I celebrated Australia Day in the most Australian way I knew how - being outside! It's especially important for me to get outside on the evenings and weekends since I work in a lab with no windows. Down on the waterfront was the Festival of Sails. They had a crafty marketplace, food court area, a kids activity spot as well as a stage with live entertainment all day.
|These ladies sang "Waltzing Matilda" - very patriotic|
There were also sailboats doing different races throughout the weekend, but unless you were directly involved, it was a bit hard to watch the boats out on the bay (too far away to see anything). Something about a Regatta - I know nothing about boats/sailing so I didn't really get what was going on, some sort of race thingy.
|Pirate-like ship spotted at the Festival of Sails. I think this was the same ship I saw at the Portarlington Mussel Festival|
|Very patriotic, though I didn't recognize all the flags|
|Down with Melanomas|
|Lots of Australia paraphernalia for sale|
|You're not Australian if you're not wearing a flag|
|Seen on one of the Australia Day booths - quite Australian, haha|
Amidst the crafts and food, they also had rides for the kids and other entertainment. Down by the beach a 2v2 volleyball tournament was going on, and someone brought a bunch of camels for people to ride. I must admit, the camels were odd, but entertaining.
Other Australia-Day-isms... Havaianas thong floaties. (They call them thongs here, not flip-flops). Every year on Australia Day at one of the Torquay beaches, a fundraiser is held to see how many people they can get out in the water with these giant blow-up thong floaties. The money goes towards a cancer fund, and I'm told they get something like 12,000 people out there at one time. After spending the early part of the afternoon down by the waterfront in Geelong, I decided to enjoy the rest of the day at the beach in Torquay to see all the floaties.
|I couldn't get a good photo with all the floaties visible, but this is a taste of what the entire beach looked like.|
|Bright orange blow-up thongs everywhere!|
|Cricket kits were all over the place!|
I did my best to join in on the patriotism with a $10 Australian-flag bikini that I got from Kmart. I had a fantastic afternoon on the beach soaking up some sun and people-watching. Of course, I wore plenty of sunscreen and didn't get burned at all (awesome!).
I finished off the day by picking up fish and chips on my way home from the beach. All-in-all a great first Australia Day!!