There’s no shortage of things to do in Australia. If anyone knows that, it’s us…
However with such a breadth of things going on around the country, it can sometimes get a little overwhelming to separate the champs from the chumps. You’re busy people, we get it.
To help you out, we have collated a guide of the best-goings-on for the month of February, helping you plan your calendar accordingly. Thank us later.
Bring in the Lunar New Year in the heart of Sydney
The Chinese New Year will be celebrated in style this year, with the Lunar Lanterns exhibition being stationed between the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay and the Rocks.
Follow the 13 larger-than-life lantern animals (signs of the Chinese zodiac) and wind up in the Rocks Lunar Markets for a feast.
With the Sydney Harbour Bridge lit up red, the Darling Harbour dragon boat races and a ‘zodiac roulette’ all in the vicinity, the Lunar New Year leaves you with plenty to explore.
Celebrate the humble tomato at the Tomato Festival
February 15-16, Sydney.
Hosted at the Royal Botanic Garden, this year’s Tomato Festival is celebrating the magic of seeds!
Boasting a tomato taste test, a ‘longest’ lunch, cooking workshops and plenty of tomato-inspired food, drinks, sauces and condiments.
If you are a fan of the humble red fruit, head to the Botanic Gardens for this festival, and if you are a tomato connoisseur take it a step further by entering one of the many tomato competitions to really get involved.
Get your Groove on at Laneway Festival,
February 2, Sydney.
Hosted at an open-air amphitheatre in Rozelle’s Callan Park, Laneway festival champions indie music and, this year in particular, women in music.
With a solid line up of indie rock, pop and R&B/hip-hop, Laneway 2019 boasts names like our very own Ruel and Tones & I.
Head back in time at the Roaring 20s festival,
February 8–29, Blue Mountains.
Running from the Friday the 1st till Sunday the 24th of February, the Roaring 20s and all that Jazz festival is an opportunity to step into your best evening gown and whip out the suspenders.
Hosted at venues across the region including the historic Carrington hotel in Katoomba and Hydro Majestic Hotel in Medlow Bath, the festival will be filled with live jazz performances, 1920s fashion and even a ukulele festival.
Enjoy a harbour sunset with 90s rock tunes at the zoo,
Dates throughout Feb, Sydney.
Twilight at Taronga’s summer concert series is back with another standout line-up. With headliners like Broods, Kasey Chambers, Meg Mac and a comedy gala featuring Kitty Flanagan, Luke McGregor, Randy and The Stevenson Experience, this event is promising a lot and delivering all throughout February.
On-site food trucks and bars complement the performances, and the reduced entry price to the zoo on the day isn’t half-bad either. This years proceeds go to the Wildlife Crisis Appeal.
Hit the waves at the Byron Bay Surf Festival,
February 14-16, Byron Bay.
A festival encapsulating the essence of beach culture, the Byron Bay Surf Festival is all about the waves, the board and the sand.
With 10 events spanning five days including surfing, shaping, art, music, film and yoga, there is something for everyone (even those of us who can’t stand up on a board).
Opening: Mrs Singh
Flinders Lane, Melbourne
We didn’t think it would be possible to squeeze another ounce of cool into Melbourne’s Flinders Lane, but Jessi Singh has somehow found a way.
The internationally acclaimed Chef-Restauranteur – Daughter In Law, Horn Please, Don’t Tell Aunty, Babu Ji NYC, Bibi Ji – is introducing Melburnians to another fabulous lady in his life: Mrs Singh.
The vibrant wine bar boats marbled blue floors, gold accents, monochrome speckled terrazzo among a 65-seater room. Expect a revolving menu of small plates, which heroes Asian flavours and Indian flair.
Watch an independent film in the open air,
February 1, Mornington Peninsula.
The AGL Peninsula Film Festival is one of Victoria’s most iconic film festivals. Featuring independent Aussie films, the festival includes both paid and free events, including a free short film festival held at Rosebud Village Green.
For a great time, pack a rug, a picnic and some pals and seat yourself in front of the giant outdoor screen for this night of shorts.
Get lost in the Summer Night Market,
Every Wednesday in February, Melbourne.
Hosting 60 global street food stalls and festival bars and over 100 fashion, homewares and merchandise stalls, the Queen Vic Market’s Summer Night Market has it all.
Polish off some dumplings from Pierogi Pierogi or chomp on some Italian cannoli from That’s Amore Cheese, as you meander through the stalls.
A novel idea: the Melbourne Book Market,
All February, Melbourne.
Set in the A Shed near the corner of Peel and Victoria streets at Queen Victoria Market, this market is a book lover’s dream.
Sift through the canonical tomes, the romantic novellas and Stephen King thrillers in a warehouse full of pre-loved books.
Bruthen Blues & Arts Festival,
February 14-16, East Gippsland.
A blues festival in the idyllic country town of Bruthen, East Gippsland, this three-day event includes music, workshops, local food and a country market.
Expect great tunes and food, and enjoy a wind-down recovery day on the Sunday, soaking in some of Bruthen’s glorious small-town charm.
Indulge yourself at the annual Ice Cream Festival,
February 12-23, Yarra Valley.
Celebrating the end of summer in style, the Yarra Valley Chocolatier and Ice Creamery hosts a 12-day festival of all things ice-cream.
With 144 flavours to choose from, and 12 new flavours added for every day of the festival, there will be a combination of all-time classics and exotic newbies to try from. Why not try your ice-cream on a pizza? Or in a hot chocolate? Anything goes at the Yarra Valley’s Irresistible Ice Cream Festival.
Fruits of the Yarra Festival,
February 15-16, Yarra Valley.
Held over two days at Rayner’s Orchard, this market showcases the amazing produce of the Yarra. Fresh fruit and veg and flowers, adorn the many stalls, but there are other activities too!
Immerse yourself in farm culture with a tractor ride, learn how to preserve jams like your grandma and seat yourself in the cafe to enjoy a delicious (and locally sourced) feed.
Live on the wild side at the Royal Canberra Show,
February 28-March 1, Exhibition Park Canberra.
In our usually very quiet and organised capital city pops up the action-filled, sugar-fuelled and boisterous Royal Canberra Show.
With carnival rides, fireworks, motocross and a petting zoo, there is something for everyone at this once-a-year event.
Enjoy a beer, a burger and some onion rings as you meander through the stalls and activities, but don’t forget to grab a show bag on your way out.
Celebrate Australia’s diversity at the National Multicultural Festival,
February 21-23, Canberra.
Attracting more than 200,000 people in previous years, the National Multicultural Festival is a lively event that celebrates Australia’s linguistic and cultural diversity.
Over 300 stalls line the streets, serving food from every corner of the world, as performers sing and dance on one of the six stages across the festival, unifying a diverse collective in their unique Australianness.
Release your inner child at Obstasplash,
February 2-3, Tynwald Park, New Norfolk.
For ages 13+, this is a kids’ event tailored to adults: imagine a giant water-based obstacle course, spread across grassland. This is something dreams are made of.
Head over to Tynwald Park to slip, slide and bounce with your pals, but don’t forget to book! Spots fill up fast (understandably).
Explore Tassie food and wine at Festivale,
February 1-2, City Park, Launceston.
Renowned for its food and wine, Tasmania is a hotspot for anyone who considers themselves a fan of fine dining. A highlight of this food culture is the Festivale, held on the first weekend of February, where 75 food stalls line historic City Park in a celebration of Tasmanian cuisine.
With fairy lights hanging from the trees, and Eskimo Joe playing live in the background (on select days), the ambience is perfect for al fresco dining in the park.
Get your sailor’s hat on at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival,
February 5-8, Sullivan’s Cove Hobart.
Seemingly a very niche festival, this is a great way to see, eat and explore the coastal nature of Tassie.
With a large display of wooden boats (naturally), nautical demonstrations, live music and theatre as well as food outlets with a strong seafood theme, this is a lot more than a boat show.
Immerse yourself in the Perth Festival,
February 8 – March 3, Perth.
The Perth Festival program is jam-packed, boasting outdoor cinemas, art exhibitions and live shows. The program truly must be seen to be believed.
Highlights include home grown G Flip, Curated By Kids, Ballet at the quarry and a book club at writer’s week.
Get your connoisseur on at the South West Craft Beer Festival,
February 15, Signal Park – Busselton.
Somewhere between Perth and Margaret River is a small town called Busselton, whose largest claim to fame is hosting a brilliant craft beer festival.
Boasting more than 120 craft beers from 20 local brewers, there is a beer for everyone – if you’re over 18 of course. The best part of this festival is that they have combined beer and gourmet cheeses, steaks and pizza to make sure the best brews don’t go straight to you head.
Dive in for the Rottnest Channel Swim,
February 22, Rottnest Island.
One of Western Australia’s most iconic events is the Rottnest Channel Swim, a 19.7-kilometre open-water event spanning from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island. You can enter this team event, and enjoy the exquisite ocean water off the coast of Australia.
If you’re not a swimmer it is equally acceptable to join the mass of onlookers, as you enjoy a coffee on the beach.
Get involved with the Adelaide Fringe Festival,
February 14- March 15, Adelaide.
The largest arts festival in Australia, and second largest in the world, is the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Every skerrick of Adelaide is immersed in the arts for a magical 31 nights, where you will find comedians in pubs, slam poets on makeshift stages in alleyways and book signings in cafes.
Artists from all over Australia, and the world, head to Adelaide in February to be a part of the Fringe, so really, you should head there too.
Amp it up at the Superloop 500,
February 20-23, Adelaide.
Adrenaline and entertainment ignite in a fantastic fusion for this motorsport event.
Seat yourself in the grandstand as you are deafened by the sound of rumbling engines and screaming fans.
To top it all, three nights of concerts close proceedings – with performances from our very own Vance Joy and Amy Shark on the Friday night, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the Sunday.
Commemorate Goyders day,
February 5, Darwin.
Goyder’s day commemorates the day, in 1869, that Surveyor-General George Woodroffe Goyder arrived in Darwin – and effectively marked the beginning of the City of Darwin.
For this occasion Darwin whips out a physical re-enactment of the event, a wind ensemble and hands-on activities on the Darwin waterfront.
Head to Kakadu to celebrate World Wetlands day,
February 2, Kakadu National Park.
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year to raise awareness around the importance of wetlands for both humans and the planet.
With 7000 square kilometres of wetlands in Kakadu, the Bowali Visitor Centre hosts an event to help you learn all about them. With kids’ activities, a barbecue lunch and a wetlands competition, this is a great day out for the whole family.
Cheers to all things mindfulness at the Healthy Hedonism Festival
Fortitude Valley, Brisbane
For the first time ever, Australians can explore the ideas of mindfuldrinking and sober-curious culture at the Healthy Hedonism Festival.
Following the boom in Aussies opting for a more balanced lifestyle, this festival will feature food and beverage pop-ups, mindfulcocktail and cooking demonstrations, sampling,boutique fitness and wellness classes, beer yoga,and recovery dips in XCargo’s pop-up pool.
Get yourself to the Chinchilla Melon Festival,
February 18-21, Chinchilla.
In tribute to their melon farming heritage, Chinchillians have created potentially Australia’s best festival – the Melon Festival.
You can expect to eat a few melons, ski on a few melons and participate in a melon bungee, among many other things. Boasting a glorious melon street parade, and only being held once every two years, this is an event you need to jump on.
See the best of the best compete in Ocean6,
February 1-2, Surfers Paradise.
Ocean6 is an event of speed, agility and endurance – on the beach.
Watch surf life savers go head to head in this annual event of sportsmanship, across a range of events: paddle board, ski, beach sprint and of course swimming.
The event is free, and offers amazing views of those who have both the capacity and determination to do sports on weekends.
Participate in the Noosa Summer Swim,
February 1-2, Noosa.
If you’re an avid swimmer, have a crack at one of (or all) the events at the Noosa Summer Swim. With long and short races, as well as a social lap, there is room for everyone to participate.
With a great vibe, on a beautiful beach, this summer swim is not to be missed (and the prizes aren’t too bad either).
Admire the Sand Safari Arts Festival,
February 14 – March 1, Surfers Paradise.
With free access to some of the greatest sand sculptures, this is an amazing exhibition of fleeting art. International and local artists create and exhibit their work along a stretch of Surfers Paradise beach, including (in the past) a 10-tonne sculpture and a life-sized pirate ship resting on the beach.
With this festival come the championships, where visitors can watch as the sculptors begin with a block of sand and create masterpieces that later form the centrepiece for the festival.
If you are interested in sand sculpting, why not take on the challenge of a workshop? Or instead meander around the sculptures at night when they are illuminated and interactive.