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Australia's Favourite Autumn and Winter Festivals

24 Mar 2022

Sad about the end of summer? Don’t be!

Autumn and winter are when some of the best festivals in Australia come to life. Whether it's food and wine, music, the arts, or the Australian outback, there’s a festival to enjoy wherever you are!

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Check out this shortlist of some of our favourites and don’t forget to plan a place to stay - festivals like these are always more popular than you think, so get in early and book!

THE BEST AUTUMN AND WINTER FESTIVALS IN NSW

Byron Bay Bluesfest - Byron Bay

When: Easter Long Weekend

Where to stay:

Discovery Parks - Byron Bay

Discovery Parks - BallinaBest autumn festivals in australia bluesfest byron bay @byronbaybluesfest

Since entertaining 6,000 in its first year in 1990, Bluesfest now attracts over 100,000 music fans to Byron Bay every Easter Long Weekend. 

In 2010, Bluesfest moved to its permanent home, the community event site at the spectacular 300 acre Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, just 11km north of Byron Bay.

In 2022, with travel restrictions still impacting international artists, Bluesfest is laying claim to being the greatest gathering of Australian artists in the history of Australian music!

Check out the full line up here!

Vivid - Sydney

When: May 27 - June 18

Where to stay: 

Discovery Parks - Lane CoveBest autumn festivals in australia vivid sydney

Credit: @_danieltran_

This annual city-wide event never fails to capture the hearts and imaginations of Sydney-siders.

Divided into three categories; Light, Music and Ideas, the festival will celebrate its 12th year in 2022, fusing art, innovation and technology with boundary-pushing artists, thinkers and musicians from all over the world.

In 2022, Vivid Sydney promises to 'dive deep into our souls and explore what defines the character of great cities, what makes them tick, what makes them unique, what makes them catalysts for change?

Check out what's new in 2022 here!

Merimbula Jazz Festival - Merimbula

When: June 10-13

Where to stay:

Discovery Parks - Pambula Beach

Discovery Parks - EdenBest autumn festivals in australia jazz festival merimbula

Every Queen's Birthday weekend Merimbula becomes a home away from home for some of the best jazz musicians in the world and this year returns to celebrate its belated 40th anniversary!

Beginning with a simple gig in 1981, the Festival has grown to be one of the biggest and most popular in Australia with more than a hundred bands playing a wide variety of jazz over four days across a number of venues. Features of the weekend are the Jazz Street Parade and Concert, Saturday night Jazz Quest and the late-night jam session which has the town rocking until well into the wee hours.

Read the entertaining story of the events full history here! 

THE BEST AUTUMN AND WINTER FESTIVALS IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY 

Parrtjima Festival of Light - Alice Springs

When: April 8-17

Where to stay:

Discovery Parks - Alice SpringsBest autumn festivals in australia parrtjima

The only Aboriginal light festival of its kind in the world, Parrtjima is an extraordinary celebration of First Nations art and culture.

Returning to the Red Centre in 2022, this year's program features some of Australia’s top Aboriginal artists, performers and cultural experts. Under the theme of ‘Sky Country’, the entire program of events will focus on our place in the universe and the relationship Aboriginal people have with the environment. With interactive light installations, music, dance, art, film, food and more on the agenda, head to Alice Springs to find your place in the spiritual heart of Australia.

Check out the program of events, workshops and screenings here

Darwin Festival - Darwin

When: August 4 - 21

Where to stay:

Discovery Parks - DarwinBest autumn festivals in australia darwin festival

Credit: @darwinfestival

There’s no better time to be in the tropical Top End than during Darwin Festival each August, where a fabulous festival wonderland awaits you.

Balmy nights under twinkling Festival lights provide the perfect backdrop to an unforgettable dry season, the Top End’s tropical winter. Combining the quintessential spirit and energy of Darwin with warm outdoor festivities and a vibrant program of events, join in the fun of hot August nights and start planning your 2022 Northern Territory adventure now.

THE BEST AUTUMN AND WINTER FESTIVALS IN TASMANIA

Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival - Launceston

When: April 29 - May 8

Where to stay:

Discovery Parks - HadspenBest autumn festivals in australia bofa launceston

A peak cultural event in Tasmania’s beautiful northeast, the 'BOFA' Film Festival is a celebration of fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to screen-based storytelling with the aim of inspiring positive change!

This year will celebrate Launceston’s title as the newest UNESCO City of Gastronomy and Wotif’s 2022 Best Town to Visit in Australia! Watch films on food and wine in the award-winning Harvest Farmers Market, take part in a half day conference about the UNESCO award, or indulge your arty senses in the nearby Tamar Valley.

Check out the latest updates here!

Dark Mofo - Hobart

When: June 8 - 22

Where to stay:

Discovery Parks - HobartBest autumn festivals in australia dark mofo hobart

Credit: @dark_mofo

Dark Mofo is Mona’s annual midwinter festival in Tasmania, and delves into centuries-old winter solstice rituals.

Since its inception in 2013, Dark Mofo has explored the links between ancient and contemporary mythology, humans and nature, religious and secular traditions, darkness and light, birth, death and renewal. Based around the southern hemisphere’s winter solstice, every year this festival celebrates the dark through large-scale public art, music, fire, food, light and noise.

Signature events include the delectable Winter Feast on Hobart’s waterfront and the colourful community celebration of the Ogoh-Ogoh parade and burning.

THE BEST AUTUMN AND WINTER FESTIVALS IN VICTORIA

Melbourne International Comedy Festival - Melbourne

When: March 30 - April 24

Where to stay:

Discovery Parks - MelbourneBest autumn festivals in australia melbourne comedy festival

Credit: @onthegags

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the three largest comedy festivals in the world, alongside Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival.

The festival takes over Australia's comedy capital, Melbourne, each autumn with an enormous program of stand-up comedy, cabaret, theatre, street performance, film, television, radio and visual arts.

Check out the full 2022 schedule here!

Bright Autumn Festival - Bright

When: April 22 - May 1

Where to stay: 

Discovery Parks - BrightBest autumn festivals in australia bright victoria

Credit: @rachm073

The Bright Autumn Festival is a ten day celebration of the wonderful autumn colours and autumn produce of the valleys of Victoria’s Alpine High Country.

Running since 1962 when Bright celebrated its centenary, the festival is one of the oldest continuously running festivals in Australia. The Art Exhibition has become well known and is the largest exhibition at the Bright Art Gallery. The Gala Day Parade continues to be one of the highlights of the festival.

Check out the festival program here.

THE BEST AUTUMN AND WINTER FESTIVALS IN SA  

Tasting Australia - SA

When: April 29 - May 8

Where to stay: 

DISCOVERY HAHNDORF RESORT

DISCOVERY PARKS - BAROSSA VALLEYBest autumn festivals in australia tasting australia adelaide

Tasting Australia is a showcase of all things South Australian: the people, the produce and the place.

Each autumn this festival presents deliciously different experiences to fuel food lovers curiosity. Indulgent lunches with friends, boutique beverages served fireside in Town Square and menus created by world-class chefs are just the start. Beginning in 1997, Tasting Australia continues to deliver innovative events and the informal excellence South Australians do so well.

Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend - Clare

When: May 13 - 15

Where to stay:

DISCOVERY PARKS - CLARE VALLEYBest autumn festivals in australia clare valley

Australia’s longest-running wine and food festival is now approaching 40 years young and continues to deliver weekends packed with distinctively different winery experiences.

Chart your own journey through the Valley’s bushland and vineyards, or link up with any one of a number of constantly revolving bus routes, and drop by your favourite wineries as the region’s winemakers celebrate the end of vintage in style - with great food, great music and their very best wines.

Check out the full list of gourmet events here! 

THE BEST AUTUMN AND WINTER FESTIVALS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Margaret River Pro - Margaret River

When: April 24 - May 4

Where to stay:

Discovery Parks - BusseltonBest autumn festivals in australia margaret river pro

Credit: World Surf League

Affectionately known as ‘Margies’, the Margaret River Pro takes its place on the prestigious World Surf League (WSL) World Championship Tour (WCT), and is contested by the world’s best surfers.

Spectators can watch all the action live and FREE at Surfers Point, with the bulk of the competition taking place on Main Break, South Side and The Box. The whole event has a unique festival vibe, with big screens showing replays, expert commentary, food trucks and merchandise stands.

Wild Freo - Fremantle WA

When: April 16 - 18

Where to stay: 

Discovery Parks - Rottnest Island

Discovery Parks - Coogee Beach

Discovery Parks - Woodman PointBest autumn festivals in australia fremantle

Fremantle International Street Arts Festival started as a celebration of Fremantle’s local busking culture in 1999 and has grown into a showcase of the world’s best street theatre. The Street Arts Festival is based on mass crowds and the world’s best artists performing in Fremantle's streets.

In 2022, audiences are invited to venture into heritage spaces, parklands and streets will be transformed into animal sanctuaries, where they will experience encounters with a blue fin whale, take a breath with an endangered species, or be transported by bird song across the city.

Check out the program here!

THE BEST AUTUMN AND WINTER FESTIVALS IN QUEENSLAND

Mount Isa Cup, Mount Isa Race Club - Mount Isa

When: June 4 and various Saturdays throughout the year!

Where to stay: 

Discovery Parks - Mount IsaBest autumn festivals in australia mount isa

With race meets held throughout the year, The Mount Isa Races are a great weekend event to have a flutter, get dressed up and watch the outback come alive.

The Mount Isa Race Club has a strong racing heritage spanning over 60 years and boasts an impressive history. What better excuse to get out, explore the heart of Queensland and have some fun at a race day of your choice!

Keep up to date with the clubs events on their Facebook page.

Undara Outback Rock n Roll Blues - Undara

When: ANZAC Day Long weekend

Where to stay:

The Undara Experience

The Undara Outback Rock and Blues is an amazing weekend of music and mates in one of North Queensland’s most unique locations – Undara Experience.

Three separate shows over three days make Undara one of the most magical places to be on the ANZAC Day long weekend. The ANZAC Day Dawn Service is hauntingly beautiful and an experience you will never forget.

In 2022, the ANZAC day Public Holiday falls on a Monday, so you don’t have to rush back home on Sunday for work!

Keep up to date on the festival here.

Great Barrier Reef Festival - Airlie Beach

When: August 4 - 7

Where to stay:

Discovery Parks - Airlie BeachBest autumn festivals in australia airlie beach festival

The Great Barrier Reef Festival is held in the vibrant coastal town of Airlie Beach, and is a celebration of the Whitsundays’ lifestyle and the communities who make it their home.

The four day festival is a combination of family fun, community events, live music, food, fireworks and is one of the biggest parties in North Queensland! The festival also places an emphasis on education around the environment and the incredible natural wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef.

Keep up to date with the festival on their Facebook page.

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