18 hot Queensland events to get you through winter
Winter in Queensland isn’t just about snuggling indoors, binge-watching Netflix, and finally getting to wear that scarf from the back of the closet. There are a tonne of exciting events happening around the state that’ll make you forget it actually dipped below 20°C.
From an event that combines jumpers and yarnbombing to a music festival on a massive sand dune in the middle of the outback, there’s more than enough action to keep you going until the temps start rising again.
Mary Poppins Festival in the Park: 23 June – 2 July 2017
Grab your umbrellas and head to Maryborough to celebrate everyone’s favourite nanny. Mary Poppins’ author, P.L. Travers, was born in Maryborough in 1899 so in homage to her heart-warming tale, the annual event includes nanny races, chimney sweep challenges, sidewalk art and street theatre.
Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum: 23 June 2017 – 28 January 2018
Hotter than Gerard Butler in 300 is this Australian exclusive coming to Brisbane’s Queensland Museum. Running until the start of 2018, the international touring exhibition Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum will feature more than 120 artifacts, interactive games, and displays to reveal who gladiators were, where they lived and how they trained.
QPAC International Series – The Royal Ballet: 29 June – 9 July 2017
Exclusive to Brisbane, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) will host the crème de la crème of the dance world when The Royal Ballet comes to town to showcase not one, but two highly acclaimed works.
Both The Winter’s Tale and Woolf Works performances will be making their Australian premiere as part of the QPAC International Series, an annual presentation of some of the world’s finest performing arts companies focused on dance and classical music.
Cape York Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival: 30 June – 2 July 2017
It’s the biggest biennial Aboriginal festival in Queensland, and if you truly want to immerse yourself in the culture and rich history of Australia’s Indigenous people, this is the event for you.
Over three magical days, you’ll witness the passing on of culture across the generations as over 20 communities and up to 1,000 performers from across the state come together to showcase the strength, pride and uniqueness of Aboriginal people.
(Psst, heading to the festival via Cairns? We’ve got an epic 5-day road trip itinerary that’ll get you there with a few pit stops along the way.)
Good Food Month: July
What does heaven look like for foodies in Queensland? A month-long celebration of everything tasty, served up (or poured) for your enjoyment in quaint alleyways, bustling markets and suave restaurants.
Gold Coast Airport Marathon: 1-2 July 2017
Pitted as Australia’s premier road race – and the first marathon in the country to hold an IAAF Road Race Gold Label – it’s hard to beat this course based on pure scenery alone. They say if you want to post your personal best, the flat, fast course which hugs the Gold Coast’s beaches is the place to do it.
Birdsville Big Red Bash: 4-6 July 2017
Located on the edge of the Simpson Desert in Outback Queensland, this epic sand dune gave birth to its bucket list namesake event, the Big Red Bash, where travellers can experience the thrill of a rock concert under one of the biggest star-studded skies in the world (and you really haven’t lived until you’ve seen an Outback sunset from the peak of Big Red.)
Virgin Australia Supercars Townsville 400: 7-9 July 2017
This is three days in which you’ll rock ‘n’ race, watching the powerful V8s fly through Reid Park on specially constructed roads, which form 70% of the circuit, before rolling on over to watch two of Australia’s greatest rock legends – Jimmy Barnes and James Reyne – jam out.
Viva Surfers Paradise: 7-16 July 2017
Shake, rattle and roll your way to the Gold Coast as Surfers Paradise pays tribute to the world’s greatest music legends over ten days.
Expect the likes of Elvis, Roy Orbison, The Beatles, and Johnny Cash during the eclectic (and FREE) music fest, plus rock and roll dance classes, vintage stalls and a gospel service. This is one weekend which puts the gold back into the Gold Coast.
Abbey Medieval Festival: 8-9 July
If Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones had a baby, it would be the fantasy-filled Abbey Medieval Festival in Caboolture, where you’ll enjoy historical re-enactments, cheer jousting and falconry, gorge on sizzling meats and fine mead, and leave with the taste of history on your lips.
Highlights include a Medieval Banquet, authentic medieval costumes, gypsy dancing and Turkish oil wrestling that even Tyrion Lannister would be a fan of.
Cairns Indigenous Art Fair: 14-16 July 2017
Celebrating the diversity of Tropical North Queensland‘s Indigenous culture, this colourful art fair and market allows visitors the chance to attend and buy the latest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island art from across the sunshine state.
From fashion shows and dance performances to film screenings and conversations with acclaimed Indigenous actors and artists, the choc-a-block three-day program will leave you feeling humbled and inspired.
Jumpers and Jazz in July: 20-30 July 2017
You’ve all heard of photo bombing, but what about yarn bombing?
At this quirky winter festival in Warwick, you’ll find they have a way with wool, turning it into creative art forms around the city. There are tonnes of jazz performances, hands-on workshops, artist talks and the opportunity for visitors to knit their own tree creation! It’s the quirkiest thing since Phoebe was on Friends.
Broadbeach Country Music Festival: 28-30 July 2017
Never was there a more appropriate time to don cowboy boots and an Akubra on the Gold Coast than during the Broadbeach Country Music Festival. Round up your mates for three huge days and nights of FREE entertainment, headlined by iconic US band America and featuring some of Australia’s own top guns including Casey Chambers, Troy Cassar-Daley, and Shane Nicholson.
Australian Festival of Chamber Music: 28 July – 5 August 2017
Townsville sets the stage for this euphonious 9-day festival in which musicians appear in a program of 30 concerts set in the tropical warmth of North Queensland. The festival holds performances in Queens Gardens, along The Strand, in enchanting cathedrals, even on Orpheus Island, complemented by signature food and wine events.
Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing: 10-17 August 2017
The action takes place around the breathtaking islands of the Whitsunday Passage, and if you need more than jaw-dropping scenery to keep you going, there’s also plenty of activities and entertainment to keep both spectators and sailors entertained.
Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo: 11-13 August 2017
It’s pure poetry in motion where the romance of the Australian Outback meets the grit of a mining town; east meets west, and man meets beast. There’ll be plenty to do during the Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo, including country music acts, the Isa Street Party, markets, and a sideshow alley to ensure there’s never a dull moment in Mount Isa during this jam-packed long weekend.
Royal Queensland Show (Ekka): 11-20 August 2017
Regarded as one of Queensland’s most iconic and beloved events, the Royal Queensland Show (or ‘Ekka’ as it’s colloquially known) runs for ten days each August when the bush comes to Brisbane. There’s music, agriculture, arts, fashion, bars, wood chopping, sideshow alley and of course, the show’s famous strawberry ice-creams.
Gympie Music Muster: 24-27 August 2017
You don’t even have to be a fan of country music to enjoy the Gympie Music Muster as there’s something for everyone here! Set on over 50 acres in Amamoor Creek State Forest Park, this is one of Australia’s largest outdoor music festivals, showcasing everything from folk, bluegrass, balladeers, the gospel, blues and bush poetry.