What's on around Australia in August 2015

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Indulge in gourmet food and wine in NSW and SA or watch a feature length or short film at either CinéfestOZ in WA or the Melbourne International Film Festival. Browse your way through the many art and cultural exhibitions in Darwin, Alice Springs and Canberra. What about listening to great music at the Valley Fiesta or the roar of a V8 in Sydney? These are just a few of things you can do at the many events around Australia in August.

New South Wales

The annual Sun-Herald City2Surf has grown from only 2000 participants in the inaugural race in 1971 to one of the most anticipated running events on the Sydney running calendar. This year, the 14km race will be held on Sunday, 9 Augusti. Register as a team with a few friends or colleagues, or on your ownii. Teams and individuals can choose from nine start groups, each geared toward differing abilities and needs of the runners. You can also elect to raise money for one of the 800 partner charitiesiii.

The Good Food and Wine Show is stopping in Sydney from 7 to 9 August at the Sydney Showground for a weekend with hundreds of exhibitors, delectable eats and star-studded masterclasses. Sample a range of Australian wines at the Cellar Door and sit down for a bite to eat at the Grazing Garden where some of Sydney's finest food trucks will be serving up their takes on local and international fare. Foodies on the Central Coast who can't make it to Sydney, don't despair; the Newcastle Good Food and Wine Expo will be taking over the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on 28 to 30 August for three days of food and fun. There are food stalls, craft beers and ciders, artisan cheeses and plenty of other vendors to browseiv.

For high-speed action, head to the Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint for races 21, 22 and 23 of the 2015 championship series at Eastern Creek, now known as Sydney Motorsport Park, from 21 to 23 August. Support categories include the Aussie Racing cars, Australian GT, the Porsche Carrera Cup and, for the first time in Australia, the Formula 4 seriesv. Want to get a bit more hands on? The Yellow Mountain Cross Country Motor Bike Race is on 1 and 2 August. The race organisers promise a safe and fun 440km cross country event for riders of average skill and above between Condobolin and Tottenham. Coffs Harbour will host the 2015 Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge on 1 and 2 August and the Australian Surf Festival from 31 July to 17 August.

Strap on your helmet for the Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge on 1 and 2 August.

From 28 August to 8 November, the Sydney Lyric Theatre hosts the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Roald Dahl's classic Matilda the Musical. The show has been dubbed 'easily the standout musical of the decade' by the Sunday Times, UK and it features music and lyrics by Australian comedian Tim Minchin. Step away from the hustle of the city and spend the day amongst the blooms at the Berry Camellia & Floral Show set against the backdrop of the 19th century buildings in Berry, just a short two-hour drive south of Sydney.

Ski season continues in the NSW Snowy Mountains. The long standing Cross Country Ski Week (XC Ski Week) at Perisher caters for all skiers and is the perfect opportunity to get in a week's worth of cross country skiing from 1 to 9 August. There will be a number of fun ski events, clinics and plenty of free time on the slopes. The annual LAWSKI race and social event at Thredbo always draws a crowd, with 200 lawyers from across the country attending the event.


For two weeks every August, the Melbourne Writers Festival is the place to be for stimulating conversation, seminars and educational programs designed to celebrate and enhance the global literary community. This year, the festival will take place from 20 to 30 August and many of the events are free. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the festivalvi.

The Melbourne International Film Festival is on from 30 July to 16 August. Attend the star studded Opening Night Gala on 30 July or grab your tickets for some of the 26 feature films direct from the Cannes Film Festival. The full program is available on the festival's website.

Melbourne is the place for fashion and wine this August. The Frankston and South Eastern Wine Show 2015 on 30 August will showcase home-made wines from a variety of ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs and the more traditional red and white grapes. Find your new favourite designer on 2 August at the Australasian Young Designers Awards Fashion Parade at the Hamilton Showgrounds.

The Kangaroo Hoppet is Australia's international ski marathon, featuring the main 42km event and a number of shorter cross country events beginning at the Falls Creek Nordic Bowl from 9.30am on 22 August. The Hoppet is the second leg of the Great Alpine Challenge, Australia's longest triathlon comprising of a half marathon in May and mountain biking event in October every yeari. Celebrate the classics at the Winton Festival of Speed on 8 and 9 August at Winton Motor Raceway. The event will feature all manner of iconic Australian racing cars including HQ Holdens, 5 Litre Touring Cars and Formula Ford vehicles.


For a weekend of fun, look no further than the Gold Coast Show on 28, 29 and 30 August. Each year, the Gold Coast Show attracts around 60,000 visitors and is one of the largest community events in the region. There will be showbags, wood chopping, arts and crafts, cooking classes and much more at the Gold Coast Show! On 1 August, the Gold Coast SUNS faceoff against the West Coast Eagles for Round 18 of the 2015 Toyota AFL premiership.

TheAudi Hamilton Island Race Week is one the world's premier international yachting events. Held the week of 15 to 22 August, there is plenty to see and do both on and off the water. In 2014, many of the on-shore highlights of the week included fashion parades, cocktail parties and exclusive dinners with celebrity chefs. Since 2015 is the 10 year anniversary of the race, expect even bigger and better things this year.

You can experience the outback way of life in Queensland at the Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo from 7 to 9 August and Curry Merry Muster Festival in Cloncurry from 30 July to 2 August. The Mount Isa Rodeo offers everything you'd expect from a rodeo: there are bull riding, steer wrestling and rope tie competitions, as well as the Queen Quest and Rodeo Ball. The Curry Merry Muster Festival is one of the premier rodeos in the country. The iconic street parade starts the festival off in style with the Bush Poets Breakfast, junior rodeo and Teddy Bears Picnic add to the events broad appeal.

Featuring an eclectic line up of Australian artists, the Valley Fiesta in Fortitude Valley is Brisbane's biggest street party. It's two days of non-stop entertainment across three stages on 23 and 24 Augustviii. This free, all ages event also features an expansive vintage records market and the Valley Swap Shoppe, where you can exchange your pre-loved clothes with other like-minded fashionistasix.

The coastal town of Yeppoon will be gearing up for a massive weekend on 1 and 2 August for the Yeppoon Triathlon Festival and Obstacles Gone Mad event. Obstacles Gone Mad on 1 August will see participants don their craziest outfits and battle their way through five or 10 kilometres of mud, ropes, climbing walls and much more. If a 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run is more your style, checkout the inaugural Yeppoon Triathlon Festival on 1 and 2 August instead. There is also a sprint distance triathlon event as well as a 5km fun run, open water swimming race and free entertainment on Saturday eveningx. Join 7000 of your friends and fellow racegoers for the Mackay Airport Beach Horse Racing Festival from 6 to 9 August. While the main feature racing will take place on Saturday 8 August, there will be plenty of events and entertainment to keep you going all weekend long.

Western Australia

CinéfestOZ is one of Australia's premier film festivals and a major event on the WA cultural calendar each year. In 2014, the festival featured more than 200 Australian and French film screenings. The 2015 festival takes place from 26 to 30 August at various venues in Busselton, Bunbury and Margaret River and will feature short films produced by Indigenous students from local schoolsxi.

City to Surf WA travels throughout WA for six weeks in July and August with rounds in Karratha on 26 July, Geraldton on 2 August, Albany on 9 August, Busselton on 16 August and wrapping up in Perth on 30 August. The 12km run/walk, 4km run/walk and 4km wheelchair courses at each location are joined by a full and half marathon at the Perth eventxii,xiii,xiiv,xv,xvi.

Racing season is in full swing with The Kimberly Cup on 1 August, Ladies Day on 11 August and the Broome Cup Day on 15 August. Broome Cup Day wraps up the Broome Cup Carnival which began on 30 May. On 8 August you can enjoy to the sounds of the Hoodoo Gurus and Eskimo Joe as part of the Cup's Cable Sounds Concert.

Elsewhere in WA indulge in the Gascoyne Food Festival from 13 to 16 August. This gastronomic experience offers guests the chance to sample the locally grown produce in a variety of ways including a paddock tour, beachside barbeque, grower's markets and the highlight of the weekend, the Long Table Lunch. Treat the kids to a special day out when Disney's High School Musical on Stage! comes to the Regal Theatre from 6 to 8 August.

South Australia

The South Australian Living Arts (SALA) Festival is recognised as the largest visual arts celebration in the country. Exhibitions with works of art from every medium are held throughout Adelaide, taking over art studios, offices, public spaces, cafes and galleries throughout the month.

Take a bite out of the Barossa at the annual Barossa…Be Consumed Gourmet Weekend from 14 to 16 August. Since its inception, the annual event has been a staple in the South Australian food and wine calendar of events. It provides an opportunity to showcase the best of the region with cooking classes, family fun activities and wine tastings.


Warm up this winter at Chocolate Winterfest in Latrobe on 9 August. Anything goes at the Chocolate Wonders of Wearable Art costume competition where entrants are encouraged to be as creative as possible when designing chocolate themed outfits and wearable artxvii. Visitors are encouraged to take part in the Lantern Parade; lantern making instructions can be downloaded from the festival website.

International netball comes to the Derwent Entertainment Centre on 2 August with the Australia CoE taking on the Scottish side in a warm up for the 2015 World Cup in Sydney from 7 to 16 August. The Theatre Royal presents two must see shows in August; the satirical take on the most Australian of holidays, Australia Day, and the modern three-part Sydney Dance Company production De Novo. Celebrate Malaysian history and culture while raising money for charity on 29 August when the annual JOM! Festival takes over the Parliament Lawns with traditional music, food and family friendly funxviii.

Australian Capital Territory

Crackling fires and hearty comforts await visitors to the Canberra region in August. The Fireside Festival includes special accommodation packages, wintery themed exhibitions and menus and much more from participating venues in Canberra as well as the Hall, Murrumbateman, Bungendore and Lake George areas. The festival runs for the entire month of August and you can visit firesidefestival.com.au for a full list of events and participating venues.

August will be the final chance this year to experience the Truffle Festival Canberra Region and Canberra Truffle Hunts to immerse yourself in the magic of the truffle. The best of the 2015 Sydney Comedy Festival will be taking centre stage at the Canberra Theatre on 21 August for one night only of side splitting laughs and quick witted humour from local and international comedians. The National Portrait Gallery will once again host Winter Festival, the annual celebration of everything cold complete with a giant ice sculpture, comedy show and Frozen themed sing-along.

Northern Territory

The Darwin Festival serves as a reminder of the city's strength and determination in the wake of Cyclone Tracey and celebrates the unique local talent of the region. The 18 day festival (2 to 23 August) will play host to local and international artists, musicians, writers, thinkers and performers from all genresxix.

Who doesn't love a day at the races? Luckily there are plenty of racing events to choose from this August in WA, the NT and Qld.

From the fashion to the racing action, you won't want to miss the Darwin Cup Day on 3 August. One of Darwin's largest events, the Cup attracts well over 20,000 race-goers. There is nothing quite like the twinkling of the stars in the clear night sky over Uluru and during the Uluru Astronomy Weekend from 14 to 16 August, you can gain new appreciation for the cosmos. Hosted by Dr Karl, along with notable leading experts, the weekend will be filled with fun activities, lively discussions, demonstrations and the Galaxy Star Dinnerxx. Bring your own 'boat' to the 54th annual Henley on Todd Regatta in Alice Springs to take part in this unique event. Or participate in the many other events including the Parade, Beach Sprint, Lolly scramble, Sand skis, Mixed maxi yacht, Sand shovelling and many more on 15 August. You could also just sit back, relax and watch the mayhem unfold!

Artists, musicians and dancers from across Central Australia come together for the Alice Desert Festival from 27 August to 6 September. Enjoy a range of live entertainment, delicious food and kid friendly events to celebrate the culture of the Alice and surrounds. The Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award offers prizes worth up to $50,000. Both well-known and up and coming artists are able to showcase their creative works to provide a glimpse into the world of modern day Indigenous art from 7 August to 1 November at the Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory.

iCity2Surf, Race info, viewed 22 June 2015,

iiCity2Surf, Start groups, viewed 22 June 2015,

iiiCity2Surf, Raising money, viewed 22 June 2015,

ivFood & Wine Expo, Newcastle food & wine expo exhibitors, viewed 22 June 2015,

vV8 Supercars, Support categories, viewed 22 June 2015,

viMelbourne Writers Festival 2015, MWF 2015, viewed 23 June 2015,

viiKangaroo Hoppet, 2015 Kangaroo Hoppet, viewed 22 June 2015,

viiiBrisbane City Council, Artists profiles, viewed 22 June 2015,

ixBrisbane City Council, FAQ, viewed 22 June 2015,

xYeppoon Triathlon Festival 2015, Event info, viewed 22 June 2015,

xiCinéfestOZ 2015, Indigenous films to screen at CinéfestOZ cultural day, viewed 23 June 2015,

xiiPerth City to Surf, Distances & fees, viewed 23 June 2015,

xiiiPerth City to Surf, Distances & fees, viewed 23 June 2015,

xivPerth City to Surf, Distances & fees, viewed 23 June 2015,

xvPerth City to Surf, Distances & fees, viewed 23 June 2015,

xviPerth City to Surf, Distances & fees, viewed 23 June 2015,

xviiLatrobe Council, Chocolate wonders of wearable art, viewed 23 June 2015,

xviiiTourism Tasmania, Jom festival, viewed 23 June 2015,

xixDarwin Festival, Darwin festival 2015 dates are now confirmed 6-23 August, 2015, viewed 23 June 2015,

xxAyres Rock Resort, Uluru astronomy weekend 2015, viewed 23 June 2015, viewed 23 June 2015,