SPORT LEISURE AND OTHER ACTIVITIES

Hot date. Sizzling summer events in Australia

Light the way: Field of Light in Albany, WA is simply spectacular Credit: Lee Griffith Photography courtesy City of Albany

Australia shines in summer.

A raft of sensational summer events are held across the country, from vibrant food and wine festivals to dazzling sporting and cultural celebrations.

If you’re looking for things to do in the warmer months, we have your 2018-19 calendar sorted.

This selection of upcoming festivals and events is your ticket to summer fun.

Mona Foma - now in Launceston, TAS - is certainly distinctive Credit: MONA/Jesse Hunniford

Australian food and wine festivals


The Taste of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS (28 December-3 January)


Now entering its thirtieth year, Taste is one of the best summer festivals in Australia. Tasmania reliably shines brightest at this time, and crowds flock to the vibrant waterfront location of Princes Wharf. Here, the state’s most delectable food and wine is showcased through stallholders and variable fun-filled events. It’s all backed by a host of entertainment, including a dedicated children’s and families’ program.

Book now: BIG4 Hobart Airport Tourist Park.

Some would argue there is no better time to be in Hobart than when Taste hits town Credit: Courtesy The Taste of Tasmania

Crush Festival, Adelaide Hills, SA (25-27 January)

As a first-rate food and wine region, the Adelaide Hills is a feast for the senses. And Crush celebrates it all in style for one long weekend of pure indulgence. Sampling excellent reds and whites from participating wineries is the hero, but there’s so much more to this event. Expect delicious local produce, soulful tunes, excellent art, and an endless succession of sparkling views across a host of venues.

Book now: BIG4 Hahndorf Resort or BIG4 West Beach Parks in Adelaide.

It's just a little Crush: The Adelaide Hills are alive each January for this fun-filled festival Credit: Adelaide Hills Wine Region

Festivale, Launceston, TAS (1-3 February)

The best of Tasmania is on offer at this hit three-day, centrally located summer gig. Gorgeous 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 and comedic acts.

Book now: BIG4 Launceston Holiday Park.

City Park glows when Festivale comes to town. Credit: Rob Burnett

Taste the Limestone Coast Festival, Naracoorte, SA (7-10 February)

The Limestone Coast’s exceptional food and wine offerings take centre stage at this annual fest, but it only tells part of the story. Expect a bevy of activity that includes a quiz night, golf day, open-air movie screening, and horse racing all spread over four fabulous days.

Book now: BIG4 Naracoorte Holiday Park.

Among the Limestone Coast's many palatable riches are wines from the famous Coonawarra region.

Apollo Bay Seafood Festival, VIC (15-17 February)

Summer holidays along the Great Ocean Road have been a tradition for generations. This event only heightens that appeal. Saturday is the major festival day where a feast of tasty, fresh seafood steals the spotlight through a bustling market, pop-up restaurants, and much more in the heart of this picturesque town. Musical acts, a kids’ program, and other entertainment make this event a weekend to savour.

Book now: BIG4 Apollo Bay Pisces Holiday Park.

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

Australian cultural festivals

Sydney Festival, NSW (9-27 January)

Sydney and New Year’s Eve are synonymous but once 2019 is welcomed in, this is the place to be. Sydney Festival incorporates a raft of diverse, enthralling, action-packed artistic shows that give the city a sustained party atmosphere. Free and ticketed events are on a bill that showcases world-famous artists and performers across a cluster of venues. This is undoubtably one of the best things to do in Sydney each summer.

Book now: NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park.

Sydney sparkles throughout January Credit: Jamie Williams

Mona Foma, Launceston, TAS (13-20 January)

Wondering what to do in summer? Head to Mona Foma. This year, the week-long music and arts festival is set to be held in Launceston, on the move from its regular Hobart home. The event’s eclectic bill was curated by Violent Femmes’ Brian Ritchie and features a mix of prominent and obscure artists from across the globe. Mona Foma is quirky, somewhat controversial, and highly memorable.

Book now: BIG4 Launceston Holiday Park.

Violent Femmes’ Brian Ritchie has curated a top-class line-up for Mona Foma. Credit: MONA/Jesse Hunniford

The Field of Light, Albany, WA (current-25 April)

Mt Clarence is currently awash with colour each night thanks to a spectacular art installation that pays tribute to the Anzacs who departed Albany for World War I. Field of Light: Avenue of Honour is the work of UK-based artist Bruce Munro, well known for his iconic Field of Light illumination at Uluru in the NT. The works feature a whopping 16,000 glowing coloured spheres that make for an incredible sight.

Book now: BIG4 Emu Beach Holiday Park or BIG4 Middleton Beach Holiday Park.

Honouring the Anzacs: Field of Light Credit: Mark Pickthall, courtesy of the Bruce Munro Studio

Australian sporting festivals

Festival Of Sails, Geelong, VIC (26-28 January)

Geelong’s beautiful waterfront is abuzz for an annual event that bursts with excitement and colour. On water, the southern hemisphere’s largest keelboat regatta is the feature event, supported by thrilling waterskiing and flyboard shows. On dry land, market stalls, rides, musical and kids’ entertainment, and other activities generate further reason to visit.

Book now: BIG4 Bellarine Holiday Park or BIG4 Beacon Resort.

Smooth sailing: Geelong is a sea of colour for the Festival of Sails Credit: Salty Dingo

Santos Tour Down Under, Adelaide and surrounds, SA (10-20 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 it surrounds, including the Barossa, McLaren Vale, 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.

Book now: BIG4 West Beach Parks or elsewhere in SA.

The Santos Tour Down Under is Australia's best cycling race.

Australian Open tennis, Melbourne, VIC (14-27 January)

As one of only four Grand Slams on the 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 world’s best tennis players for two thrilling weeks, backed by a vibrant ambience and first-rate musical acts. As far as Melbourne events go, this is easily one of its best.

Book now: BIG4 Melbourne Holiday Park or BIG4 Dandenong Tourist Park.

Six-time winner of the Australian Open, Roger Federer, has entertained crowds for years at Melbourne Park.

MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Phillip Island, VIC (22-24 February)

Phillip Island is well-suited to a relaxing summer break, but in late February the atmosphere turns electric as the superbikes roar into town. This season-opening event features the best production bike riders on the globe fighting it out on a spectacularly scenic circuit.

Book now: BIG4 Phillip Island Caravan Park.

Move over, penguins. The superbikes take centre stage on Phillip Island in February Credit: Courtesy Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit

Noosa Summer Swim, Noosa Heads, QLD (2-3 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.

Book now: BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Noosa.

Keen swimmers must tackle the Noosa Summer Swim Credit: www.surfshots.com.au

Have you been to any of these events and have a story to share? Or do you know of a summer event that’s worth shouting about? If so, please leave a comment below.

Isn’t it time you had a festive break? Book your next BIG4 escape now.

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