Plan a spring break around these upcoming events
Florals for spring? Forget it. In Queensland, we’re more about iconic outback races, month-long culture festivals and testing our limits – whether it’s a food festival or a tropical triathlon (and okay, there’ll be some blooms too).
Mark your calendars and text your plus ones. Spring is blossoming with epic events in the Sunshine State, and you’ve got no better excuse for a spring break.
Rock out at BIGSOUND Festival | 3-6 SEPTEMBER 2019
Do you love to follow underground musicians and want to witness their first big break? Well, get your tickets BIGSOUND festival, the world of new music (we’re talking 150 Australian artists across 18 stages).
Part music festival, part conference, vibrant musicians and industry professionals from around the globe will descend on Fortitude Valley in Brisbane to showcase and witness the best new Australian music. Promoting togetherness, music innovation and new sounds, the festival is defining and owning its place in the international music industry calendar.
GET AMONGST THE OUTBACK’S WILDEST PARTY AT THE BIRDSVILLE RACES | 6 – 7 SEPTEMBER 2019
The journey out to Birdsville, sleeping under a sky full of stars in tent city, having a XXXX at the Birdsville Hotel, plus all the fun to be had at the actual races, will leave you with a lifetime of memories and stories about your time in Outback Queensland.
TIP: Now’s the time to plan next year’s ultimate Spring Break to the Birdsville Races. Here are a few guides we’ve prepared earlier: Road Trip Itinerary: Along the Birdsville Track and back again in eight days, 12 Things to do at the Birdsville Races & here’s 2013 Fashions on the Field winner Sosarina’s tips on how to bag the top prize. #birdistheword
FILL UP YOUR SOUL WITH CREATIVE VIBES AT BRISBANE FESTIVAL | 6-28 SEPTEMBER 2019
Brisbane’s cultural prowess is magnified during September with the city’s biggest annual arts event: Brisbane Festival. Whether you’re into theatre, music, food or looking for a show for the whole family, you’ll find something to love in this versatile program. Highlights include a performance by pop-icon and Eurovision 2019 finalist Kate Miller-Heidke, mesmerising Fire Gardens at the City Botanic Gardens and Parisian glitz and glamour of Blanc de Blanc Encore.
And to round out Brisbane Festival, meet the rest of the city down by the river to watch the truly magnificent fireworks display of the Sunsuper Riverfire (28 Sep).
TIP: Want to know more about the festival? Check out this handy guide.
Take your star-crossed lover to Queensland Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet | 28 August – 7 September
What’s in a name? The most famous love story of all time hits the QPAC stage this spring as Queensland Ballet returns with Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s rendition of Romeo and Juliet. The streets of fair Verona spring to life with elegant costuming, majestic sets and daring choreography – sure, we know how this one ends, but you’ll still need to bring the tissues.
Kiss winter goodbye at Horizon Festival | 23 August – 1 September
The Sunshine Coast’s premier multi-arts festival will make those last few days of August feel like summer has arrived. Horizon Festival’s ten day celebration of arts and culture is red hot, bringing local, national and international artists together for visual art, music, performance, words + ideas, film and creative workshops. Check out the program for the full range of events (there are plenty of free activities and fun for the whole fam too).
Tackle a new code at the International Beach Rugby Festival in Coolangatta | 6 – 8 September 2019
Fast paced and full of fun, Beach Rugby is a hybrid of rugby league, rugby union and touch footy. It’s a little footloose, and you’ll have the sands of Kirra Beach between your toes as you play.
Sign up your team to participate or if you’re happier on the sideline, come down to watch the fun kick on – there’s a beach bar and live music, aka the perfect spectator sport.
Get your fill at Moreton Bay Food & Wine Festival | 7-8 September 2019
Did someone say Dessert Festival? Moreton Bay Food & Wine Festival is giving us even more reasons to spend our weekend by the water. With Moreton Bay as its stunning backdrop, this free festival precinct winds its way along the Redcliffe Parade where you’ll enjoy top-notch bites and sips, along with a flavour-packed program of entertainment.
Running alongside the free festival precinct, many of the foreshore restaurants and operators will be showcasing special menus and hosting special events and workshops – and you’ll be sure to spot a celebrity chef or two!
Get an early start to the beach season at Swell Sculpture Festival | 13-22 SEPTEMBER 2019
Take your #beach Insta game up a notch at Swell Sculpture Festival, coming to Currumbin on the Gold Coast. From 13-22 September, Currumbin Beach will be transformed into an outdoor art gallery with 50+ sculptures emerging from the sand.
This free event is yours to explore from dawn to dusk, and this year there’ll be artist talks, master classes, children’s workshops and guided twilight walks.
STOP TO SMELL THE ROSES AT THE TOOWOOMBA CARNIVAL OF FLOWERS | 20-29 SEPTEMBER 2019
Snap out of your winter hibernation and go a lil’ country at Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you’ll be impressed by a wander through the city’s gardens and parks popping with colour.
This festival isn’t just about pretty flowers. Nosh on local produce at the Food and Wine Festival, hit up sideshow alley, take a wander through the impressive Night Garden (immersive light installations at Queens Park) and nab the perfect spot to watch the floral parade!
Tuck into Palm Cove Reef Feast | 4-6 OCTOBER 2019
Think Cairns is all reef and rainforest? Think again. You’re in for a real treat (or many) at October’s Palm Cove Reef Feast. This free entry three day food and wine event celebrates the best local FNQ produce. Join the Longest Lunch on Friday, and feast from all the festival goods at the Saturday and Sunday markets, with entertainment all weekend long.
Soak up the sun, surf and soul feels at Caloundra Music Festival | 4-7 OCTOBER 2019
Max out your Queensland October long weekend by rocking out in the sunshine at the beach-side Caloundra Music Festival. Enjoy the golden music line-up across four jam-packed days including Jet, Missy Higgins, The Veronicas, Kate Miller-Heidke, Diesel, Regurgitator and The Cat Empire.
Check out this guide for ideas on how to linger longer in the laidback vibes of the Sunshine Coast.
Take the plunge at Coolangatta Gold | 12-13 October 2019
One of the most challenging endurance races in surf sports, the Coolangatta Gold is tempting water fiends across the country to fine tune their multi-disciplinary techniques so they can swim, run, paddle board and surf ski to salty glory in either the 32.4km Short Course (ahem, short?) or 41.5km Long Course.
Get your heart racing at the Supercars Vodafone Gold Coast 600 | 25-27 OCTOBER 2019
Walk the Surfers Paradise street track at the Supercars Vodafone Gold Coast 600, find your favourite part of the track and settle in to watch the V8 Supercars, Hot Wheel Utes and Super Trucks do what they do best.
The high-octane atmosphere continues off track with meet-and-greets, helicopter tours over the track, and this year’s live music has been amped up to two stages inside the track featuring artists like Example, Hot Dub Time Machine and Mental As Anything.
Challenge yourself at Noosa Triathlon Multisport Festival | 30 October – 3 November 2019
The Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival is just the biggest, oldest triathlon in Australia and is the largest Olympic-length triathlon in the world. No biggie. On top of that, it happens to be the largest multi-sports festival in the Southern Hemisphere.
Check out our handy guide to prep for it and remember, it’s Noosa after all. Even if you don’t set the fastest time you’ll still get to explore one of the best-looking regions in Queensland.
TIP: Treat yourself to a recovery stroll through the Noosa National Park.
GIVE YOUR BODY THE ULTIMATE WORKOUT AT THE HAMILTON ISLAND WHITEHAVEN BEACH OCEAN SWIM | 24 NOVEMBER 2019
Race towards the silica shoreline and dive into the tropical waters surrounding Whitehaven Beach where you’ll kick your way through a 2km Ocean Swim. If your stroke isn’t quite ready for such a challenge, have a go at the 750m Ocean Swim instead.
But, if you’re keen to really test yourself, why not complete the entire Hamilton Island Endurance Series which includes the Stamford Financial Hamilton Hilly Half Marathon, Great Whitehaven Beach Run and the Hamilton Island Triathlon.
Saddle up at Professional Bull Riding Grand Final Townsville | 15 – 16 November 2019
8 seconds can feel like a lifetime when you’re on the back of a 800kg bucking bull. Leave that to the professionals and score a seat ringside instead for the Professional Bull Riding grand final in Townsville (no chaps required). Twenty-two of the best riders will go head to head across two action-packed nights for a showdown you shouldn’t miss.
Where are you heading for your Spring Break?
This post was originally published in 2017 and updated on 29 July 2019.