AUSTRALIAN CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Sydney International Art Series (NSW), 12 November 2010 – 25 March 2012
The second annual Sydney International Art Series will bring two major exhibitions to Australia during 2011-12. Recorders, an exhibition by one of the art world’s rising stars, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will feature at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) from 16 December 2011 to 12 February 2012, while the Art Gallery of NSW will present the biggest Pablo Picasso exhibition to ever come to Australia, from 12 November 2011 to 25 March 2012.
2011-12 Vodafone Test Series – Australia vs India (Around Australia), 26 December 2010 – 28 January 2012
Australia will compete with India over four matches in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide as part of the 2011-12 Vodafone Test Series. The first game will start on Boxing Day (26 December) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, followed by matches in Sydney (3-7 Jan), Perth (13-17 Jan) and Adelaide (24-28 Jan) , including the Australia Day Test Match.
Summernats (ACT), 5-8 January
The annual Summernats is more than a car show; it’s a festival of the street machine lifestyle. The event attracts enthusiasts from Australia and overseas to see, feel and participate. Exhibition Park offers the opportunity to cruise the kilometres of roadways, and stretch performance to the maximum in the outrageous Burnout and Go-Whoa competitions.
Sydney Festival (NSW), 7-29 January
The Sydney Festival is a three week celebration of dance, theatre, visual arts, opera and music from the classics to hip hop. Incorporating events and artists from around the world, as well as the much-heralded outdoor program – including the Domain concerts – the Festival presents the very best international and national performing and visual arts.
Festival of Sails (VIC), Dates TBA
Festival of Sails is Australia’s largest keel boat regatta. First held in 1844, it’s also the oldest sporting event in Victoria. The event attracts up to 450 yachts and more than 4,500 competitors, with thousands of spectators coming along to enjoy the festivities.
Santos Tour Down Under (SA), 15-22 January
The Santos Tour Down Under, staged annually since 1999, brings top professional cycling teams, as seen in the Tour de France, to race on the streets of Adelaide and regional South Australia over six stages. The Santos Tour Down Under is now the first stop in the UCI WorldTour world cycling calendar and the first ever event to be held outside of Europe.
Australian Open – The Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific (VIC), 16 – 29 Jan 2012
For two weeks in January, the eyes of the world zone in on Melbourne Park as the best tennis players on the planet fight it out for one of the biggest Grand Slam(R) titles the sport has to offer – the Australian Open.
Kangaroo Island Gourmet Gallop (SA), 21 January
Journey to one of Australia’s treasures, Kangaroo Island and enjoy a day of great racing combined with a celebration of local produce and wines. The racing showcases a six-race program, so soak up the atmosphere of a country race meeting, then stay a few days visiting the other attractions that the Island is famous for.
Tamworth Country Music Festival (NSW), 20-29 January
The annual Tamworth Country Music Festival is the largest music festival in the southern hemisphere and one of the top 10 in the world. The variety of country music is endless during the festival with more than 2,200 events and 4,000 different performances, plus the CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia.
Chinese New Year (Around Australia), 23 January
Firecrackers, decorated lanterns and silk dragons are also in abundance, as selected Australian cities and regional centres celebrate the most important event on the Chinese calendar. During Chinese New Year in Australia it’s not uncommon to see a lot of people wearing red clothes, exchanging ‘lucky money’ and eating yum cha and noodles with gusto.
Australia Day (Around Australia), 26 January
Australia Day is a time for Australians of all backgrounds to celebrate national unity. It is also a time to appreciate heritage and history; to take an active part in the community and to remember colonial pioneers.
Port Lincoln Tunarama (SA), 26-29 January
Help celebrate Port Lincoln’s infamous Tunarama festival with local seafood, fabulous hospitality and great produce of the region. There are events and activities for all ages, including the famous Tuna Toss.
Tropfest (NSW), 25 February
What began as a short film festival for friends and family at a Sydney café in 1993 has become the world’s biggest short film festival, screened at locations around Australia. A means of exposure for emerging Australian film makers, Tropfest is also a free entertainment experience that has become an iconic part of the Australian summer.
2012 Perth International Arts Festival (WA), 10 February – 3 March
The longest running annual international multi-arts festival in the southern hemisphere, Perth International Arts Festival offers some of the world’s best theatre, music, film, visual arts, literature and free community events. Since 1953, the Festival has welcomed to Perth some of the world’s greatest artists and performers and connects with more than 800,000 people.
Australian Open of Surfing (NSW), 11-19 February
The Australian Open of Surfing is set to transform Sydney’s iconic Manly Beach in February. This global, multifaceted youth and sporting event will showcase the best in surfing, skate, music, fashion and art with an expected spectator audience of 125,000.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival (NSW), 3 March
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is an annual gay pride festival which attracts tourists from around Australia as well as overseas. The festival runs for two weeks with almost one hundred cultural, sporting and social events to appeal to every taste. It culminates in the world-famous Mardi Gras Parade.
Cellar Door Wine Festival (SA) 24 -26 February
Come and discover the best wine, food and regional experiences South Australia has to offer… right in the heart of the city of Adelaide. The2012 Cellar Door Wine Festival will feature 140 wineries from ten of the State’s wine regions. Get on board with wine tastings, master classes, food sampling, a regional farmer’s market food court, live music, Fringe performances and more.
Adelaide Fringe (SA) 24 February – 18 March
The Adelaide Fringe is an annual multi-arts festival, which takes place over three weeks in venues across Adelaide in South Australia. The largest arts event in Australia and only rivalled by the Edinburgh Fringe on a worldwide scale, it is renowned for fresh ideas, risk, imagination, spontaneity and fun. Artists from across the globe participate alongside home-grown talent, in all artforms.
Enlighten (ACT), Dates TBA
Enlighten transforms the stunning foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin into a festive hub with an exciting program of major concerts by international artists and surrounded by spectacular lighting effects canvassed across the vast facades of surrounding national attractions.
Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival (NSW), 24 March – 28 April
The Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival is the premiere racing carnival in Sydney with the feature races of the season taking place at Rosehill Gardens and Royal Randwick. Celebrating world class racing, stunning fashion and fantastic entertainment, the Sydney Carnival also features time-honoured classics such as David Jones Australian Derby Day and AAMI Golden Slipper Day.
Margaret River Wine Festival (WA), Dates TBA
Celebrate vintage as you forage for local produce and sample from more than two hundred wines at the Margaret River Wine Festival. Sit down to a Slow Food Long Table Feast, join the locals at a Street Fiesta, enjoy a day out at the cricket or take part in a wine master class.
Adelaide Festival (SA), 2-18 March
The Adelaide Festival is one of the world’s great arts festivals. Every year, Adelaide becomes the arts and entertainment hub for artists and audiences, with a feast of theatre, film, dance and opera. The Adelaide Festival is host to Writers Week and the South Australian Short Film Awards.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (VIC) 2-21 March
Each year in March, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival unveils a world-class program of more than 250 events, a true expression of Melbourne’s infamous love of food and wine that captures the attention of food lovers in their hundreds of thousands.
WOMADelaide 2012 (SA), 9-12 March
The ‘World of Music, Arts & Dance’ festival was co-founded in the UK by Peter Gabriel and was first presented in Australia as WOMADelaidein 1992. Since then it has gone on to become one of Australia’s favourite outdoor festivals, featuring performances and workshops on seven stages by some of the world’s best musicians, dancers, DJs alongside street theatre and visual artists.
Moomba 2012 (VIC), 9-12 March
Moomba brings Melbourne’s city streets, parks and waterfront to life with three days of free public events during the Victorian Labor Day long weekend. Annual activities include music, dance, sporting activities, and fireworks displays, the magical Moomba Parade, live theatre for children, the much loved Bath Tub Dash and the wacky Birdman Rally.
Clipsal 500 Adelaide (SA), Dates TBA
Full-blooded V8 action hits the city streets, as Adelaide combines Australia’s largest motor sport festival with four nights of concerts, spectacular air displays and non-stop on-track action at the Clipsal 500. Feel the rush as the cars roar by during the day, then party into the night with huge outdoor concerts.
2012 Formula 1 (TM) Australia Grand Prix (VIC) 22 – 25 March
The 2012 Formula 1(TM) Australian Grand Prix offers an action-packed extravaganza of on-track and off-track activities for people of all ages to enjoy, set in the stunning surrounds of Albert Park and offering views of Melbourne’s skyline.
Opera on Sydney Harbour: La Traviata (NSW) 24 March-20 April
Opera on Sydney Harbour: La Traviata, to be presented in Sydney for the first time, is set to feature spectacular sets, beautiful costumes, dazzling lighting and effects, fireworks and a 9-metre chandelier suspended above a purpose-built, shimmering stage on the waters of Sydney Harbour.
2012 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships (QLD) 26 March-1 April
The largest sporting event of its type and uniquely Australian, the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships attract more than 8,000 competitors who contest more than 295 events including board races, swim, Ironman and Ironwoman, beach events and more.
Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (VIC) 28 March-1 April
The renowned Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is celebration of Australian lifestyle and the great outdoors, featuring landscape and floral marvels alongside an extensive array of retail garden products.
Melbourne International Comedy Festival (VIC) 28 March-22 April
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is Australia’s largest cultural comedy event. It celebrates Australia’s comedy acts and introduces international acts to Australian audiences.
Sydney Easter Show (NSW), 5-18 April
The Sydney Easter Show is an iconic showcase of Australian culture, heritage and excellence. It combines innovation, heritage, education and entertainment. Every year The Sydney Royal Easter Show attracts around 900,000 visitors.
Tastes of the Outback (SA), Dates TBA
Delight your tastebuds with a smorgasbord of food and wine-based events during Tastes of the Outback, set against a stunning backdrop in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges. From Jamestown in the south to Innamincka in the north, there’s a lively mix of 12 events to keep everyone entertained.
2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships (VIC) 4-8 April
The 2012 Championships is the final qualifying event in the lead-up to the 2012 London Olympic Games ensuring all fans will witness the best track cycling on offer as cyclists vie for an Olympic berth and a prestigious rainbow jersey.
National Folk Festival (ACT), 5-9 April
For five days Exhibition Park in Canberra dresses up and becomes a magic place, filled with colour and sound for the National Folk Festival. Hundreds of the world’s best musicians perform daily, in a non-stop flow of entertainment – join a workshop to practice and learn dancing, singing and playing.
ANZAC Day (National) 25 April
On ANZAC Day, Australians remember young lives lost and honour those individuals who have served Australia. In small communities, towns and cities people rise early for sombre dawn services. Later that day, veterans, descendants, returned service personnel and others march through the country and city streets to cheering crowds.
XXXX Alice Springs Cup Carnival (NT), 14 April – 7 May
The XXXX Gold Alice Springs Cup Carnival is a five-day race program showcases outback racing at it best and also incorporates a ‘Girl’s Day’, Family Day’, ‘Ladies Day’ and a ‘Young Guns Day’ to ensure plenty of fun, fashion and live racing action.
Tasting Australia (SA) 26 April – 3 May
Tasting Australia showcases the very best the nation has to offer in food, wine, beer, gastronomic discussion, hospitality, travel and lifestyle. Cook up a storm with your favourite celebrity chef, dine in some of the South Australia’s leading venues, or just chill out with a glass of wine (or beer!).
Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster (WA), Dates TBA
The Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster in the East Kimberley features more than 30 varied events across a fun filled 10-day festival, culminating in the Muster’s major draw-card outdoor concert; the now internationally acclaimed ‘Airnorth Kimberley Moon Experience’.
Sydney Writers Festival (NSW) Dates TBA
The Sydney Writers Festival offers a packed events program with something for everyone – from fun children’s workshops to serious literary discussion panels with renowned authors.
Paspaley Beach Polo (WA), 6-13 May
The Paspaley Beach Polo is a free public event featuring professional polo players competing in a round robin competition, held on the picturesque Cable Beach in Broome.
Vivid Sydney featuring Vivid Live (NSW), Dates TBA
Vivid Sydney is an annual festival of light, music and ideas featuring the spectacular illumination of the Sydney Opera House sails.
Noosa Food and Wine Festival (NSW), 17-20 May
Foodies should head north to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast for the Noosa Food and Wine Festival from 17 – 20 May. More than 150 leading chefs, iconic winemakers, high profile food and wine media, restaurateurs and serious foodies are set to take over Noosa for one of Australia’s premier food and wine events.
Sydney Film Festival (NSW), Dates TBA
The Sydney Film Festival is one of the world’s longest running film festivals. The festival presents an annual showcase of films that range from the audacious to the charming.
Picasso to Warhol: Twelve Modern Masters (WA), opens 16 June
More than 100 modern art masterpieces by 12 of the most iconic artists of the 20th century will be on display at the exhibition, Picasso to Warhol: Twelve Modern Masters, at the Art Gallery of WA. Ranging from Picasso to Warhol, the exhibition will also include celebrated works by artists such as Henri Matisse, Marcel Duchamp, Giorgio De Chirico and Jackson Pollock.
Biennale of Sydney (NSW), 27 June – 16 September
The Biennale of Sydney will stage public tours, artist talks, film screenings and host international guest lecturers across Sydney. The fourth oldest biennale in the world, the Biennale of Sydney continues to be recognised for showcasing the freshest and most provocative contemporary art from Australia and around the world.
Gold Coast Airport Marathon (QLD), 30 June – 1 July
The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is an event that motivates and challenges tens of thousands of people of all ages and abilities, featuring a marathon, half marathon, 10km run, community walk and junior dash.
Lions Imparja Camel Cup (QLD), 14 July
The Lions Imparja Camel Cup is a race like no other. Come along to watch the race and have a good laugh (guaranteed that no two races are the same), plus there’s plenty of entertainment and interaction between races, with lots of great local stalls.
Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta (NT), 15 July
The Beer Can Regatta is rapidly becoming a spectacular for visitors to Darwin who line Mindil Beach cheering as the home made boats of cans wallow, flounder and sink. The fleet includes all kinds of boats; sometimes with fire hoses and top secret weaponry.
The Garma Festival (NT), 3-6 August
The Garma Festival is regarded as Australia’s major Indigenous cultural exchange and an opportunity to share knowledge and culture of Indigenous Australia by experiencing a spectacular display of cultural practice and cross cultural learning, a unique line up of entertainment and education.
Darwin Festival (NT), Dates TBA
The Darwin Festival features local and touring performances and events including outdoor concerts, workshops, theatre, dance music, comedy and cabaret, film and visual arts. See Darwin abuzz with performers, artists, locals and visitors enjoying the vibrant and colourful atmosphere.
Kings Park Festival (WA), Dates TBA
Western Australia’s newest annual event, the Kings Park Festival showcases spectacular displays of wildflowers.
The Birdsville Races (QLD), Dates TBA
The annual Birdsville Cup Racing Carnival was first held in 1882 as an event for hack and stock horses with a few local spectators. The world famous Outback carnival now includes a 12-race program and prize money in excess of AUD$110,000.
Floriade (ACT), Dates TBA
The nation’s capital bursts into colour during Floriade, a massive spring festival held when more than one million flowers in bloom. Aussie inventions, celebrities, landscapes, sporting culture and history are all represented in an incredible display.
Brisbane Festival (QLD), Dates TBA
The Brisbane Festival is Brisbane’s annual cultural event featuring more than 70 productions and 400 performances, plus art installations, conversations and talks, bars and other hang-outs, across major festival hubs creating a unique, exciting and special atmosphere in the city.
Oysterfest (SA), Dates TBA
Ceduna shows off its country hospitality during this fabulous fishy festival – from fine fresh seafood and gourmet treats to festivities and concerts.
Crave Sydney International Food Festival (NSW), 1-31 October
The Crave Sydney International Food Festival is a landmark on the Sydney calendar, enhancing and consolidating Sydney’s status as a world-class food city and global dining destination. The event features a month long program of extraordinary food events in unique locations across Sydney and regional NSW.
Melbourne Cup (VIC), 1 November
It’s the horse race that stops the nation. Held each year on the first Tuesday in November, the Melbourne Cup is now more than a horse race; it’s a fashion-fuelled week of celebrations.
Rescue 2012, Life Saving World Championships (SA), 4-18 November
More than 4,000 people from 40 countries will compete across 9 surf lifesaving disciplines in Adelaide at Rescue 2012 - swimming, simulated emergency rescue competition, Ironman/Ironwoman, surf-ski, board, beach sprints, beach flags, surf boats and inflatable rescue boats.
The Solar Eclipse Marathon (QLD), 14 November
Take part this unique sporting event which takes place during a total solar eclipse on the morning of 14 November, 2012. The Solar Eclipse Marathon will start on the Four-Mile Beach as the sun re-emerges from the behind the moon.
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (NSW &TAS), 26 December – 1 January
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has become an icon of Australia’s summer sport, ranking in public interest with such national events as the Melbourne Cup horse race, the Davis Cup tennis and the cricket tests between Australia and England.
New Year’s Eve celebrations around Australia, 31 December
Different, unique and amazing celebrations take place across Australia to welcome in the New Year. Celebrate in a quiet rural town, by the sea, or even on an island in Sydney Harbour to watch a spectacular display of fireworks and fun.