It’s time for the movies: open air cinemas around Australia

Every summer Australia’s cities come alive with open air cinemas that utilise the balmy night temperatures at feature locations around the country. If you fancy seeing your favourite movie at a key location overlooking the Brisbane river, Sydney harbour or Melbourne’s St Kilda beach, this kind of cinema might just be your thing.



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February newsletter: 2013 festivals and events in Australia and New Zealand

Hot off the press is our newsletter roundup of festivals and events happening in Australia and New Zealand in 2013.

Here’s a sneak peak at some of them:


Drag queen, Sydney Mardi Gras - www.visitedplanet.comSt Kilda Festival – Head to one of the hippest parts of Melbourne for this week long free street festival featuring Australian artists and talents.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras – Plenty of razz and dazzle hits Sydney for this event celebrating all kinds of sexuality. It in the parade on the first Saturday in March with floats, parties and performances. Continue reading

What’s on downunder over summer

The summer is heating up in Australia and so are the events. Here’s some that are happening in the next few months.


Blowing kisses, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Pic: Joanne Lane,

Blowing kisses, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Pic: Joanne Lane,

Sydney Festival (Jan 5 – 27)
It’s already begun but there’s still time to catch more than 1,000 performances happening in the city include song, dance and DJ.

Flickerfest (Jan 11 – 20)
The nation’s short-film festival Flickerfest brings fun and excitement to a superb setting on Bondi Beach with domestic and international productions.

Tamworth Country Music Festival (Jan 18 – 27)
This country town, 420 clicks north of Sydney, boasts belts, buckles, boots and jeans every January when bluegrass, rock, folk and country singers come to town.

Sydney Mardis Gras (Feb 12 – Mar 4)
This is the 35th year of the Sydney Mardis Gras and it’s going to be a big one. The event celebrates gay and lesbian culture in a number of events including dance parties, music and the parade of floats, glam and glitter through the CBD.

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Upcoming events this summer


It’s not just the weather that’s warming up across Australia. Here are some amazing events that will be heating up the skies, the cities, the rivers, beaches and locations across the nation soon.


New Year’s Eve 2012, Sydney, December 31
The ultimate firework show in the world happens in Sydney every year. Find your spot early and enjoy a show unlike any you’ll have ever seen as the harbour comes to life with fireworks. See

Woodford Folk Festival, December 27 – January 1

Billed as the world’s best folk festival, Woodford brings much colour to the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland every year from December 27 to January 1. See

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Festival fun from around the world this Christmas season

Another great reason to check out our monthly newsletter, is the three month window of profiled upcoming events.

Here’s the latest list from the December 2012 newsletter.


1273037268-979.jpg> Glasgow on ice (24 Nov – 6 Jan)
> Winter Wonders, Brussels (30 Nov – 6 Jan)
> Christmas Day (25)
> Woodford Folk Festival, Queensland (27 – Jan 1)
> Leopardstown Christmas Festival, Dublin (26-29)
> New Years Eve (31)

> New Years Day (1)
> Sydney Festival (5-27)
flag bearers.jpg> Harbin Snow and Ice Festival, China (5th onwards)
> CountryLink Parkes Elvis Festival, Parkes, New South Wales(9-13)
> Flickerfest, Bondi Beach, Sydney (11-20)
> Australian Open, Melbourne (14-27)
> Big Day Out (Sydney 18th, Gold Coast 20th, Adelaide 25th, Melbourne 26th, Perth 28th)
> Tamworth Country Music Festival, New South Wales (18-27)
> Chinese New Year, Sydney (20 – Feb 5)
carnevale masqueraders.jpg> Australia Day (26)
> Carnival of Venice (26 – Feb 12)


> Quebec Winter Carnival (1-17)
> Mardi Gras, New Orleans (12)
> Tropfest, Sydney (17)
> Adventure Travel Expo, Melbourne (23-24)

Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact Jo at