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Port Macquarie for BBQs, bands and billycarts!

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

BBQs, bands and billycarts all feature in a bumper line-up of eclectic events in Port Macquarie this year. Plan your visit around one of the many foodie, cultural and sporting fixtures that will spice up any weekend in this gorgeous coastal town. Here are 7 to ponder:
1. Slice of Haven (29 May) – spend your day by the Camden Haven River and meet over 80 local producers of nuts, cheese, wine, beer, vegetables and bush-foods. This year’s ‘Magic beyond the plate’ theme will feature cooking demonstrations, workshops, dancing, quirky stilt walkers and games. 10am-4pm. Entry via gold coin donation.
2. Hastings Landcare Farm Gate Tour (11-13 June, long weekend, pictured) – learn where your food comes from at this unique event run by Landcare that visits around 12 farms that aren’t normally open to the public. From the oyster farms of the Hastings River to the lush grazing valleys of the Wauchope hinterland, see cows being milked, chickens free ranging and baby animals being fed.
3. Jazz in the Vineyards at Bago Vineyards (monthly, every second Sunday) – a fixture now for 15 years, Jazz in the Vineyards is the best way to experience the magic of this hinterland winery. Live jazz, cuisine from XS Foods and great wine combine for a relaxing afternoon outdoors, while the kids can get lost in Bago Maze.
4. Port Macquarie Beer and Cider Festival (24 September) – enjoy tastings from around 50 beer and cider makers, live music, a beer garden and fun games including the Beer Keg Toss competition, inspired by the long tradition of the Highland Games. Westport Park.
5. Ekam Yoga Festival Port Macquarie (18 September) – a day of music, play and connection, this event features talks by some of the most senior yoga teachers in Australia, plus classes, workshops and a sustainable living and natural health expo. Ekam, meaning one, is about coming together as one for the day. It is held at the Glasshouse.
6. Beechwood Billycart Classic (5 November) – the gorgeous town of Beechwood, just 7km from Wauchope, is home to this hilarious and fun day out. Watch the thrills and spills as kids and adults race down Mt Pappinbarra with speeds of up to 100km/hr, finishing at the Beechwood Hotel, a great landing place for post-race festivities.
7. Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail (daily) – now a permanent event, this free, tourist trail features 50 one-metre high hand-painted koala sculptures set up at various locations including attractions, wineries, beaches, parks and hotels.
8. Ironman Australia (1 May) – one of IRONMAN’s original events steeped in triathlon history and a must-do for sport-lovers. This year the inspirational Turia Pitt will make her debut return to the field at one of the most scenic Ironman circuits in the world.

Port Macquarie is a 4-hour drive North of Sydney or a 1-hour flight from Sydney and Brisbane with connections to the rest of Australia. 


5 great foodie events to look forward to around Sydney

By Australia / Sydney /

Sydney has a great reputation for its food and wine festivals, with many people travelling from across the country just to experience these top food events every year.

Here are five Sydney foodie festivals to look forward to.

Merivale Food and Wine Festival
Merivale Food and Wine Festival is a month-long extravaganza of food and drink events – could you ask for anything better? Throughout March, you can attend exquisite lunches, dinners, wine tastings, food markets and cooking classes. There are also chef competitions to entertain, with each event offering a quirky theme.

Thailand Grand Festival
This incredible event started off as a small, simple food fair 20 years ago. It’s since morphed into a Grand Festival, held for a couple of days every March, to give Sydney residents a taste of Thailand. You’ll get to discover all of the delicious flavours used in Thai cuisine and attend cooking demos, while admiring traditional Thai performances. You’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve travelled to Thailand for the day!

Taste of Sydney
Taste of Sydney is the main event on Sydney’s dining calendar. This year’s festival returns at Centennial Park between March 10 and 13. Choose from more than 60 tasting dishes created by Sydney’s best restaurants and mingle with award-winning chefs (see if you can figure out some of their secret tricks!) You can also attend masterclasses and enjoy some live entertainment in the beautiful park.

Taste of Orange Food and Wine Festival
This wonderful festival merges the country with the coast to showcase the high quality wine and produce coming out of the Orange and Cabbone regions. It’s part of the Watsons Bay Food and Wine Festival in Robertson Park, which is held in May. There’s no doubt you’ll discover unforgettable flavours of wine and food at this festival.

Bankstown Bites
With its reputation as one of Sydney’s most loved food festivals, Bankstown Bites should be marked on every foodies calendar. Its guided food tours, cooking demos and diverse food stalls attract more than 10,000 people each year. Aromas of spices fill the air and dishes come from all corners of the globe, including Africa, Asia and the Middle East.



5 great foodie events to look forward to in Melbourne

By Australia / Melbourne /

Melbourne is arguable one of the best cities in the world for foodies! With a bustling restaurant and café culture with chefs cooking up delights from all over the world, it’s not surprising at all to learn that the city hosts dozens of exciting food festivals each year.

Here are five great Melbourne foodie events to look forward to.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
One of Melbourne’s biggest events of the year is the Food and Wine Festival, attracting thousands of people to the Australia’s culinary capital. The 2016 festival runs for 10 days in March, when people will gather at various venues to sample provincial flavours. There are also cooking masterclasses, wine tastings at some of the state’s best vineyards and free entertainment.

Night Noodle Market
The Night Noodle Market, held in November, is just getting bigger and better (and tastier!) each year! Pop up food stalls light up the banks of the Yarra River at Birrarung Marr, as thousands gather to sample noodle and dumpling dishes from all over the world. The flavours on offer are interesting and unique – make sure you get in early to avoid queues if you want to try them all!

International Street Food Festival
Between March 19-20 at the Catani Gardens on the St Kilda Foreshore is one of Australia’s most exciting international food festivals. This joyful and multicultural celebration has 45 different world cuisines to sample, meaning you’ll be able to pick up everything from pasta, to churros to stir-fry and anything else you can imagine!

The Natural and Organic Supershow
This event is all about natural, pure and healthy ingredients. It’s Australia’s only natural and organic supershow, and is held over the Labour Day long weekend each year. Sample and take home products that are full of goodness, taste and are often environmentally friendly. It’s the ultimate food event for any vegan or vegetarian.

Johnston Street Festival
Head to Fitzroy in November to witness Melbourne’s Hispanic community take over Johnston Street. The two-day festival celebrates one-thousand years of Spanish food and culture. Roads are blocked off to make way for food stalls selling jugs of sangria, sizzling pans of paella and hot churros. The festival is brought to life with Spanish dancing and entertainment all afternoon and into the night.


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Unmissable Autumn adventures in NSW

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

With the Easter long weekend and school holiday break approaching, now is the time to take advantage of the changing season and plan an autum adventure in regional New South Wales, according to the Desination NSW gang.

From gourmet escapes to fossicking and heritage trails, the Destination NSW team gives us three getaways that will make you fall in love with regional NSW this Autumn:

50 shades of Orange and Bathurst
Autumn is a fantastic time to visit Central NSW, with the region guaranteeing vibrant Autumn foliage, delicious seasonal produce and a stellar line up of local festivals and events.  If you’re a foodie then the Orange F.O.O.D Week is an iconic experience for gourmands, with the 10 day festival in April a testament to the region’s great reputation for food and wine, and beautiful colours (see picture, courtesy of Destination NSW). Indulge your senses as local chefs and restaurants showcase their skill with farm gate tours, cooking demonstrations and the famous 100-Mile Dinner. Continue your Central NSW love affair with a side-trip to Bathurst, just a 45-minute drive away.  One of Australia’s oldest inland settlements, Bathurst’s historic town centre is fascinating, with a blend of old and new including revitalised laneway bars, cafes and restaurants. Be sure to check out the Autumn Colours program of events and the Bathurst Motor Festival at Mount Panorama from 25-27 March.

New love in New England
There is so much to love in the New England region, the changing leaves of trees in towns like Glen Innes, Inverell, Tenterfield and Emmaville are spectacular, as is the fossicking for gemstones. Armidale, the hub of the New England High Country shines in Autumn, with numerous parks, tree-lined streets and gardens displaying a spectrum of reds and oranges. With the city housing many heritage buildings, grand cathedrals and churches, Armidale is the perfect destination for an autumn break, and its annual Armidale Autumn Festival in March a stand out event on the local calendar. A visit to nearby Uralla is a must to admire the famous Gostwyck Chapel covered in Virginia Creeper.

The laidback country charm of Tamworth and the wider region is ideal for a short break, with national parks, trout fishing, horse riding and great local produce aplenty. Another must see is the historic gold mining village of Nundle, just a 50-minute drive from Tamworth. With great local cafes, antique stores and delicious baked goods at the Nundle Craft Inc. weekly farmers market, you’ll find plenty to do in town. The scenic Fossickers Way touring route begins in Nundle and takes in key fossicking areas. It’s especially pretty in Autumn with its wooded hills, open green pastures and fertile valleys. A little further afield, Boggabri promises a weekend of family fun at the Boggabri Drovers Campfire from 20-25 April with events including a big campfire, camp oven cooking, shearing demonstrations, tours of the district, bush poets, craft stalls, whip cracking, antique machinery display, a bush band and much more.

Beautiful Bellingen
Pack up the car and escape on a road trip to the North Coast destination, Bellingen. With lush valleys, a rich architectural heritage, rural charm, delicious local produce and natural beauty, Bellingen is also known for Australia’s largest regional market offering an amazing selection of handmade arts and crafts, regional produce and live entertainment.  Neighbouring Dorrigo National Park is a must see, offering stunning scenery that has been millions of years in the making. The World-Heritage listed rainforest offers a variety of rare flora and fauna, swimming at Crystal Shower Falls, a Skywalk lookout which takes in Bellinger Valley and scenic barbecue and picnic spots.

For more information on Autumn escapes in NSW visit

For car rentals visit


8 great things to do in Melbourne this March

By Australia / Melbourne / Victoria /

The Visit Victoria gang tells us it’s well worth thinking about a whopping March in Melbourne for 31 days of fashion, flowers, food, fast cars and world class festivities as the city plays host to multiple major events.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Now in its 24th year, the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (4 – 13 March) offers a smorgasbord of culinary events. From masterclasses and workshops with the pros, to food trails for the curious and the ever-popular World’s Longest Lunch (which this year will be held on the 2016 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix track), there is an experience for novices and gastronomists alike. The festival hub, at Southbank’s Queensbridge Square, will take the shape of an Urban Dairy, where a selection of the world’s finest cheese, yoghurt and ice-cream makers will produce their signature items. This is just one of many events that will form part of River Graze, with a plethora of culinary delights, free entertainment and regional flavours along the banks of the Yarra River – all feeding into the overall theme, ‘Sense of Place’.

Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival
Australia’s largest and longest running public fashion event, the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF, 7 – 13 March) is set to rock the socks off fashionistas all over town when it returns for its 20th incarnation. The festival will showcase more than 100 established and emerging designers within the grandeur of its new location – the heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building – where, in another VAMFF first, three runway shows will be staged on one night. A true feast for the senses, the festival presents stylish, week-long entertainment including world-class runway shows, beauty workshops, industry seminars, forums and live entertainment. Upping the ante on its always-outstanding fashion offer, this year the festival presents a month-long Cultural Program of more than 70 free and ticketed activities and events (13 February – 13 March) across Melbourne, regional Victoria and online. Highlights of the program include 200 Years of Australian Fashion at the National Gallery of Victoria (5 March – 31 July 16) and Bendigo Art Gallery and Twentieth Century Fox present Marilyn Monroe 5 March – 10 July).

Matilda The Musical
Matilda The Musical (previews commence 13 March) is the award-winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the children’s book Matilda written by Roald Dahl. With original songs by Tim Minchin, it will be performed at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre. Witty dialogue, catchy songs, quirky characters and a spectacular stage design ensure Matilda The Musical will be enjoyed by the whole family.

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (16 – 20 March) is the biggest annual flower and garden show in the Southern Hemisphere and is set to return with an explosion of colour for its 20th year. Australia’s top floral and landscape designers unite to create stunning floral displays in the world-heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens and share their new and innovative garden ideas. An extensive array of garden and floral retail products will be available, including rare and unusual plants, alongside a selection of food and entertainment.

2016 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix
The Albert Park Lake circuit will celebrate 21 years of high-octane thrills in Melbourne when it plays host to the 2016 Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix (17 – 20 March). The fastest cars, hottest celebrities and latest technology from around the globe make Melbourne home for four days of breathtaking action, on and off the track. As well as watching the world’s best drivers zoom around the circuit, the crowd can enjoy live music, stunt performances, street art and a dedicated kids’ corner. Entry to General Admission areas is free for kids aged 12 and under, making for a good-value family day out. With St Kilda and the city both just minutes away, motorsports fans can keep the festivities going at any number of bars, eateries and live music venues.

Jurassic World Prehistoric dinosaurs will be brought to life at Melbourne Museum for the world premiere of Jurassic World: The Exhibition (19 March – 9 October). Based on Universal Pictures’ blockbuster film, this immersive exhibition offers encounters with realistic, life-sized animatronic dinosaurs inspired by the film and created in close collaboration with renowned palaeontologist Jack Horner. The exhibition is infused with interactive educational elements, drawn from the real-world science of dinosaur DNA including ‘The Hammond Creation Lab’. Visitors can come face-to-face with a life-like Pachyrhinosaurus, be amazed by a towering Brachiosaurus and take a close-up look at the most vicious dinosaur of them all, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival (23 March – 17 April) celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2016 with a rip-roaring and diverse line up of international and Australian comedy, cabaret, street performances, theatre and visual arts. With a hilarious line-up of world class acts, visitors are invited to see for themselves why Melbourne has become one of the world’s three biggest comedy festivals (with Edinburgh and Montreal). Artists set to tickle collective funny bones around the city include David O’Doherty, Arj Barker, Celia Pacquola, Hannah Gadsby, Judith Lucy, Tommy Little, Tripod, Ali McGregor, Charlie Pickering and Fiona O’Loughlin. To celebrate 30 years, the Melbourne Comedy Festival in conjunction with Arts Centre Melbourne, is presenting a major exhibition showcasing the life of the festival, from the 1987 launch with Peter Cook and Sir Les Patterson through to Deadly Funny – the only dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander comedy program.

Rip Curl Pro Australia’s surfing capital, Torquay (located at the start of the Great Ocean Road), will again welcome the world’s best surfers to its famous breaks at Bells Beach when the 55th Rip Curl Pro (25 March – 5 April) hits town. Surf’s up for the World Surf League’s top ranked surfers who carve up the waves and compete for the prized Bell – one of the most sought after trophies in surfing. Along with the action in the water, there will be plenty happening on land for fans, visitors and surfers alike, between the famous Bells contest site, the local pubs and legendary parties around town.


7 unmissable Queensland food and wine events in 2016

By Australia / Brisbane / Cairns / Gold Coast / Port Douglas / Queensland /

THE Sunshine State is not just beaches, babes and sunshine, you know, it’s also home to an endless supply of delicious local produce that’s been grown, caught, baked and served by “an array of clever clogs and inspired minds”, as the Tourism Queensland crew tell us and here are five suggestions by them for Queensland food and wine events to kill for in 2016

What: Ginger Flower & Food Festival

When: January 22-24

Where: Yandina
The Ginger Factory Yandina comes alive for the weekend-long Ginger Food & Flower Festival, surrounded by Australia’s largest and most ornamental gingers and heliconias, all under one roof. This year the festival celebrates its 20th birthday with a line-up of local kitchen maestros and gardening experts.

What: Feast of the Senses

When: March 12-20

Where: Innisfail
Discover North Queensland’s premier tropical food event that engages every one of your senses! Over 10 amazing days, this region’s abundance of exotic tropical fruits, produce, seafood and meats will be on show and include farm trails, art, and photography, cooking competitions and the piece de resistance – a market day extravaganza on 20 March – with Innisfail’s art deco architecture providing a fitting backdrop.

What: Gold Coast Italian Festival

When: March 26–27

Where: Gold Coast (various locations)
Savour the tastes, sights and sounds of Italy at the first annual Gold Coast Italian Festival. From fine food, Italian wines and family entertainment, the festival will celebrate all the best about the dolce vita culture. Street vendors will be slinging wood fired pizza, pasta and gelato.

What: Felton Food Festival

When: April 10

Where: Felton
For one day, Felton throws the spotlight on the delectable produce, stunning landscape and the people that make this region so vibrant. For a taste of real country living, families, farmers and food lovers are invited to mingle through markets, take a crop tour, meet a local farmer and learn more about the paddock to plate concept. Special guests this year include Matt Golinski, Alison Alexander and for the first time Wild Canary Head Chef, Glen Barratt.
What: Relish Fraser Coast

When: June 4

Where: Fraser Coast (Multiple Locations)
A feast of culture and cuisine is served! Immerse yourself in Maryborough’s heritage streetscapes and riverside parks for the Relish Fraser Coast and their jam-packed program of celebrity chefs, gourmet tastings, cooking workshops, live music and art. True foodies will have the chance to try Hervey Bay’s famous scallops, Fraser Island prawns and macadamia nuts all paired with wines from Queensland’s premier wineries.

What: Regional Flavours

When July 15-17

Where: South Brisbane
South Bank’s signature food and lifestyle event returns in 2016 with free entertainment, celeb chefs and industry experts as well as fresh produce from more than 80 Queensland providores. Within eight unique venues, the food lover in all of us can experience al fresco dining, expand our culinary knowledge and sample some of the state’s best artisanal food and wine. Gather a group and take advantage of the South Bank views to eat and enjoy a few of life’s simplest pleasures.
What: Hervey Bay Seafood Festival

When: August 14

Where: Hervey Bay
A festival to celebrate wild-caught seafood from the pristine waters of the Fraser Coast. Escape for a warm wintery weekend and tempt your tastebuds with an ultimate seafood menu at the festival’s signature Tastes of the Bay long lunch with Chef Andrew Mirosch. If that doesn’t take your fancy, navigate a DIY feast at the array of seafood stands serving the iconic Hervey Bay scallop, prawns and fish by local restaurants. Either way, no one is going home hungry!



Six places to spend New Year’s Eve in Sydney and surrounds

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

New Year’s Eve is perhaps the most exciting time of the year in Sydney and surrounds. Whether you want to watch the spectacular fireworks at Sydney Harbour, or celebrate quietly on the beach, everyone has different ideas on how to best bring in the New Year.

Here are six great places where you could spend this New Year’s Eve.

O Bar and Dining
At O Bar and Dining, you’ll be celebrating the end of the year while sitting 47 floors above everyone else. This restaurant treats diners to more than just good food and wine – its revolving design gives customers a 360 degree view of the city. Best of all, you get to enjoy the fireworks display from the sky!

On a cruise
A handful of companies allow you to admire Sydney’s famous fireworks from the water. Some offer a fancy five course dinner and drinks menu in a relaxing, intimate setting. Others cater for a wilder crowd, with a more party-style boat cruise. Either way, it’s an unforgettable way to experience New Year’s Eve.

Bradley’s Head
This is the ideal spot for families and children celebrating the New Year. Bradleys Head Amphitheatre provides clear views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. There’s also live music and plenty of food, while this family zone offers only non-alcoholic drinks.

Taronga Zoo
Have a wild New Year’s at the zoo! An all inclusive party package will give you a five-course dinner, or a night of music and dance at an adults only cocktail part. Both events will give you great views of Sydney Harbour when the fireworks arrive.

Royal Botanic Gardens
Sydney’s famous Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the city’s most-visited sites and on New Year’s Eve, it becomes one of the city’s most magical. It offers an amazing view of the Sydney Opera House, right near the fireworks. It’s a family-friendly location and perfect for a late-night picnic.

North Head
At North Head, you’ll be away from the crowds of the popular Bondi or Manly Beach, but you’ll still get to admire the fireworks display while relaxing with the family. Bring along a picnic and a blanket as you enjoy the stunning sunset, before waiting for the clock to strike midnight.



Unmissable music festivals in Melbourne and surrounds

By Melbourne / Victoria /

Summer is quite possibly the best time of year to visit Victoria. Not only is the weather perfect (save for the occasional thunderstorm) and the public gardens perfectly manicured for a lazy afternoon picnic, the warmer weather sees the southern state host a huge calendar of music festivals as the highly anticipated party season kicks into gear.

Queenscliff Music Festival, 27-29 November

Now in its 18th year, this quirky and colourful music festival will feature the likes of Angus and Julia Stone, Kate Miller-Heidke and funny gal Cal Wilson, just to name a few. The huge festival encompasses beachfront stages, local bars and pubs and even the steam powered Blues Train, home to travelling tunes. The focus is on music at this fully licensed event but there are plenty of art installations, roving performers, market stalls, food trucks and even a ‘Kids Quarter’ to keep the whole family entertained over this brilliant weekend by the beach.

For more info and tickets visit:

So Frenchy So Chic, Werribee Mansion, 10 January

Boasting a ‘summer French’ escape of music, food, flowers and friends, this family friendly music festival sees punters treated to all things French, from the artists to the cuisine and wine. Generously, children under 12 are admitted free, with activities like croquet, face painting, giant chess and hopscotch amongst the mansion lawns sure to keep them busy throughout the day. For foodies, specially prepared picnic boxes, hampers and cheese plates are the perfect accompaniment to the French music and atmosphere. No doubt, picnicking in the gorgeous surrounds is the next best thing to France that Victoria has to offer.

Check out for more info.

St Kilda Festival, 6 – 14 February

While the festival showcases plenty of music in local venues over the second week of February, the highlight of the week is definitely the wrap up event, Festival Sunday. Easily the biggest free music event in Australia, the sensational day has been known to attract a crowd of over 350,000 people. The streets of St Kilda are closed to traffic while Australia’s best musicians rock out over multiple stages against the awesome backdrop of palm trees, the ocean and the iconic 103 year old Luna Park. The festival also showcases extreme sports, carnival rides, street performers and a street market. Also not to be missed is the festival opening event Yalukit Wilum Ngargee, a free Indigenous arts, music and dance event held on February 6, which also showcases heritage walks and traditional food offerings.

For more info on the festival visit:

Riverboats Music Festival, Echuca 19-21 February

Located two-and a half hours from Melbourne on the banks of the mighty Murray, Riverboats is a premiere contemporary music event set in a natural amphitheatre lined by historic red gums. Traditional paddle steamers meander past the festival all weekend while visitors enjoy dancing, art and delicious regional food and wine, all the while absorbing the natural beauty of the region. With impressive past line-ups including Dan Sultan, Sarah Blasko and The Whitlams, the organisers boast that it is one of the prettiest and laid-back festivals in Australia.

Visit the website for more info

Motor City Music Festival, Geelong 11 – 13 March

Another festival offering free entry for kids (on the Sunday only) is the rock’n’roll ‘Geetroit Rocks Motor City Music Festival’ at the Geelong Showgrounds. While the Friday and Saturday events are dedicated to adults only with five stages spread out over the fully licensed venue, ‘family friendly’ Sunday is all ages and focuses on children’s entertainment. A huge fireworks display on the Sunday night wraps up the huge weekend of tribute bands, dedicated to get festival-goers rocking out to the great classics of Guns’n’Roses, INXS and ACDC.

For more info on the festival visit:





Groovy music festivals coming to a venue near you Down Under

By Australia /

Every season there are stacks of groovy music festivals being held across Australia. Whether they’re being held in the capital cities, or a few hours inland, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

Here are some music festivals coming to a venue near you this Spring/Summer. 

Strawberry Fields

November 20-22

Indulge yourself in this annual celebration of art, sound and creative expression in the wild Australian bush. Held over three days in The Wildlands, which is only a few hours from Melbourne, this boutique music festival provides a platform for 150 upcoming young and local talent. They’ll treat you to non-stop electronic music from Australia and overseas, then there are plenty of market stalls and workshops.

Beyond the Valley

December 29 – January 1

From this year, the Beyond the Valley festival is settling into its new home – the spacious green fields of Lardner, which is surrounded by a lake and rolling green hills. This wonderful natural setting is only 90 minutes from Melbourne, and will host two stages and thousands of festival goers. You’ll get to bring in the New Year with artists such as The Jungle Giants, Miami Horror, The Rubens and Last Dinosaurs.

Cool Summer Festival

January 15-17

Get ready for three days of music in the gorgeous, laid-back setting of the Hotham Alpine Resort. The Cool Summer music festival runs over three days and offers music lovers a variety of artists from all genres. It’s the perfect way to enjoy yourself in the summertime and be part of one of Australia’s most exciting summer festivals.


January 13-18

Every year Hobart hosts the highly-anticipated MONA FOMA (The Museum of Old and New Art’s Festival Of Music and Art). It’s a jam-packed six days of art and theatre performances, with music filling venues around Hobart during the event. Last year’s festival featured musicians such as Amanda Palmer and Paul Kelly, but we’ll have to wait a few more weeks until the 2016 line-up is announced.

Red Deer Music and Arts Festival

October 3

This festival takes place just north west of Brisbane, beneath the beautiful D’Aguilar range, which acts as a natural amphitheatre. From here, you can enjoy one of Queensland’s best BYO music and camping festivals. Enjoy the atmosphere of this independent, community event as you watch local bands showcasing their talents.



Five great things to do in Perth and surrounds this summer

By Australia / Perth /

If you’re heading out west this spring/summer, then there are many exciting festivals and events waiting for you.

Here are five great events in Perth and surrounds to add to your calendar.

Kings Park Festival

For the month of September

This beautiful inner city park is home to the Western Australian Botanic Garden, which has more than 3000 species of the state’s unique flora. For the first month of spring each year, Kings Park hosts an annual festival, which is ideal for wildflower lovers and gardening enthusiasts. For the entire month, you can sign up to guided walks and tours, visit outdoor exhibitions and enjoy live entertainment in the park.

Rottofest Music and Comedy Festival

September 19

Get ready for a jam-packed weekend of comedy and music on Rottnest Island. Since 2009, the annual festival has attracted comedy legends, such as Fiona O’Loughlin, and music talent from across Australia, including electronic dance trio Art vs Science and rock band Tame Impala. If that’s not enough to draw you to Rottnest Island, then surely its gorgeous, white, sandy beaches and relaxed atmosphere will be.

Cape to Cape MTB

22-25 October

This four-day mountain bike race through the beautiful Margaret Rive region, draws elite mountain bike riders from across the world. The riding trail takes you past iconic surf beaches, wineries, beautiful forest and farmlands. Set yourself up in the location of your choice and relax, as you watch the race take place!

Margaret River Gourmet Escape

20-22 November

With an incredible line up of Australian and international food and wine experts and personalities, the Margaret River Gourmet Escape is an amazing event that foodies definitely won’t want to miss! The festival is set in one of Western Australia’s most beautiful regions, and it offers a good excuse to dine on some of the best food and wine in Western Australia.

Perth International Arts Festival

February 2016 – March 2016

The Perth International Arts Festival is the oldest annual international multi-arts festival in the southern hemisphere. The three-week long event attracts more than 700,000 patrons to the city. The festival showcases some of the best theatre, music, film, visual arts, street arts and literature in the world.


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Six Australian food festivals you simply cannot miss

By Australia / Brisbane / Melbourne / New South Wales / Perth / Queensland / Sydney / Victoria / Western Australia /

Food, fabulous food. Everyone loves it – that’s why we celebrate it with food festivals.

As we gladly wave goodbye to winter and welcome springtime with open arms, both seasons offer the perfect opportunity to unwind and enjoy the incredible fresh produce and diversity in food that Australia is gifted with.

Is there anything more indulgent than sitting by an open fire, sharing a charcuterie board or an aged bottle of deep, woody Shiraz? To celebrate the country’s love affair with all things delicious, here are six upcoming food and wine festivals from around Australia.

Barossa Gourmet Weekend, SA, 14-16 August

Shed the winter blues with a weekend getaway to the world renowned Barossa Valley in South Australia, just over an hour’s drive north from Adelaide Airport. The weekend showcases everything delicious that the picturesque wine-producing region is famous for, as visitors are treated to a packed program of winery tours, masterclasses and long lunches, all accompanied by live music and entertainment. Shuttle buses will run throughout the weekend, but accommodation is limited so get in quick to book your Barossa Gourmet getaway. Visit for more information.

Newcastle Food and Wine Expo, NSW, 28-30 August

Visitors to the harbour side city of Newcastle will be able to kiss the cold goodbye in serious foodie style, with the three day exhibition of non-stop feasting, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, culinary presentations and free samples of food and wine. About 150 gourmet exhibitors from all over the state will be tempting foodies with their incredible produce. Just some of the mouth-watering products include those from the Hunter Valley Cheese Factory, Byron Bay Chocolate Co and Coastal Garden Preserves, so make sure you head there on an empty stomach! Also on the event program are free appreciation classes to give you a better understanding of gourmet food and drink. The varied classes cover cheese, wine, beer and liqueur, so there is definitely something for everyone to indulge in. For more information, check out

Rockhampton Capricorn Food and Wine Festival, QLD, 18-20 September

Set against the backdrop of the Fitzroy River, the location of the 2015 Capricorn Food and Wine Festival couldn’t be more ideal for a weekend of grazing and wine tasting. In the springtime, the perfect view is rivalled only by the ideal weather that Queensland is famous for, and 8000 people are expected to flock to the riverbank and surrounding areas to indulge in exquisite wine and cuisine in the gorgeous sunshine state. The festival isn’t just restricted to the hub of the riverbank though, as all of Rockhampton’s finest dining establishments will have the chance to get involved in the event. Abundant regional food will be showcased, with emphasis placed on the importance of sustainable and healthy paddock-to-plate practices, and supporting Australian farmers as the country’s love affair with good food continues to evolve. For more information go to

Heathcote Wine & Food Festival, VIC, 10-11 October

City slickers need head north just 90 minutes to reach the Heathcote area, a location rich in history and nestled smack-bang in the middle of Victoria. Once a bustling mining and logging town, the owners of over 70 vineyards in the region can thank the Germans and Italians for introducing grape growing to the area as the gold rush began to stall. It goes without saying then that this year’s theme, ‘Shiraz Heaven’ couldn’t be more fitting and visitors are invited on a delicious journey discovering the region’s famous full-bodied shiraz and alternative varieties of reds, whites and sparkling. The endless wine list will be complemented by perfectly matched regional food and accompanied by and live music and entertainment. The Heathcote festival’s promise of knockout wines, specialty masterclasses and tasting sessions enjoyed in the great country atmosphere are sure to have punters welcoming spring with open arms. Visit to plan your weekend getaway.

Mildura Jazz, Food and Wine Festival, VIC, 30 October – 2 November

Run annually the weekend prior to Melbourne Cup, this established festival celebrates its 35th year combining traditional jazz, contemporary sounds and locally produced gourmet food and wine. The ambience of the festival is impossible to beat and the Murray River provides the perfect backdrop as paddle steamers chug by the riverside wineries, clubs and pubs as visitors are treated to an incredible auditory, gustatory and visual feast. Lunches and dinners aboard the paddle steamers, picnics in the parks, jazz by the river and even a Saturday night street party will no doubt ensure that visitors are treated to one heck of a party over four exciting days. For more info, check out

Geographe Crush Food and Wine Festival, WA, 7-9 November

The Geographe Crush celebrates the wine, food and attractions of the south west wine region of Geographe in Western Australia. The huge area extends from Harvey in the north, Collie, Dardanup and Donnybrook in the east and Capel and Busselton in the south, centering on the main city of Bunbury. Run over three days, an opening night function welcomes visitors on the Friday and Saturday sees the Crush Wine Exhibition showcasing the wines of the region and includes wine seminars, cooking demonstrations and entertainment. On the Sunday, visitors are treated to tours of wineries and the restaurants and cellar doors provide visitors the chance to enjoy local produce and dishes before stocking up on their favourite reds, whites and sparkling. Stay tuned to as more info is released.



Kakadu Mahbilil Festival for Indigenous music, arts and bushfoods

By Australia / Darwin / Northern Territory /

HEADING for an adventure in the Kakadu National State Park is awesome for all sorts of reasons but none more so than the upcoming Kakadu Mahbilil Festival September 5 celebrating the best in Indigenous music, arts and bushfoods.
Staged at Jabiru Lakeside Park, Mahbilil offers a program of local and national live music, traditional dance, performance and circus, bushtucker demonstrations, cooking competitions, sports carnival, workshops and lots of markets to feed the mind and body.  With activities and entertainment aimed at children, teens and the older folks, there is something for everyone.
Jabiru is the gateway to Kakadu and offers a wide range of accommodation including one of the world’s most distinctive hotels, the Crocodile Hotel (shaped like a crocodile). Jabiru is a unique cross-cultural crossroads and provides easy access for visitors to Kakadu’s major attractions such as Ubirr, Nourlangie, Jim Jim and Twin Falls, Gunlom and Yellow Waters Billabong.
Weather at the time of the festival is expected to be perfect: mild nights and dry, sunny days with temperatures around 30C.
“We invite everyone to come to Mahbilil to share in Mirarr culture and enjoy this beautiful Gurrung season in Kakadu,” said Gundjeihmi chairwoman Annie Ngalmirama. “Every year Mahbilil brings us together to celebrate, and we welcome everyone to join us, to dance, to try some bush tucker and have fun!”
There will be a wide selection of Aboriginal bands from across the Top End with hand-picked acts from Darwin and around the country.  Expect everything from folk through to roots and blues and even some rocking reggae and hip hop in the later hours.
One of the highlights of the festival for many is the local dance program with the Jabiru Bininj Gunborrk dancers set to light up the dance ground once again.
Workshops will include traditional arts and craft such as spear-making, grass weaving and local storytelling.
Authentic bush food will be available throughout the day, cooked both on the coals and in a traditional ground-oven.

Don’t forget to snap up a great deal on car hire with the DriveNow gang.
Mahbilil Festival Accommodation Package
Mercure Crocodile Kakadu Hotel in Jabiru is offering a special package allowing visitors to enjoy a full taste of Kakadu, including a spectacular Yellow Water Cruise. The Mahbilil Festival Package includes overnight accommodation at the Crocodile Hotel, breakfast for up to 2 people and a daytime Yellow Water Cruise. The package is available for $280 per night, and is available during the Mahbilil Festival weekend (September 4-6). Conditions apply, subject to availability. Reservations: (08) 8979 9000 or – refer to ‘Mahbilil Festival Package’
Mahbilil Festival –
Information about Kakadu, the Crocodile Hotel & Yellow Water Cruises –