Festivale, TAS

Credit: Adam Gibson

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Sizzling Summer Events in Australia

Australia shines in summer.

A raft of sensational seasonal events are dotted across the land.

Among them are vibrant food and wine festivals, seductive sporting events, and engrossing cultural celebrations.

If you’re looking for things to do in summer, mark these events on your 2022-23 calendar. 

Adelaide Fringe is up there with the best of them. More below. Credit: Meaghan Coles.

Australian food and wine festivals

Tasmania’s Taste of Summer, Hobart, TAS

When: December-January.

Rebranded in 2022-23 – it was previously known as The Taste of Tasmania – this event should retain its standing as one of the best summer festivals in Australia. The Apple Isle reliably shines brightest at this time, and crowds flock to the vibrant waterfront location of Princes Wharf to let their tastebuds run wild. The state’s most delectable food and boutique beverages are promised via plentiful stallholders, backed by a gamut of musical entertainment.

Nearby park: BIG4 Hobart.

Hobart shines in summer, and Taste is the place to be. Credit: The Taste of Tasmania.

Festivale, Launceston, TAS

When: February.

The best of Tasmania is on display at this hit three-day summer gig. Centrally located City Park makes a wonderful setting and is a hive of activity as local food, wine, beer, cider, and spirits are dished up alongside an entertainment schedule that includes big-name Australian musical acts. Beverage masterclasses and celebrity chef appearances add more flavour to this lively event.

Nearby park: BIG4 Launceston.

City Park is abuzz during Festivale. Credit: Rob Burnett.

Apollo Bay Seafood Festival, VIC

When: February.

Summer holidays along the Great Ocean Road are irresistible and this event only heightens that appeal. An absolute feast of tasty, fresh seafood is on the menu along with regional wine, beer, and spirits. It’s coupled with myriad activities that include cooking demonstrations, sailing, and a sand-castle comp. Get there!

Nearby park: BIG4 Apollo Bay.

Seafood lovers are in for a treat at Apollo Bay in mid-February. Credit: Apollo Bay Seafood Festival.

Australian cultural festivals

Parkes Elvis Festival, NSW

When: January.

Turning 30 in 2023, this is the king of summer events. The festival is timed to coincide with Elvis Presley’s birthday and is jam-packed with activities in Parkes and surrounds that celebrate a global icon. These including tribute acts, art exhibitions, markets, a street parade, dedicated kids’ activities, and plenty else. It’s an extravaganza you Can't Help Falling in Love with.

Nearby park: BIG4 Forbes.

The Parkes Elvis Festival is the king of summer events. Credit: Parkes Elvis Festival.

Sydney Festival, NSW

When: January.

Following Sydney’s famed New Year’s Eve celebrations, the revelry continues throughout January thanks to this humming event. Sydney Festival incorporates a mammoth selection of diverse, enthralling, and action-packed artistic shows that gifts the city a sustained party atmosphere. Free and ticketed events are on a bill that showcases world-famous musicians, performers, comedians, and other artists across various venues.

Nearby parks: NRMA Sydney LakesideIngenia Nepean RiverIngenia Holidays Avina or Ingenia Holidays Sydney Hills.

After the famed fireworks fizzle out, Sydney Festival soon roars to life. Credit: Destination NSW.

Country Music Festival Tamworth, NSW

When: January.

Tamworth is at its toe-tapping best when Australia’s largest music festival takes centre stage. The gig is regarded as one of the premier events of its kind on the planet and there’s a distinct buzz throughout the city during this time. The amazing talents of Australian country music artists are celebrated across a flurry of free and ticketed shows. Carnival rides, markets, and dedicated family activities amplify the festival’s immense attraction.

Nearby park: BIG4 Paradise Tamworth or City Lights Holiday Park.

Toe-tapping Tamworth. Credit: Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Perth Festival, WA

When: February-March.

Australia’s longest-running arts festival – it began in 1953 – creates a weeks-long party atmosphere throughout the WA capital. It features a first-rate lineup of creative events in and around the city with broad appeal across music, film, performance, visual arts, literature, and the like. There’s an emphasis on outdoor events, which pair perfectly with Perth’s usually agreeable weather at this time. Björk is a notable headliner in 2023, booked in for an Australian-exclusive, four-show appearance.

Nearby park: BIG4 Perth.

Perth dazzles at festival time. Credit: Perth Festival.

Mona Foma, TAS

When: February

First held in 2009, Mona Foma is recognised as one of the state’s leading music and arts festivals. It has a habit of delivering an eclectic bill, which is curated by the event’s artistic director, former Violent Femmes’ bassist, Brian Ritchie. A mix of prominent and emerging artists from all over the globe are set to perform at various boutique spaces across Tassie’s two biggest cities. Bon Iver, Pavement, and Peaches are among the headline acts named for the 2023 edition.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Launceston or BIG4 Hobart.

Mona Foma has loads of attraction. Credit: Jarrad Seng.

Adelaide Fringe, SA

When: February-March.

One of the state’s premier annual gigs, Adelaide Fringe kickstarts the city’s ‘Mad March’ celebrations a little early. It has enjoyed astronomical growth since its inception in 1960 and is now the world's second-largest annual arts festival behind Edinburgh. There’s a mountain of events to enjoy across genres that include comedy, theatre, cabaret, music, visual arts, and plenty else. The event extends to regional locations.

Nearby park: BIG4 West Beach or Marion Holiday Park.

Adelaide Fringe lights up the SA capital. Credit: Luminarium Daedalum.

Australian sporting festivals

Tour Down Under, Adelaide and surrounds, SA

When: January.

First staged in 1999, this event quickly cemented its reputation as Australia’s premier cycling race and forms part of the UCI World Tour. It also shows off the majestic, varied scenery of Adelaide and its surrounding regions, including the Barossa, Fleurieu Peninsula, and the Adelaide Hills. It’s fun, the atmosphere is vibrant, and there are plenty of opportunities to witness and admire the feats of a host of the world’s best cyclists – both men and women.

Nearby parks: BIG4 West Beach or elsewhere in SA.

Get on your bike and get to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under. Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission.

Australian Open tennis, Melbourne, VIC

When: January.

As one of only four Grand Slams on the international tennis calendar, Australia is fortunate to host this world-class spectacle. Held on the doorstep of Melbourne’s CBD, the Australian Open provides easy access to the best men’s and women’s tennis players across the globe for two thrilling weeks. It’s coupled with a stellar line-up of first-rate musical acts.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Melbourne or BIG4 Dandenong.

Smashing success: The Australian Open.

Festival Of Sails, Geelong, VIC

When: January.

Geelong’s beautiful waterfront is abuzz for a time-honoured spectacle that bursts with excitement and colour. The feature is the Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race; it’s billed as the southern hemisphere’s oldest sporting event, with a history dating to 1844. On dry land, there’s entertainment aplenty, including a multitude of musical acts and dedicated kids’ activities.

Nearby parks: Tasman Holiday Parks - Geelong, BIG4 Bellarine or BIG4 Ingenia Queenscliff.

Festival of Sails includes the southern hemisphere’s oldest sporting event. Credit: Salty Dingo.

Gold Coast Open, Burleigh Point, QLD

When: February.

The best men’s and women’s surfers on the planet are set to converge on this celebrated spot and do battle in the prestigious World Surf League qualifying series event. Burleigh Point provides a wonderful amphitheatre-like setting for spectators to witness the action, which is coupled with musical entertainment, cinema experiences, and more.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Gold Coast or NRMA Treasure Island.

Burleigh makes an epic setting for a world-class surfing event. Credit: Surfing Queensland.

Noosa Summer Swim, Noosa Heads, QLD

When: February.

This renowned ocean plunge is a must for keen swimmers, located in one of the most iconic destinations for Queensland holidays. For two days, Noosa Main Beach comes alive and is the setting for various distance races that attract variable competitors from the casual to the professional – including Olympic champions.

Nearby park: Ingenia NoosaIngenia Holidays Noosa North or Noosa North Shore Retreat.

Crowd favourite. Noosa Summer Swim. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Busselton Jetty Swim, WA

When: February.

Established in 1996, the open-water swim has grown from a fledgling event attracting dozens of competitors to an annual favourite that draws in thousands. The main event is a 3.6km swim that traces the city’s famed jetty, held on the designated Sunday morning. It’s joined by other smaller swims, a Saturday evening concert, and beach games, ensuring the buzzing atmosphere flows all weekend.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Breeze – Busselton, RAC BusseltonMandalay Holiday Resort or BIG4 Taunton Farm Margaret River.

The Busselton Jetty Swim has become an annual favourite. Credit: Abby Murray Photography.

All dates are correct at time of publishing. Isn’t it time you had a festive break? Book your next BIG4 escape now.

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