G’Day! Little Bird is heading Down Under today and in honor of this upcoming adventure decided to follow our recent Top 10 Summer Events (In the US) with a similar list of the Top 10 Australian Events. It’s winter there presently so we decided to be a little liberal with the timeframe and include our favorite fetes throughout the year. In my three years of living there I had fortune of attending many of those featured here and I can assure you the events alone are worth the pan-pacific flight!
May 27 – June 18, 2016 (2017 dates TBC)
Vivid Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales
I am so bummed to have just missed VS this year. Innovative light installations and grand-scale projections transform the city and its iconic landmarks into works of ‘light art.’ It’s like the best Disney light parade imaginable x 100 throughout an entire city. As an event planner the production behind it is mind-boggling and the end result truly spectacular.
For more information: vividsydney.com
July 17, 2016
Darwin Beer Can Regatta, Darwin, Northern Territory
Okay, we confess this may not be an internationally recognized event but if you’re going to build a boat from recycled beer cans and then be bold enough to race in said boats it qualifies as a must-attend event in our book.
For more information: beercanregatta.org.au
October 6 – 20, 2016
Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi Beach – Sydney, New South Wales
2016 will mark the 20th year of Sculpture by the Sea in Bondi Beach – the world’s largest public sculpture exhibition. Held on the 2km Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk, sculpture of life-size and giant proportion are scattered throughout the breathtaking landscape. Placement of the sculptures range from captivating and interactive in the middle of Tamarama Beach to mind-boggling precarious perched on a cliffside or floating in the ocean. This exhibit alone is worth planning your travels in October!
For more information: sculpturebythesea.com
Tuesday November 1, 2016
Melbourne Cup, Melbourne, Victoria
You know a horse race is not only extremely prestigious but equally as serious when it constitutes a public holiday for the whole of the state its held in. The main racing event takes place at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria where more than 100,000 people usually attend and is televised live to an audience of about 650 million people worldwide. Almost as important as the race itself is the attire worn for the event and the champagne-laden parties thrown in its honor.
For more information: flemington.com.au/melbourne-cup-carnival
November 18 – 20, 2016
Gourmet Escape, Margaret River, Western Australia
Margaret River has long been on our bucket list so tell me there is a premier culinary festival featuring celebrity chefs, impeccable wine and cuisine and this happens beachside close enough that you can dip your toes in the clear blue waters of Western Australia and you pretty much have me at hello. It’s a fantastic excuse to make sure you don’t forget the western half on your trip to Australia!
For more information: gourmetescape.com.au
January 16 – 29, 2017
Australian Open, Melbourne, Victoria
We Little Birders are huge tennis fans and collectively have been to nearly all the major tournaments. They each have their own special something but for me the Australian Open is the best. First, it kicks off the Grand Slam season so players are pumped and ready to make their mark on a new year. Second, Melbourne Park is in the city. You skip the hour long train rides to the outskirts of town so when the tennis wraps you can enjoy all Melbourne nightlife has to offer!
For more information: ausopen.com
February 2017? (Date TBC)
Tropfest, Sydney, New South Wales
The world’s largest short film festival, Tropfest has played an enormous role in the development of the Australian film industry and advancement of native filmmakers. We adore our film festivals at Little Bird and one of the things we love most about the Tropfest is that filmmakers are required to include a “Tropfest Signature Marker” (TSI) in each of their films. The TSI changes every year which ensures the film is truly created for this festival and this festival alone. And equally unique is the venue – all 16 finalists screen outdoors for a live audience in Centennial Park. For those who can’t make it to Sydney it’s screened live in other outdoor venues throughout Australia and broadcast on national television.
For more information:tropfest.com
Feb 17 – March 19, 2017
Fringe Festival, Adelaide, South Australia
The capital city of south Australia is much smaller than Sydney or Melbourne and oftentimes forgotten on a trip to Australia. However, every year for four weeks, the Adelaide shines when a diverse group of artists from every genre – cabaret, comedy, circus, dance, film, theatre, music, visual art and design – come together to perform at venues throughout the city for what continues to be the world’s second largest annual arts festival.
For more information: adelaidefringe.com.au
March 3 – 12, 2017 (TBC)
Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, Melbourne, Victoria
While there is amazing food throughout Australia, Melbourne is easily the capital of cuisine. This 10-day festival which weaves itself through the city, along the Yarra River, stunning coastlines and world-class vineyards showcases the very best the city has to offer.
For more information: melbournefoodandwine.com.au
March 4, 2017
Mardi Gras, Sydney, New South Wales
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is one of the largest PRIDE parades in the world and hands down the best and most fun we’ve seen. It captures the imagination of both the LGBTQI and mainstream communities and people flock to Sydney from all over the world to participate in several weeks of events that lead up to the parade. Technically costumes are optional but let’s just say if you’ve left yours at home you may want to just stay back with it!
For more information: mardigras.org.au