Top shows and exhibitions to see in 2016

A new year brings new talent to Australian shores and an influx of exhibitions and shows confirmed for 2016. Some of the highlights include award winning musicals, Aboriginal artefacts returning to Australian shores for the first time and an amazing installation that shines a whole new light on your experience at Uluru. Top shows and exhibitions to see in 2016
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Top shows and exhibitions to see in 2016

Visit Australia in the new year and discover a range of must see shows and one off exhibitions.

A new year brings new talent to Australian shores and an influx of exhibitions and shows confirmed for 2016. Some of the highlights include award winning musicals, Aboriginal artefacts returning to Australian shores for the first time and an amazing installation that shines a whole new light on your experience at Uluru.

Enhance your dream trip to Australia by adding one or more of these shows and exhibitions to your itinerary and discover Australia’s diverse and thriving arts scene. 

We Will Rock You, touring Australia in 2016

We Will Rock You

Sydney from 30 April 2016
Brisbane from 3 July 2016
Melbourne from 30 August 2016
Perth from 16 November 2016
Adelaide 3 January 2017

The smash hit musical We Will Rock You is coming to Australia in 2016. The musical, based on a book by Ben Elton, is a futurist comedy set around more than 24 of Queen’s biggest hit songs including We are the Champions, Radio Ga Ga and I Want To Break Free.

Stay…The Darling in Sydney, Rydges South Bank Brisbane, Hotel Lindrum in Melbourne, Crown Metropol in Perth, Stamford Plaza Adelaide.

Dine…Momofuku Seiōbo in Sydney, Stokehouse in Brisbane, Cumulus Inc. in Melbourne, Bistro Guillaume in Perth, Bistro Dom in Adelaide.

Artwork from the Adelaide Biennial, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia

2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object, Adelaide, South Australia

27 February – 15 May 2016

The 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object takes inspiration from Wunderkammer, cabinet of curiosity, and delves into a world of wonder and enchantment through the eyes of Australian contemporary artists. The Biennial will be held at venues across Adelaide and will showcase artists’ interpretations of their own ‘cabinets of curiosity’ through photography, painting, sculpture, installation and the moving image.

Stay…at Mayfair Hotel a boutique hotel close to the gallery.

Dine…at Jock Zonfrillo’s Orana located on Rundle Street.

The Sound of Music, touring Australia in 2015 and 2016

Sound of Music

Sydney from 13 December 2015, Brisbane from 11 March 2016 and Melbourne 13 May 2016

The Sound of Music tells the true story of Maria, a governess who changes the lives of the widowed Captain Von Trapp and his seven children by re-introducing them to music. The London Palladium Production of this iconic musical will be returning to Australia with performances in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Get ready to sing your favourite songs Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain and My Favorite Things.

Stay….QT Sydney, Stamford Plaza Brisbane, Grand Hyatt Melbourne

Dine…Glass Brasserie in Sydney, esquire in Brisbane, Chin Chin in Melbourne

Encounters Exhibition, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, ACT

Encounters, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

27 November 2015 – 28 March 2016

In association with the British Museum, the National Museum of Australia will be launching Encounters, an exhibition that features 149 Indigenous objects from the British Museum. In a landmark partnership, this is the first time most of these object will be seen in Australia since they were first acquired in contacts between early settlers and first Australians. 

Stay…in the nearby suburb of New Acton at Hotel Hotel

Dine…at the hotel restaurant, Monster Kitchen and Bar

'Cats' the musical, touring Australia in 2015 and 2016


Melbourne from 18 December 2015, Brisbane from 29 January 2016, Adelaide from 18 March – 10 April 2016 and Perth from 16 April – 8 May 2016

Based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, Cats tells the story of the Jellicle Cats who live in a junkyard playground. On one special night a year, the Jellicle Ball, the cats come out to play and tell their stories to the Old Deuteronomy, their leader who must select one of them to ascend and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.

Stay…Stamford Plaza Melbourne, Spicers Balfour Hotel in Brisbane, Peppers Waymouth in Adelaide, Hyatt Regency Perth

Dine… Pei Modern in Melbourne, The Balfour Kitchen in Brisbane, Press Food and Wine in Adelaide, Rockpool Bar & Grill in Perth

Julie Andrews, Director of My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady, Sydney, New South Wales

From August 2016

Dame Julie Andrews will direct a new production of the Lerner and Loewe’s masterpiece, My Fair Lady, at the Sydney Opera House in 2016. My Fair Lady is the story of Eliza Doolittle, a cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from phoneticist Professor Higgins in order to pass as a lady. The production will celebrate the musical’s 60th anniversary and features crowd favourite tunes Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?, On The Street Where You Live, I Could Have Danced All Night and Get Me to the Church on Time.

Stay…on the harbour with stunning views at Park Hyatt Sydney

Dine…at one of the top 100 restaurants in the world, Quay

World Science Festival, Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Queensland

World Science Festival, Brisbane, Queensland

9 – 13 March 2016

For the first time the biggest science fair in the world, World Science Festival, will leave New York City to be held in Brisbane in 2016. The week-long festival combines science and art and features the biggest stars of science presenting the beauty, complexity, and importance of science. The festival’s program includes debates, original theatrical work, interactive experiments and major outdoor experiences.

Stay…in the city at Hilton Brisbane

Dine…at Aria, located on the popular Eagle Street Pier at 

Andy Warhol | Ai Wei Wei exhibition, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria

Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei, Melbourne, Victoria

11 December 2015 – 24 April 2016

Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei, an exhibition featuring two of the most significant artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, explores the influence of these two artists on modern and contemporary life. The exhibition, held at the National Gallery of Victoria, presents over 300 works, including major new commissions, immersive installations and a wide representation of paintings and sculptures. 

Stay…at Crown Towers

Dine…at Neil Perry’s Spice Temple

Field of Light, Ayers Rock Resort, Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Field of Light, Uluru, Northern Territory

1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017

When Bruce Munro visited Uluru back in 1992 he came up with the idea for Field of Light, an installation that has since appeared in the United Kingdom, United States and Mexico. For the first time, Bruce will be holding his installation in the location where the idea was conceived and it will be the largest form of the installation to date. Over 50,000 slender stems, crowned with frosted, coloured glass spheres will be installed at Ayers Rock Resort and, at sunset, the stems will illuminate and cast a spectacular glow over the spiritual heart of Australia.

Stay…close by at Longitude 131°

Dine…under the stars at Sounds of Silence

Find other shows, exhibitions and events around Australia


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