Outdoors the place to be patriotic
Fireworks from the South Perth foreshore. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian

Plenty of sun, sand and, of course, fireworks - West Australians celebrated the national day enjoying the best nature has to offer, gathering at parks, beaches and on the banks of the Swan.

There was no Sunday sleep-in for the earliest foreshore families, with the first picnic rugs and tents landing in South Perth before 9am.

For some it is an annual pilgrimage - making their way to the riverfront with hampers and eskies in tow, keen to secure the best vantage point for Skyworks.

By the time the first fireworks lit up the sky for the 30th anniversary of Skyworks, about 300,000 people were estimated to be circling the banks of the river.

The Wise family, from Baldivis, had set up camp at Coode Street Jetty by 9am, prepared for an all-day affair with their barbecue and marinated meats.

Water slide action at Moore River.

Nearby, Annmarie and Ivan Meddings cooled down in the shade with children Kayla, Cohen and Sasha.

All adorned in Australia Day garb, the Gosnells family said they were returning to the foreshore.

"We haven't been here since the fights broke out a few years back," Mrs Meddings said.

"But the vibe this year is so much better, it's more family-oriented and laidback. Sitting here with the view and the sun it really feels like we're in the lucky country."

Police reported the crowd was generally well-behaved, though St John Ambulance paramedics took six people to hospital.

A 59-year-old woman suffered head injuries after trying to push a boat away from the one she was travelling on, while a 63-year-old man was rescued from the river after an apparent seizure.

Ambulances were also called to a near-drowning in the northern suburbs.

As the night wore on, paramedics treated several assault victims, including a 28-year-old man with serious cuts to his head and face.

A large group of youths were moved on from the Cottesloe foreshore after a violent brawl.

Earlier, Cottesloe hosted the biggest crowds for the annual Havaianas Thong Challenge.

For the third year in a row, WA took out the title for the longest chain of giant inflatable thongs, setting a Guinness World Record with 2099 participants.

Lions Club members John Maitre and Gary Cartner at Australia Day festivities in Carnarvon. Picture: Darcy Hay

The West Australian

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