Huskisson Long Course Triathlon Festival
16 – 18 February 2018, Jervis Bay
The Huskisson Long Course Triathlon Festival is a 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
2 – 4 March 2018, Cobargo
The Cobargo Folk Festival is a three day acoustic music festival held on the first weekend of March 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 historic 19th century heritage-listed village of Cobargo, between the Gulaga and Mumbulla Mountains, on a site of great cultural significance to the indigenous Yuin people of the region. In 2018, the festival will mark its 23rd anniversary with some 70 folk, country blues, bluegrass and roots acts from Australia and overseas, across seven stages.
Girrakool Blues Festival and BBQ
2 – 4 March 2018, Kariong
The 3rd Girrakool Blues Festival & BBQ is a cultural, music & barbeque event held annually at Mt Penang Event Park on the Central Coast of NSW. The event attracts around 3,000 people with international, Australian and local Blues acts and an Australasian BBQ Alliance barbeque competition, all in a New Orleans-themed festival under a big top tent. The festival also features a muscle car exhibition, specialty market stalls, interactive art installations and, during the breaks, a roaming Festival Band. Aboriginal culture will feature heavily throughout the event through Aboriginal musicians, women’s activities and traditional ovens on Sunday.
3 – 4 March 2018, Coffs Harbour
The Coffs Tri is a weekend of Triathlon events for ages six and over in the beautiful coastal city of Coffs Harbour. Events include the Coffs Kids Tri - Aquathons and Triathlons for children aged 6 - 14; an Enticer Triathlon (375m swim/10km cycle/2.5km run) and the Standard Distance Triathlon (1.5km swim/40km cycle/10km run) open to individuals and teams. Triathlon Australia has named the 2018 Coffs Tri Standard Distance Race as a National Qualifying Race and an Age Group ITU World Championship Qualifying Race.
Minerama Fossicking Gem & Jewellery Show
9 – 11 March 2018, Glen Innes
The Minerama Fossicking Gem and Jewellery Show is NSW’s largest annual fossicking, gem and jewellery show, attracting visitors, fossickers and dealers from all over Australia. The event is conducted over four days in March each year, in the Northern Tablelands gem fields town of Glen Innes. More than 100 stall holders mount a colourful display, exhibiting a range of gemstones, jewellery, facet rough, lapidary tools and supplies, crystals, beads, fossils, mineral specimens, arts and crafts. The event also features gem cutting and beading displays, advice from gemologists, dealers, lapidaries and jewellers and a range of hosted and self-drive fossicking tours into the gem fields with instruction from local fossickers. In 2018, Minerama will expand to include a bigger partnership with University of New England which will house expanded educational sessions and specialised displays.
Eat the Street
10 March 2018, Lismore
Eat the Street is a one-day food, arts and music event held in the heart of Lismore’s Central Business District (CBD). The event promotes Lismore as a desirable location for business and pleasure and as a vibrant meeting place for locals and visitors. In 2017 the event attracted 21,000 event patrons, sold over 1,200 plates of food and was recognised by Lismore City Council as an event of regional significance contributing $966,000 to the local Lismore economy. The event has created significant exposure for Lismore with more than 50 articles and features locally and nationally.
Seasons of New England
24 March 2018, Uralla
Seasons of New England is a showcase and celebration of New England through its makers, creators, producers and musicians. A fully licensed event held in a picturesque cricket oval in a small and quintessentially New England country town, it offers a rare and unique opportunity to discover an entire region. The food, wine, craft beer, boutique spirits, cider, art, garments, wool and woollen products and a huge range of artisan products available at the event are all made in the New England region by New England based businesses using as much New England product as possible. In this way the growing number of travellers to the event get a genuine taste and sample of the region.
Newcastle Writers Festival
6 – 8 April 2018, Newcastle
Book lovers hungry to tap into the hearts and minds of their favourite Australian writers will be inspired by the diverse mix of writers who participate in the Newcastle Writers Festival, which is celebrating its 6th anniversary in April 2018. From the best contemporary crime writing and high voltage Aussie rock’n’roll history to award-winning poetry, ethical dilemmas, and politics, the Newcastle Writers Festival celebrates Australia’s most respected writers and shines a spotlight on local literary talent. As well as sessions for adults, there is an inspiring children’s program that attracts up to 1,700 primary school students from throughout the Hunter Region.
Sculpture at Scenic World
13 April – 13 May, Katoomba
Sculpture at Scenic World is the premier regional arts event in the Blue Mountains region and the richest regional prize for sculpture in Australia. Held at the one of the region’s leading tourist attractions, Sculptures at Scenic World now extends from the rainforest floor to exhibits at partner venues in Katoomba. The event offers nature of unsurpassed beauty, heritage, culture and arts in a perfect blend.
Byron Spirit Festival
20 – 22 April 2018, 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.
Canowindra Balloon Challenge
21 – 29 April 2018, Canowindra
Held annually in April, the Canowindra Balloon Challenge 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 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 trivia nights, barefoot bowls, entertainment and the public highlight, the Balloon Glow and Night Market.
Boggabri Drovers Campfire
27 – 29 April 2018, 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 almost 400 vehicles in 2017. 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.
The Kiama International Seaside Arts Festival
27 – 29 April 2018, Kiama
The KISS Arts Festival takes place on the last weekend in April, at Kiama’s Black Beach. A free comedy, circus and international street theatre festival, KISS is also a place for local artists and arts based groups to showcase performance, art and workshop activities and to celebrate their involvement in the community. The ethos of the festival is to create a playground for all age groups to enjoy, laugh, explore and create together. In 2017 KISS hosted around 50 free shows with an audience of almost 7,000. The KISS Arts Festival is growing in international recognition evidenced by over 200 applications seeking inclusion in this year’s event.
Trundle ABBA Festival
4 – 5 May 2018, Trundle
The Trundle ABBA Festival is Australia’s only dedicated ABBA Festival. This family-friendly event features the internationally acclaimed ABBA tribute band, Bjorn Again, a dancing workshop and disco dancing competition, a talent quest at the local hotel, the popular “I do, I do, I do” Vow Renewal Ceremony and the renowned Fashions of the Festival competition, open to all willing to show off their ABBA outfits on the catwalk. Famous for one of the widest main streets in Australia, Trundle hosts vintage clothing stalls, craft and food stalls and an attempt to break the world record for the most people dancing to ‘Dancing Queen’.
Narooma Oyster Festival
5 May 2018, Narooma
The Narooma Oyster Festival celebrates south coast oysters and their growers, the region’s natural produce, its chefs, and its rich artistic and cultural talents. The event has a reputation as Australia’s premier oyster/seafood festival. The program includes a family fireworks display across the waters of Wagonga Inlet and the Naturally Gourmet Fair where people can feast on delicious oysters from the eight south coast estuaries of NSW’s Oyster Coast and examples of the region’s exceptional seafood, wine, dairy and organic produce. The Fair also features cooking demonstrations, live music, the hotly contested oyster opening competition, oyster opening classes and much more.
River of Art
17 – 20 May 2018, various towns from South Durras to Wallaga Lake
River of Art is a vibrant ten day festival presented in the towns of the Eurobadalla between South Durras and Wallaga Lake. The festival champions regional talents and innovative works by curating exhibitions, open studios, live performances, community gatherings and an annual art prize. Both local and visiting art enthusiasts travel the shire to explore new skills and workshop experiences, and engage in an inspiring program of creative opportunities.
17 – 20 May 2018, Katoomba
A spectacularly iconic and much-loved running festival, featuring simultaneous 50km and 100km ultramarathons run through the Blue Mountains National Park, Ultra Trail Australia 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 became part of the Ultra Trail World Tour bringing even broader global profile.
Murwillumbah Art Trail
18 – 27 May 2018, Murwillumbah
The annual Murwillumbah Art Trail transforms the township into a series of pop-up art galleries and event venues encompassing art, workshops, performance, fashion, theatre, sculpture, film, and food, revitalising public space by taking over the empty shops in the community. The 2018 event will feature a contingent of artists from Quebec, a collaboration with local high schools and registered training institutions on an iMAT18 media project and will embrace the Indigenous Kinship festival. The Murwillumbah Art Trail now extends to two weekends, encouraging longer stays and putting the region on the map as a desirable cultural destination.
19 May 2018, Batlow
Batlow is well known for its apples, supplying both the Australian and export markets. The Batlow Ciderfest celebrates the town’s primary product and its uses, as well as the other local products of the region. It allows visitors to enjoy mountain fresh air, spectacular scenery and a friendly village atmosphere. The festival features street stalls, cider tasting, live entertainment and local gourmet food, plus many other activities and includes a Cider Industry Conference that attracts leading members of the Australian cider industry.
Casino Beef Week
19 – 29 May 2018, Casino
The annual 11-day Casino Beef Week festival is the nation’s longest volunteer-run event, with a unique focus on community and experiencing the rural Australian beef industry. Located in Casino, Northern NSW, it is one of the region’s most popular festivals with more than 30,000 people attending annually. Celebrating its 36th anniversary in 2018, Beef Week is an energetic, vibrant festival, boasting more than 100 events. The event program includes markets, street parades, the Rural Ladies High Tea, Beef Week rodeo, Beef Week Cup Horse Racing, the Beef Meets Reef day at Evans Head, the famous free Breakfast with the Butchers and much more. On the main Saturday, the country comes to town, with a led steer and stud cattle competition in the main street, followed by a live auction.
SeeChange Jervis Bay Arts Festival
26 May – 11 June 2018, Jervis Bay
SeeChange 2018 will be the 10th Jervis Bay Arts Festival. Over 3 weekends and 2 weeks this dynamic cultural event will celebrate the idea of ‘Shared Pathways’, a theme inspired by the history of The Wool Road from Nerriga to Jervis Bay. The festival offers a rich program of cultural experiences with the three weekends packaged and promoted as different creative getaways to attract visitors to stay one or more nights in the area. Visitors can enjoy the dusk opening ceremony; sample the best local cuisine; share indigenous cultural activities; or nourish the mind through the festival’s blending of visual art, poetry, music, plays, film, photography, and creative workshops.
Ballina Food and Wine Festival
29 June – 1 July 2018, Ballina
A two-day festival showcasing the best produce, products, restaurants and culinary expertise the Ballina region has to offer, along with premium wines, craft beers, cider and spirits. A Friday night Gala Dinner featuring degustation style food designed and prepared by Ballina RSL Executive Chef Blake Seymour complemented by stunning wines and craft beers will be followed by the main festival on Sunday at the Ballina Jockey Club where visitors can sample from more than 70 culinary, cottage and wine/beer/cider exhibitors, and take part in wine and beer appreciation sessions and cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs.
Fleece to Fashion Awards
7 July 2018, Armidale
The Fleece to Fashion Awards (formerly the Australian Wool Fashion Awards) is a fashion competition based in Armidale at the heart of what is widely considered to be the premier superfine wool growing area of the world. The Awards were designed to showcase the many uses of Merino wool and educate young student designers about the unique and superior qualities of wool, which they are encouraged to use in their entries. The event generates many visitors to the region, being high profile judges, entrants and families, media, woolgrowers, sponsors, business houses, fashion industry personnel, school and tertiary students staff and families all staying in Armidale for a minimum of two nights. The Awards culminate in a black tie gala presentation night where awards are presented across a range of categories to successful entrants. Hundreds attend the gala night featuring a fashion parade to rival the best parades in the world.
Bathurst Winter Festival
7 – 22 July 2018, Bathurst
The Bathurst Winter Festival is a two week event embracing the distinct seasonality of the region and celebrating the cultural heritage of Australia’s oldest European inland settlement. Held in Bathurst CBD, the festival includes illuminated heritage buildings, an outdoor ice rink, a giant Ferris wheel, food and wine experiences and twilight markets that allow visitors to embrace winter and have outdoor fun in the architecturally beautiful town square.
Skullcandy Oz Grom Open
13 – 18 July 2018, Lennox Head
The Skullcandy Oz Grom Open is a junior surfing competition now considered one of the best junior events in the world. Held annually in early July at Lennox Head’s 7 Mile Beach, the event is run like a World Tour event complete with judging tower, five man judging panel, computerised judging system, athletes area and live webcast giving competitors an insight into life as a pro surfer. Competitors and their families come from all over the world for the six day event which injects hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy.
Love Seafood – Port Stephens
1 – 31 August 2018, Nelson Bay
From prawns to fish and lobsters to oysters - the mouth-watering range of Port Stephens’ seafood is unique. A fantastic asset, the quality of the seafood is celebrated at the annual Love Seafood. First held in August 2016, the event included fish to dish lunch specials at over fifteen Port Stephens restaurants; two signature event weekends aimed at both families and foodies; industry educational talks; and activities such as dedicated seafood cruises and marine displays. The 2018 event will again include a calendar of activities that will enhance Port Stephens’ position as the number one destination for fresh local seafood in NSW.
Bangalow Music Festival
9 – 12 August 2018, Bangalow
The Bangalow Music Festival, presented by the Southern Cross Soloists (SXS), is an international-standard chamber music festival that presents the highest calibre of professional musicians from across the world, many of whom do not perform in Australia outside of the festival context, to Australian audiences. The festival premieres new and innovative Australian works; promotes interactive educational programs for students and emerging artists; and offers local amateur and professional musicians the opportunity to perform at the Festival Prelude Community Concert. The Bangalow Music Festival plays a vital role in cultural life of the region, particularly for the township itself - the range of venues available in Bangalow not only affords audiences and artists a unique festival experience, but also strengthens community involvement.
Dubbo Stampede Running Festival
26 August 2018, Dubbo
The Dubbo Stampede Running Festival is a signature event for Dubbo. Taronga Western Plains Zoo is an anchor feature for the region and the Dubbo Stampede leverages 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.
Sample Food Festival
1 September 2018, Bangalow
Sample Food Festival is a four day event that celebrates the creativity and wellbeing of northern NSW. It taps into the market’s desire for connection to farmers and foods inspired by the natural sub-tropical bounty of the rainforest, farms, rivers and sea. The event has extended from a one day fair to four days which will include winemakers dinners, farm gate tours, gourmet farmers markets, festival days and food and beverage matching dinners. The food and the food-related lifestyle are the touchstone of the quintessential northern NSW.
Write Around the Murray
5 – 9 September 2018, Albury
Write Around the Murray is an annual celebration of reading, writing, illustration and storytelling. Activities include a festival dinner, literary lunch, workshops, author talks, panel sessions, short story competitions, children’s activities and a wood-fired oven event by the Murray River. Write Around the Murray is the only exclusively literary based festival in the region, with events taking place in and around the architecturally stunning and award-winning Albury Library Museum and nearby venues.
Broken Heel Festival
7 – 9 September 2018, Broken Hill
Hosted at the colourful Palace Hotel, Silverton & the Silver City of Broken Hill the Broken Heel Festival features the authentic locations from the iconic film ‘The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert’. Over three days visitors can expect stunning drag performances from around the nation and a crafted list of entertainers bringing cabaret, comedy, opera and live music. The bus from the million dollar stage show ‘Priscilla’ will be displayed and there might even be a chance to meet some of the cast from the movie.
Flavours of Mudgee
22 September 2018, Mudgee
Flavours of Mudgee is a free community street festival event which brings together local stallholders and their regional wine, food, and produce. The event brings the CBD alive as crowds gather to have dinner in the street and taste the flavours of Mudgee. Established in 2012, the event has grown to become one of the flagship events held annually in the Mudgee region. It provides local wine and food producers the opportunity to showcase their products and increase their brand awareness while increasing visitation and providing a huge economic boost to the region.
29 September 2018, Woolgoolga
Curryfest is a celebration of Woolgoolga’s unique Punjabi heritage. The event features a week of community events culminating in the Curryfest Market Day which takes over the main street of town and features more than 100 food and market stalls offering 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.
Murrumbateman Moving Feast
29 – 30 September 2018, 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.
Gears and Beers Festival
30 September 2018, Wagga Wagga
The Gears and Beers Festival is dedicated to bikes and a cycling culture that involves coffee, craft brewing and fine food. The event offers cycling routes of, 9km, 30km, 50km, 105km and 130km allowing entrants to choose their level of participation. The rides showcase the Riverina at its very best just as the Canola is flowering bright yellow and the wheat is at its most vibrant green. The cycling concludes at the Craft Beer and Cider Festival, set amongst the beautiful Victory Memorial Gardens in the middle of Wagga Wagga city centre.
Moruya’s Granite Town Music Festival
5 – 6 October 2018, Moruya
Granite Town, a boutique music festival known for its funky vibe, laid back atmosphere and quality line ups, delivers one of the most vibrant, charismatic and exciting two-day music festivals in regional Australia. Featuring a main stage and buskers stage, the festival unites leading mainstream musicians alongside the cream of the region’s local talent. Granite Town offers nearby beachside camping and is an all-ages event. Visitors are invited to get back to the simple pleasures and reconnect with live music.
Warbirds Down Under
12 – 13 October 2018, Temora
In October 2018 the fourth Warbirds Downunder event will take place at Temora Aviation Museum. This event brings together the largest collection of warbirds for a two-day celebration of Australian Aviation history and engages a broad spectrum of visitors from across the country seeking to relive some of that history through the flying displays of some of the rarest aircraft in the world. The 2018 event will encompass both an evening airshow on Friday 12 October, and a full airshow program on Saturday 13 October.
Riverlights Multicultural Festival
13 October 2018, Maitland
The Riverlights Multicultural Festival is a celebration of Maitland and the Hunter region’s cultural diversity. Held annually in Maitland since 2012, Riverlights is establishing itself as Maitland and the Hunter’s iconic multicultural festival. The Levee, Central Maitland and banks of the Hunter River are transformed into a giant global village that feature cultural performances including dance, music and fashion parades on the world and Riverlights stages; traditional cooking classes in the Global Kitchen; Cultural Villages and the Language Lounge. The event also features live entertainment, a night food market, children’s craft workshops, fire shows and a spectacular parade and lantern flotilla which sees hundreds of lanterns made by local schools launched into the Hunter River as the sun sets.
18 – 28 October 2018, Dubbo
The Dubbo Regional Entertainment Arts and Music (DREAM) Festival is a community festival that presents a program of entertainment, theatre, dance, visual arts, music and outdoor events from local and professional groups and artists. It is inclusive, embraces many facets of the arts and celebrates the region. Over the past seven years, Events Dubbo Inc has worked with the community to develop a vibrant and sustainable festival that enhances the cultural profile of the region and maximises the economic, social and cultural benefits to the city.
Wingham Akoostik Festival
19 – 21 October 2018, 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.
Grafton Jacaranda Festival
27 October – 4 November 2018, Grafton
The Grafton Jacaranda Festival has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of the Clarence Valley since 1934. Each year in late October, the festival celebrates the annual blossoming of the magnificent Jacaranda trees, embraces community engagement and promotes an idyllic lifestyle in regional NSW through a nine-day program of events that include colourful street parades, markets, cultural events and handicraft displays.
2 - 3 November 2018, Penrith
REAL Festival is an interactive festival of fun and discovery on the Nepean River, Penrith. Held annually, this festival attracted thousands of people in its first two years. Inspired by the pristine natural setting and backdrop of the Blue Mountains, the Nepean River is transformed into a playground of unique experiences and exciting hands-on activities through a free program of River, Environment, Arts and Lifestyle (REAL) activities that engage, entertain and educate in creative and enjoyable ways including a range of delicious food, live musical performances, non-stop entertainment, workshops, and art and cultural experiences.
Carcoar Cup Running Festival
3 - 4 November 2018, Carcoar
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 2017 the event staged an Ultra Marathon over 60kms, a marathon, half marathon and marathon teams event, the 6km Carcoar to Creek Dash, a Carcoar Cup for Kids in the Under 12, Under 10, Under 8 and Under 6 age groups, and 10km run and walk events.
The Mullum Music Festival
15 - 18 November 2018, Mullumbimby
The Mullum Music Festival is one of Australia’s leading boutique music festivals, having established a unique place in the hearts and minds of music lovers from all over the country and internationally. The event is a four day family friendly music festival that showcases local, national and international music as well as showcasing the regional town of Mullumbimby on the north coast of NSW. The event has presented some of the most exciting emerging and career artists from Australia, UK, USA, Ireland, Jamaica, Canada, New Zealand, West Guinea, Africa, Mali and many more nations. The beauty of the event is its community charm and ability to combine local with national and international artists, offering exposure to a wider audience.
TBC December 2018, Berry
Fairgrounds is a two day music and cultural festival held annually during the shoulder season in Berry, NSW. Fairgrounds offers a weekend-long getaway in a beautiful regional destination, providing a daily attendance of 6,000 people with world-class music and the best local food providers and artisans. Since 2015, Fairgrounds has hosted many quality artists such as Rodriguez, Angel Olson, Sarah Blasko, The Tallest Man On Earth, Father John Misty and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
*Please note that events and dates are subject to change and conditions such as ticketing fees. Please check relevant event websites for details.