Australia Day in Adelaide | Free Family Friendly Events | 20-26 Jan 2022

Aus Lights on the River – Elder Park/Tarntanya Wama

For Australia Day 2022 there will be free family friendly events held in Rundle Mall and Elder Park/Tarntanya Wama from Thursday 22 until Wednesday 26 January.  Bookings are not required.

We are all part of the story..

This is the Story of Australia – the story of an extraordinary nation. The Story begins 60,000 years ago. New chapters are written every day. On Australia Day, we reflect on our history, its highs and its lows. We respect the stories of others. And we celebrate our nation, its achievements and most of all, its people. We’re all part of the story.

Australia Day 2022 will once again be different due to COVID-19, yet more than ever before it is about reflecting and unifying as a nation. The essence of the day is about community spirit, and there will be no shortage of inspiring South Australian stories to share or national pride to celebrate. Australia Day means different things to different people. ADCSA encourages every Australian to acknowledge Australia Day in a way that’s meaningful to them.

The program of free events for Australia Day 2022 is enriched by First Nations groups and more than 30 diverse cultural groups and will be held in locations across Adelaide including Elder Park, Rundle Mall and Adelaide Central Market from Thursday 20 January to Wednesday 26 January.

The centrepiece of the program is ‘Aus Lights on the River‘ – a stunning immersion of light sound and vision over 5 nights at Elder Park/Tarntanya Wama.

ADCSA Chief Executive Officer Jan Chorley says ADCSA has been working closely with First Nations groups and multicultural communities to create a program of events with meaning for everyone.

“Australia Day is for all South Australians, no matter where our personal stories began, from First Nations peoples to the most recent arrivals, including Afghan refugees, who have come to South Australia to build a better life. We invite everyone to reflect and respect our connection to the land, cultural heritage, lifestyle and shared values.”


Saturday 22 – Wednesday 26 January 2022 | From 5.30pm / Lights from 8.30pm

Elder Park/Tarntanya Wama, Adelaide

Aus Lights on the River will take you through a breathtaking journey to explore how you connect to nature and belong to Country.  Watch Elder Park/Tarntanya Wama light up with the SA debut of AirLume, a giant inflatable shape, which will be illuminated with artwork created by school students in the Adelaide Hills to depict bushfire recovery and community healing. Standing 9.5 metres tall, you can walk up, to and through the structure.

See our review of Aus Lights on the River below:


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  • See performances by the Tjarutja dance collective projected onto a water screen on the River Torrens.
  • Swim with virtual fish, see virtual wildlife and learn the traditional story of the River Torrens.
  • Watch “Our Story” on the Adelaide Festival Centre’s iconic shells, where South Australians talk about what Country means to them.
  • Discover Evelyn Roth’s inflatable Nylon Zoo featuring native animals.



Daily from Thursday 20 January – Wednesday 26 January 2022 | 11am to 2pm

Gawler Place Canopy, Rundle Mall, Adelaide

Join the free fun under the Gawler Place canopy to see Rundle Mall come alive with live music, storytelling and performances. More than 60 South Australian community organisations will be featured across a five-day program, telling the story of South Australia and our nation.

Aus Day in Rundle Mall is presented in partnership with the City of Adelaide and Vili’s Family Bakery.



8am to 9am, Wednesday 26 January 2022 | 8am – 9am

Elder Park/Tarntanya Wama, Adelaide

Free entry. Bookings essential. Click here to register for a ticket.

Australia Day 26 January 2022 will begin with a powerful Smoking Ceremony, hosted by senior Kaurna leaders on Kaurna land at Elder Park/Tarntanya Wama. In the customs of the First Nations peoples, the burning of native plants produces a cleansing of smoke for healing and acknowledgment on this day. The ceremony acknowledges the past, and present First Nations People and reflects on their relationship to Country, waters, and seas.

All are welcome to the Smoking Ceremony, which is a time for reflection, inclusion and reconciliation. Join with our First Nations peoples as a sign of respect and to honour their cultures and elders.

The ceremony will feature a speech by Kaurna Elder Rosemary Kudnarto Wanganeen, a performance by renowned singer and musician Nancy Bates and the unveiling of a stunning Sand Painting created by First Nations artist Derek Lynch in collaboration with Kaurna elder Frank Wanganeen.

The Australia Day program 2022 is assisted by the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council and supported by the Government of South Australia, Department of Premier and Cabinet. The program is presented in partnership with the City of Adelaide.

All the events will be presented in accordance with current SA Health COVID-19 restrictions. Please check their website for the latest entry and participation requirements.

things to do in Adelaide for families

For more information and all enquiries please visit the Australia Day SA website.

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Image Source: Australia Day SA


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