Amazing Australian Festivals
If you like festivals you're in luck, all over
Australia they are held, and one state, South Australia, even
calls itself the Festival State. Summer is peak time for festivals
in the south.
Tell us about festivals that you know of to add to this
Brisbane Festival - held in October, more
Cooktown Festival - Every year in june
the town of Cooktown has a long weekend of
festivities that starts with the re-enactment of the landing
of James Cook in Cooktown in 1770 in which they beached their damaged
ship and spent seven weeks around the area repairing it, in the process
also discovering the kangaroo. Good festival to visit if you like to see
some history and lots of drunk cowboys, bring your own tent or book your
accommodation well in advance.
Woodford Folk Festival - Originally the
Maleny Festival, but renamed after a new permanent location was found
and purchased, The Woodford Folk Festival is now an event of international
standing. Held from end of December till start of January over six days
and six nights, it presents more than 2000 performers and 400 events with
concerts, dances, workshops, forums, street theatre, writers' panels,
film festival, comedy sessions, acoustic jams, social dialogue and debate,
an entire children's festival, art and craft workshops, late night cabarets
and special events including a spectacular fire event. The Festival features
the cream of Australian performers and a generous gathering of special
international guests. More
Festival Cairns - Runs for most of September
– The Cairns Show happens mid June and is reason for a public holiday
that will shut half the city down. Cairns show is the largest agricultural
show in regional Australia and also has an associated wine show with a
special section for “Tropical Fruit Wines”.
Port Douglas Carnival – Held in May each year,
it now has become a shire wide festival with activities north of the river
up to Cape Tribulation.
Creek Festival - In September the Cape York Folk Club organizes
this festival at Home Rule in Rossville, about 30 km. south of
Yungaburrafolkfestival - Held in October,
Yungaburra is located in the Atherton Tablelands to the west of Cairns.
New South Wales festivals
Nimbin's Mardi Grass - The 12th Annual
Nimbin "Let It Grow!" Mardi Grass 2004 will be held on 1 and
2 May, together with the Hemp Olympics and the Nimbin Cannabis Cup will
be raced around that time too.
The now-legendary HEMP Olympix comprises pothead contests around joint
rolling, bong throwing and, for the more physically-minded, a Growers
Ironperson competition. For this contestants pit themselves against the
odds in outlandish tests of strength such as crawling through lantana
tunnels dragging large bags of fertiliser.
Based (very loosely) on the Amsterdam event of the same name, the Nimbin
Cannabis Cup is a nice mellow wrap-up to the heightened chaos of the previous
few days. A rather broad selection of the best local buds is tasted, toked
and tested by a smattering of card-carrying "expert" judges,
eventually choosing a winner. If you don't make it as a judge however
it doesn't really matter. Just like in Amsterdam, there's so much good
pot everywhere that anyone that does make it to judge status is usually
too stoned to tell anyway.
Chinese Newyear - end January or early
February this goes off with a bang (quite a few bangs actually) of Chineses
fireworks in Sydney's Chinatown.
City to Surf Run - in Sydney tens of thousands
of people run the 14 km. from Hyde Park to Bondi Beach on the second Sunday
Gay and lesbian Mardi Gras - held every
year around February/March, this annual street parade gets watched by
well over half a million people that pack Sydney's streets. Gay and lesbian
party animals fly in from all over the world for the celebrations that
carry on for much longer than the actual parade runs. Visit the festival's
website for more
Kings Cross Carnivale - held in 'the Cross'
at the end of October or early November.
Manly Jazz Festival - lots of jazz music
happens in Manly early October on the Labour Day long weekend.
Royal Easter Show - a 12 day agricultural
show held at Sydney's Homebush Bay, great fun for the kids.
Sydney Festival - held in January, art
and free outdoor concerts.
Sydney Film Festival - held in June at
various cinemas around town.
Sydney Fringe Festival - also held in January,
lots of arts around the Bondi pavilion.
Sydney to Hobart yacht race - starts in
Sydney on 26 December and runs for 630 nautical miles, roundabout 1200
km., to the Tasmanian capital Hobart. The start is always spectacular
and risky as hundreds of other boats steam along to farewell the racing
yachts resulting in many near misses or the occasional collision.
Tamworth Country Music Festival - The Nashville,
Tenessee of Australia, if you like country music this is the place to
Chinese Newyear - you haven't seen Newyears
celebrations until you've been to Melbourne's Chinatown to see how the
Chinese do it.
International Comedy Festival - held every
April in Melbourne.
International Film Festival - starts in
Lygon St. Festa - an Italian festival held
in November in Carlton, lots of food and music and a waiters race.
Melbourne Cup - first Tuesday in November,
this is a major event that stops the whole country, see the annual events
for more info.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival - lots
of eating and drinking to be done the last two weeks in March.
Melbourne International Festival - this
kicks off in October and actually includes several festivals with the
cream of arts, music and a big streetparty on Brunswick Street.
Melbourne Music Festival - loads of music
Midsumma Festival - gay and lesbian festival
from late January to early February, not a bad party but no match for
Sydney's Mardi Gras.
Moomba - a ten day festival in early March,
very big and lively.
Jazz Festival - held every January, a must
for jazz music fans.
Queer Film and Video Festival - films and
videos produced by gay artists.
Royal Melbourne Show - held in September
at the showgrounds in Flemington.
St. Kilda Festival - a whole week of arts,
culture and food every february.
St. Kilda FIlm Festival - Australian made
films and videos, held every May.
Northern Territory festivals
Darwin Beercan Regatta
Beer Can Regatta - usually held in July
/ August , has diversified into lots of games and watersports but originally
used to be a day of serious drinking and racing the boats made out of
The 30th Annual Beer Can Regatta will be held at Mindil Beach (Gilruth
Ave) on 18 Jul 2004. The all day event starts at 10am, the Mindil Beach
Sunday Market will also be open and entry is by gold coin donation which
will go to charity. If you are interested in building a boat from beer
or softdrink cans, help for construction can be obtained by calling 8985
3037. Contact Name: Cedric Lawrence Phone: 08 8985 3037 More
Darwin to Bali yacht race - this used to
be the Darwin to Ambon race but due to security concerns this has
been changed. Some serious drinking and partying happens at the
Darwin Sailing Club in the months leading up to the race that kicks
off late July/early August. Many round the world sailors join this
race so if you;re looking for a boat to crew on this is a good place
Darwin Cup Carnival - Territorians love
their horse racing and every year this event is held through July and
August at the Fannie Bay race track.
Festival of Darwin - Held in August, arts
and culture from Darwin's diverse population. More
Greek Glenti Festival - Darwin has a sizeable
Greek population and once a year they celebrate their festival on the
Esplanade with lots of good food and drinks.
All ready to hit the Hookers Ball
Hookers Ball - Once a year Darby's nightclub
in Darwin used to organize the annual hookers ball where the main condition
of entry was that you were dressed up as a hooker, we have just been informed
by some Darwin residents that is is now held early December at the Discovery
nighclub on Mitchell St. but we are still waiting for some photos.....
Humpty Doo Darwin Stubby Drinking Competition
- not sure if this is still held either, contestants have to drink a Darwin
Stubby, a beerbottle of two litres, as fast as they can in the town of
Humpty Doo, on the highway on the way to Kakadu.
Rodeo and Country Music Concert - Every
year in August.
Royal Darwin Show - Every July at the showgrounds
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - Every year
on Boxing Day a group of sailing boats depart Sydney in a chaotic situation
of hundreds of spectator boats all trying to get a good view to make it
to Hobart in as little time as possible. Some serious partying goes on
at the Hobart waterfront around this time.
Hobart Summer Festival - runs from late
December to late January, incorporating the above yacht race.
Royal Hobart Regatta - This is the largest
boating event in the southern hemisphere and is held in February.
Salamanca Writers Weekend - Held in March.
Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Show
- Usually held in October
Western Australia festivals
Perth Royal Show - every city or town of
any size around Australia has an annual Royal Show.
We still have to add some more events here, don't think
Perth is boring and this was the only one!
South Australia festivals
Until some bright government spark changed the slogan on
cars registration plates to the controversial "S.A. Going all the
way" it used to be promoted as The Festival State and it has many
festivals happening featuring music and arts;
- held in march.
- World of Arts Music And Dance, held in several places around the world
but here it is called Womadelaide, it is held during March.
Annual Canberra floriade, photo by Robyn
Floriade - Australia's Celebration of Spring,
is a 30-day floral extravaganza. The festival of flowers and fun is complemented
by entertainment and events right throughout the nation's capital. Usually
run end September/early October.
Do you know of (or organize ) any amazing Australian
festival? Then contact us!