IF Australia Day is a day to reflect on our country’s rich history, where better than at Fagan Park?
"For the kids, we have a [monkey tail] pump on a well that they like to thrash to death and a 1920s wooden telephone that's in working order — the phone number used to be Dural 6," Ian Browning, a longtime Friend of Fagan Park, said.
Fagan Park is an area of about 55 hectares on Arcadia Road, Galston, donated by the Fagan family to the state. Hornsby Council is the sole trustee for the park.
The Friends — about 20 volunteers who come together Tuesday, 9am to 4pm — help with the maintenance and restoration of Fagan Park's Netherby Homestead and rural museums.
It is these volunteers who will open the heritage area of Netherby Homestead and rural museums 10am-4pm on Australia Day, giving visitors an opportunity to see how people lived in the early 20th century and ask questions.
"Kids do like to see the old gramophone working while the agricultural and mechanical museums have a lot of items of interest to the adults," Mr Browning, the honorary museum curator, said.
"There will be stationary working engines on display, as well as machinery, such as an orange grader, old tractors and trucks, including the original Fagan Leyland Cub 1932 truck restored by the Friends over a 10-year period."
Parking is $5 a vehicle. Tea, coffee and cake is available.
"Hornsby Council has a big day planned," event coordinator Adam Cryer said.
There is a free sausage sizzle in Hornsby Mall, cooked by Hornsby Lions Club and Berowra Apex, noon to 4pm.
There will also be free face painting, an animal farm and live music.
Or go across the river by ferry and enjoy the park, beach and peaceful walks of Dangar Island, where there will be a sculpture walk, a flag-raising, live music and arts activities, 10am to 4pm.