Celebrations are a part of Australian culture. Some showcase scenery and topography; others celebrate the rich sporting passions. Some commemorate cultural roots, and more than a few demonstrate the self-deprecating sense of humor. Dress up for the nation-stopping Melbourne Cup or get your spot on Sydney Harbour for the Australia Day celebrations. Connect with the Aboriginal culture of Arnhem Land at the Garma Festival, or experience the wacky side of the Australian outback at the Darwin Beer Can Regatta, the Camel Cup and the Henley-on-Todd - a sailing regatta on a dry riverbed.
Because any day down under is reason to celebrate!
Australia Day at Sydney Harbour
Australian love a party, and few are as big and exuberant as Australia Day on January 26th. Australians of all stripes join the formal and informal celebrations across the country’s beaches, backyards and parks. In Sydney, flag-waving crowds converge around iconic Sydney Harbour for the action-packed program. There’s a traditional Aboriginal ceremony in the Royal Botanical Gardens, a huge barbeque in Hyde Park and all-Australian music acts in the Rocks. Tall ships, small ferries, yachts and surfboards race across the harbor and Air Force planes swoop over Circular Quay. And you wouldn’t want to miss the most electric display of national pride that takes place in the evening-the spectacular harbor fireworks.
Kimberley Moon and the Ord Valley Muster, Kimberley
This May, head to Kununurra for the Ord Valley Muster, a two-week celebration of East Kimberley life. Join thousands of friendly locals at more than 50 events across the region’s rugged and magical landscapes. Dress up for a 4WD adventure bash, swim across Lake Argyle or mountain bike along the Gibb River Road. Taste fresh Kimberley produce and take in Aboriginal music and dance. Get swept away in a street party, dig for diamonds or watch rodeo roughriders. Not to be missed is the Kimberley Moon-the flagship music concert crowning the Muster, on the banks of the Ord River.
Alice Springs Camel Cup
For a truly unpredictable sporting event, get your tickets to the Camel Cup, held each July in Alice Springs. The only sure thing about this event-where riders race temperamental camels around dusty outback tracks-is that there will be high hilarity. In the one race, riders dressed as grooms race the camels half way round the arena, where they collect their blushing brides for the race to the finish line. In between heats you can take part in rickshaw races or compete to be the most fashionable on the field in the Mr. and Miss Camel Cup. Belly dancers, food stalls and bars all add to the carnival atmosphere.
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Victoria
Grab your spot amongst the world’s culinary stars at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, which takes over the city’s iconic eating precincts for a fortnight in March. Attend the ‘World’s Longest Lunch’ hosted in Chinatown and take classes with trailblazing chefs, winemakers and cocktail shakers. Feast on freshly made noodles and dumplings at the Hawkers’ Markets or savor Victoria’s autumn harvest at a sumptuous gala dinner in Prahran Market. Discover Melbourne, in all its autumn glory, against this backdrop of foodie fun. Or venture further to some of the 50 related events taking place across regional Victoria.