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12 of Australia’s Best Cultural Festivals in 2018

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Every country has different cultures that truly define what it means to be a local.

And Australia is a prime example. From the western hinterlands and bush to the shores of Sydney, this continent is full of fascinating towns and cities that have unique perspectives to offer. And each year, a select few open their doors to festivals that rule the day, with entertainment and activities for anyone who’s looking for a new adventure.

FlightNetwork is here to present the most expansive guide to date of Australia’s best cultural festivals in 2018. In it, you’ll find celebrations of native tribes, strawberries, kelpies, and even Granny Smith apples.

Start exploring!

Check out Australia’s best Cultural Festivals in 2018 here:

 

1. May 12: Cooroy Fusion Festival |  2. June 8-11: Australian Kelpie Muster Festival  |  3. Various dates in June and September: Oz Comic Con

4. July 22: Pomona King of the Mountain Festival  |   5. August 9-12: Gemfest  |  6. September 1-30: Kings Park Festival

7. September 7-9: RedFest Strawberry Festival  |   8. October 1-30: Victorian Seniors Festival |  9. October 27-28: Thunderbolts Festival

10. October 20: Granny Smith Festival  |   11. November 10-25: Feast Festival |12. November 11: Newtown Festival

 

1. Cooroy Fusion Festival – SUNSHINE COAST (May 12)

What it is

A day-long celebration of the Noosa Hinterland, and surrounding communities.

What to expect

The free festival is meant to be a “fusion” of all sorts, including open markets, stalls to shop at, and activities at local institutions, like the Butter Factory Arts Centre.

2. Australian Kelpie Muster Festival – VICTORIA (June 8-11)

What it is

Consider it Westminster, but for Australian kelpies, or working sheep dogs.

What to expect

The main street of the town of Casterton comes alive with a Kelpie High Jump, a Working Dog Auction, where kelpies can sell for thousands, and a famed street parade.

3Various dates in June and September: Oz Comic Con – Melbourne, Brisbane, & Sydney

What it is

With dates in both June and September, Australia’s premiere celebration of pop culture comes to three major cities: Melbourne (June 9-10), Brisbane (September 22-23), and Sydney (September 29-30).

 

What to expect

What is a pop culture celebration, you might ask? Featuring five stages and a host of interactive experiences at each event, lovers of anime, comics, TV, cosplay, and celebrity fanatics come together to meet and mingle, amidst hundreds of exhibits that put all aspects of pop culture on display. As organizers say, it’s time to “unleash your inner geek.”

General admission tickets start at $32.50, and each adult ticket gets one free child’s ticket (under 12). For more information, check out their website.

 

4. Pomona King of the Mountain Festival – SUNSHINE COAST (July 22, 2018)

What it is

Another festival on location in the Noosa Hinterland, this fun-filled day hosts an assortment of physical activities and entertainment for the whole family.

What to expect

Take your shot at activities like Tug of War, the mountain challenge race up Mount Cooroora, and a 3km Family Run.

5. Gemfest – CENTRAL QUEENSLAND (August 9-12)

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What it is

Running for over 30 years, this extravaganza celebrates gems—jewelry, stones, and other earth treasures.

What to expect

Entertainment and demonstrations make up this festival, with gems from all over Australia and the world on display. The main attraction this year: “Jewels of the Outback.”

6. Kings Park Festival – PERTH (September 1-30)

What it is

September is springtime wildflower season in Western Australia, as visitors from all over come to experience the native flora in bloom. This festival is dedicated to that beauty.

What to expect

Celebrations of the wildflowers, Western Australian culture, local foods, and recently announced scientific research to come out of the region.

7. RedFest Strawberry Festival – SOUTH EAST QUEENSLAND (September 7-9)

What it is

On beautiful Moreton Bay, a family-friendly festival that invites visitors to experience art by the Quandamooka people, the local indigenous tribe, and highlights the region’s most renowned produce: the iconic Redlands strawberry!

What to expect

Performances by Quandamooka dancers and musicians, hands-on workshops, demonstrations, and, of course, all things strawberries.

8. Victorian Seniors Festival – MELBOURNE (October 1-31)

Big Band Dance at the Victorian Seniors Festival

What it is

The city of Melbourne hosts a month of free or low-cost events for seniors, and offer a week of free transport.

What to expect

Seniors are invited to meet-and-greets, new skills workshops, and other fun-filled activities throughout October.

9. Thunderbolts Festival – NORTHERN TABLELANDS (October 27-28)

What it is

2018 marks 20 years of this immensely popular weekend festival, which looks to spotlight the local Uralla economy through activities, and events.

What to expect

Small businesses and non-profits are invited to sponsor events, cater food, and host events for the whole family at this classic country festival.

10. Granny Smith Festival – SYDNEY (October 20)

What it is

It was 1868 when Maria Ann Smith, aka “Granny Smith,” accidentally grew the first batch of these green apples, which would later spread from Australia to all over the world. Started in 1985, this colorful festival has become one of Sydney’s biggest, attracting over 90,000 people each year.

What to expect

Apples, apples, and more apples.

 

11. Feast Festival – ADELAIDE (November 10-25)

What it is

This 16-day-long festival is the only not-for-profit Queer Arts and Cultural Festival in South Australia, showcasing work from up-and-coming queer artists from Australia, and overseas.

What to expect

You will not want to miss the celebrity-filled Opening Night Street Party, the fair day with food stalls, live music, and fun for the whole family.

12. Newtown Festival – SYDNEY (November 11)

What it is

As the organizers describe it, Newtown Festival is a “true celebration of all things weird and wonderful from Sydney’s Inner West.” And 2018 is sure to be the wildest yet, marking 40 years for the famous festival.

What to expect

It’s your classic street festival: visitors are welcome to enjoy karaoke, face painting, a dog show, an eco-village full of wriggly worms, and plenty of food and drink.

 

Jump to Australia’s best Cultural Festivals in 2018 here:

 

1. May 12: Cooroy Fusion Festival |  2. June 8-11: Australian Kelpie Muster Festival  |  3. Various dates in June and September: Oz Comic Con

4. July 22: Pomona King of the Mountain Festival  |   5. August 9-12: Gemfest  |  6. September 1-30: Kings Park Festival

7. September 7-9: RedFest Strawberry Festival  |   8. October 1-30: Victorian Seniors Festival |  9. October 27-28: Thunderbolts Festival

10. October 20: Granny Smith Festival  |   11. November 10-25: Feast Festival |12. November 11: Newtown Festival

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