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

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Brisbane festival to hit Queensland capital

For three weeks in September Brisbane will come alive to an amazing concoction of music, dance, performing arts, laser light shows and more.

If you thought Sydney and Melbourne had funky festivals you need to come and see this one! The Brisbane Festival runs from 8-29th September and is held at venues around the city. Some are free, others require tickets. It’s the perfect time to visit the river city – it’s thrown off the shackles of winter, spring is in force and you can make the most of wonderful attractions like Southbank, Moreton Island and the river in sunshine and good weather.

Highlights include:
* the nightly Santos GLNG City of Lights laser show
* absolutely anything happening in the Spiegeltent – a premiere entertainment venue that this year will feature the likes of jazz, guitar, hip-hop and circus
* Riverfire – on the night of Sept 29 when the city, the bridges and key elements of the city all feature in one of the best city fireworks displays you’ll see anywhere in the world
* traditional Japanese drumming
* so much more
Continue reading

Ice cool – Queenstown winter festival underway

If you love snow, ice, fun, food, wine and plenty of action head to Queenstown in New Zealand for one of the best weeks of the year – the annual winter festival!

Action got underway for this event on the 22nd but it runs through til next week (July 1) so there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the festivities.

Action includes:
* the ice rink 10am-10pm daily
* fun run events

Continue reading

Uber cool Melbourne heats up with jazz this week

The action moves to Melbourne this week when the Melbourne International Jazz Festival gets underway.

Melbourne is one snazzy city and there isn’t a cooler time to visit than when the city is having one of its many amazing festivals.

The jazz festival headlines the June calendar from 1st-10th with acts such as Robert Hurst, Terence Blanchard, Hiromi, Lonnie Smith, Patti Austin and more.

For tickets (there are free events too), programs and all the details you need head to the official site – www.melbournejazz.com
Continue reading

Hone your pumpkin rolling skills for a festival with a difference

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Pic: SouthernForestFestival

How are your pumpkin rolling skills? If you think you have what it takes to roll a pumpkin cleanly to victory, then you might want to check yourself into the Pemberton Southern Forests Festival in WA.

Held on the weekend 21-22nd April the festival is all about the local food and wine, which is where the pumpkins come in. But the pumpkin roll down the main street is just one of many events and exhibitions that also include music, photography, drummers, timber work and more.

Here are some details:

With a major focus on regional food and wine the Southern Forest Festival -PEMBERTON will commence on Friday night the 20th of April with art shows, bands and local banquets at local venues.
This will be followed by the main festival on Saturday the 21st of April with FREE ENTRY and activities for both adults and kids including professional musicians, cooking demonstrations, fresh produce stalls, gold coin donation for kids rides, local arts, crafts and design and more.
For day three a self-drive tour of some of the regions wineries, cafes, tourist icons, art galleries and gardens will be organized for those that want to get out and see what our region really offers. Or you may just like to sit back and watch the local Football club woodchop fundraiser in the centre of Pemberton mid afternoon.
The inaugural Southern Forest Festival – PEMBERTON will also include the Pemberton Arts Group Easter Art Show, the A+ National Wine Show and the Relentless Blue Mountain Bike Race, which is held on Pemberton’s new and torturous mountain bike trail on the 21st of April.

So just where is Pemberton? Well it’s about 330km south of Perth and a very scenic drive. So we suggest you stay in a VIP hostel in Perth and head down there for the weekend.

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Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There will be a blog every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at viplounge@vipbackpackers.com