Australian and New Zealand autumn festivals

The coming of March marks the shift to autumn in Australia and New Zealand and while that means summer fun is over, the festivities will continue. Autumn is an excellent period of events, music concerts and festivity. Here are some of the key events over the next three months to look out for.

Feel free to add your event to the list in the comment section below.

March

Pic: womadelaide.com.au

Pic: womadelaide.com.au

> WOMADelaide, Adelaide, Australia (7-10)
The World of Music, Arts and Dance has been going over thirty years and still is one of Australia’s best loved outdoor festivals. For four days there are performances and workshops on various stages by musicians, DJs and dancers, plus plenty of good food, environmental discussion and good vibes.
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Let the party begin: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Pic: mardigras.org.au

Pic: mardigras.org.au

February and March are a great time to be in Sydney when the city comes alive with the frocks, feathers and frivolity of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Running from February 7th and culminating in the parade on March 1st, there’s a month long program including:
* Rainbow Fun Run, February 8
* Find love on wheels – bike rides around the city on three dates: February 9, 16, 23
* Fair Day, February 9
* Team Sydney Annual Tug of War Festival, February 9
* The Harbour Party, February 22
* Sunset Cruise, February 26
* Cabaret, theatre, arts and films at various times
* Laneway party, March 2
* and plenty more … Continue reading

What to do on Australia Day

J1283-STB_Cockroach_A5_0

Pic: StoryBridgeHotel

Australia’s Day is held annually on January 26. It’s a fun day where anything from barbecues to fireworks, flag raising, smoke ceremonies and cockroach races are held to celebrate living in such a fantastic country. There are plenty of things to do on Australia Day. Here are some ideas so you too can join in the fun. In 2014 the Australia Day public holiday will be on January 27.

* The World Championship Cockroach Races are held every year on January 26 at the Story Bridge Hotel in Brisbane. Gates open at 11am. This is one crazy day where “pain is everything and victory is eternal”! Continue reading

VIP Backpacker’s top 10 destinations for 2014

A new year means new travel plans. And with that in mind here’s a summary of our top 10 list of destinations to consider in 2014 covering everything from the beach locations of Australia to Europe’s ancient cities and the best party action around the world in 2014. To view the list in full click here to see the latest newsletter.

Whitehaven beachWhitsundays, AustraliaBy Joanne LaneMACKAY

Mackay makes for an excellent base for excursions out to the superb Whitsundays, fabulous island and reef cruises, the wonders of Cape Hillsborough National Park, tours through Eungella Forest and an array of other adventure activities on sea and land. Located on Queensland’s central coast, it has also avoided the big tourism hits of places such as Airlie Beach nearby despite its superb access to the aforementioned attractions. The Bluewater 20km trail is something else worth checking out – dedicated pedestrian paths and bikeways connecting various attractions. The annual Festival of Arts in July is also worth planning for with cheese tasting, live jazz, dance, music and other performances. The River Sessions Festival is held in June.

Accommodation | Tours

perth2PERTH

Perth easily gives Sydney a run for its money with its seaside location, great weather and relaxed manner. Not only is it appealing place to live for locals but a fantastic place for a working holiday or at least a holiday. The city also borders the Swan River adding a further attraction to cosmopolitan centres such as Fremantle, the wonders of Cottesloe beach, excellent local markets, the beauty of Kings Park and Boanic Gardens or wine tasting in the nearby Swan River area.

Accommodation | Tours

FRANZ JOSEF, NEW ZEALANDFranz Josef GlacierSouth Island, New Zealand

Located on the west coast of the south island of New Zealand, Franz Josef is a must stop off in this part of the country. This area is part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site park with a whopping great 12 km glacier, plus the 20km Fox Glacier just 20km away to the south. The village of Franz Josef is just 10km from the face of the glacier and has a busy heliport offering walking tours and even heli skiing on the glacier. Most tourists book into guided walks on the glacier – an incredible experience.

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Latest newsletter now online: 10 pumping New Year’s Eve destinations

If you haven’t worked out what to do for New Year’s Eve this year then you should check out our latest newsletter with 10 locations ideas for fireworks, party and a pumping good time. Here’s some excerpts:

MELBOURNE

docklands nye

Everyone knows about the Sydney fireworks spectacular that we’ve featured in previous New Years party lists, but what about near neighbour Melbourne? Melbourne loves to party just as much as Sydney and over New Year it comes alive with all the music, fireworks and entertainment you could wish for. Places to head to include Federation Square, Yarra Park, Southbank, Docklands, Flagstaff and Treasury. At Fed Square there’s a huge concert from 8pm until late, there’s a beach party at Docklands and other huge parties at Riverside. There are simply so many places to go. Check out sites such as www.facebook.com/nyemelb and www.thatsmelbourne.com.au to plan your assault.
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