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 May, helping you plan your calendar accordingly. Thank us later.
Bridge Lane will be set alight with the sights and sounds of Shanghai this May, when Merivale and The Glenlivet host Shanghai Nights, a dazzling laneway showcase of live entertainment, street-food and cocktails.
Held over two special nights 6 – 7 May, and supported by the City of Sydney, Shanghai Nights will transform the laneway into an aromatic Shanghai experience, injecting colour, vibrant energy, rich flavour and originality into the heart of the city.
Dan Hong’s decadent Chinese flavours will be brought to life across three unique food stalls, matched by bespoke The Glenlivet cocktails and soundtracked live music and DJs.
Sculpture at Scenic World exhibition
Until May 2
Scenic World is a name synonymous with the Blue Mountains, now so more than ever.
Sculpture at Scenic World is Australia’s premier outdoor sculpture exhibition, which transforms one of Australia’s most iconic ancient landscapes into an outdoor gallery.
The rainforest plays host to a range of exhibiting artists who consistently inspire with their creations.
This year, visitors young and old can expect to be wowed by the artistic talents of a range of local, national and international artists. Once that’s over, browse an extensive program of free events including daily guided tours, weekend workshops, kids’ activities and a range of other exhibitions happening about town. Guests can extend their arts trail with Twist n Shout, an array of public artworks presented at multiple venues across the Blue Mountains.
Seal Rocks Adventure Festival
The best thing about rural festivals is obvious, surely? The adventure, hankering community spirit that celebrates an all round good time.
The inaugural Seal Rocks Adventure Festival does all these things, and is the event you’ve been waiting for.
The event is held at the idyllic Treachery Camp, a beachfront campground, at Seal Rocks near Forster just three and a half hours from Sydney.
Soak up the beach and the bush as you work through activities including yoga, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, circus skills, meditation, rock climbing, dance, archery, bush walking and more.
Sydney’s iconic home of fun, Luna Park has opened its first, brand-new family roller-coaster, Little Nipper.
What is sure to be a future family-favourite, Little Nipper is the first of nine new permanent rides joining the Luna Park family in 2021.
One the whole family will love, the vibrant blue Little Nipper rollercoaster offers a side-seat for little ones, enough oomph to give kids a thrill, while leaving parent’s stomachs intact and has found its new home nestled in the north-east corner of the Park.
Ballarat Heritage Festival
Welcome to the 2021 Ballarat Heritage Festival (formally known as Ballarat Heritage Weekend).
The festival will take a unique look at the city’s rear trades and craft skill set, through demonstration and storytelling by film, highlighting the incredible architecture, streetscapes and buildings Ballarat is famous for.
Enjoy the rich and complex history of Ballarat across various festival offerings. Experience the past in a contemporary way, while making new history. You will be able to enjoy events in your own time, through both ticketed and always on activations.
Bendigo Writers Festival
Bendigo Writers Festival is an annual three-day event which gathers more than 100 writers for discussions about every kind of writing under the sun.
The festival will be a 3-day multi-venue program and invites everyone to the Central Victorian region to experience a friendly, exuberant and tempting program for young and old.
As part of the festival, 51 events have been planned at venues including The Capital, Ulumbarra Theatre and the Bendigo Library. All venues are COVID-compliant and will be accessible for in-person attendance.
YIRRAMBOI is Australia’s premier First Nations arts and cultural festival. Every two years, YIRRAMBOI Festival fills the city of Melbourne in May with an exciting program of free and low-cost events across music, dance, theatre, film, exhibitions, markets, fashion parades, family-friendly events, talks and symposiums, at more than 25 different venues.
YIRRAMBOI means ‘tomorrow’ in the shared local languages of the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung peoples. The festival presents a future-focused celebration of the sophistication, diversity and continuous evolution of the longest living culture in the world.
Midsumma Pride March
Paint on those stripes, fluff up your feathers, and douse yourself in glitter to march through St Kilda in Melbourne’s iconic parade of rainbows and pride.
Victoria’s annual queer march brings us together to stand tall and be proud, to honour community members who have brought the queer communities forth and most importantly, to revel in the celebrations with family, friends and allies.
Banff Mountain Film Festival Tour
The original (and best) mountain film festival is returning to Canberra over 5 huge nights.
Showcasing over two and a half hours of mountain adventure films, the 2019 Banff Mountain Film Festival is a week-long event that will have locals and tourists alike celebrating.
More than 300 of the world’s best mountain sport, culture, environment, adventure, and exploration films are shown. Then, a selection of award winners and audience favourites then tours the globe, visiting 390 communities and 35 countries as part of the festival’s official world tour.
Canberra International Music Festival
The eclectic sounds of musicians from all over Australia will fill the autumn air in Canberra this May, with special performances as part of the 2021 Canberra International Music Festival.
The Canberra International Music Festival was founded in 1994 by the late Ursula Callus. It has been held annually since 1997 and now features concerts, lectures and masterclasses held in our national institutions and Canberra’s iconic architectural space.
This year, you can catch Filipino and Aboriginal musician, DOBBY and William Barton – a Kalkadunga man, didjeridu player, electric guitarist, and classically trained composer.
Australian Musical Theater Festival
Prepare your jazz hands and your best karaoke voice, because the inaugural Australian Musical Theatre Festival is heading to Launceston.
Bringing together musical theatre lovers, makers and professionals from around the country, the Australian Musical Theatre Festival is an opportunity to connect with, and learn from top musical theatre professionals and celebrate everything that is great about musical theatre.
Tasmanian Breath Of Fresh Air Film Festival
April 30-May 2
Attending the Breath Of Fresh Air Film Festival will guarantee a front row seat to the celebration of extraordinary films from all around the world
Prepare to laugh and cry at the kinds of films that inspire us to take action, telling the kinds of unique stories that are only possible in a small festival of this scale. Chances are you’ll also get to meet any film makers attending.
And because this is Tasmania, you’ll also indulge in local beer or a glass of the states finest
Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival
Known as the biggest (and best) regional literary event in Western Australia, the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival brings a dazzling array of thought provoking ideas to the area every year.
Novelists, journalists, academics, poets, playwrights, illustrators who are both established and emerging in their own right, flock from WA, interstate and overseas to tell their stories.
Be there to join presenters as they bring their stories to life!
Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster
Fancy a family-filled fun event, set among one of the most incredible landscapes in the country?
Entering its 20th year, the 2021 Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster will feature an outstanding line-up of over 30 events across 10 exciting days.
Set against the stunning East Kimberley landscape, this event is truly a bucket list ‘Must-er’ for every Australian. Comedy, arts, rodeo, music, dining under the stars, yoga boats and much, much more.
The Margaret River Surf Pro
The Margaret River is a region synonymous with good sun, sand and of course, surfing.
Keeping in the theme, the Surf Pro is a 12-day event on the World Surf League’s World Championship Tour will see the top 34 professional men and top 17 women surfers in the world battle it out.
Margaret River’s coastline never fails to deliver, so expect one of the most memorable events on WSL Championship Tour. Head down to Surfers Point, Prevelly to watch the best surfers in the world battle it out.
Prancing Horse Supercar Drive Day
Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley
ICYMI, Prancing Horse will soon return to South Australia for a series of ‘Supercar Drive Day’ events, taking tours through events in the Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley throughout May.
If you’ve ever dreamed of taking a drive in the brand-new luxurious Ferrari 488 GTB and Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, now may be your only chance.
The luxurious journey allows travellers to experience the best of South Australia’s rolling landscapes of vineyards from a unique perspective in extreme comfort.
Exclusively starting at Mount Lofty House, the drive makes pitstops at Bird in Hand Winery, Applewood Distillery and finishes with a degustation lunch at Hentley Farm in Seppeltsfield, Barossa Valley.
Outback Odyssey Bike Ride
15 days of freedom on your bike – sounds pretty magical doesn’t it?
This epic ride will take you through the Australian Outback, one of the most spectacular places on earth.
With 600 million years of secrets waiting to be revealed, it’s home to one of the greatest adventures of your life. It’s not as much a challenge as it is a life-changing experience.
Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival
Held annually, the Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival has grown exponentially to become recognised as one of the most energetic regional art festivals in South Australia.
Fusing literature, art and of course, the finest wines from the Coonawarra landscapes vineyards, expect the best of the Limestone Coasts’ heritage to be on full display.
The Northern Territory Travelling Film Festival
The Northern Territory Travelling Film Festival (NTTFF) celebrates and showcases the outstanding film and video productions from the NT, capturing the stories, culture and landscape of the region and the people that call it home.
Set under the stars, take in the tranquil landscapes of the NT as they’re transformed into spectacular outdoor movie theatres.
Venue highlights include the Darwin Harbour Deckchair Cinema, Katherine Gorge at Nitmiluk National Park and Kakadu National Park.
Grazing the Granite Belt
Stanthorpe, Ballandean and surrounds
Granite Belt Wine Country, located just 2.5 hours from Brisbane or 3 hours from the Gold Coast or 2hrs from Toowoomba, is gearing up to host Grazing The Granite Belt: autumn’s hot ticket food and wine event.
Timed at the end of the grape harvest season, expect two days of ‘lazy grazing’ across cellar doors at ten award-winning Granite Belt wineries.
Ten participating wineries spanning across Stanthorpe to Ballandean will soon release their gourmet menus, tailored especially for the event and featuring Granite Belt local produce as the heroes of the menus.
Blues on Broadbeach
Housed across a 20 stage spectacle, the Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival hosts free international and Australian talent throughout Broadbeach and the Gold Coast.
The event, held over four huge days, is staged in the streets, parks and venues of Broadbeach, featuring plenty of talent from all genres of Blues music.
This year’s festival will see local Blues royalty like Kevin Borich Express, Harts, and The Bamboos joined by more international artists than ever before including Canned Heat, Bahamas, Eric Bibb, and Charley Crockett. Plus an exclusive ticketed show at The Star Gold Coast featuring Gipsy Kings by Andre Reyes.
Brisbane Street Art Festival
The Brisbane Street Art Festival (BSAF) has played an important role in contributing to their city’s creative sector, connecting with 100s of creatives, in all forms of creativity, since the founding in 2016
BSAF is an annual multi-platform public arts festival with the core objective of showcasing local, national and international artists through a wide public platform. 2021 will see the festival launch at the newly established ephemeral arts venue, Superordinary, the annual Within These Walls group exhibition in collaboration with Bad Olive also at Superordinary, and the Felons Party at Howard Smith Wharves.