Events and festivals
From sporting spectacles to edgy art exhibitions, these are the types of Australian events you can experience on a trip Down Under.
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, some events in Australia have been postponed for 2020. We encourage travellers to visit the individual event websites for the most up-to-date information.
Join the party and celebrate Australia – whether it’s the adrenaline rush from the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, a chilled-out break soaking up the music at the Byron Bay Bluesfest or experiencing history and culture at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair in Queensland, Australia has an event that’s sure to feed your passions.
Looking for what's on? Search the Events Calendar for hundreds of festivals and events taking place around the country.
Arts and exhibitions
Our cities play host to a huge array of buzzing festivals, visual arts and design fairs. Stimulate your senses and wander through a million blooming flowers at Floriade, see large scale art along coastal sculpture walks or lose yourself in a field made of light. Australia is also fascinated with performing arts and social calendars are packed with comedy shows, film festivals and theatre. If your creative mind needs new inspiration, check out one of our vibrant festivals or exhibitions and meet some of the country’s best entertainers, storytellers, artists, gardeners and craftsmen.
Culture and community events
With a jam-packed calendar of culture and community celebrations, there’s an Australian event around every corner. These events bring everyone together to celebrate the weird, the wonderful, and of course, the uniquely Australian. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival culminates in a colourful and happily chaotic street parade, while Alice Spring's Henley-on-Todd embraces outback fun with a quirky sailing regatta on a dry river bed. Aboriginal culture comes alive through the celebrations and festivals of its people. Immerse yourself in the living cultural traditions of the Dreaming and experience the spirit and variety of Aboriginal Australia at its celebrations, like Garma in Arnhem Land and Yabun in Sydney.
Food and drink events
Australia has more food festivals in absolute numbers than anywhere else, ranging from regional producer-style markets to internationally recognised events. The gourmet calendar is peppered with events that showcase the region’s best – such as the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and South Australia’s Tasting Australia – or a locally prized product, like Tasmania’s Whisky Week and the Sydney BeerFest. Wine connoisseurs also have plenty of dedicated options, including Orange Wine Festival, Grampians Grape Escape and the Barossa Gourmet Weekend. These epicurean events entice locals and tourists alike.
Music festivals and live shows
Australian events are all about unforgettable experiences and easygoing atmospheres, and the country’s concerts and music festivals are no exception. Whether you’re into indie, pop, bass, blues, rock or classical, there’s an Australian music festival to fit your fancy. Head to WOMADelaide in Adelaide for seven stages of world music performances, or sway along at the Byron Bay Bluesfest, Australia’s largest blues and roots festival. No matter the time of year, there is sure to be a fantastic concert or music festival happening in a picture-perfect location.
Whether it’s riding a wave or racing camels, Australia has no shortage of riveting sports events. Australian sporting events are as much about fun and fresh air as they are about fierce competition and impressive athleticism. With Australia setting the stage for world-renowned events like the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and the Australian Open, it’s no wonder sport-lovers come from all around to experience the adrenaline-inducing atmosphere and world-class athletes. If you’re looking for a laugh, Australia also plays host to less serious sports events, like Darwin’s Beer Can Regatta, which sees participants race in boats made of cans and bottles. There’s something for everyone on the Australian sports calendar.