18 must-do autumn events in Queensland
Sweet, sweet autumn… so much more than just a transitional period between the throes of summer and cooling temperatures of winter.
While you might think it’s a time of year where things start slowing down in prep for hibernation, the fact is in Queensland, the action just keeps on rolling.
Literally, from surfing competitions and mountain bike championships to the lush hills of the countryside where food and wine festivals are filling you up with local (and seasonal) goodness.
So get out your diaries and mark it up with these must-do autumn events.
The Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast: 14-25 March 2017
The opening stop on the World Surf League World Championship Tour, the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro will see some of the world’s best surfers head to the Gold Coast to battle it out on the right-hand point breaks of Snapper Rocks.
If you plan on catching the action (and a few waves while you’re at it), then you’ll want to book your surf-cation ASAP. Here’s a handy guide of Gold Coast accommodation options to get you started.
MTBA National Championships: 16-19 March 2017
Expect a whole lotta dirt and grit going down at this year’s MTBA National Championships, which will mark the first time the MTBA has held the combined Cross-Country Olympic, Downhill and Observed Trials National Championships in South East Queensland.
More than 700 riders from around the country are set to compete over the four-day event, taking place in a new privately-owned venue in the Scenic Rim‘s township of Canungra, 30 minutes from the Gold Coast.
World Science Festival Brisbane: 22-26 March 2017
Slime, bubbles, explosions, oh my!
The World Science Festival returns to Brisbane bigger and better with a huuuuge line-up of activities and informative talks.
We’re talking Q&A’s with Dr Karl, a peek at the world’s biggest and most powerful particle accelerator, and over 40 free immersive events when Street Science! turns South Bank Parklands into the ultimate science playground.
The Australian Surf Life Saving Championships: 25 March – 2 April 2017
When you think of the classic Aussie beach scene, no doubt a flash of red and yellow comes to mind as you picture these beach heroes standing guard over our salty shores.
So do them a solid as you cheer on more than 7000 competitors in the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships at North Kirra Beach on the Gold Coast, as they boat, ski and swim in 451 events testing what they do best: saving lives on the beach.
Felton Food Festival: 26 March 2017
What better way is there to welcome the change of season then by high-tailing it to the countryside to nosh on fresh seasonal produce? (Wine too, obviously.)
At the Felton Food Festival you can do just that and more, with market stalls, farm animals, cooking and gardening demos, celebrity chefs and live music all adding to the country experience.
Better yet, why not make a whole weekend out of it with a local farm tour the day before to learn about the paddock-to-plate process and see how science is changing agriculture.
Myriad: 29-31 March 2017
Calling all techies and entrepreneurial minds!
Designed by some of the minds behind SXSW, SLUSH and PAUSE, expect a world-class program of events, workshops and activities to expand your mind and generate global connections for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and investors.
Julia Creek Dirt n Dust: 7-9 April 2017
Home to one of the toughest triathlons in the country, the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival is so much more than just a chance to ogle or partake in some spandex-clad cardio.
Over three days, the country town swells from a population of 400 into the thousands as people from all over the world flock for a whirlwind outback adventure, which includes bull riding, horse races, bog snorkelling, and Australia’s best *ahem* butt competition. #yeeha
Plan on road tripping your way out west? Check out this itinerary en-route to Julia Creek.
Easter Vintage Festival: 15-17 April 2017
Dedicated to preserving the history of the Darling Downs region, this unique festival aims to pass down age-old crafts and traditional skills from a bygone era.
So as well as battling it out to see who can find the most easter eggs, you’ll also learn how to crack a whip, milk a cow, and even become a blacksmith!
GOLD COAST FILM FESTIVAL: 19-30 APRIL 2017
The Gold Coast Film Festival is the ultimate place to be if you’re a budding filmmaker or movie buff. Take your opportunity to learn from the greats, attend film screenings and fully immerse yourself in one of Australia’s pre-eminent filmmaking locations.
Be sure to check out the QPOW! Movies in the Park at Broadbeach. There’ll be free live shows and movies in Victoria Park, plus you’ll get to meet and greet with ‘Supa-Star’ celebrities and characters from all genres including comic books and fantasy.
GOLDEN MOUNT FESTIVAL: 27 APRIL – 1 MAY 2017
The popular ‘running the cutter’ is a definite highlight of the festival. Teams of six are required to run pub to pub, filling a billy can with beer and drinking. Sounds easy, right?
Derived from the historic tradition of young blokes running beer to the mine site for the workers’ smoko break, this adaptation is definitely a must-see.
Substitute beer for lemonade and the kids have their own ‘running the cutter’ relay race as well.
Townsville MTB Festival: 29 April – 5 May 2017
Put the pedal to the metal – or should we say dirt – at the Townsville MTB Festival.
As well as turning the iconic Castle Hill into a mountain bike playground, this will be the first time the city’s hosted a national MTB championship event!
But no need to just spectate, get the whole family involved with the festival’s Explore Townsville Adventure Rides, which will be hosted around the city and surrounding areas.
CHANNEL SEVEN BRISBANE RACING CARNIVAL: 13 May – 10 June 2017
Get dressed to impress and be trackside at Doomben and Eagle Farm Racecourses to watch some of Queensland’s best horse racing.
Despite the passionate punters and the extravagant fascinators, this event is all about the indulgent experiences. In fact, the food takes centre stage with a decadent winter menu hand-crafted by executive chefs.
Mark your calendar and come along for your opportunity to rub shoulders with some well-known celebrities, while you enjoy all of the glitz and glamour this event has to offer.
Noosa Food and Wine: 18-21 May 2017
Noosa + food + wine.
Is there any better combination in this life?
While the exact details of the festival are still under wraps, foodies can expect a line-up that will include some of the best chefs and winemakers from across Australia showcasing their finest produce and culinary creations over three festival villages – The Junction, The Beach, and for the first time, The Woods.
Keep an eye out for the full program which will be released later this month (and make sure you get in quick because tickets sell out fast).
BLUES ON BROADBEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL: 18-21 MAY 2017
The first announcement of artists includes the likes of Bonnie Tyler, Ian Moss and Cash Savage! By integrating a pop-up style program where artists play in the city’s streets, you’ll be entertained and groovin’ all weekend long.
So don’t expect to see fences around the festival area or stages, it’s a completely open festival for all ages to enjoy.
First Coast Festival: 19-21 May 2017
If you didn’t know street art in Toowoomba was a thing, then prepare to be seriously impressed (and a little blind-sided that such coolness exists out in the country).
Since 2014, the annual First Coat Festival has transformed this garden city into one of the largest outdoor galleries in Australia, and this year they plan to add a whole ‘nother round of colour to their canvas.
Over three days see international, national and local artists take to the streets to leave their mark with large-scale mural paintings, with free side events including art exhibitions, artists talks and live music as the creative cherry on top.
(Psst, plan on making a full weekend out of it? Try this 48-hour itinerary on for size.)
Sudirman Cup: 21-28 May 2017
The world of badminton is so much bigger than just some backyard garden party affair.
This racquet sport means serious business, and for the first time in history they’re bringing their prestigious Sudirman Cup championship tournament to Australia, with more than 1500 competitors from over 30 countries expected to hit the Gold Coast to compete for the coveted 22-carat gold-plated, solid silver trophy.
Port Douglas Carnivale: 26-28 May 2017
Eat. Dance. Play. Repeat.
The Port Douglas Carnivale is the ultimate party in paradise, highlighting the region’s famous tropical lifestyle and local produce (with the added bonus of some colourful local and international performers thrown into the mix).
Although the full program is yet to be released, we know of a few events you’ll definitely want to bookmark: the Family Beach Day at Four Mile Beach, the “Wonders of the Reef” Street Parade, the long and lazy 4-course Paradise on a Plate luncheon, and the Wine and Music Festival.
Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe: 27 May – 3 Sept 2017
Exclusive to Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), this mega exhibition kick-starting in May will bring to life the interconnected Marvel characters (including Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and Black Window) in the first major Marvel-related exhibition to be staged in Australia.
Following the famous heroes from comic book page to cinema screen, the experience extends into GOMA’s Australian Cinémathèque with retrospective screenings of the official Marvel Cinematic Universe of films.