The Roaring 20s Festival and All That Jazz
6 – 28 February, Blue Mountains
The Roaring 20s Festival and All That Jazz is a three-week program of events celebrating the Art Deco history of the Blue Mountains and the decadence, architecture and jazz music of the 1920s at venues throughout the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region. It begins with the Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge and Long Lunch at the magnificently restored Hydro Majestic Hotel, and continues with a dizzying round of costumed balls, high teas, historical walks, fashion parades, outrageous dancing and jazz events.
Deniliquin Fishing Classic
19 - 21 February, Deniliquin
The Deniliquin Fishing Classic is an annual fishing competition held on the Edward River at Deniliquin in the Murray Region of New South Wales. The competition is a catch and release, environmentally friendly event with over $70,000 in prizes. The event has been run by a not-for-profit club with the assistance of over 100 community volunteers for almost 20 years. The event allows fishing from the bank, from boat and, in 2016 for the first time, there will be a section for anglers on fishing kayaks.
The Riverboats Music Festival
19 - 21 February, Echuca-Moama
The Riverboats Music Festival is the Murray River’s leading contemporary music event. Staged at the Aquatic Reserve in Echuca-Moama on the third weekend of February, the Riverboats Music Festival attracts over 11,000 people to the central Murray region for three days of world-class entertainment across a range of musical genres.
‘Big Husky’ Triathlon Festival
19 – 21 February, Huskisson
The ‘Big Husky’ Triathlon Festival is three-day event that is a signature Australian sporting festival. Held annually in the town of Huskisson on Jervis Bay, the festival attracts international and interstate athletes and their families, friends and supporters. The festival engages local residents and provides thousands of dollars in donations to the many sporting, charity and community groups that provide over 1,000 volunteers to conduct the festival.
Cobargo Folk Festival
26 – 28 February, Cobargo
The Folk Festival is a three-day acoustic music festival held on the last weekend of February in the rolling green hills of the beautiful Bega Valley. The festival’s program of music, dance and performance arts celebrates its unique location in the 19th century historic village of Cobargo, between Gulaga and Mumbulla Mountains, sites of great cultural significance to the indigenous Yuin people of the region. In 2016, the festival will mark its 21st anniversary with some 70 folk, country blues, bluegrass and roots acts from Australia and overseas, across seven stages.
Crookwell Potato Festival
4 – 6 March, Crookwell
The Crookwell Potato Festival celebrates the 150-year relationship between the district and the humble spud. The festival, held over three days, includes a wide range of events suitable for all ages and tastes, including demonstration cooking from local chefs, potato farm tours, potato craft, potato games and more.
Wollongong Triathlon Festival
5 – 6 March, Wollongong
The Wollongong Triathlon offers racing for all ages and abilities in the stunning blue mile of Wollongong City. Elite men’s and women’s races will be conducted on Saturday afternoon and more than 1,500 age group athletes are expected to compete in the Age Group Standard Distance National Championship on Sunday morning. The Wollongong Triathlon is an incredible spectacle for both the residents and community of the city and the thousands of visiting athletes and spectators.
Lambing Flat Chinese Festival
19 March, Young
The Lambing Flat Chinese Festival is an annual cultural event held in Young. The festival aligns itself with Harmony Day, the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Lambing Flat Chinese Festival is a celebration of Australian multiculturalism and, in particular, a celebration of the Chinese contribution to the town of Young and to Australia as a nation.
Australian Longboard Surfing Open
23 — 27 March, Kingscliff
The Australian Longboard Surfing Open is the premier longboard surfing event in Australia. The five-day, family-friendly festival encompasses world qualifying professional men’s and women’s events, professional stand-up paddle events, amateur all-ages events and a festival that promotes healthy, active living and includes music, art, vintage cars, film, market stalls and Indigenous workshops.
Bathurst Motor Festival
25 — 27 March, Bathurst
The Bathurst Motor Festival is held annually over the Easter long weekend, the traditional date for motor racing at Mount Panorama dating back to 1938. The inaugural event was held in 2011 and was conceived to provide race categories across the nation with the opportunity to compete at Australia’s traditional home of motorsport. In 2016, the inaugural Bathurst 6 Hour race for production cars will debut at the event, drawing competitors from across Australia, along with New Zealand.
Sculpture at Scenic World
8 April — 8 May, Katoomba
Sculpture at Scenic World is the premier regional arts event in the Blue Mountains region and the biggest regional sculpture and installation prize in Australia. Held at the one of the region’s leading tourist attractions, in 2016 Sculpture at Scenic World will expand to include more of Katoomba, extending from the rainforest floor exhibition to exhibits at the prestigious Carrington Hotel and the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery. Almost 20,000 visitors to Scenic World will view the exhibition during April and May with the event attracting nearly 10,000 new visitors to the Blue Mountains region.
Orange F.O.O.D Week
8 – 17 April, Orange
The Shires of Orange, Cabonne and Blayney nestled in the heart of Central NSW are known as ‘The Food Basket’ of NSW and each year Orange F.O.O.D. Week celebrates this fact. The festival is held over 10 days during April and seeks to showcase the region’s exceptional local produce along with the producers, chefs, caterers and cooks behind it all.
Canowindra Balloon Challenge
9 - 14 April, Canowindra
Held in April annually, the Canowindra Balloon Challenge (CBC) is an international competition in the rural setting of Canowindra offering competitors the chance to win significant prizes and trophies. All competitors and crews have the opportunity to work under and with world recognised ballooning directors and officials to gain invaluable skills in readiness for other international competitions. In addition to the balloon racing, Canowindra celebrates with night markets, trivia nights, barefoot bowls, entertainment and the public highlight, the Balloon Glow and Night Market.
Byron Spirit Festival
15 – 17 April, Byron Bay & Mullumbimby
The Byron Spirit Festival brings together leading teachers and practitioners of yoga, dance, nutrition, health, Indigenous culture and conscious music from around Australia and abroad. The festival format encompasses workshops for both children and adults and evening concerts featuring cutting edge artists in world and sacred music. There is a free community area open to the public with a kids space, stalls and food as well as a stage featuring concerts, talks and panels.
Boggabri Drovers Campfire Weekend
20 – 25 April, Boggabri
The Boggabri Drovers Campfire Weekend is held in the town also known as the “little town with a big heart”. Established in 2006 the event has grown from attracting 27 vehicles, 12 tents and 57 people at the first event, to 502 vehicles and 1,255 people in 2014. Featuring traditional country events and activities such as Billy Boiling, Damper Making and craft workshops, the Boggabri Drovers Campfire Weekend creates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere that has contributed to its growing reputation.
Kidgeeridge Music Festival
22 – 23 April, Kidgeeridge
Kidgeeridge Music Festival is a privately funded boutique music festival that features some of Australia’s finest country, blues, rock and rockabilly artists on the South Coast of NSW. The event prides itself on benefitting its local community by raising funds for charitable organisations and local community groups. Since the first event in 2006, the event has donated more than $150,000. By sourcing the best musicians from Australia and around the world, the Kidgeeridge Music Festival provides an exciting weekend of entertainment in a welcoming and diverse atmosphere.
11 – 15 May, Katoomba
A spectacularly iconic and much-loved running festival, featuring simultaneous 50 km and 100 km ultramarathons run through the Blue Mountains National Park, the North Face 100 has been the most anticipated trail run in Australia each year with its 2,000 entries selling out in just a matter of days. Now staged out of Katoomba’s famed Scenic World, in 2016 the event will become part of the Ultra Trail World Tour and is being renamed Ultra-Trail Australia which will bring the event an even broader global reputation.
Batlow Cider Fest
20 — 21 May, Batlow
Batlow is a small town in the South West Slopes region of New South Wales. It is well known for its apples supplying both the Australian and export markets. The Batlow Cider Fest focuses on providing a stimulus for the town and with its annual conference looks at ways of value adding to our major product, the apple, and to farm gate enterprises.
Eurobodalla River of Art
20 – 29 May, Durras Lake & Tilba Tilba
The Eurobodalla River of Art is a vibrant annual 10-day festival presented on the South Coast of NSW between Durras Lake and Tilba Tilba. The festival champions visual arts exhibitions, an art prize, live performance, community gatherings, presentation of innovative new works and workshop opportunities by a range of local and visiting artists. Eurobodalla River of Art unites the community through the arts and in turn profiles the vibrant community life, creative practitioners, environment and destination of the Eurobodalla.
10 - 13 June, Perisher
This festival coincides with the opening of the winter ski season. With over 40 blues and roots bands and 150 acts from early to late, the festival is an opportunity for visitors to enjoy music from many different genres over four days in the unique atmosphere of Australia’s most beautiful snow country. The festival is family-friendly with workshops and performances available for children.
Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival
1 – 3 July, Ballina
Ballina’s premier food event, the Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival showcases the best produce, products, restaurants and culinary expertise the region has to offer along with premium wines, craft beer, cider and spirits. Celebrating its seventh year in 2016, the event, run by the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond, has expanded to three days and presents gala dinners, gourmet bus tours and a large food and wine market.
Snow Time in the Garden
2 – 17 July, Pokolbin
Snow Time in the Gardens offers a taste of winter magic in the Hunter Valley. With themed activities such as ice skating, tobogganing, snowball throwing, mechanical snowboarding, virtual skiing, husky racing and ice sculpting there is something for the entire family to enjoy in the delightful setting of the Hunter Valley Gardens.
Bangalow Music Festival
12 – 14 August, Bangalow
The Bangalow Music Festival (BMF) was founded in 2002 by Paul Dean and the Southern Cross Soloists. Boasting the highest acclaimed classical chamber musicians from around the world, the BMF attracts a returning audience from around Australia and overseas for a weekend of exceptional music making, all in the centre of Bangalow. Nine concerts, a community-driven Festival Prelude, and educational events for local schools are presented over the span of four days. Each concert encompasses diverse programs of classical, contemporary, and much sought-after traditions of chamber music, performed by the world’s leading artists.
28 August, Dubbo
The Dubbo Stampede running festival is emerging as a signature event for Dubbo, indeed for Inland NSW. Taronga Western Plains Zoo is an anchor attraction for the region and the Dubbo Stampede leverages from this NSW iconic visitor attraction to deliver a unique running experience capturing the atmosphere and wonderful surrounds of Taronga Western Plains Zoo and the adjacent Macquarie River. The Running festival includes a 5.5 km Dingo Dash, 10 km Cheetah Chase and 21.1 km Zebra Zoom. The event is a major cross regional, family and community well-being experience which showcases some of the great things about Dubbo and what the region has to offer.
Coffs Harbour Running Festival
4 September, Coffs Harbour
The Coffs Harbour Running Festival is a community event for people of all ages and abilities and consists of a 21.1 km half Marathon, 10 km Fun Run, 5 km Fun Run and a 3 km Family Fun Run/Walk. Held on a bush trail on the Coffs Creek Walkway, the flat, shady course is ideal for runners and walkers. The picturesque track hugs the beautiful Coffs Creek and competitors run over floating boardwalks, through swamp forests of mangrove, casuarina and paperbark trees from the centre of town to the coast and back, passing the popular and iconic Dolphin Marine Magic, Regional Botanic Garden and Park Beach.
24 September – 1 October, Woolgoolga
Curryfest is a celebration of Woolgoolga’s unique Punjabi heritage. The main festival day will be preceeded by a series of events over the April school holidays. Curryfest day itself involves over 100 food and market stalls featuring curries from all over the world as well as other multicultural food. The entertainment program includes Punjabi dancers and Indian music as well as other modern entertainment.
30 September – 31 October, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Leeton & Junee
Taste Riverina offers a menu of fabulous food events throughout October each year. Visitors to the festival will sample, celebrate, learn about and become advocates for food produced across the Riverina. Numerous events are held at various locations in the region, from large city centres such as Wagga Wagga and Griffith, regional towns such as Leeton, Junee and Deniliquin, and through to small villages such as Ariah Park and Barellan. The Festival encourages the participation of all council areas and benefits the visitor economy across the region.
Murrumbateman Moving Feast
1 – 2 October, Murrumbateman
The Murrumbateman Moving Feast (MMF) is a festival of food and wine that aims to showcase the region’s wineries, cafes and B&Bs. The event encourages visitors to take their time and rove between participating venues to sample signature dishes and a range of savoury and sweet tasting plates. Murrumbateman is a sub-district of the Canberra wine district, and the Moving Feast has, since 2006, promoted Murrumbateman and the surrounding district as a notable tourist destination.
Barellan Working Clydesdales and Heavy Horses Good Old Days Weekend
1 — 2 October, Barellan
The Barellan Working Clydesdales and Heavy Horses “Good Old Days” Weekend is held annually over the October long weekend at the Barellan Showgrounds. The event offers two days of competitions, demonstrations and displays of working horses and farming methods used in years past. This unique event showcases Clydesdale horses as “Gentle Giants” and enriches patrons of all generations with an educational and engaging rural heritage experience.
Real Juice Company Citrus Sculptures
9 – 22 October, Griffith
The Griffith Citrus Sculptures are one of the most unique outdoor exhibitions in Australia with appeal to all ages. More than 60 large 3D citrus sculptures line Griffith’s main street creating a magnificent gateway to the CBD. Made using 100,000 oranges, 100,000 rubber bands and an army of 700 volunteers, the exhibition is an expression of the town’s wonderful community spirit. The sculptures, which include a giant guitar, grand piano, kangaroo, owl and a chook, reflect the cultural and agricultural character of the region in a fun and engaging way. The display is lit at night to extend viewing and is on display for two weeks every October.
Wingham Akoostik Festival
14 — 16 October, Wingham
The Wingham Akoostik Festival is now recognised as one of the Mid-North Coast’s most vibrant community-based events. The annual celebration of music, culture and community is held over three days every October, and brings together musical performers, creative artists, local businesses and producers, volunteers, school students, regional media, tourists and locals alongside some of Australia’s biggest musical icons for a family-friendly weekend of entertainment and cultural experiences in the historic and picturesque regional village of Wingham in the Manning Valley.
Orange Wine Festival
14 – 30 October, Orange
The Orange Wine Festival is an annual festival celebrating the high altitude, cool climate wines of the Orange Region. The festival acts as an umbrella for over 100 individual activities made up of several key signature events and a host of smaller experiences staged over the 19 days. From a wine and food tasting for 12, right through to the Wine Festival Night Markets, which sees anything upwards of 5,000 in attendance, the Orange Wine Festival has grown in both size and stature each year of its staging.
Tastings on Hastings
28 – 30 October, Port Macquarie
Tastings on Hastings is a huge outdoor festival held throughout Port Macquarie town centre and along the riverfront foreshore over a weekend in late October. The event celebrates the passion, creativity, bounty and variety of the farmers, vignerons, brewers, restaurants, entertainers and artists of the Hastings River region. Products are featured through Farmers and Makers Markets, cooking demonstrations, licensed areas and at restaurants where visitors can graze to their heart’s content.
Sculpture in the Vineyards
29 October - 26 November, Wollombi
Sculpture in the Vineyards is a month-long festival where sculptures are displayed in the vineyards of the Wollombi Valley and the town of historic Wollombi Village. Amongst the sculptures, the festival also includes a number of events to attract visitors to the region including workshops, tours, food and wine fair to name a few.
Tastes at the Bay Festival
5 – 6 November, Port Stephens
Tastes at the Bay is a gourmet food, wine and boutique beer festival. Enjoy samples of gourmet foods, take a class with a cellar master and learn about the wines that you enjoy. Tastes at the Bay Festival features a range of jazz and blues music in the delightful seaside venue of d’Albora Marinas and the Nelson Bay Foreshore and adjacent Apex Park. There’s face painting, amusements, roving entertainment and kids classes as well master cooking classes hosted by chefs from local restaurants.
Carcoar Cup Running Festival
5 — 6 November, Carcoar & Neville
The Carcoar Cup Running Festival was developed to bring runners and visitors from all over Australia and overseas to the Carcoar region and showcase its beauty. The run course has been described as one of the toughest and most beautiful in Australia. In 2014 the event staged an Ultra Marathon over 60 kms, a Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Teams event, the 6 km Carcoar to Creek Dash, a Carcoar Cup for kids in the Under 12, Under 10, Under 8 and Under 6 age groups, and the Mile Long Club charity run.