February in the UK is dark, damp and, if you're single, depressing. Still broke from Christmas and still stuck in the depths of winter, it's no wonder girlfriends, wives and boyfriends get upset when the one good thing about the month, Valentines Day, is forgotten.
But if you're in Australia however, then February is still the height of summer, temperatures rarely drop below a FREEZING 25 degrees across the country and the only cold people moan about is the temperature of their iced vegemite lollies (these definitely might exist).
So if you're Down Under this month and are keen to rub it in your British friends' faces, then here's a look at some of the best stuff going on this month.
This guy only went out for some
bread. Good job he had his
surfboard with him.
What would an Australian summer, or an Australian Wednesday for that matter, be without surfing? The Australian Open of Surfing takes place between the 11th and 19th of February and doesn't JUST include some of the world's top names in surfing cleaving through some of the world's top surfing waves but also features plenty of live music, fashion shows and skateboarding events for those moments when you're glancing away from the water.
Nearly finished the swim, only got
a 50 mile bike ride and a
marathon left. Easy.
The Australian summer is the time for late nights on warm porches, cold beer on hot beaches and spicy barbecues on neighbours' porches (when they're not in), it is NOT the time for swimming 2 km, cycling EIGHTY THREE km and then rounding the day off with a nice gentle MARATHON.
The Jervis Bay Triathlon Festival offers plenty of different race options between the 17th and 19th, but if you're sensible, or just obese, you can do the proper thing and just sit back on the beach with a nice cold beer (or vegemite lolly) and indulge in that most popular of pastimes: watching other people work.
Canberra is the place to be in February as the world's largest short film festival comes to town on the 19th. Tropfest, which regularly attracts a whopping 150,000 a day started life as a simple screening in a Sydney cafe but has since grown to one of the most popular events in world cinema with events not just in Australia but London, Berlin, New York and Bangkok.
You couldn't get more dangerous
than this if you were running with
scissors across a road without
If you're in or around Melbourne between the 24th and 26th, why not head down to Phillip Island to witness the best fusing of man and machine since Darth Vader took his helmet off and scared you behind the couch (your mum told us): Superbikes. Taking place over two days on Phillip Island the Superbike World Championship is fast, furious and about as dangerous as playing with fireworks on a level crossing; superbikes make Formula 1 look like the kid with glasses and asthma on cross country day.
The Adelaide Fringe Festival runs from the 24th February until the 18th March is now the largest arts festival in Australia with 52 years' worth of history to back it up. While it may be not as famous as its Scottish cousin the Edingburgh Fringe Festival, it packs just as much of a punch with hundreds upon hundreds of comedy shows, circus events, dancing events, film screenings and so much culture you'll need a cold compress and a Jeremy Kyle marathon to get over it.
- Dominic Ladden-Powell is Online Editor with the Australian Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to Australia.
©Visa Bureau 2003-2013