What's on around Australia in May

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Whether you want to relax with some fine food and wine in Noosa, get your heart racing with the V8 supercars in Perth or stimulate your imagination at the Sydney Writers Festival, there's a lot to see and do around Australia in May.

The seaside town of Busselton in WA will host both the Ironman 70.3 triathlon and the Wings for Life Run in May.

Western Australia

In Western Australia, the month starts with a festival designed to make you work up a sweat - the Busselton Festival of Triathlon. From the 1st to 4th of May, approximately 17,000 peoplei visit the seaside town of Busselton to watch and participate in the weekend's events, including a 1km open water swim, a discussion with a panel of pro athletes, a kids triathlon and, the main event, the Ironman 70.3 triathlon. On the 4th of May, Busselton will also be the only Australian location for the Wings for Life World Run. This 15km run raises money for spinal cord injury research and will take place at the exact same time in 33 countries all around the worldii.

For those who'd rather get a work out from a good laugh than a triathlon, the Perth International Comedy Festival is on from the 1st to 18th of the month. The Festival showcases international comedy stars and home-grown favourites including Frank Woodley, Bob Downe and Felicity Wardiii. Perth also hosts the V8 Supercars from the 16th to the 18th May, so head down to Barbagallo Raceway for plenty of V8 action.


For lovers of motorsport, the Targa Tasmania rally is not to be missed. The tarmac-based rally course covers approximately 2,000km on closed roads throughout the state from the 6th to the 11th May. The ally will start in the north in George Town before travelling through forty competitive stages, with the finish line in Hobartiv.

One of Australia's biggest agricultural events, Agfest is on from the 1st to the 3rd of May in Launceston. The huge field day offers plenty to see and do, with pavilions displaying premium dairy products, fine food and wine as well as arts and craftv. There'll also be an equine expo, sheep dog trial and heritage agricultural machinery display, so Agfest has something for the whole family!

Australian Capital Territory

Celebrate twenty years of the Canberra International Music Festival with a variety of classical music events in the nation's capital from the 9th to the 18th of May. The festival's theme this year is "The Fire and the Rose", commemorating the centenary of the start of World War I and the 75th anniversary of WWII. The festival will provide a musical perspective of wartime by exploring the works of artists and composers who served as soldiers on all sides during the first and second world wars, as well as celebrating peace and unity with an opening concert on Europe Day.

From the 23rd of May to the 9th of June, Vivid will illuminate Sydney landmarks after dark.

New South Wales

The prestigious Sydney Writers Festival is on from the 19th to the 25th May, with a week of free and ticketed events taking place at Walsh Bay, the CBD and in regional centres across Sydney. Get in early to catch interesting book talks and thought-provoking guest speakers discussing everything to do with writing, reading and books.

Another extremely popular event is brightening up the city again this year, with Vivid Sydney on from the 23rd May until the 9th of June. Billed as a festival of light, music and ideas, expect to see the city illuminated with creative light installations after dark, hear a band play on the Opera House forecourt or get involved with the Vivid Ideas Exchange at the Museum of Contemporary Art.


On the 3rd of May, Trentham is hosting a food festival with a difference - the star of the show is the humble potato. The Great Trentham Spudfest will open your eyes to the endless culinary possibilities of this wonderful vegetable. There'll also be fun for the whole family with roaming entertainers, live music, a petting zoo and plenty of spud-themed games and activities.

If you eat too much at the Spudfest, you can put the carbs to good use at the Great Ocean Road International Marathon on the 17th and 18th of May. Known as Australia's most picturesque marathon - the course lies along the stunning southern coastline - there's a range of competition options to sign up to, whether you wish to compete in the 6km, 14km, or the full 45km run.

Northern Territory

Catch the Flickerfest Short Film Festival at the iconic Deckchair Cinema in Darwin on the 9th of May. Although the festival will be touring nationally, it's hard to beat an evening of local and international short films under the stars with Darwin's balmy temperatures and coastal views.

For those who love mountain biking, Alice Springs will be the place to be from the 19th to 23rd May for the Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro. Participants will explore the magnificent landscapes of the Red Centre and the MacDonnell Ranges as they compete in the seven stage race on off-road dirt tracks. Prepare for plenty of dust, sweat and tears!


Step back in time and enjoy a little 16th century entertainment at the Gold Coast Renaissance Faire at Broadbeach from the 3rd to 4th May. There's something for the whole family, with Shakespearean performances, fencing and archery tournaments, puppet shows for the little ones and plenty of traditional food and drink, including Cornish pasties, sweet meats and ale.

If you'd prefer to dine on more modern fare, check out the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival from the 15th to the 18th of May. There's a huge range of celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, dining experiences and fine food and wine tastings.

South Australia

Why not experience the Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend on May 16-18. Enjoy the scenic surrounds of the Clare Valley while celebrating the end of vintage with the valley's fine wine and food produce.

You can also enjoy some regional wines and produce while discovering Coonawarra's literary and arts heritage at the Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival from the 22nd to 25th May. The festival features art exhibitions, workshops and live performances including everything from opera to belly dancing, stand-up comedy to country bluesvi.

iTriathlon WA, Retail Expo, viewed 26 March 2014,

iiWings for Life 2014, About, viewed 26 March 2014,

iiiPerth International Comedy Festival, Shows, viewed 26 March 2014,

ivTarga Tasmania, State map, viewed 26 March 2014,

vAGFEST 2014, Things to see and do, viewed 26 March 2014,

viPenola Coonawarra Arts Festival, Festival Program, viewed 1 April 2014,