There are countless amazing experiences to be had throughout Australia this month. Here’s what’s on in July.
Whether you’re up for an adventure, want to delve into special NAIDOC Week experiences, or prefer to eat and drink your way through the cities, there really is something for everyone.
To help you out, we’ve collated a guide of all the best events happening during the month of July, so you can plan your calendar accordingly. Thank us later.
NSW | VIC | QLD | TAS | WA | SA | NT | ACT
NATIONAL INDIGENOUS ART FAIR
The National Indigenous Art Fair is coming back to Sydney Harbour to showcase creations from First Nations artists, designers and makers from around Australia.
The art fair provides Sydneysiders with the opportunity to buy ethical, authentic art direct from the artists. It includes two uniquely immersive days of Indigenous Australian art, performances, panel discussions, bushfood and a communal weaving circle at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in The Rocks.
More than fifty stalls from remote Art Centres and Sydney’s Blak Market will be onsite, selling art, handmade jewellery, homewares, food and more. All proceeds made at the event will go directly back to the artists and First Nations communities.
More than fifty stalls from remote Art Centres and Sydney’s Blak Market will be onsite.
Escape those winter blues and celebrate the arrival of the cooler months in the Southern Highlands at Bundanoon Winterfest. Designed to keep the community both warm and well-lit in the cold darkness of winter, the event has been running successfully for over 10 years.
This year, the family-friendly festival includes a street parade, Rebel’s Bonfire and art competition alongside a variety of workshops, food stalls, live performances and rides. The kids will love pizza-making classes and face painting, while mum and dad can enjoy a heritage walk or a fun night out at The Melting Pot Theatre’s Rocky Horror Picture Show Singalong.
Enjoy the best of winter at Bundanoon Winterfest. (Image: Peter Gray)
UNTIL 16 JULY
The three-week Bondi Festival is a boutique arts and performance festival that includes a family-friendly entertainment hub. Featuring performers, storytellers and creators from Sydney and beyond, sharing everything from digital to physical, including new works in unusual places.
The famous Bondi Vista Ferris Wheel is returning, providing a birds-eye view over the famous Bondi Beach. Attendees can also look forward to skating around the Bondi Festival Ice Rink, patting pups at the Pavilion Paw Parade and discovering the iconic suburb on a Bondi Festival Walking Tour.
Bondi Festival takes over the iconic beach suburb each year. (Image: Destination NSW)
OPENING 28 JULY
Head to the recently renovated Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) this month to admire internationally celebrated artist Newell Harry’s largest solo project to date, Esperanto. The solo exhibition recognises pivotal moments in Australian, South African and Indo-Pacific histories across the 1960s and 1970s.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays from Djon Mundine and Jasmin Stephens, an artist interview with James Gatt and a text by exhibition curator Michael Moran. MAMA has become one of the state’s most visited public art galleries outside the capital since its redevelopment, a reason to visit in its own right.
MAMA is one of NSW’s most recognised regional public galleries. (Image: Jeremy Weihrauch)
100 REMARKABLE OBJECTS
OPENING 22 JULY
Opening at the Powerhouse Museum on 22 July and led by Leo Schofield AM, 100 Remarkable Objects celebrates the sheer scale, breadth and relevance of the Powerhouse collection. Whether chosen by virtue of rarity, visual appeal, social history or an ability to invoke wonder, each object in the exhibit is sure to spark awe in visitors.
Exhibition designers Pip Runciman, Julie Lynch and Ross Wallace have created an exhibition that features 25 individual rooms. Each room features decorative arts, jewellery, costume, textiles, furniture, musical instruments, industrial design and social history. The exhibit will run from 22 July to December 2023 and entry is free.
‘Supreme’ mouse trap-making machine by AW Standfield and Co, Mascot, NSW, 1925-2000. (Image: Anthony Potter)
BATHURST WINTER FESTIVAL
Welcome winter this year in the gorgeous regional city of Bathurst. The aptly named Bathurst Winter Festival is your one-stop shop for family-friendly activities that are perfect for celebrating the colder months. Visitors can enjoy light shows on historic Bathurst buildings, the McDonald’s Bathurst Ice Rink, show rides in the Winter Playground, food events, live music and more, making it one of Australia’s best winter festivals.
Why not turn your trip into a family holiday? The festival falls across two weeks of the NSW winter school holidays, making it the perfect opportunity to schedule some family time away. Bathurst is brimming with amazing accommodation options, places to eat and things to do in town. Think museums, galleries and activities for both the kids and mum and dad.
Bathurst Winter Festival will run across 16 exciting days. (Image: Destination NSW)
SYDNEY GIN FESTIVAL
Gin delights await you at the Sydney Gin Festival, held at the WINX Stand in Randwick this July. Over 55 of Australia’s best craft distillers are gathering to showcase more than 200 boutique gins for your sampling and purchasing pleasure. All gins will be paired with refreshing soda from the beloved Long Rays.
The festival goes above and beyond to give each attendee a gin-credible experience. Magpie Distilling’s Geoff Drummond will host an informative taste-and-learn masterclass, where you can taste his favourite G&Ts, snack on a cheese board and possibly win a bottle of gin! General tickets are priced at $70 per session, with four three-hour sessions on offer.
Visit over 50 stalls hosting some of Australia’s best gin distillers.
FIRESIDE YARRA VALLEY
Get ready to get cosy. This July, celebrate the very best of winter at Fireside Yarra Valley. Think moody skies, blazing fires, cool nights, smoky feasts and immaculate regional wines.
Unfolding over 16 days, guests can discover over 30 culinary experiences, from special winter-themed menus to all-star food and beverage collaborations. This year’s program includes collaborations from TarraWarra Estate x Frank Camorra (Movida), Jayden Ong Wines x Tom Sarafian, No7 Healesville x Bar Liberty and FIN Wines x Pinche Cantina.
Spend an evening sipping delicious drops by the fire.
EAST GIPPSLAND WINTER FESTIVAL
UNTIL 9 JULY
Discover the light, food, music, art and culture and Victoria’s stunning Gippsland region at the month-long East Gippsland Winter Festival. From Paynesville on the Gippsland Lakes to Omeo in the High Country and all the way to Mallacoota in the far east, the 2023 program is jam-packed with family-friendly events.
Guests are invited to participate in both free and ticketed events across the region. Think lavish winter feasts, workshops for both adults and children, camping, art exhibitions, wellness experiences and community events to combat those winter blues.
The colourful after-dark lantern parades are returning with a bang. (Image: Scott Kingman)
ONE SONG: THE MUSIC OF ARCHIE ROACH
Across two evenings in July, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Chief Conductor Jaime Martín, will co-present One Song: The Music of Archie Roach. The show celebrates and honours the enormous legacy of Gunditjamara (Kirrae Whurrong/Djab Wurrung), Bundjalung Senior Elder, song man and storyteller, Archie Roach AC AM.
One Song will feature a stellar line-up of artists, who draw on their connections to the Australian legend and bring new life to his music through powerful song and storytelling. Book your tickets now so you don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime event at Melbourne‘s Hamer Hall.
BALLARAT WINTER FESTIVAL
UNTIL 16 JULY
Experience a winter wonderland at the Ballarat Winter Festival. The program is brimming with exciting things to do, including workshops, live music and entertainment, food and drink stalls and a bunch of family-friendly activities.
Sip on Winter Warmers at Aunty Jacks, try your hand at a gnocchi masterclass, skate away on the pop-up ice rink, wander the winter markets or explore Sovereign Hill’s Winter Wonderlights. This is an event the whole family can enjoy, just don’t forget to rug up!
Explore Sovereign Hill’s charming Winter Wonderlights event. (Image: Anthony Evans)
UNTIL 6 AUGUST
After completely selling out in 2022, Lightscape is returning to Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens this year for another illuminating event. Wander along the two-kilometre trail through the gardens to discover a six-metre orb made of thousands of LED lights, singing trees and a flickering fire garden.
Also, keep your eye out for amazing colour-changing installations, soundscapes and large-scale illuminated sculptures. At the Lightscape Welcome Zone, cosy up for a few drinks from the bar or have a bite to eat from one of the many food trucks. Tickets for Lightscape are on sale now.
CAIRNS INDIGENOUS ART SHOW
The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is one of the biggest celebrations of Indigenous art across the country. The Cairns space is a curated, ethical marketplace showcasing authentic and original artwork from well-known and up-and-coming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. It’s truly one of the best things to do during NAIDOC Week in Queensland.
CIAF acts as a platform for cultural exchange and economic opportunity for Queensland Indigenous artists. This year, as well as an amazing collection of Indigenous artwork, visitors can expect an Opening Night Party, fashion performance, live music and a variety of artistic workshops including weaving and printmaking.
CIAF is one of the biggest celebrations of Indigenous art across the country.
BIG RED BASH
One of the world’s most remote music festivals – the Birdsville Big Red Bash – is set to return this July, drawing festival-goers to the remote red sands of Queensland’s Simpson Desert. The line-up includes Icehouse, John Williamson, Hoodoo Gurus, Human Nature, Pete Murray, The Waifs, Kate Ceberano and more.
Nominated for ‘Festival of the Year’ at the 2022 Queensland Music Awards, The Big Red Bash also features a range of family-friendly activities. Think comedy and outdoor film screenings, scenic helicopter flights, dune surfing, beach volleyball and camel rides. The event is BYO food and alcohol (although there are hospitality vendors onsite).
The Big Red Bash is one of the country’s best remote festivals. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
QUEENSLAND GARDEN EXPO
Gardening gurus from across Australia are set to put their best shovel forward to share their tricks of the trade in the country’s biggest gardening speaker program at the Queensland Garden Expo this July. The Expo will be jam-packed with free lectures and demonstrations, a giant kitchen garden, dozens of nurseries, landscape garden displays, a floral design competition and activities just for kids.
Visitors can expect more than 360 exhibitors, 55 nurseries, over seven hectares of gardening inspiration, 100-plus free lectures and demonstrations and around 50,000 plants for sale each day. Tickets are $25 for adults, while children 15 and under are free.
The Expo welcomes novice and expert green thumbs alike. (Image: Queensland Garden Expo)
UNTIL 16 JULY
Dreamworld was already one of the best theme parks on the Gold Coast, but it has just gotten better with Winterfest! The exciting event will see the park become a true winter wonderland, with free and paid activities, entertainment and food and drinks all inspired by the cooler weather.
Theme park-goers can look forward to a glittery, snow-covered Main Street, a real ice-skating rink, an ice slide for tobogganing and an arctic walkthrough experience for little ones, along with all the normal rides. Hang back each Friday and Saturday for the free Dreamworld Night Market, with entertainment and food trucks to keep your warm.
NORTH AUSTRALIAN FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
UNTIL 9 JULY
Returning this July for its fifth year running, the North Australian Festival of the Arts invites you to celebrate culture, community, diversity and art in the heart of Townsville. The city will be transformed into an eclectic paradise, with a curated program of visual arts exhibitions, live music, cabaret, workshops, comedy, theatre and more.
Experience a world of entertainment with the NAFA 2023 Fringe show. Be moved by the power of music and movement at Bambarra-ma Dariburu, presented by Wulgurukaba Walkabouts, Dancenorth Australia and NAFA. Rock into the night with live performances from Ross Wilson and The Peaceniks. There’s truly something for everyone.
Witness Bambarra-ma Dariburu, co-presented by Wulgurukaba-Walkabouts.
Calling all gastronomes – there’s an awesome new foodie fest coming to Brisbane. Divulge in top drops, yummy eats and DJ beats at Providore Park, coming to the gorgeous Roma Street Parkland in Brisbane this July. Prepare for a weekend of feasting, frolicking and fun at the two-day event with free entry and ticketed experiences.
Wander through The Village market stalls. Enjoy a picnic with live music at the DJ Lounge. Enhance your gourmet day out with an elevated wine-pairing masterclass. Hideaway at a private picnic soiree or try your hand at pop-up croquet. All with a glass of wine in hand.
This is your perfect excuse to enjoy tipples and treats all weekend.
HUON VALLEY MID-WINTER FESTIVAL
Held in one of Tasmania’s most jaw-dropping regions, the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival is hosted by local favourite Willie Smith’s cider house and orchard, just a 25-minute drive out of Hobart. This two-day pagan-inspired event is a celebration of the region’s apple history and the light that can be found in winter’s darkness.
The central focus of the festival is Saturday night’s wassail, an ancient tradition still celebrated in the West Country of England. Revellers – in full pagan get-up – chant incantations, bang pots and pans and shoot shotguns to wake up dormant apple trees in the hope of a good season ahead. Other highlights include Big Willie Burns, Blundstone’s costume comp and the apple pie eating competition. Festivities are complemented by folk music, feasting, and of course, lashings of cider.
See Big Willie Burns at Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival.
FESTIVAL OF VOICES
UNTIL 9 JULY
The Festival of Voices is back again to light up Hobart with the most distinguished choral music from all over the world. The program focuses on the power of song, offering concerts, workshops and choir packages that all support the theme of bringing vocalists together.
The highlight each year is the massive bonfire, where thousands of people sit around singing together. The Festival of Voices will be held across multiple venues, including churches and museums. Come join in on the action and find your voice.
The highlight each year is the bonfire where thousands of people sing together. (Image: Phil Kitt)
The skies of Tasmania’s east coast will come alive with crisscrossing beams of colour and light this July. Bicheno Beams is a free world-class laser light show developed by Melbourne’s Genius Laser Technology Company, set by scenic Waubs Bay.
There will be 15-minute light shows presented across 22 nights, with visitors encouraged to stay longer and enjoy each entirely unique and awe-inspiring show. This year, check out the exciting 2023 competition, in which you could win a trip on a Hurtigruten Express voyage.
the laser light show is developed by Genius Laser Technology Company. (Image: Kathleen Poole)
THE WOMAN IN BLACK
One of the most thrilling and long-running plays in West End history makes its way into IO Performance, based out of Launceston. Directed by Chris Jackson, The Woman in Black is a thrilling 1987 stage play. It is based on the 1983 book of the same name by Susan Hill and adapted for stage by Stephen Mallatratt.
Without wanting to give away spoilers, Time Out New York says the play “provides a pleasurable ripple of fear down one’s spine and an uncomfortable lurch in the pit of one’s stomach.” For those that like spooky, that alone should put it on the top of your July bucket list.
Does winter bring to mind quality brews, comfort food, rockin’ music, self-contained chalets and acres of breathtaking forest? Then WA‘s Cabin Fever is the festival for you. With over 50 unique events spanning food, beer, wine, learning, playing and live music, guests will be spoilt for choice. Better still, the best in regional produce will be available – and you can appreciate it all under the star-filled view of your very own local chalet.
Expect events like a Puglian farm feast, black truffle dinner, Blazing Brews, Smoke n Whisky, cheese toastie battle, flames + games and the winter wine walk. Experience the Margaret River and Busselton regions across 10 wintery days that will leave you warm, wondrous and wanting more.
Slay the house down at Cabin Fever’s ‘Wine’s a Drag’ event. (Image: Lauren Trickett)
AN IDIOT’S GUIDE TO WINE
Presented by Grapes of Mirth and The Rechabite, comedian Merrick Watts brings An Idiot’s Guide to Wine to the stage this July in Perth. Now, comedy and wine seem an immaculate pairing, and this show brings both in buckets. Listen as the wine expert and comedic genius shares his knowledge of top drops with a side of belly laughs. Those in the audience will also get to taste six wines, handpicked by Merrick himself. Tickets are on sale now.
The show is paired with six wines of Watts’ choosing.
REVEALED: NEW AND EMERGING WA ABORIGINAL ARTISTS
UNTIL 23 JULY
The 2023 Revealed: New and Emerging WA Aboriginal Artists exhibition celebrates the creativity, ambition and diversity of contemporary Aboriginal art in Western Australia. Art mediums vary, including painting, installation, textiles, photography, print, video, weaving and sculpture.
The exhibit provides a platform for new and emerging Aboriginal artists working from remote, regional and metropolitan WA. Subsequently, audiences are given the opportunity to hear rich stories of culture and community. Revealed provides an ethical avenue for purchasing original and authentic Aboriginal art from art centres and independent artists across the state, with 100 per cent of profits going directly to the artists.
BODHI SELF-CARE SUNDAY RETREAT
Take some time out for yourself this July with the BODHI Self-Care Sunday Retreat at The Westin Perth, one of the best accommodation options in the city. This multi-sensory, four-hour experience includes a yoga session, sound bath and heart-opening cacao ceremony, Crafted at Westin cocktail tasting, grazing buffet lunch and BODHI Wellness gift pack.
This retreat is a soothing space for deep rest, grounding and renewal, perfect for a day all to yourself. Tickets are priced at $265 per person, with the retreat running from 10 am to 2 pm.
Immerse yourself in an hour-long Heart Chakra Yin Yoga session.
UNTIL 30 JULY
Each June, Illuminate Adelaide brings together some of the best in art, music, technology and invention from around the world and sets it loose across the city. Known as one of South Australia’s premier winter events, the festival is an invitation for you to shake off the winter blues and rekindle a sense of wonder.
This year, both free and ticketed events across Adelaide welcome people from all walks of life to view works by local, national and international artists. The program is vivid and vibrant, including immersive digital installations like Mirror Mirror, night-time garden trails like Resonate and live music shows like performances from Yolngu rock pioneers, Yothu Yindi.
Explore Arborialis, the inflatable mazes of UK-based Architects of Air. (Image: John Owens)
If your favourite way to warm up in winter is indulging in rich red wine, Winter Reds is an absolute must for you. The festival is held in South Australia’s gorgeous Adelaide Hills, renowned for its production of some of the country’s best wines. Whether you prefer a peppery shiraz, an aromatic pinot noir or an earthy yet fruity tempranillo, Winter Reds will have something for all types of tastebuds.
Located at a variety of iconic locations across the Adelaide Hills, guests will enjoy cosy long lunching, fire-side feasts, live music, art, trails and family-friendly affairs. Nurse a glass of your favourite vino by an open fire and nourish your body with rustic fare surrounded by fellow oenophiles. So what are you waiting for? Grab your beanie and get amongst it!
Sample the region’s best red wines. (Image: Duy Dash)
BEER & BBQ FESTIVAL
The Beer & BBQ Festival rises from the ashes in all its glory with over 100 local and national brewers, cider makers, distillers and winemakers, a monumental music line-up and one of the biggest barbecue programs ever hosted at the event. One highlight is the very special international beer collaboration with Ukrainian brewery 2085, which will double as a campaign to raise funds for fighters and families in Ukraine.
The food line-up will have your mouth watering. Expect big things from Big Bad Wolf, Moi An’s Vietnamese Street Food, The African Kitchen Project and Sicily Up In Smoke. As far as music goes, guests can look forward to performances by The Living End, Dune Rats, DJ royalty Dexter, Magic Dirt and more.
Over 100 local and national brewers, cider makers, distillers and winemakers will be at the festival. (Image: Andre Castellucci)
ALMOND BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
The Willunga Almond Blossom Festival welcomes families for a wholesome weekend of food, fireworks, market stalls, rides, circus performers, animals and live music. However, the main focus of the event is the humble almond. Think almond cracking and almond cooking competitions, plus the Almond Hub, which explores all things… can you guess? This is a great family event, with activities both kids and adults will love.
Keep your eye out for circus performers wandering the festival grounds.
Territory Day acknowledges the day the Northern Territory declared independence from the Commonwealth Government in 1978. It’s recognised throughout the whole state, so there are many places to celebrate. From the Top End to the Red Centre, there will be free, family-friendly events across the NT with concerts, community barbecues and fireworks. This year’s theme is The People Make The Place, so come together with your community to celebrate what it means to be a Territorian.
DEADLY CUP CARNIVAL
The 2023 Deadly Cup Rugby League Carnival will be held at TRL Stadium in Darwin on 2 July. A free event that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their culture, promotes health and wellbeing and showcases the Rugby League talent from across the Northern Territory.
The carnival is a family-friendly, smoke, drug and alcohol-free event. On the day there will be cultural performances, cultural activities to participate in, kids activities, cooking demonstrations and more.
Enjoy a variety of cultural performances before the games begin.
ALICE SPRINGS SHOW
The Alice Springs Show is a much-loved community event and the largest of its kind in Alice Springs, filled with experiences, attractions and activities for the whole family. Check out the photography, craft, cooking, art, horticulture and agriculture competitions. Try delicious local produce at food stalls. Test your courage on some of the rides. Try your luck at the show games. And connect to community during NAIDOC Week at the Alice Springs Show.
DARWIN FRINGE FESTIVAL
The Darwin Fringe Festival is the biggest platform for emerging artists in the Top End. The open-access festival supports the development of the community, providing opportunities for all artists to emerge, experiment and showcase new and diverse works to local and national audiences.
The program is bursting at the seams with action, from theatre shows, circus actors and live music performances to film, stand-up comedy and cabaret, there is something for everyone to enjoy. With 100 shows covering more than 11 genres, it is a fabulous 10 days in July.
The Darwin Fringe Festival is the biggest platform for emerging artists in the Top End.
WAGAIT ARTS FESTIVAL
The Wagait Arts Festival is back in 2023, focusing on the uninhibited theme of Growing. The festival is a community celebration showcasing the unique talent of the many creatives on the Cox Peninsula. Those attending can participate in workshops, wander craft stalls and enjoy live music. The event is also home to the aptly named Wagait Art Prize, with the announcement of winning entries always a highlight. If you’re hoping to enter, registration is now open!
Experience a night like no other with the immersive, illuminated and cultural event that is MEGAfauna afterDARK. This is a rare opportunity to see the Australian National Botanic Gardens at night, following three ancient diprotodons to their seasonal feeding grounds. Afterwards, warm up at the Pollen Cafe with a light supper of damper-style rolls with pumpkin soup.
MEGAfauna is held during NAIDOC Week in celebration and recognition of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
It’s a rare opportunity to see the gardens after dark. (Image: ANGB)
CHRISTMAS IN JULY
29 JUNE – 2 JULY
Ever wondered what it might be like to experience the festive season cocooned in clothes rather than on the beach? Head to Canberra this winter for a state-wide favourite, Christmas in July. Over four days in the country’s capital, visitors are invited to revel in the cold and cool of a white Christmas inspired by the famous annual Christkindelsmärik (Christmas market) in Strasbourg, France.
Gather with friends and family at Parkes Place Lawns to explore 80 exhibitors at the food, wine and artisan markets. Party in the wine garden with live music, boozy hot chocolate, craft beers, Christmas carols, street art and mulled wine. Hide away in a private igloo and indulge in a Raclette melted cheese feast. Or wander Snow Lane to roast marshmallows over an open fire surrounded by real Christmas trees and not-so-real snow.
Sip mulled wine and collect Christmas trinkets at the market.
THE MUSIC OF HANS ZIMMER
Fans of Hans Zimmer’s breathtaking scores should run, not walk to The Music of Hans Zimmer, live in concert with The George Ellis Symphony Orchestra for one extraordinary night only. Zimmer is one of the world’s most successful modern composers, with famous films such as Gladiator, Interstellar, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Lion King under his belt.
The program this July includes over 12 iconic songs from a variety of films. Tickets are on sale now, priced between $69.90 and $149.90.
Head to the Canberra Theatre Centre for an unforgettable experience. (Image: VisitCanberra)