Summer is in full swing for Christmas and New Years Eve in Australia – and along with the warm weather there are outdoor events all around the country. Candle-lit carol singing in city parks, sporting competitions, vibrant New Year’s Eve celebrations and cultural events continue right up until February. Here are a few of the events you can look forward to.
NEW SOUTH WALES
For many, Christmas Day in Sydney means a day in the sun on Bondi Beach swapping gifts, feasting on fabulous food like large tiger prawns, and swimming.
Carols in the Domain: 18 December 2010
The annual Carols in the Domain is one of Australia’s largest Christmas events held in the centre of Sydney in the Royal Botanic Gardens. There is a huge line-up of talented performers for this year’s event, so take your picnic blanket and some snacks along with a couple of mates. Take a look at http://www.carolsinthedomain.com.au/ for more info.
New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour: 31 December 2010
Sydney Harbour’s New Year event is one of the largest free public events in the world – usually more than one million people join in the celebrations on and around the harbour. There are many vantage points along the 65 kilometres of foreshore land for people to gather with friends and family. And in the final seconds before midnight on 31 December, a billion eyes focus on Sydney to celebrate one of the first fireworks display of the New Year.
Sydney Festival: 10 - 31 January 2011
Sydney Festival brings together an incredible outdoor program including the Domain concerts, the very best international and national performing and visual artists, and events held in most of Sydney's theatres, galleries and concert halls. Visit: http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2011/ for more info.
Medibank International Tennis Tournament 2011: 9 - 15 January 2011
Tennis fans will love the Sydney International Tennis Tournament to see some of the world's top tennis stars but there are also plenty of off-court action with bands, roving entertainment, theme days, prizes and interactive games. Check out: http://www.medibankinternational.com.au/.
Chinese New Year Festival 2010: 12 February 2010 – 28 February 2010
All the noise and excitement of the Chinese New Year Festival begins with an exciting Launch Celebration at the first night of the Festival Markets in Belmore Park. With firecrackers scaring away the previous year’s misfortune, the clash of cymbals and gongs as lions and dragons come to life, visiting performers from Hubei in central China, as well as all the sights, colours and flavours of the New Year Markets, the Launch is a night for everyone. Visit: http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/cny/
Vision Australia Carols By Candlelight: 24 December 2010
Melbourne International Dragon Boat Festival: 13 March 2011
One of the most spectacular Carols by Candlelight events is held in Melbourne, in the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Christmas Eve. Take a picnic basket and blanket and relax on the grass during the entertainment. Visit: http://www.visionaustralia.org.au/
Australian Open Tennis Championships: 17 - 30 January 2011
The Australian Open tennis tournament is the biggest sporting event in the world to take place in January. Five hundred of the world’s top tennis players will compete at the first grand slam event of the year. http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/index.html
Melbourne Chinese New Year Festival: 6 February 2011
This Chinese New Year Festival features a variety of street activities, lions and dragons, fireworks, food stalls, cultural entertainment, karaoke, and children's events to celebrate the start of the new year. The 2011 Melbourne Chinese New Year Festival will feature traditional and contemporary Chinese cultural activities, including Chinese opera and singing, food stalls, arts and crafts, Chinese chess competitions, lion dances, dragon parades, and children's events.
The Dragon Boat Festival has long been one of the most important and internationally renowned events of its kind anywhere in Australia. The rich multicultural flavour of the event brings enormous excitement to the event and retains a powerful connection to the traditions of dragon boating. Teams come from around Australia and overseas to compete and to enjoy the spectacle. http://www.dragonboatsvictoria.com.au/
Carols in the City: 4 December 2010
A host of activities in Brisbane throughout the Christmas season include Carols in the City on 5 December featuring a range of artists including Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian and jazz virtuoso James Morrison on the Brisbane River Stage in the Botanic Gardens. http://www.ourbrisbane.com/
Summer Solstice Light Spectacle - Capricorn Caves: December 2010 - January 2011
This brilliant spectacle is unique in the Southern Hemisphere and occurs when a beam of dazzling bright sunlight penetrates through a 14m vertical shaft into the darkened Capricorn Caves. This natural phenomenon can be viewed through December and early January and is a special experience and a delight for photographers. http://www.capricorncaves.com.au/.
Woodford Folk Festival - Woodford, north of Brisbane: 27 December 2010 - 1 January 2011
The Woodford Folk Festival is an event of international standing which is held over six days and six nights. Around 2000 performers and 400 events are held throughout the festival including concerts, dances, forums, street theatre, writers' panels, film festival, comedy sessions, acoustic jams, social dialogue, a children's festival, art and craft workshops, late night cabarets and more. http://www.woodfordfolkfestival.com/
Rocky New Year Festival: 29 December 209 - 1 January 2010
Rock into the New Year Festival in Rockhampton - this town knows how to throw a party and for four days this Central Queensland town celebrates in style. Frock up for the black tie ball and boots ball or head to the picnic race day, watch a bull ride or take a boat cruise. http://www.ballevents.org.au/
Carols by the Bay: 19 December 2010
Cygnet Folk Festival: 14 –16 January 2010
The City of Hobart Carols by Candlelight has in recent years been recognised as one of the State’s biggest community events. It is held at Sandown Park, Sandy Bay in Hobart.
Taste of Tasmania (The Taste): 28 December 2009 – 3 January 2010
One of the state's best-known summer attractions, the Taste of Tasmania showcases a variety of celebrated wine and food. The Taste of Tasmania presents a range of international cuisine based upon Tasmania's renowned local produce and provides a forum for entertainers from around the world. You can herald the New Year at The Taste New Years Eve Celebrations, where patrons can enjoy the finest Tasmania has to offer by way of food and wine and get a front-row seat to Hobart's New Years Eve Fireworks display. http://www.tastefestival.com.au/
The Cygnet Folk Festival is a premier folk and world music event. This sleepy town of Cygnet, situated in the beautiful Huon Valley and nestled in the picturesque bay of Port Cygnet, comes alive with music with events the pubs, halls, cafes, parks and streets. http://www.cygnetfolkfestival.org/
In Western Australia, Perth’s Cottesloe Beach is a favourite destination for a Christmas Day barbeque; or a picnic by the Swan River is a popular choice.
City of Perth Christmas Festival: 12 November 2010 – 6 January 2011
Perth’s Christmas Festival gets underway with the Turning on the Christmas Lights in November and the festival continues with a range of activities including; Friday Night Christmas Concerts, Santa Train, and Christmas Nativity.
SOUTH AUSTRALIACarols By Candelight: 19 December 2010
Head down to Elder Park on the banks of the River Torrens in Adelaide to be part of the 63rd Carols by Candlelight. Light a candle and sing along to your favourite Christmas tunes with some of Australia’s best-known celebrities and performers.
New Year’s Eve at the Bay: 31 December 2010
The popular seaside destination of Hodfast Bay hosts a huge party and celebration on the foreshore and midnight fireworks.
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: 26 December 2010 – 1 January 2011
On Boxing Day, thousands of spectators take ringside seats along Sydney’s harbour foreshores to see the start of Australia’s largest ocean race. Over the past 62 years, the Rolex Sydney to Hobart has become an icon of Australia’s summer sport, attracting a huge range of yachts of various sizes each year. The race kicks off from Nielsen Park in Sydney Harbour and takes the fleet 628 nautical miles to the finish line in the Derwent River, Hobart.
Across Australia, the Christmas Holiday period is synonymous with cricket. Aussies love nothing better than sitting back on a hot summer’s day, watching our teams battle it out against the best in the world. This year The Ashes series of test matches will be played around Australia.
Australia vs England:
- Brisbane Cricket Ground or the "Gabba" in Brisbane from 25-29 November 2010.
- Adelaide Oval in Adelaide from 3-7 December 2010.
- Western Australian Cricket Association Ground or the "WACA" in Perth from 16-20 December 2010.
- Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) from 26-30 December 2010.
- Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) from 3-7 January 2011.
- Apply for your Australian Working Holiday Visa and you could be travelling around Australia in the very near future.
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