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 October, helping you plan your calendar accordingly. Thank us later.

Industry news:


Giovanna Toppi Returns To Bar Machiavelli Restaurant

Here at the office, we’re obsessed with Bar Machiavelli. We’re also obsessed with the idea of any woman breaking down the societal pressures of ageism and getting things done. That’s why this news makes us so damn happy.

After surviving a health scare last year, 82-year-old Giovanna Toppi has returned to work at the Rushcutters Bay restaurant.


Paola with her mother and family matriarch, Giovanna Toppi

Paola with her mother and family matriarch, Giovanna Toppi


The Naples-born chef, who has six decades as an Italian restaurant matriarch under her belt, will consult on the spring and summer menu of Bar Machiavelli restaurant, of which Giovanna’s daughter, Paola, is the co-owner and chef.

“Giovanna’s comeback is like Lazarus… she’s back with a vengeance,” says Paola.

“The doctors brought her back to life last year, and she now seems more like 60 than 82 with her enthusiasm. I’m looking forward to working with Mum. Everything I know about cooking I learnt from her. Many of the dishes here at Bar Machiavelli are just my reinterpretations of what Mum was cooking decades ago. She gives me inspiration to make the dishes, and she is still as innovative today as she was 30 years ago.”


Just opened:


The Calile Hotel, Brisbane

The long-anticipated opening of The Calile Hotel, Brisbane sees a haven of cool that boasts funky interiors and inclusions like a pool, restaurant and bar, library and day spa.

It also makes the most of its Fortitude Valley surrounds, ground zero of hip in the Queensland capital.


Exteriors from The Calile Hotel

Exteriors from The Calile Hotel


The precinct the hotel is based in occupies an architecturally designed double-height space, following the building’s striking aesthetic designed by Richards & Spence.


Luxe camping in Victoria’s majestic Mt Buffalo

For those visiting Mt Buffalo, the dream of glamping under the stars was once impossible, until now.


Cosy tent interiors (Photo: Charlie Kinross)


For the first time ever at Mt Buffalo National Park, Under Sky will be offering visitors exclusive luxury camping at the Lake Catani Campground. Not only will this opening be the first of its kind on the mountain, but in the area entirely.


There are worse places to wake up (Photo: Charlie Kinross)


Open from 2 October to 17 December 2018, Under Sky at The Mountain will be pitching 10 premium canvas bell tents on the campsite, equipped with a queen-size bed (and a proper mattress!), plush flooring rugs, interior furnishings, linen, towels and daily housekeeping.


View of Mt Buffalo ( Photo: Eerik Sandstrom)


So, basically, no ‘roughing it’ necessary!


Safari Style Glamping at Boydell’s

How do in-house massages, copper baths and a private chef sound? Now what if I told you that all this was all available while camping… well sort of.

Boydell’s has just one exclusive tent on its vineyard property, which means that each stay is as unique as you are. Are you all about adventure; how about a paddle board? Prefer to dine with world-class food in a private setting; how about a gourmet picnic among the vines?

This extremely private accommodation is a 52-square-metre eco safari tent imported directly from Africa and decked out with all the mod cons. More like a mini mansion this tent boasts a separate lounge, bedroom and bathroom area all built on a recycled deck and is hooked up with solar power to minimise your carbon footprint.

Just a 2.5-hour drive from Sydney, Boydell’s prices start from $590 with the opportunity to add on indulgent extras at the time of booking.


Cheap eats:


All you can eat sushi at Saké Restaurant & Bar

Chopsticks at the ready, Melburnians! Saké Restaurant & Bar Flinders Lane is offering all you can eat sushi from Monday to Thursday between 5pm and 6pm. Yes, you read that correctly.

Hungry guests can enjoy an unlimited selection of the restaurant’s classic sushi rolls featuring spicy tuna, salmon and avocado, chicken karaage and vegetable.


An impressive sushi lineup


For a mere $35 per person, the offer also includes a signature cocktail to start and a scoop of house-made ice-cream to finish. See you there.


To drink:


Hacienda Sydney

The start of spring brings many things: the AFL Grand Final, flowers, an inevitable spurt of hayfever, and of course, new cocktail menus.

In celebration of the new season, Sydney’s favourite Cuban inspired harbourside bar, Hacienda Sydney, has launched an all-new spring cocktail menu.


Cocktails at Hacienda


Already known for epic and Instagramable creations such as the Campfire Espresso Martini and limited-edition winter warmer Hot Choctail, the bar has stepped it up a notch with 13 new delectable drinks.

Highlights include the Blanco Moka Martini – think vanilla vodka, white chocolate Mozart, fresh coffee and chocolate syrup; Fresa Spritz – like summer in a glass with elderflower liqueur, strawberry syrup, soda water and prosecco; and Wild Ginger Julep – a refreshing concoction of bourbon-infused ginger, rosemary syrup, lemon juice and mint.


Jacaranda Gin Festival

As the jacarandas begin to bloom and the streets fill with colour, those in Brisbane choose to celebrate accordingly… with gin.

Join in the celebration at the inaugural Jacaranda Gin Festival on 20 October on King Street, Bowen Hills, Brisbane.


Offerings from Australia’s largest Gin Festival


As the country’s biggest gin festival, the event will take over half of the bustling precinct, giving visitors the chance to taste direct from the best of Australian and international distillers alongside a day of gin festivities.


Out-of-the-box offerings:


A Midnight Visit

More often than not when things claim they are an original, they’re not. Well we’ve found a theatre experience like no other. For starters A Midnight Visit (AMV) is set in an abandoned warehouse in Sydney’s Newtown where attendees are as much a part of the ride as the cast. Have we got your attention yet?


Previews from A Midnight Visit


Described as ‘part choose-your-own-adventure, part film set, part performance, part sound world, and part playground’. This production draws on inspiration from multiple creative worlds such as video games, film sets and sound designs, AMV explores ideas that are usually considered off limits in a public setting.

No two experiences will be the same, with the creation occurring across 30 rooms and two levels of a 3500-square-metre warehouse and designed to let your innermost imagination run wild.

AMV has a super limited season from 4 October to 9 December, so make sure you get in quick.


Yoga in the vines

Ahhh, a weekend away in the Hunter Valley. Food, wine and…. yoga!

Set in picturesque Lovedale, Shane Blackett runs Yoga in the Vines, a gorgeous concept designed to relax and restore the mind body and soul.

If you’re a newbie to the whole experience then never fear, Shane’s hatha-style classes provide a chilled out environment free from judgement. And if straight-up yoga isn’t your thing, they also offer a Class and Glass concept where you can cleanse your spirit and follow it up with a wine tasting sesh afterwards.


Ginger Pride Rally

Calling all gingers, friends and people down for a good time!

On 6 October, the iconic Buderim Ginger Pride Rally (which is in its third year) will be coming home to the gingeriest place on earth: The Ginger Factory in Yandina, Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

Armed with banners and flags, gingers will follow in previous year’s footsteps by marching to celebrate their uniqueness and promote an anti-bullying message.

Visitors will also enjoy entertainment in the form of blues and soul music, alongside a whole host of ginger-themed stalls, competitions and activities.


Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne pop-up

If you’re a fan of popular Australian dining ventures, Rockpool will be a name you’ve heard before.


David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Burger


And now the chefs, sommeliers and front-of-house heroes are set to take up residence at Melbourne’s Alfred Place in the last week of October for a unique fine-dining lunch experience.

On Friday 26 October from 12pm to 3pm, Rockpool Bar & Grill classics will be served in the delightful surrounds of Rockpool’s dedicated private event space at 7 Alfred Place.


Wood Fire Grilled Minute Steak with Café de Paris Butter


The full menu can be perused here.


Travel Gadgets:



Your favourite, ear-blessing speakers just got a whole lot better…

Ultimate Ears has just released its next generation offering: BOOM 2 and MEGABOOM, the portable, waterproof Bluetooth speakers with a very sleek new upgrade.

The classic style has been redesigned and features a two-toned high performance fabric – engineered specifically for travelling. The compact speaker fits easily into a daypack, alongside other prioritised electronics like a laptop and camera.

And clumsy folk fear not, the durable design is shockproof enough to withstand even the hardest of knocks.




Gucci Bloom

As far as luxury fragrances go, it’s hard to say you’ve smelt the best until you’ve got a whiff of the new Gucci Bloom.


Gucci Bloom


As the final chapter of the first women’s portfolio of fragrances by Alessandro Michele, the essence of this scent is deepened in sensuality and intensity… In other words, I’ve had a sample of it on my desk for two weeks now and everyone is fighting over who gets to use it next.


Sydney Brunch Club

Ever wanted to consume your smashed avo while vibing like you’re on Spanish party boat? Enter Sydney Brunch Club.

This three-hour extravaganza will not only have you drinking bottomless Moët, it will also have you munching on delicious brekkie essentials such as bacon and egg sliders and smoke salmon bagels while dancing like you’re at an exclusive day club.



Each Brunch Club will be held in a different location – including the Royal Botanic Garden (6 October) and Sydney Harbour (20 October).


Festivals and Events:


13-14 October: Melbourne Salami Festival

Nothing brings both hipsters and nonnas together like the promise of a good cured meat.

And now, the much-loved (and drooled over) Melbourne Salami Festa is returning in 2018 for two days of mouth-watering tastings, cooking, live music and competitions.


The finest cured meat in all it’s glory


Now in its 6th year, the event will take place at Welcome to Thornbury bar and food truck stop, where the Grand Salumi Garage will play host to artisan makers proudly exhibiting smallgoods that span Italian, Spanish, German and Eastern European traditions for the whole weekend.


Until 31 October: Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations

It’s hard to mention wine capitals of Australia without a large nod to Coonawarra.

The small town north of Penola in South Australia boasts some of the most sought-after vineyard soil in the country, ensuring long, cool ripening periods and producing wines of fantastic balance, richness, intensity and longevity.

The Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations harnesses this reputation into a jam-packed festival of events, giving plenty of opportunities for wine enthusiasts, foodies and families alike to discover Coonawarra while savouring world-class wines and enjoying some country hospitality.

Expect special wine tastings, brunches, lunches, vineyard tours, dinners and Sunday sessions.


October 6: Sydney Cider festival

Sydney residents love cider, that’s a fact. They also love a good festival, making the sixth annual Australian Cider Festival all the more exciting.

On 6 October, the Mercure Sydney in George Street, Chippendale, will transform into a spectacle, housing over 20 craft cider producers alongside a feast of tempting food and live entertainment.

Expect more than 100 local and international ciders available to taste, cider-matched food and master classes throughout the afternoon.


12–21 October: Orange Wine Festival

One of Australia’s most anticipated regional culinary events the Orange Wine Festival is back again. And returning with its signature sell-out experience, The Vino Express, no less…

First launched in 2016, The Vino Express is a three-day Sydney-to-Orange return journey packed with curated food and wine experiences, showcasing the best cool climate wines, local produce and dining that the Orange region has to offer.

Now in its 13th year, the Orange Wine Festival has launched a program of signature experiences such as The Vino Express, Wine in the Vines, Orange Wine Show tasting event, and the Festival Night Market, along with more than 90 events – from wine tours and tastings, paddock to plate dinners and meet-the-maker masterclasses.


17-21 October: Adelaide Fashion Festival

Forget food and wine, there’s a new hero coming to the South Australian culture scene…

The Adelaide Fashion Festival is presented as a celebration of both fashionable people and innovative South Australian design.



It aims to highlight Adelaide’s dynamic creative industries, as both established and up-and-coming designers showcase their talents against a backdrop of the city’s vibrant venues and fashion precincts.

Expect styling, photography, distinctive hair and makeup and of course, all the iconic South Australian food and beverages you can consume.


20 October: Oktoberfest Parklands

Grab your lederhosen or dirndl and kommt spaß machen, Oktoberfest is happening!



On 20 October, Canberra’s Parliamentary Triangle will be transformed into a Bavarian paradise when Oktoberfest Parklands returns.

More than 4,000 donned their German finest last year, descending on the parklands for the best bier, kultur and kostümes on offer.



Attendees can expect the return of the craft beer hall, oompah bands, DJs and the ever-so-popular silent disco. There will also be roaming entertainers, rides and amusements, a host of competitions including best dressed and stein-holding.


 For the family:

 6–7 October: South East | Aboriginal Arts Market

This October, Carriageworks will be housing an Aboriginal Arts Market dedicated to showcasing the cultural heritage of South-Eastern Aboriginal Australia.

In an often-saturated Australian art community, this event aims to celebrate and exhibit Indigenous artists from regional and coastal New South Wales, ACT, southern Victoria, the Murray Darling basin catchment area and Tasmania.


Esme Timbery, Sydney Harbour Bridge


Curated by Hetti Perkins and Jonathan Jones, the South East curated arts market features over 30 stalls, including a mix of established and emerging creative collectives and independent artists.

It also showcases traditional and contemporary practices including weaving, literature, ceramics, carving, photography, painting, shellwork and textiles. And guests will also be offered the unique opportunity to ‘meet the makers’ and experience the unique creativity of contemporary Aboriginal art from these regions.


 26 October: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Halloween

Celebrate Halloween this October in true spooky fashion, with creepy crawlies, winged creatures and other haunted affairs.

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is holding its annual FestEVIL – a night of family fun filled with frightful nocturnal activities.

Come dressed in your spookiest outfits and ride the themed ghost train that snakes its way through the Sanctuary at night, explore the nocturnal corridor and discover what bats really get up to after dark, or even have your photo taken with slithering snakes and watchful owls.