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 is 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: 29 June – 8 July 2018
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.
Gold Coast Marathon: 30 June – 1 July 2018
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.
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.
Keep the Flame of Culture Burning Festival: 2-7 July 2018
Be entertained by emerging artists, local and regional cultural groups and more importantly taste their traditional foods.
There will be plenty to do and see from cultural workshops, street parades, fireworks display, live music and much more.
Watpac Townsville 400: 6-8 July 2018
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.
Birdsville Big Red Bash: 10-12 July 2018
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.)
VIVA Surfers Paradise: 13-22 July 2018
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: 13-15 July 2018
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: 13-15 July 2018
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: 19-29 July 2018
You’ve all heard of photobombing, but what about yarn bombing?
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.
Noosa Long Weekend Festival’s Noosa alive!: 20-29 July 2018
If performances by some of the best writers, filmmakers, musicians and chefs sound right up your alley, then park yourself at a 13-day cultural festival in one of Australia’s most enviable destinations: Noosa.
Now in its 16th year, Noosa Long Weekend festival was launched by a local group of creative visionaries wanting to blend their passions with the natural environment.
Regional Flavours: 21-22 July 2018
If the way to your heart is through your stomach then plate up at Queensland’s premier free food and wine festival (this is not a joke).
Held in Brisbane’s picturesque South Bank Parklands, Regional Flavours features free entertainment from celebrity chefs and industry experts, delicious food, beer and wine, live music, kid’s activities and more.
Boulia Camel Races: 20-22 July 2018
You’re truly missing out if you haven’t attended the ‘Melbourne Cup of Camel Racing’ in the middle of Outback Queensland.
Take a punt of a camel, watch a yacht race, have a yarn with locals at the local pub and listen to some true blue Aussie music with home-grown entertainers at the Boulia Camel Races.
Australian Festival of Chamber Music: 27 July – 4 August 2018
Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing: 9-16 August 2018
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: 9-12 August 2018
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): 10-19 August 2018
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: 23-26 August 2018
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.
Which events are on your calendar this winter?
This post was originally published in 2017 and updated on 19 April 2018.