15 Best Australian Festivals You Can’t Afford To Miss

Australian festivals

Be it Moomba Festival or New Year’s Eve, Australia is one of the most fun countries on the planet that comes alive. The country, famous for its distinct and rich wildlife with exceptional landscapes, has a strong cultural and folk scene. Australians love to party and you’ll find loads of places to hang out and events to chill at on your trip here. And what better way to immerse in this exciting culture of Australia than attending some of the most popular Australian festivals. Read below to see where and when you can be a part of these festivals in Australia and witness once-in-a-lifetime experiences in Australia.

Australian Festivals And Celebrations

Melbourne International Arts Festival

An international festival that seeks out all forms of art that are present such as dance, music, visual arts, theatre as well as the lost art of the circus, this is the epitome of famous Australian festivals and celebrations. Held in the metropolis of Melbourne, the festival is nothing less than a top attraction and is attended by over 400,000 people.

The festival has been remarked for epic art performances. It is one of those rare, but famous festivals that still have performance art events or art installations. This festival in Melbourne is one of Australia’s most high-profile festivals attended by Aussie students and families and offers an insight into the evolving cultural dialogue that takes place between the artists and their audience all around the world.

Sydney Mardi Gras

One of the best Australian festivals, this three-week-long celebration of LGBT rights is famous for the parade held at the end of the festival. Held in Sydney for the past forty years now, the world’s largest gay festival, Mardi Gras, is visited by over 200,000 people every year. You will find people from all over the world in Sydney uniting in this mad and bracing celebration of pride, self-expression, and love. The colorful, exuberating Mardi Gras parade captures everyone’s imagination, with tourists and observers joining in the celebrations. You could say that it is one of the national Australian festivals.

Darwin Festival

Of all the Australian festivals that are celebrated, Darwin Festival is the most happening one and a lit affair. It is not just a festival but also a celebration of the Northern Territory lifestyle. The festival goes on for 18 days where you can find great food, music, theatre, cabaret, dance, and whatnot. Nothing could be more interesting than attending this festival on your vacation in Australia. It is held from 6th-23rd August in 2021.

Adelaide Festival

First organized in 2017, one of the biggest country festivals in Australia, this gem has emerged as one of the biggest celebrations in Australia of art, capturing the imagination of audiences around the world. It has plenty of events, but most are focused on visual arts, dance forms, opera, cabaret, literature, classical and contemporary music, as well as new media. The festival has grown so huge that it has subsumed other cultural fests of the city. WOMADelaide and Adelaide’s Writers Week are also now organized during this festival which is also loved by students all over the country. 

Australian festivals

New Year’s Eve

Festivals in Australia don’t get better than this. With celebrations as huge as those in London or New York, the country is immersed in fireworks, light shows, and parties along the beaches. We would highly recommend you to travel to Australia and welcome the new year by attending one of the most wonderful family-friendly Australian festivals.

Byron Bay Bluesfest

With headliners like Lionel Richie and Robert Plant, Byron Bay Bluesfest is one of the best music festivals in Australia. Visited by over five thousand people every year, this is one of the most famous Australian festivals. It is a dream come true for music lovers, with large food courts, licensed bars, fast-food corners, and beer counters adding to the overall beauty. It is just like what dreams are made of and what you can’t miss experiencing in Australia.


One of the most diverse and fascinating art festivals in Australia, Parrtjima began just last year. Set against the backdrop of the Northern Territory’s MacDonnell Ranges that are known to be around 300 million years old, the festival centers around the Original artists of the country. The aim is to raise awareness about the ancient and yet unexplored art forms of the Aborigines that inhabited these lands. Last year, Parrtjima viewed almost 16,000 people traveling to attend the festival and is certainly one of its kind celebrations of arts and culture.

Woodford Folk Festival

One of the most prominent folk festivals in the world, Woodford Folk Festival Australia is the place to be if you are into arts and music. This one of the most interesting Australian festivals and celebrations centered around folk music, shelters artists from around the world with performances foraying into the world of dance, music, comedy, film, street theatre, and much more. You can even attend workshops here and learn with like-minded people the refinements of creating something from scratch. Oh, and there are also fireworks welcoming the new year. If you take our suggestion, this is one of the must-attend cultural and art festivals in Australia.

Melbourne Cup – Spring Racing Carnival

Australia is big on horse racing, and nowhere is it more obvious than at the Melbourne Cup. Traditionally held on the first Tuesday of every November, the event brings the entire nation to a stop. There are plenty of events that happen alongside the race, including Derby Day and Oaks Day. Held at the Flemington Racecourse, the race is a 3200 meters sprint and is administered by the Victoria Racing Club. First held in 1861, this annual racing extravaganza is quite huge.

Vivid Sydney Winter Festival

Australia interestingly lies in the southern hemisphere of our planet, which indicates the continent enjoys winters when the rest of us are facing the heat. So, next time you want to enjoy the month of June, fly down to Australian festivals and holidays in winter.

This biggest winter festival of the Southern Hemisphere views Sydney come alive with light projections, music, and fireworks. You can also visit the Queenstown Winter Festival which has lots of barbecued food, lively music, fireworks, and sleds. There is also a black-tie ball for you to attend here. The Vivid Sydney winter festival is organized between 22nd May – 13th June.

Moomba Festival

One of the largest community Australian festivals, Moomba is a tradition that takes place every year. Celebrated over four days during the Labour Day weekend, Moomba is your go-to place if you are looking for drama and fun on your vacation in Australia during that time. The joy rides, carnival set-ups, fireworks, and food will fascinate you to attend the event. It is held between 6th-9th March in Moomba, Melbourne, Australia.

Ultra Australia

Ultra Australia is an experience that you will never forget if you are a music lover. Watch out for one of the most happening music festivals in Australia where you will get to listen to the world’s best people from the music industry. The festival takes place in Sydney and Melbourne where international musicians like Afrojack and DJ Snake come to perform. It is one of the best music Australian festivals that you should be looking forward to.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

One of the country’s leading platforms for budding as well as established stand-up comics, this one of the most fun Australian festivals features performances that range from hilarious to beautiful stage art. The open mic competition has served as an initiation of the wider Aussie audience to the up-and-coming comics of the country.

Held at Town Hall, the most select way to enjoy the festival is to show up and pick a random show marked on the dusty big blackboard outside. You might need to book for the big shows in advance though.

Castlemaine State Festival

Do you love theatre? Then, you should already make your bookings for the Castlemaine State Festival. This one of the most popular, 10-day arts and theatre Australian festivals will entertain you with opera, music, theatre, dance, and visual arts program. What else do you wish for? The performances will dazzle you with all the glitz, something it has been doing since 1976. If you are an art critic, make sure you attend the festival without failing. It is held from 19th-28th March in 2021.

Splendour In The Grass

Splendour in the grass is hands down one of the best Australian festivals for all the music lovers out there. You should attend this festival at least once because it is an experience that is unforgettable. The fest is organized in a marvelous location with a top-notch line of artists. The commencement of this one of the most popular country festivals in Australia came in 2001 and has been entertaining people ever since. Ask any Aussie and you will always hear great things about this fest.

Thank you for reading this blog on the best Australian festivals. If you’d like to read more, check out these blogs –

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Australian festivals

15 Best Australian Festivals You Can’t Afford To Miss

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