It's all eyes on the late Bart Cummings' horse, Precedence, at this year's Melbourne Cup, on 3 Novemberi, as some of the world's finest long-course runners vie for the $6.2 million in prize money and a place in history.
The race, traditionally run at 3pm on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington in Victoria, will be Precedence's fifth run. Meanwhile Cummings, who passed away earlier this year is renowned as the trainer who holds the record of 12 wins and was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1991ii.
Race day is a public holiday in Victoria but events are held nationwide, often at racecourses or fine restaurants, and it's customary to wear fun fashions and take part in the office sweep.
New South Wales
Some of Art's Great Masters are coming to the Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) this month as Destination NSW, in partnership with the AGNSW present The Greats: masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland.
As part of the 2015-2016 Sydney International Art Series the exhibition spans a period of over 400 years, moving from the Renaissance to Impressionism, and features over 70 paintings and drawings by some of the greatest European artists. See works by Botticelli, Cézanne, El Greco, Gauguin, Leonardo da Vinci, Monet, Poussin, Raphael, Rubens, Titian, Turner and Vermeer at the Art Gallery of NSW from the 24 October 2015 to 14 February 2016.
Towards the end of the month, the best golfers from around the world will compete for the Stonehaven Cup from 26 to 29 November at Australia's most prestigious golf championship, the Emirates Australian Open. The defending Champion, Jordan Spieth and former champion Adam Scott are confirmed to be among the contendersiii.
Electronic dance music lovers will enjoy the one-day Stereosonic music festival, starting in Sydney on 28 November and touring around to Perth (29 November), Adelaide and Melbourne (5 December,) and Brisbane (6 December)iv. The line-up includes Amin Van Buuren, Axwell & Ingross, Peking Duk, DJ Snake and Major Lazerv.
Academy award-winning actor Geoffrey Rush will star in Shakespeare's King Lear at the Roslyn Packer Theatre from 25 November to 9 January. Presented by the Sydney Theatre Company and directed by Neil Armfield AO, the tragedy tells the story of a flawed King who wants to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, according to the intensity of their professions of love for their father. His favourite daughter refuses to take part in this charade and all suffer the consequences of the old King's folly.
Take a drive to see more than 110 large-scale outdoor sculptures springing up amongst the finest Lower Hunter Valley boutique wineries in Sculpture in the Vineyards from 31 October to 29 November. You could also do a full or half-day Ngurra Bu Aboriginal Cultural tour, which covers traditional culture and artefacts in the Wollombi and Broke valleys.
Large rhododendron bushes are an amazing flowering spectacle, and you can see them at the Blackheath Rhododendron Festival from 23 October to 30 November. There will be a Rhodo Talent Show, Rhodo Festival, crowning of the Rhodo Princess, art show with more than 300 pieces, and Grand Parade on 7 November. There's also a debutante ball, festival revue, jazz festival and Rhodo Festival Golf Classic. Big crowds are expected at the 10am start for the mining-inspired competitions of roof bolting and coal shovellingvi, with teams coming from coalfields in Tasmania and Queensland to compete for five $2000 prizes.
The secrets and magic behind Doctor Who will be revealed during Australia's first Doctor Who Festival in Sydney from 21 to 22 November at the Royal Hall of Industries and Hordern Pavilion. You'll get to see a Q&A session with the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, learn how the monsters are created with makeup, take part in an interactive monster workshop, pose for photos with the cast and much morevii.
The Melbourne Cup will be the main event to frock up for and put a bet on in Victoria this month.
Good Food Month from 1 to 30 November will be another highlight, with a selection of Melbourne's world-class eateries putting on a showcase of their finest foods. The festival's program includes the Let's Do Lunch, Café Collective, Hats Off dinners, Bar Hop, pop-up restaurants and last but not least, the Night Noodle Markets. Located at Birrarung Marr, the markets will feature 50 food stalls representing China, Vietnam, Korea, India, Malaysia, Burma and Nepal from 12 to 29 November.
The tantalising Taste of Melbourne is held over four days from 12 to 15 November at Albert Park with more than 50 tasting-sized signature dishes from top local restaurants, such as Circa, The Prince, MoVida, Pastuso and Supernormal. Browse artisan stalls, mingle with award-winning chefs, and enjoy a glass of wine while watching live entertainment. The program includes the Taste Kitchen, where you can discover top chefs' secrets, and the Lurpak Cookery School, a series of 30-minute cooking classes focusing on improving your culinary skills while using quality ingredients.
The presentation of the gold jacket is a highlight of the annual Australian Masters golf tournament, to be held 19 to 22 November, at the Huntingdale Golf Club. If you can't make it, the tournament will be broadcast on the Seven Network for five hours each dayviii.
Music lovers can enjoy three days of the rockin' sounds of 41 acts on the Bellarine Peninsula, including Lior, Mustered Courage, Sahara Beck, Benny Walker, 19-Twenty, Franky Walnut and others, on 27 to 29 November, at the Queenscliff Music Festival. Enjoy the seaside air and great local and international musicians in this historic 19th century coastal town.
See the Holden, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo teams fight for points in the V8 Supercars championship on November 20 to 22 at Phillip Island. There will be a free barbecue and Q&A with the drivers on Saturday night, and other activities such as go-karting, penguin parades and helicopter ridesix.
Jump in the car for a two-hour drive (from Melbourne) to Shepparton for the OUTintheOPEN festival from 6-8 November. The festival's premier event is Carnival Day on 7 November in Queens Gardens and a Glamour Party will be held that nightx. A health-wellbeing forum will be held in the Goulburn Valley Hotel. It's being run by Kildonan UnitingCare to look at inequality and help build an inclusive GLBTIQ community.
Head to Mon Repos (four and a half hours' drive from Brisbane) for the start of the turtle nesting season when mother turtles swim ashore from November to January. The babies hatch later, between January and March. The beach has the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainlandxi.
If you want to combine exercising and a holiday, take part in the annual 2km and 750m ocean swim meet, and a 350m junior swim for those 13 years and under, at the Hamilton Island Triathlon and Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim on 22 November. It costs $90 per competitor, $60 per junior competitor and $55 per spectator, which includes ferry transfers to Whitsunday Islandxii.
Need a new feathered friend? Head to the biannual Beenleigh Bird Sale at Eagleby (about 30 minutes' drive from Brisbane)xiii. Or ruffle your feathers at the 38th annual Bird Week from 8 to 15 November at Lamington National Park on the Gold Coast, with guest speakers and guides to help you find the birds.
Liberté, égalité and fraternité will be celebrated at the Bonjour French Festival on the Gold Coast from 7 to 8 November. There will be two days of French-influenced activities, such as cuisine, art, music and sport.
Enjoy the speed and rush of kiteboarding, windsurfing and wakeboarding at round one of the 2015/16 National Kiteboarding League's series from 12 to 15 November. There will be seven rounds, beginning on the Gold Coast, and then traveling to five Australian states, then Christchurch, New Zealand, for a four-day event in each location. There will be 'have a go' sessions so you can try it out.
The 25th Pride parade WA will weave its way through the streets of Northbridge from 8pm on 21 November, and will be the highlight of the 16-day Pridefest 2015 festival of LGBTIQ events, such as an inaugural short film festival. The after-party, the Urban Orchard Garden Party, will be held at the Perth Cultural Centre. The full festival runs from 6 to 22 November.
Great surf, beautiful beaches and quality vineyards are the backdrop for the Margaret River Gourmet Escape (WA), where there will be a festival of food events to display the best wine and produce from around Western Australia from 20 to 22 November. New events will include Dining on the Jetty and The Godfather Dinner.
Outdoor junkies will want to take part in a big multi-race, multi-adventure weekend - the Act-Belong-Commit Augusta Adventure Fest - amid the wild landscapes of south-west WA on 7 and 8 November. There is something for all-comers: pairs, teams and individuals, in a 62.9km course with a trail, run, ocean swim, kayak and mountain bike sections.
Songs sung blue will hit all the right notes at the Blues at Bridgetown Festival, with a stellar lineup of over 50 international, interstate and local blues artists providing 155 hours of entertainment on the main stages and cafes, restaurants and hotels from 13 to 15 November. There will also be buskers, street entertainment and local food and arts and crafts stalls.
All things Beaufort Street - food, music and fashion - will be celebrated at the Beaufort Street Festival on 14 November, which goes from noon to 9pmxiv. There will be creative and artistic performers, and artists who've created works that capture the spirit of Beaufort Street.
The blessing of the crayfishing boats will mark the beginning of the Indian Ocean Festival in Jurien Bay, which shows off the region's natural attractions on 7 November from 10am to 8.30pm. There will be a maritime theme to all exhibitions, along with free live musical and cultural entertainment, a free petting zoo, and family- oriented entertainment. There will also be sideshows, raffles, and food stalls. It finishes with fireworks and live music.
On 14 November the Credit Union Christmas Pageant will wind its way through the main streets of Adelaide, starting at the corner of South Terrace and King William Street at 9.30amxv. There will be more than 57 festive and fairy tale floats, 15 marching bands, dancing groups, 15 walking sets and 164 clowns in 75 clown sets. More than 330,000 people are expected to line the 3.3km route.
Equestrian Eventing fans will love Australia's International 3-Day Event, from 19 to 22 November. Adelaide's parklands host this Olympic-standard competition including dressage, show jumping and cross-country.
Austria's Eurovision 2014 winner, Conchita Wurst will star in 'The Art of Drag' as a headliner of the queer arts and culture Feast Festival from 14 to 29 November. Events include theatre, cabaret, film, literature, visual arts and community celebrations.
It's a 7am start for the ASICS Franklin Island Triathlon on 29 November with various combinations of distances to match your fitness abilities. The first event is a short triathlon with a 160m swim, 8km cycle and a 1.5km run/walk. Second up is a 5km fun run/walk or push a pram. The third event is a Sprint Distance Triathlon with a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run and the final event is a mini triathlon for children aged five to 18 years, with a 50m swim, 2km cycle, and 400m run/walkxvi. Check the website to find out which events you're eligible to participate in.
"Good thinking 99!" Besotted fans can meet their TV idols, like Barbara Feldon from Get Smart and Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeannie, at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo on November 20 to 22 in Adelaide, which later moves to Brisbane on 27 to 29 November.
Cycle your way through 205km of picturesque scenery in the Cycle Isle Gran Fondo on 28 November. The ride starts and finishes in Devonport and goes through Echo Valley in the Cradle Coast region.
Indulge your tastebuds with crayfish, mussels, oysters, tacos, game burgers, paella and a "pop up" café that only serves chocolate cake at the Bicheno Food and Wine Festival on 21 November. There will be live music from some of Tassie's best blues and roots musicians, cooking classes and face painting for the kids, a home brew competition, and a vintage surfboard exhibit.
More than 500 players and spectators from around Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Cook Islands will be involved in the seven-day Golden Oldies Netball Festival, which will be hosted in Hobart this year for the first time from 1 to 8 Novemberxvii. You have to be at least 35 years old to take part, and the team styles range from "social" to "competitive".
See spectacular airborne antics off the top of sand dunes in the two-day, 5km Tasmanian Sand Enduro track at St Helens from 31 October to 1 Novemberxviii. There are new challenges every year, as the prevailing winds change the circuit over the dunesxix.
Australian Capital Territory
This year marks the 97th anniversary of the armistice on 11 November, 1918xx. At 11am, Australians will pause to remember those who fought and died for Australia's cause in all wars and armed conflicts for Remembrance Day. Official proceedings at the Australian War Memorial will be held from 10.15am to noon to pay your respects, hear speeches from dignitaries and see wreaths being laid. Members of the public are encouraged to attend. The Memorial will be closed during the ceremony and will re-open when it finishes.
If you're into craft beer, beer dinners, 'Beer Day Out', meet-the-brewers and tap takeovers, visit Canberra Beer Week from 5 to 11 November to mingle with some of the best local brewers.
Fishermen and women can pit their wits and strength against billfish and fighting Spanish mackerel in the three-day XXXX Gold Billfish Classic from 6 to 8 November in the Northern Territory. Darwin Game Fishing Club's annual Billfish Classic is a three-day event where teams consisting of two, three or four anglers compete in tagging, photographing and releasing their catch.
Next on the menu are the big game fish, in the Gove Game Classic Fishing Competition for barracuda, sailfish or marlin in clear blue water of the Arafura Sea, off Nhulunbuy. It's held over four days from 28 November, and you can have a team of 2 to 4 anglers and enter one of more than 40 categories for $20,000 in prizesxxi.
Twelve contemporary artists have explored popular culture in an inter-cultural Monster Pop exhibition at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory from 31 October to 14 February 2016.