Australia in the darkest depths of
As Australia plunges into the darkest depths of winter and Australians, visitors and working holiday makers alike have to make do with a sultry 14 hours of sunlight a day, back in the UK we're tipping the rainwater out of our barbecues and baring the 15 degree weather with bare legs and open toed sandals.
So as the coldest spring in Europe draws to an end and the coldest summer ever to be gets set to roll in, the lovely, balmy Australian winter continues to set scenes for peaceful walks on beaches and alcohol fuelled nights of debauchery without the threat of hypothermia.
Let's have a look of some ways of keeping warm in the bitter Australian winter:
Sir David Attenborough: A Life on Earth
Everyone's favourite granddad returns to Australia in June for a series of talks. Attenborough could literally talk about the fascinating ways paint dries and it would be enthralling, but throw the world's most famous naturalist in with the world's most diverse, dangerous and deadly flora and fauna and Sir David Attenborough: A Life on Earth becomes truly unmissable.
Sir David will be conducting two speeches in Sydney on the 19th and 20th followed by Melbourne on the 21st and 22nd.
Supanova Pop Culture Expo
Several members of the Planet
Express crew will be at the expo.
Pop culture is as relevant to a generation as music yet it's a shame that the vast majority of pop culture gets bundled in with pop music - which rarely stands the test of time. However, much of pop culture goes on to define childhoods and teenage years, creating a sense of nostalgia in later years much stronger than music or movies.
So, if you fancy taking a stroll down a recent memory lane to the toons of your teens and the toys of your tweens, the Supanova Pop Culture Expo will be in Sydney between the 21st and 23rd before moving on to Perth on the 28th.
Chris Tucker may have found his worldwide fame making high pitched performances in big budget ridiculous-fests like the Rush Hour films and Fifth Element but after a charming turn in the Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook, his star is once again on the rise and Tucker has taken the chance to return to his first love: stand-up.
Following in the footsteps of fellow comedian-turned-actor Tracy Morgan in bringing his show Down Under (although hopefully with much more successful consequences), Chris Tucker will be performing shows in Brisbane on the 13th and 14th before moving to Perth on the 21st.
Vivid Sydney - until the 10th
Vivid Sydney has become a genuine global event, held every winter in Australia, the country's most famous city's iconic skyline is digitally converted into a myriad of colour thanks to the modern marvel of a couple of fancy lasers.
The sails of the Opera House are an obvious target for the festival's biggest canvas and the Opera House predictably is the centre of attention as the sails are manipulated into dozens of different designs.
Sydney Film Festival 2013 - 5th to the 16th
It seems like two dudes with a widescreen TV and a couple of Blu-Rays of Fraggle Rock are enough to start a film festival these days but the Sydney Film Festival is one of the original and best.
Celebrating its 60th year in 2013, the Sydney Film Festival will be screening over 250 films, including 12 vying to be crowned in the Official Competition, an award that is accompanied by sixty thousand big ones.
Terminal Projekt 2 - 9th
Terminal Projekt is back again during Vivid to melt minds and mash imaginations as the kaleidoscopic lasers of Vivid are combined with the dance-pop reworkings of Tensnake at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney.
The Light in Winter - all month
Seeing as Australians allow the British to call a few months of slightly warmer drizzle summer, it seems only fair that we allow them to call a few months of slightly cooler sun winter, how fair that is is upto you but the Light in Winter festival will attempt to spread a wintry feel across the city's Fed Square in June.
With art installations, musical performances and lots of chill-inspiring motifs on display, you'll be convinced you're at home in the cold - until you look down and realise you're wearing sandals.
Burlesque and Swing - 7th to the 10th
Try not to act too much like
With The Greaty Gatsby - directed by Australia's own Baz Lurhmann - fresh in the cinemas, the style and glamour of the Jazz Age is about to be back in a big way. Get your jitterbug on down at the Melbourne Swing Festival or, if you prefer your 1920s a little more Holden Caulfield-esque, the Australia Burlesque Festival, nipple tassles and all, rolls into town on the same weekend.
Carnivores' Ball - 21st to the 22nd
Australians and barbecues are as cliche as the English and tea or the French and snails but despite Australia's famed prowess at grilling dead stuff on coals, they're still outdone by one nationality: the Americans.
However, Australian Burger Mary (she didn't enjoy high school) has been made an honorary Texan thanks to her own skills at the griddle and they'll be on show for two days of artery clogging bliss at the Carnivores' Ball.
Slava's Snowshow - 26th to the 30th
Clowns aren't really funny, that's been established for so long now no one even has to point it out anymore (see what I did there?). While that might have put an industry of birthday party performers out of business forever, one man has taken it in his stride and defied the world (and their childhood nightmares) with his own show.
Slava's Snowshow, taken from the Russian's appearance in the Cirque Du Soleil, is an award winning adventure of magic and emotion (or something less cheesy and much cooler).
Glitter, Garters and Tease - 29th
If you were getting all hot under the collar at the thought of some booming Burlesque action in Melbourne a little further up in the article but can't quite make it don't worry as the Glitter, Garters and Tease promises all that and more.
Coolio - 29th
He might have only had one song (quick, name another) but unlike most other one hit wonders, Gangsta's Paradise has stood the test of time and legions of kids who had never even seen Michelle Pfeiffer take them kids on that rollercoaster know every single word to the song. Coolio might have had a bit of a varied career since, even venturing into the culinary world for a time, but his original hit is still his calling card and rightly deserves its place up there with the very best in the hiphop genre.
All together now, "As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I take a look at my life...."
- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the 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