What's on in your nearest capital city? From the Top Gear Festival in NSW and Formula 1 in Melbourne to the Brisbane Comedy Festival and WOMADelaide, you'll find something to entertain each member of the family.
With a variety of art exhibitions, music performances, food festivals and much more, autumn has never seemed so hot! For motorsport enthusiasts, check out what's going on in Melbourne and Sydney; for knee-slapping humour, head up to Brisbane; and for an extraordinary light display, the nation's capital is the place for you.
New South Wales
Starting the month off with pride, the Mardi Gras Parade will be held on Saturday 1st of March as part of the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras season. Join the largest annual celebration of gay pride in the Southern Hemispherei from the sidelines of Sydney's Oxford and Flinders Streetsii. The Mardi Gras Parade attracts thousands of visitors each year with everyone looking to experience the spectacular costumes and fabulous floats that combine light-hearted themes with a serious message of diversity, equality and infinite loveii.
For car lovers, the second annual Top Gear Festival will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park on the 8-9th of March. The festival promises a star-studded line-up including Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson, James May and The Stigiii, on a weekend filled with stunts, races, and even a match of car football! If you're planning to drive to the venue, pre-paid parking can be purchased for $20 a day, while free shuttle buses will be operating on a regular basis from Blacktown Stationiv.
The 19th Biennale of Sydney commences on the 21st of March and runs until the 9th of June 2014, displaying a host of works by both international and local artists for freev. This year's theme 'You Imagine What You Desire' will influence the exhibitions and events held throughout the city at various venues including the Art Gallery of NSW, Carriageworks, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Cockatoo Islandvi.
The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix is coming to Melbourne from the 13-16th of March. Internationally acclaimed racing drivers will join the ranks of this year's Grand Prix, including Australia's own Daniel Ricciardo. Watch the 2014 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, MSS Security V8 Supercars Challenge and the Mazda3 Celebrity Challengevii as drivers battle it out on the track to be the best in their field.
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival will be calling on all food connoisseurs from the 28th of February to the 16th of Marchviii. This family friendly festival features over 200 events at various locations including along the banks of the Yarra River and in Melbourne's iconic laneways. Join in the fun at the Langham Melbourne Masterclass where gourmands will learn some tips and tricks from Michelin-starred chefs in a program of interactive cooking demonstrations.
WOMADelaide, the World of Music, Arts and Dance, is coming up in March from the 7th to the 10th, celebrating its 22nd year in Australia. This family-friendly event is held in Adelaide's Botanic Park and is host to seven stages where performers from all over the world will come together. At the festival, children are kept entertained in the KidZone activity area, while adults can take part in the Taste the World cooking program and Planet Talks discussions in between music and dance performances.
Australian Capital Territory
In celebration of Canberra Day on the 10th of March, the nation's capital is holding a variety of events to suit all tastes. From the 8-16th of March, the Canberra Balloon Spectacular will be filling the Lawns of Old Parliament House with colourful hot air balloons that will launch by 7.30am dailyix. Whether you're jumping into a hot air balloon yourself or watching from the ground, make sure you fill up on a hot breakfast and enjoy the live music playing each morning.
For night owls and culture vultures, the Enlighten Festival will be sure to inspire when it runs from the 28th February to the 8th of March. The festival will offer a range of live performances, talks and exhibitions taking place afterhours in illuminated national monuments, such as the National Art Gallery and Parliament House.
The Brisbane Comedy Festival, from the 25th of February to the 23rd of March, will be showcasing over 40 international and local comedians. With some shows free and others starting from $12x, you can ill-afford to miss out on the talent performing at the Brisbane Comedy Festival. Split your sides laughing with Wil Anderson and Fiona O'Loughlin, and crack up with international acts like Stephen K Amos and Jeff Green.
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.