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Winter Festivals in Australia – The Ultimate List

festivalNo matter what time of the year you catch a flight to Australia, there is probably a festival… or two… or five that you can plan into your itinerary. Winter in Australia is no different, meaning there are just as many happening around this festival-loving country then as there are in summer. Just to give you a taste of what’s on offer for those cooler months in June, July and August, here is a list of some winter festivals in Australia that happen year after year.


Sydney Film Festival (Sydney) – The Sydney Film Festival was started back in 1954 and takes place each year in June. Films on feature are international and Australian-made. Visit site >>

Melbourne International Film Festival (Melbourne) – The MIFF takes place over a course of three weeks in Melbourne either in July or August. It shows over 400 films and is attended by more people than any other film festival in Australia. Visit site >>

Revelation Perth Film Festival (Perth) – The Revelation Perth Film Festival was started in 1997 and runs every July. It features international films, documentaries and short films to name a few. Visit site >>

Melbourne Underground Film Festival (Melbourne) – The MUFF formed out of need for an alternative to the MIFF. More alternative and controversial films, generally not shown at the MIFF, may be shown here. The festival is held annually, usually in winter, but the date is always changing. Visit site >>

Melbourne International Animation Festival (Melbourne) – The MIAF takes place each year in June and features hundreds of animated films from over 30 countries. It is the biggest event of its kind in Australia. Visit site >>


splendourSplendour in the Grass (Byron Bay) – Splendour in the Grass is a large music festival that takes place every year in July. Music featured includes rock, hip-hop, electronic and alternative. Visit site >>

Come Together Music Festival (Sydney) – The Come Together Music Festival takes place on the long weekend in June (thanks to the Queen’s Birthday) at Luna Park, and it features acts from both Australia and New Zealand. Visit site >>

Isotopia Festival (Darwin) – The Isotopia Festival is an annual art and music gathering that takes place in July. The festival features electronic music, lifestyle and environmental speakers and art. Visit site >>

Cairns Winter Solstice Celebration (Cairns) – The Cairns Winter Solstice festival happens every year in July to celebrate alternative lifestyles. It features music, healers and artists. Visit site >>

We Love Sounds Winter Festival – The We Love Sounds Winter Festival takes place every year at various cities across Australia and New Zealand. The festival features a collection of acts including dj’s and electronic music. Visit site >>

Festival of Voices (Hobart) – The Festival of Voices is an annual event taking place mid-winter in Hobart. The event draws attention to singing, performing and learning. Visit site >>

Wintersun Festival (Coolangatta) – The Wintersun Festival is a retro rock & roll type of event in June featuring some live music, hot rods and parades. Visit site >>


Melbourne Writers Festival (Melbourne) – The Melbourne Writers Festivals takes place each year usually near the end of August and features both international and local writers that take part in hundreds of events. Visit site >>

Kimberley Writers Festival (East Kimberley) – The Kimberly Writers Festival takes place annually in one of the winter months. Visit site >>

Mildura Writers Festival (Mildura) – The Mildura Writers Festival takes place annually in July. The setting on the edge of the outback and on the Murray River provide an interesting backdrop to the three days of art, food and wine. Visit site >>


winter-magicWinter Festival – The Winter Festival takes place in Sydney, Melbourne and Bondi each year to bring a little bit of foreign winter fun into Australia. Event features ice skating, food and drink and more! Visit site >>

Winter Magic Festival (Katoomba) – The Winter Magic Festival takes place each year in Katoomba around the winter solstice. It features music, dance and a parade. Visit site >>

Food & Wine

Good Food & Wine Show – The Good Food & Wine Show takes place across Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, and most of these happen during the winter months. Visit site >>

Fireside Festival (Canberra) – The Fireside Festival is held annually in August in various locations around Canberra. It features food, wine and art. Visit site >>


whale-watchingHervey Bay Whale Festival (Hervey Bay) – The Hervey Bay Whale Festival takes place in August and includes a parade and a concert for whale aid. Visit site >>

Cooktown Discovery Festival (Cooktown) – The Cooktown Discovery Festival takes place annually in June on the Queen’s Birthday weekend. It re-enacts the interaction between Lt. James Cook, the British people and the Aboriginal people. Visit site >>

Alice Springs Beanie Festival (Alice Springs) – The Alice Springs Beanie Festival is a celebration of hats every June. It has become a regional art form in Central Australia. Visit site >>

Adelaide Cabaret Festival (Adelaide) – This annual Cabaret event takes place every June as the largest of its type. It features more than 200 shows during its 17 days of performances. Visit site >>

Fun4Kids Children’s Festival (Warrnambool) – Fun4Kids is a yearly festival focusing on family and children activities that takes place during Victoria’s school holidays. It draws over 250,000 people each year and has been named the “Best Community Event in Australia”. Visit site >>

Darwin Festival (Darwin) – The Darwin Festival takes place over 18 days at the “Top End” and showcases all forms of art including comedy skits, concerts, dance and music, cabaret, film, theater and other visual arts. Visit site >>

Lions Imparja Camel Cup (Alice Springs) – The Camel Cup is a camel race that usually occurs in July in Alice Springs. It takes place annually and has several markets and other forms of entertainment to fill out the even. Visit site >>

This list is a work in progress. If you know of any worthy festivals that happen each year in Australia’s winter, please leave a comment below. I will update the list periodically.

Getting to Winter Festivals in Australia

You can drive, fly or take a train to these winter festivals around Australia. If you want a real adventure, a campervan rental is known for being the ultimate festival-going machine. Plot out a route and hit a few different ones along the way!

Photo credit: 1 & 2 – bradii; 3 – thesleepless; 4 – centophobia