The Spargo Brothers pumping out plenty of great Aussie tunes last year.
The Spargo Brothers pumping out plenty of great Aussie tunes last year.

WHAT’S ON: Plenty of Australia Day events in region

Wide Bay-Burnett locals will get a flavour of Australia on Tuesday, with the region combining generous helpings of the area's best food, music and activities as part of a family-friendly Australia Day events program.

An annual highlight of the program is the popular food and music festival, Great Australian Bites - this year, held in Bargara and Gympie.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she encouraged all Queenslanders to attend a COVID safe Australia Day event in their region.

"It's been a challenging year for all of us," the Premier said.

"This is a great opportunity to reflect on the positives and support local businesses that are still doing it tough.

"Thanks to the way Queenslanders have responded to this health crisis, we're able to enjoy events that many other Australians can only dream of.

"I'm encouraging all Wide Bay-Burnett locals to support local businesses and local jobs by getting out and enjoying the public holiday."

She said this year the government was partnering with Bundaberg Regional Council and Gympie Regional Council, hosting events which celebrate the history, diversity and liveability of Australia.

The Australia Day Ambassador Program is designed to help Queenslanders embrace the true spirit of our national day by connecting communities with more than 30 proud, high-achieving Queenslanders, who'll participate in council-run events and activities across the state.

Assistant Professor Richard Lewandowski, Vanessa Fowler and Dominique Rizzo will be among the Australia Day Ambassadors attending events in the Wide Bay-Burnett region this month.

"After a year of hardship, hard work and personal sacrifice, Queenslanders are ready to relax and celebrate," the Premier said.

"Through our Australia Day events program, wherever you live in Queensland, we're bringing the party to you."

Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said Nielson Park would be an idyllic backdrop for Bargara's Great Australian Bites celebration on 26 January - the third year the Queensland Government had partnered with Bundaberg Regional Council to present the event.

The day will feature beach activities, live music and local food, centring around the Bundaberg Railway Picnic and the Siren of the Surf competition - a major feature of the Railway Picnics in the 1940s.


Denise Whittaker was judged
Denise Whittaker was judged "Siren of the Surf" 1957-1958. In the background is Graham McKenzie, who led many Bundaberg march-pasts. Photo submitted by Brian Russell.

"No matter what you're looking for, there will be something for everyone at Nielson Park this on Tuesday," Mr Smith said.

"We have a thriving local food scene. This festival will showcase some of the best we have to offer.

"The last 12 months have been incredibly difficult for workers and business owners in our community. This will be a great opportunity to support local businesses."

Meanwhile, the Gympie Showgrounds will play host to its own Great Australian Bites, as part of a new Queensland Government partnership with Gympie Regional Council.

The event will host a gourmet Aussie BBQ, with local performing artists, amusement rides, children's activities and sponsored giveaways to keep the crowds entertained.

The Australia Day Ambassador Program and Australia Day program of events are proudly supported by the Queensland Government in partnership with the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council.

All Australia Day events and activities delivered in partnership with the Queensland Government will comply with the Industry Framework for COVID Safe Events in Queensland and adhere to the current Public Health Directions.

For more information about Australia Day celebrations in Queensland and the Australia Day Ambassador Program, click here.

While Riverfeast Bundaberg is holding its Australia Day Sunday Session today (January 24), some of the regional events on Australia Day include:


Bucca Hotel

Sonic Playground will take the stage at 1pm at the Bucca Hotel.

There will be a jumping castle, snow cones fairy floss, and raffles to enjoy while spending Australia Day at the local pub.

Phone 4257 8171 to book a table.


Bucca Retreat

Looking for a way to beat the heat this Australia Day?

Bucca Retreat's water slide will be running with sessions starting every hour from 8am - 5pm.

There's a capacity of 40 people per slide session, to book your spot message their Facebook page.


Croquet come and try

The Sunnyside Croquet Club is hosing a free come and try afternoon from 3pm.

Starting with afternoon tea and damper, the club will provide the necessary equipment, you just need to bring a hat and enclosed flat soled shoes.


Grand Hotel, Childers

If you're at the Grand on Australia Day get ready plenty of fun with Karen's Krazy Karaoke Australia from 1pm and a pool comp (sign on at 12.30pm sharp) to start at 1pm.

For more information phone 4126 1763.


Highway Hotel, Gin Gin

If a best dressed and ping pong doubles competition is how you want to spend Australia Day, the Highway Hotel, Gin Gin has you covered.

Entry is $10pp with $100 up for grabs.

For more information 4157 2131.


Lighthouse Hotel-Motel

There will be a best dress competition, crab racing and live music at the Lighthouse Hotel-Motel this Australia Day.

Local musician Brendan Egan will take the stage from 1pm.

Bookings are advised, phone 4159 4202.


Miriam Vale Hotel

Introducing the first Miriam Vale Hotel Australia Day Best Dressed Bike competition, Tuesday is sure to be a big day at the hotel.

Kids are encouraged to dust off their bikes decorate it with an Australia Day theme with flags, streamers and tassels for a chance to win a great trophy.

If you don't have a pushy, fear not, there's plenty more on offer.

From cricket to a billy boiling comp, whip cracking comp, damper throwing, crab racing, Tug Of War and an egg and spoon race - there's something for the whole family to enjoy.

All the action starts at 1pm.

Phone 4974 5209 for more information.


Moore Park Beach Tavern

The local tavern is looking to find the fastest couple with their Australia Day Couple's Carrying obstacle race from 2pm.

There will also a range of other games played throughout the afternoon and the 2021 Top 100 Countdown.

Live music will play from 12.30pm.

For more information phone 4154 8519.


Rosedale Hotel and Caravan Park

Australia Day is set to be a big day at the Rosedale Hotel.

Starting at 7am, there will be a free breakfast, courtesy of the Rosedale Rural Fire Brigade, billy cart races from 9am along with the American Car Club display, post ripping and biscuit cutting.

There will be a jumping castle there all day, 100m dash, and games throughout the afternoon and horse poo lotto.

Live music will play from 2-6pm.

For more information phone 4156 5322.


South Kolan Hotel Motel

Kicking off at 11am, there's no shortage of Australia Day activities planned at the South Kolan pub.

There will be a cold pie eating/hot beer drinking competition, watermelon eating competition, throwing comp, water fight, face painting and giveaways.

And live music from Mark Lavender.

For more information phone 4157 7235


Sugarland Tavern

From a thong throwing competition, to toad racing, the iron gut comp, raffles and live music from Matt Barker, there's plenty going on at the tavern for Australia Day.

For more information or to book a table phone 4150 5999


Yandaran Hotel

Head down to The Yannie this Australia Day for live music by 4string Phil and food by BT's Food.

For more information phone 4348 3555.


Neilson Park 

If you're looking for fun in the sun, head along to Neilson Park for Australia Day celebrations by the beach.   

Enjoy mini sports, beach games, live music and BBQ demonstrations.   

Festivities kick at 1pm.   

For more information click here.     

Australia Day Aquathon 

The Bargara Triathlon Club will host their first event of the year at Norville Pool with their Australia Day Aquathon.   

If you haven't registered already, you can register at the event from 6.30am.   

There will also be a sausage sizzle hosted by the Coral Isles Cycling Club.   

For more information click here.     

This is not a complete list of activities in the region, if you would like your event added, please email details to



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