This year's Anzac Day marks 100 years since the landing at Gallipoli and commemorations are planned around the country. Also during April: major sports events and music, food, film, arts and country festivals.
Anzac Day 2015: 100 years since the Gallipoli landing
The 25th of April 2015 - Anzac Day - marks the centenary of the Anzac landing at Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula, now a part of the Republic of Turkey. Since the landing, Anzac Day has become a day to remember Australians who served and died not just in World War 1, but all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operationsi.
Anzac Day ceremonies will be held around Australia in capital cities, suburbs, regional centres and small and large country towns. Outside of Australia the largest Anzac Day ceremonies will be in Gallipoli, with a joint Australian New Zealand service at the Anzac Commemorative Site, an Australian Memorial Service at Lone Pine, and a New Zealand Memorial Service at Chunuk Bairii. Anzac Day ceremonies at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra include the Dawn Service, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commemorative Ceremony, National Anzac Day Ceremony and Last Post Ceremony.
Australia in the Great War, the recently opened exhibition that chronicles Australia's involvement in the Great War, can also be seen at the Australian War Memorial. In Victoria, the Melbourne Museum will host the WW1 Centenary Exhibition. It officially opens on 18 April and will feature 350 historical artefacts from London's Imperial War Museum to convey the experience of the war and how it was fought on land, in the air and at seaiii.
Camp Gallipoli offers another way to commemorate and experience the Anzac spirit with family and friends. Sleep out under the stars on April 24 after a night of education and entertainment, followed by a Dawn Service on Anzac Day. Camp Gallipoli will be held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Auckland. The event has been endorsed by the Anzac centenary committee, the Federal Education Department, the RSL and Legacyiv.
New South Wales
For lovers of blues and roots music, the 26th annual Bluesfest is on from 2 to 6 April in Byron Bay. The festival features a host of national and international acts including The Black Keys, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, and Michael Franti and Spearheadv. There will be seven stages of live music from midday to midnighti as well as over forty food stalls and fifty market stallsvi.
The 20th annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week celebrating Australian designers will be held from 12 to 16 April. Home-grown favourites Alex Perry, Carla Zampati and The Social Studio will take centre stage on the catwalk at Sydney's Carriageworks showcasing their Spring/Summer collections.
Also on in Sydney is Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour performing Verdi's Aida from 27 March to 26 April, which promises to be an operatic spectacular with Sydney Harbour as the backdrop. The Sydney Comedy Festival will offer plenty of laughs from 20 April to 17 May in venues all over Sydney, and the Sydney Royal Easter Show from 20 April to 17 May has something for everyone.
Out of Sydney, the Food of Orange District (FOOD) Week will take place from 10 to 19 April celebrating local food and wine from the Orange, Cabonne and Blayney districts. Still west of the Great Divide, music fans can tune into the Dubbo Country Music Festival from the 2 to 6 April and car enthusiasts can enjoy the Bathurst Motor Festival from 3 to 5 April. On the north coast, Sail Port Stephens will be on from April 13 to 19, while on the south coast the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship that includes an off-road triathlon race will be held at Jervis Bay on the weekend of April 18.
If you'd like to get away from the hustle of city life, head to Corryong on the border of New South Wales and Victoria for the Man from Snowy River Bush Festival> from 9 to 12 April. This festival is a celebration of Australian history and culture, drawing its inspiration from the Banjo Patterson poem. Festival highlights will include performances by The McClymonts and Andrew Wishart, markets, art exhibitions and a ute muster.
Also on in Victoria in April are the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach from 1 to 12, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 25 March to 19 April, the Stawell Gift athletics carnival over the Easter Long Weekend and the Daylesford Macedon Produce Harvest Week Festival from 25 April to 3 May.
Surfers Paradise Festival is on again this year from 3 to 18 April and promises an array of free events and activities, which all members of the family can enjoy. Be sure to check out festival highlights like the SIPFest (Shorts in Paradise) film festival, part of the Gold Coast Film Festival, and the Seafire fireworks and musical spectacular.
For the first time, the Gold Coast will host a round of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon Series from 10 to 12 April that will see world-class athletes vying for a place in the 2016 Rio Olympics team. The Gold Coast Triathlon weekend will also host the Enticer Triathlon for anyone who wants to work their way up to the main event and the Superkidz Triathlon for little ones. Over 4,000 visitorsvii are expected to attend this inaugural event so booking accommodation and travel early is highly recommended.
The Australian Surf Life Saving Championships will be held from 11 to 19 April at North Kirra Beach on the Gold Coast. For an inland experience, the Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Festival is on from 17 - 19 April with down and dirty activities such as triathlons, horse races, bullrides, bog snorkelling and creative novelty events. Enjoy family friendly entertainment during the Easter Long Weekend at Roma's Easter in the Country festival from 2- 6 April, or at Easterfest in Toowoomba from 2 - 5 April.
The annual Eat Drink Perth food festival serves up cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, fresh food markets, master classes and pop-up events from 20 March to 24 Aprilviii.
By the water, the Drug Aware Margaret River Surf Pro will see the top 32 ranked male and top 18 ranked female surfers in the world compete against each other at Surfer's Point from 15 to 26 April . Up north, the beginning of the annual whale shark migration can be seen at Ningaloo Reef. Dive into the water to snorkel with these 'gentle giants' from April to July for an unforgettable experience. Further north, the first of the A Taste of Broome series is on 16 April, where Broome and its people are celebrated through music, dance, art and food.
Oz Comic Con comes to Perth from 11 to 12 April with Doctor Who’s Billie Piper and Kevin Sorbo from Hercules making appearances. Towards the end of the month, the Perth International Comedy Festival kicks off on 24 April and runs until 17 May.
The Fremantle Street Arts Festival is on from 4 to 6 April with national and international acts performing on ten stages.
There's plenty of good food and wine to be had at the Barossa Vintage Festival, which runs from 15 to 19 April. The Barossa Vintage Festival celebrates the best of Barossa - the wine, food, people and their stories - and is the largest and longest running wine festival in Australia. The first festival was held in 1947 and was celebrated with the Festival Ball, which continues to be a signature event. Coober Pedy, the Opal Capital of the World, will be celebrating 100 years as a townx at the Opal Festival. This colourful celebration from 2 to 5 April will include a water slide contest, the Opal King and Opal Queen Ironman and Ironwoman competitions, rides and an opal mining competition.
With its incredible terrain, Tasmania is the perfect choice for one of the world's longest and most gruelling tarmac rally events - Targa Tasmania. Now in its 24th year, Targa Tasmania attracts drivers from across the globe to compete in the 2000km rally from Launceston to Hobart. The six-day event from 27 April to 2 May gives spectators the opportunity to see some of the best rally drivers push their cars to the limit.
Australian Capital Territory
Over a hundred performers will make an appearance at the National Folk Festival from 2 to 6 April at Exhibition Park in Canberra. International headliners, Kvonn, Outside Track and Bob Fox will be performing as well as Belle Jar, Zondre King and Festival Bush Orchestra.
Put on your runners and get ready for the Australian Running Festival on the weekend of 11 and 12 April. The festival events include 5km and 10km races on the Saturday and half-marathon, marathon and ultra-marathon races on the Sunday.
In the region, the Harvest Festival celebrates the new harvest with wineries opening their cellar doors to the public for a weekend of gourmet food and the region's best wines. Also on during this time is the Jane Austen Festival Australia from 10 - 12 April at Canberra's historic Albert Hall celebrating all things Jane Austen. This year's event marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.