Celebrating all things Australian

January 23, 2022 BY

Cruising: The Golden City Paddle Steamer Museum Society are striving to open each Sunday in 2022 and engage more young people. Photo: SUPPLIED

AUSTRALIANA will inspire a free program of events by Lake Wendouree this Australia Day.

The Golden City Paddle Steamer Museum Society are facilitating the activities on Wednesday, 16 January in partnership with other community groups, and GCPSMC secretary Ian Bennett said there’s much more on offer than just a 75-minute cruise out on the paddleboat.

Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, BirdLife Ballarat, and Ballarat Fishing Club are also part of the program including tours on Australian Birds of the Lake, Australian Fish of the Lake, and Australian Botany of the Botanical Gardens.

Walks at the Prime Ministers Avenue, and on the topic Yuille’s Swamp to Lake Wendouree will be run by FBBG, as well as BotaniKIDS activities at the Gatekeeper’s Cottage.

“We’re even going to teach children to fish. It’s going to be a beautiful day,” Mr Bennett said.

Australiana and historical exhibitions are to be presented at the Museum, while children’s activities including arts and crafts, a sausage sizzle, and displays of old cars, native plants and flowers will be out the front.

Mr Bennett said the Museum is taking this opportunity to engage with members of the broader community of all ages, while thinking about and appreciating what the country, and Ballarat, has to offer.

“What we’re doing on the lake, in the Botanical Gardens, and in the Museum is reflecting on what it is to be Australian, and how good it is to be here.

“We’re putting on a number of things to excite people, and give them a chance to have some fun and enjoyment,” he said.

“Everyone will be kept occupied, no matter how old they are, and everything’s free.”

A hop-on, hop-off bus will run on Australia Day to pick up and drop off members of the public. Contact 0412 740 991 to register and seek more information on event times.

The Society has brought Lake Wendouree’s paddle-steaming history – which dates to the late-1800s – back to life, following the drought and a 2006 fire that destroyed the original 121-year-old Golden City boat while it was in offsite restoration.

The Society has a crew of four volunteer skippers who operate the paddle steamer on the water.