What's on in April
If you're thinking about taking a family road trip over the Easter break, why not visit one of the festivals or events taking place in your state? For comedy or design you could visit Melbourne, for food and wine festivals South Australia is the place to be, and if you're after something a little different you could even try a prison art tour in Western Australia or Darwin's famous Deckchair Cinema.
New South Wales
It wouldn't be Easter without the Sydney Royal Easter Show, which is on from the 10th to 23rd of April at Sydney Olympic Park. This year the iconic show promises to be bigger than ever with huge fireworks displays, fresh produce exhibitions, wood chopping competitions, and, of course, plenty of rides and showbags.
Foodies should head to Orange from the 4th to the 13th of April for F.O.O.D Week, a festival of Orange produce and food that promises to be delicious with a variety of markets and gourmet events. For something a little faster-paced check out the Bathurst Motor Festival over the Easter long weekend (18th-20th April). The festival will feature plenty of on-track action including the Formula 3 Drivers Championship on Mount Panorama.
Melbourne hosts a number of exciting events this April, with comedy lovers sure to snap up tickets to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival running from the end of March until the 20th of April. During the first week of the month (1st - 6th April), Melbourne also celebrates design excellence with the Design Matters Melbourne International Design Week. Out of the city, the Bright Autumn Festival in Victoria's Alpine country runs from the 25th of April to the 4th of May. It celebrates the autumnal colours and beautiful seasonal produce of the Alpine region. At the Bright Autumn Festival you'll be able to experience the Gala Day Market and Parade, gold panning expeditions and even enjoy a dance or two at the Autumn Festival Ball.
This time of year South Australia has a lot going on. On Kangaroo Island between the 24th and 28th the FEASTival promises to be one of the tastiest events of the year, billed as a "five day gastronomic celebration" with 15 unique dining experiences on the menu. There's also good food to be had at the Adelaide Food and Wine Festival, which runs from the 4th to the 13th of April. This festival promises to live up to every foodie's dreams - there are not only markets and expos but also an 891 chef challenge, a bacon trail (where you can taste all the pork options at the Adelaide market), porchetta party and a coffee crawl!
For something a little different, the Rock & Roll Rendezvous in the Adelaide Hills on Sunday the 13th of April is a day run by the National Motor Museum that combines classic vehicles with music, dancing, family friendly activities, and retro fashion. If you want to make a weekend of it, head to the Barossa Valley on Sunday the 14th, as the Barossa Airshow at Rowland Flat promises to be a day of fun for the whole family.
From the 2nd to the 26th the Surfer's Paradise Festival will showcase the music, art, food, and culture that this tourism hot-spot has to offer through four weekend events - all of them are free! These will include food festivals, concerts, street parades and the Australian Street Entertainment Championshipsi. Meanwhile, from the 3rd to the 13th of April the Gold Coast Film Festival has a diverse range of films and events on.
Leaving the city behind for something very different, the Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Festival is an outback original and something you won't find anywhere else in the world! During the weekend of the 11th of April the town of Julia swells from its usual population of around 400 people to 3000ii. The biggest event of the weekend is the triathlon, testing participating athletes in one of Queensland's hottest and harshest climates.
On the 5th of April (and every first Saturday of the month) you can experience the Freemantle Prison Art tour, which showcases artwork created by prisoners throughout the gaol's 136 year history. In Perth the hugely popular City Twilight Hawker Markets brings street food from all over the world to the centre of the city every Friday night, but sadly the markets will finish at the end of April. Once the warm weather ends, Northbridge's Rooftop Movies also wrap up after Apriliii , so get in quick to enjoy these Perth favourites while you can.
Film buffs should also check out Darwin's famous Deckchair Cinema, which has been closed for the wet season but re-opens on the 16th of April. 2014 marks the Deckchair Cinema's 20th birthday, and they're celebrating with an eclectic selection of foreign and local filmsiv.
For something a little bit more active the 2014 National Water Ski Championships is being held in Darwin from the 17th to the 21st of April. Also on in the top end, Alice Springs Heritage Festival begins on the 13th and will be a week-long celebration of local Alice Springs history and community, including a bus tour of heritage sites and Heritage Night at the Telegraph Station that will take you back in time!
Australian Capital Territory
This April, the capital plays host to two big festivals. First, the Wine Harvest Festival will be held on the weekend of the 5th of April, celebrating the wine harvest in the Canberra region. Apart from wine tastings, local wineries will also be offering special tours, live music, lunches and dinners.
Later in the month, the National Folk Festival will take place in Canberra's Exhibition Park from the 17th to the 21st of April. The festival will feature over 200 acts and there's something on offer for every taste - from acoustic, blues and roots to gypsy and Celtic music.
Away from the mainland, the Tasmanian town of Sheffield will be hosting the International Mural Festival from the 31st of March through to the 6th of April. This year's theme for the festival will be "Island life" and nine artists will complete in a "paint off" with the winner taking home a grand prize of $12,500.
Need more inspiration for a fun day away from home? Have a look at our tips on day trips out of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane; all destinations can be reached within approximately two hours by car from the closest capital city.