Day Ute Run, a pool party and chicken parmas at the pub.

 

Australia Day

 

Here are our favourite ways to celebrate Australia Day…

 

Listen To Triple J’s Hottest 100 On The Radio

For us and a lot of other Aussies, this is the ultimate playlist for your Australia Day celebrations.  Trying to pick which songs will make it into the top 10 always makes for great conversation and debate!  You can also listen to the Hottest 100 countdown whilst doing any of the other activities listed below.

 

Have A BBQ With Your Mates

You can’t get much more Australian than putting on your best pair of thongs, getting together with your mates, firing up the barbie and knocking back a few cold beers from the esky.  The humble sausage in bread is a BBQ standard, as well as caramelised onions cooked with that secret ingredient (beer), but Dave’s favourite has to be lamb chops.

 

Don’t forget to BYO camping chair and esky.  Inflatable kiddie pools are optional, but they’re a great way to keep the kids entertained or your feet cool.

 

Hang out at the beach or Inflatable playtime in the pool

Australia Day is right in the middle of summer so staying cool is not only important but super fun.  Load up your car with a full esky, towels, umbrellas, chairs and various sporting equipment, and drive to the beach.  Once you find a semi-shady parking spot 500m away, gather up everything you crammed into the car and awkwardly carry it all to the closest available patch of sand.

 

If you’re not a huge fan of sand in your bum crack, there always seems to be at least one mate having a pool party at their place.  Expect giant inflatable thongs, pool noodle fights, backyard cricket and plenty of beer.  Fair chance they’ll be having a BBQ too, so remember to bring some snags along.

 

Check out all the awesome inflatables you can get on eBay.

 

Picnic in the park

Fill one esky with food and another esky with beer, grab a picnic blanket and a portable radio and head to the park.  For those who like being active, take a footy, soccer ball or Frisbee, or even a humble hacky-sack.  One time we brought our volleyball set along, formed teams and got really competitive – lots of laughs.

 

Community Events

Wherever you are in Australia, there will be a community event happening on Australia.  Activities can range from citizenship ceremonies, sausage sizzles and fun runs to thong throwing competitions, dunny races and parades.   Many events also hold fancy dress or best hat competitions!  Find a winner on eBay…

 

Look for an event near you at http://www.australiaday.org.au/

 

Camping

If Australia Day in the city isn’t your style, load up the car with your camping gear and go bush.  If you don’t have reception to listen to Triple J, you might have to sort out your own tunes, but all the other staples are there – mates, eskies full of beer, fun games, a campfire for snags and marshmallows and a tent closeby to welcome you after an awesome Australia Day.

 

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HAVE A SAFE AND FUN AUSTRALIA DAY!

 

* Drink responsibly and don’t be a tosser on Australia Day… or any day for that matter.

 

Stoneography

Happy Australia Day!

Stoneography

Are you ready with your snags and your flip flops and your beer?  Are you close to a body of water like the beach or a pool? Do you have your radio tuned to the Triple J Hottest 100, ready to crank out some wicked tunes?  Well you better because today is Australia Day and it’s time to party!

 

About Australia Day

Australia Day is our national day and marks the anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet of British ships at Sydney Cove in New South Wales.  Because of this, Australia Day is also known as Anniversary Day and Foundation Day.

 

To others, Australia Day is known as Invasion Day, particularly within the indigenous population of Australia.  Invasion Day celebrations occur almost every year to promote awareness of their presence and their desire to resolve land rights issues.  There have been suggestions to change the date of Australia Day to make it more inclusive and nationally significant.

 

To many Australians, this national public holiday has a more contemporary meaning and is all about celebrating what’s great about being Australian.  People go to the beach or have BBQs with their friends and families.  It’s also a day that we officially welcome new Australians who have been granted citizenship.

 

Australia Day 2013

Last year, we were in Whyalla for Australia Day and it was one of the best Australia Days yet.  We took part in the community activities and Dave came second in the Thong Throwing Competition.

 

Second place at Thong Throwing in Whyalla

 

Later in the evening, we met an older couple who invited us into their home for a few drinks and some show and tell.  The wife was an animal lover and bred bearded dragons, as well as making some of the most beautiful porcelain dolls Juz had ever seen.

 

We hope to have another ripper Australia Day this year in Darwin.

 

If you’re keen to see some amazing shots of Australia and the world, check out the photography of Kieran Stone. This great Australian photographer discovered his passion after travelling the world, and now we all get to benefit from his stunning images.

 

Stoneography

 

Juz getting up close and personal with a dolphin in Whyalla

Wildlife : Bottlenose Dolphin

Name: Bottlenose Dolphin

Scientific Classification: tursiops truncatus

Location: warmer, tropical oceans all over the world.  Bottlenose dolphins that live further out to sea are larger and darker with shorter fins.

 

A dolphin followed fishermen into the marina 

Fast Facts:

  • Dolphins are not fish – they’re mammals – and are related to porpoises and whales.
  • Adults are approximately 2-4 metres long and can weigh up to 650kg.
  • Dolphins eat about 15kg of food a day, which consists of eels, fish, crustaceans and squid.  They can hunt in groups to round up fish or use echolocation – similar to sonar – to find their lunch.  They don’t chew their food, but swallow it whole.
  • They are very social animals and live in pods of around 15, but some groups can be as large as 100 dolphins.
  • Their main predators are killer whales, tiger sharks and great white sharks.  They are also affected by pollution, getting entangled in fishing equipment or run over by boats, or illegal killing for the meat market.
  • They do a thing called spy-hopping, which basically means bobbing with their head out of the water so they can look at their surroundings.
  • Dolphins can live up to 40 years old.
  • They have a bigger brain than humans and various intelligence tests have included mimicry, the use of artificial language and self-recognition.

 

Cuteness Rating: They’re pretty cute – especially when they have a baby tagging along.

Danger Rating: They are strong and they have 104 teeth in their cute face.  You do not want to get whacked with their tail or bitten.  Don’t underestimate the power of a dolphin…

 

Our Encounter

We first saw dolphins in Whyalla.  A mother and her babe followed a fishing boat into the marina and they lingered around the jetty for a few fish and a rub on the nose.

 

As we travelled across the Nullarbor, we saw dolphins swimming in the waters below, and we got to meet the friendly dolphins at Monkey Mia too.

 

 

A dolphin followed fishermen into the marina

City Profile : Australia Day in Whyalla

About 100km southwest of Port Augusta is Whyalla, a great city filled with friendly people, clean parks and a welcoming atmosphere. With a population of 22,500 people, it’s a growing city with a building boom in recent years and lots of new development, making it the third most populous city in South Australia.

 

 

The area was explored in 1840 by Edward John Eyre, who reported the presence of iron stone 50km west of Whyalla.  The city started as a small camp atop Hummock Hill in 1901 and gradually expanded until it was officially proclaimed a town in 1914.  With BHP extending its arm into Whyalla and building shipping yards and a blast furnace, the town grew to a city in 1961.

 

It was here that we celebrated Australia Day, and we couldn’t have hoped for a better day.  The city had planned a whole afternoon of festivities that kicked off at 4pm – sandcastle making, thong throwing, and the Great Australia Day Dummy Spitting Championships.  There was also a great live band, heaps of food stalls and free flags and tattoos so everyone could show their Aussie pride.

 

 

We participated in the thong throwing contest and Dave won second place by only a few centimetres behind the reigning champion!  Dave was awarded a silver plated blue thong at the presentation ceremony later in the day. GO DAVE!

 

 

After the presentations, we left the dry zone of the city and found a nice park in the centre of town to finish off our cask of Banrock Station White Shiraz.  We were supposed to go back into town at 9pm for the fireworks but we met a great couple who invited us into their home for drinks, nibbles and a great chat.  A pair of Grey Nomads, Chris and Tina gave us a ton of advice, like how to stop the dust from accumulating in the truck and which towns to watch out for up north.

 

Chris and Tina, we had a wonderful night and thank you so much for your generous conversation and hospitality.  Your stories and tips were fantastic to listen to and we hope to cross paths again in the future.

 

PLACES OF INTEREST

Ada Ryan Park

This green and shaded park is the most popular park in the city, offering soft, lush lawns, free electric BBQs, toilets, tennis courts and a playground.  There is also a large aviary with talking parrots, budgies, cockatiels and a pied peacock.  The birds provided a great soundtrack as we had lunch in the park, with the occasional “Hello Cocky!” echoing through the trees.

 

Whyalla Marina & Jetty

We had a stroll along the jetty and watched fishermen drop a line or crab net, and on the way back to the car, we noticed a boat coming into the marina, trailed by two dolphins.  These playful creatures usually follow the fishermen into the marina and if you’re there, you can get close enough to pat them on the nose.

 

 

Flinders & Freycinet Lookout

This lookout overlooks Spencer Gulf and has two sculptures, one of Matthew Flinders and the other of Louis-Claude de Freycinet.  Flinders was the first to explore the coastline of this area in 1802 aboard HMS Investigator, while Freycinet charted the area in 1803 for the Baudin expedition.

 

The sculptures were installed in 2002, and the spot was renamed the Flinders & Freycinet Lookout, which gives a nice view of the Spencer Gulf.

 

 

Hummock Hill Lookout

The place where Whyalla started – this lookout provides panoramic views of the town, the OneStell operations, the foreshore, marina and Spencer Gulf, with various lookout platforms to choose from.  It was developed by BHP as a gift to the city to commemorate the company’s centenary year.

 

The Loaded Dog

Outside of the Whyalla Veterinary Clinic is a metal sculpture of a large dog holding a stick of dynamite.  The sculpture was unveiled in 2008 and is based on Henry Lawson’s story, ‘The Loaded Dog’, about a cheeky retriever that drags dynamite through a campfire, causing the fuse to ignite with mayhem and hilarity to ensue.

 

Sempre Italian Market & Cafe

This great little café in the Civic Centre offers great coffee and Italian goodies.  The business won Outstanding Business of the Month in December 2012, and the reason for this was evident in the quality of their food and customer service.

Dave’s strong latte came out as a skinny latte, and even though the manager offered to remake it, Dave still drank it and it was delicious.

 

 

Overall, we really enjoyed our time in Whyalla. The people were all friendly, there was a real community spirit which was vibrant and united, and we felt right at home amongst it all. We will definitely visit Whyalla again when we have the opportunity – maybe for Australia Day so Dave can challenge the thong throwing champ again!

 

The Loaded Dog