Make the most of summer with this guide to the best summer 2011 festivals  


Darling Harbour Christmas Celebrations
Free festive fun, with the biggest congregation
of Santas in Australia, Santas on jet-skis and Carols by the Tree.
Darling Harbour, Sydney. Thurs-Sun from Dec 2-24

Sydney Festival
Over 1000 artists will appear at this year’s Sydney Festival. Opening night draws a crowd of 250,000 and there’s a bunch of free events, too, so no-one misses out.
Various venues and locations around Sydney. January 8-30

Thredbo Jazz Festival
For Blues lovers.
Thredbo, Snowy Mtns. Jan 14-16


Kitesurfing Festival
The Gold Coast is the final stop in the World Professional Kitesurfing Tour 2010. Watch this spectacular freestyle sport take over the beach.
Main Beach, Gold Coast. Dec 5-12

Woodford Folk Festival
Folksy folk will love Queensland’s most chilled out music fest.
Woodford, Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Dec 27 – Jan 1

The Big Day Out
Australia’s most-loved outdoor music fest. It’s held nationwide Jan 21-Feb 6 but head to the Gold Coast for a full-on sweaty summer fest experience.
Gold Coast Parklands. Jan 23


The Taste Festival
Experience the best and freshest of Tassie’s local produce.
Sullivans Cove Precinct, Hobart Waterfront. Dec 28-Jan 3

Falls Festival
It started in Lorne, Vic, but this beloved independent music and arts festival is now also in Tassie’s scenic wilderness.
Marion Bay, Tas Dec 29-Jan 1

Mona Foma
The Museum of Old And New Art presents an artsy festival featuring composer Phillip Glass, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Wire and Grinderman.
Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart.Jan 14 – Jan 20


Cyclone Tracy Exhibition
Sure, it’s not a festival as such, but the biggest event in Darwin’s history occurred on Dec 24, 1974 and has left an indelible impression on the city. Check out the free photographic exhibition, which documents this destructive episode in Australian history.
Northern Territory Library, Darwin Until Jan 30 


Meredith Music Festival 
For those who like a bit of everything – rock, folk, blues, jazz and world music.
Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, Mount Mercer Rd, Meredith.Dec 10, 11 and 12

Peninsula Summer Music Festival 
Experience jazz, classical and instrumental music 
among Victoria’s vineyards. 
Red Hill, Mornington, Mt Eliza and Flinders, Vic. Jan 4–11


Groovin’ In The City 
Free lunchtime music 12.30pm to 2pm daily.
Various venues in Canberra from now until Feb 25

Australia Day Live
Watch as Australian of the Year is announced then stay for the party.
Federation Mall, Parliament House. January 25


Cape Jaffa Seafood And Wine Festival 
Does what it says in the title.
King Drive, Cape Jaffa. Jan 9 

Crush Adelaide Hills Wine And Food Festival
Sample 48 great wineries’ wares. 
Adelaide Hills Jan 30

Bike Tour Down Under 
The Santos Tour Down Under is Australia’s biggest cycling event, with international riders facing off against locals. It’s the festival of the wheel.
Over 758km from Mawson Lakes to Adelaide city centre.Jan 16-23 


The Ashes 
The 3rd test of the 2010 Ashes series – aka Festival of the Bat. Australia vs England.
The WACA, East Perth. Dec 16-20

Southbound Festival
A music and arts festival where you’re encouraged to camp.
Sir Stewart Bovell Pk, Busselton. Jan 1-3

Vintage Blues Music Festival
Australian acts are joined this year by the official Blues Brothers Revival Show.
Wignalls Wines, Albany. January 8 www.vintage