Every capital city in every Australian state hosts many major annual events to entertain tourists and locals alike. Whether you’re an Aussie looking to travel to other cities or you’re planning a visit from overseas, you’ll soon see that these events are well worth travelling for.
So check it out then make those travel plans.
#1 – Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide SA
Adelaide plays host to its world famous Fringe Festival every year from mid-February to mid-March. As you can see by the dates, it’s far more than just a few days of fun. The party goes on for an entire month!
It’s the world’s second largest arts festival and each year more and more tickets are sold. In coming years organisers expect to sell more than a million tickets to a single festival, which is massive.
It’s all about performing and visual arts, with stage shows taking place at many different venues all across Adelaide. The annual events attracts around 7000 entertainers from all around the world, so there’s definitely something for everyone, day and night.
Adelaide is a beautiful city to visit, and in February and March, the weather is perfect.
#2 – Melbourne Cup Carnival, Melbourne VIC
Next to New Year’s Eve, it’s possibly the biggest party of the year. Not only in Melbourne, but all around the country. The annual running of Australia’s most prestigious horse race on the first Tuesday in November literally brings the country to its knees.
It’ll be the same again this year, no doubt, when the Melbourne Cup 2019 horses do battle around Flemington Racecourse, all vying for thoroughbred racing’s most valuable prize.
Well over 100,000 people will pack the race track on race day, but the Melbourne Cup is more than just a horse race or a single day at the races.
The carnival rages for a full week, with 4 race days, street parades, parties and entertainment for everyone, young and old and everybody in between.
If you’re travelling to Melbourne for the event, it’ll be a spectacle you’ll fondly remember for the rest of your life.
#3 – Mardi Gras Festival, Sydney NSW
It used to be called the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, but these days it’s often referred to simply as the “Mardi Gras Festival”.
The event takes place through the streets of Sydney city every March with a colourful street parade. It’s an extremely zany occasion that attracts crowds of hundreds of thousands onto the streets of Sydney.
The very first Mardi Gras took place way back in 1978, decades before the gay pride movement and everything else we see today.
These days it’s less of an advertisement for equal rights for the gay and lesbian community, and more of a street parade spectacle followed by after parties all across the city of Sydney.
If you love your street parades and partying the night away, you’ll want to make your way to Sydney in March. The Mardi Gras Festival is one of Australia’s biggest tourism drawcards.
#4 – Margaret River Pro, Near Perth WA
The Margaret River Pro is one of the major surfing events on the world surfing calendar, attracting the best of the best male and female surfers from all around the world.
Taking place in very late autumn and early winter, the surfing championships are contested over a 12 day period.
Watching the event unfold is completely free, and something to be enjoyed by people of all ages. All you have to do is book your accommodation and get there.
Along with all the world class surfing action, there is great food to be enjoyed, as well as live entertainment to keep you busy in the evenings.
#5 – The Ekka, Brisbane QLD
Towards the end of the Australian winter in mid-August, Brisbane plays host to its annual Ekka celebrations. It’s formal name is the Brisbane Exhibition, but has been affectionately known as the “Ekka” for so many years that that’s what it’s officially called these days.
What started as an agricultural show has transformed into a full on carnival over the years, with everyone’s favourite thrill rides, side show alley, show bags, live music and nightly entertainment, as well as fabulous fireworks displays all through the 10 day event.
The Ekka is one of Australia’s biggest parties and well worth checking out.
Kangaroo on Fire – Michael Coghlan on flickr – Some Rights Reserved
Super Saturday at Flemington racecourse – Wikimedia Creative Commons
Mardi Gras 2013 – Hasitha Tudugalle on flickr – Some Rights Reserved
Margaret River Pro – by Tim J Keegan on flickr – Some Rights Reserved
The Ekka, Brisbane – Wikipedia Creative Commons
Guest Author Bio
My name is Laura Graham. I am a Sydney-based food & wine lover and am constantly trying to satisfy my travel bug. I like to impart my knowledge and share insights on my culinary and travel experiences.
Blog: A Wine And Dine