Make the most of your annual leave this year with a list of Australia’s best, biggest and most electrifying events that promise a good time and good vibes only
It’s that time of the year again, when you start marking out long weekends and public holidays on your calendar. And with Australia’s impressive line-up of festivals and events, there is plenty going on no matter where or when you choose to visit.
Here’s a snapshot of what you can experience Down Under — and why you need to start pencilling in these dates now.
White Night Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria (17–18 February)
Kick-start your year with a bang at White Night Melbourne, a dusk-to-dawn event that celebrates music, food, film, art and light in the cultural heart of Australia.
For one night only, watch Melbourne’s darkest corners come to life with more than 80 free events, featuring spectacular light installations, urban street performances and art in every form imaginable along streets, laneways and gardens in the central business district.
Be entertained by scenes of all shapes and colours as some of Melbourne’s most iconic buildings, including the National Gallery of Victoria and the Royal Exhibition Building, are used as canvases for interactive light and sound shows. Don’t worry about food and drinks; many bars and restaurants in the CBD stay open throughout the night so you can fuel up with midnight snacks and a tipple or two. Be sure to keep an eye out for pop-up cafés and food trucks for tasty cheap eats on the go.
Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, Western Australia (2–19 March)
There are few more stunning sights than sitting on a beach viewing over 70 sculptures against a setting sun.
Make a trip to Cottesloe Beach, less than 30 minutes from Perth city centre by car, to experience Sculpture by the Sea — a free annual seaside exhibition that showcases contemporary artwork and sculptures by local and international artists over two weeks.
Let your imagination run wild as you wander the outdoor gallery of giant sculptures that stretches from the sea wall all the way along the sand to the surrounding grassy areas. Once you have worked up an appetite, drop by the Indiana restaurant, which is housed in an iconic art deco building located on the pristine white sands of the Beach, offering sweeping views of the Indian Ocean.
Fans of singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran may want to get to Perth a few days before heading off to Cottesloe — he’s slated to perform at the Optus Stadium in Perth on 2 March and 3 March!
Field of Light, Uluru, Northern Territory (Until December 2020)
Make your travel goals a reality by attending Field of Light, an art installation set in the heart of the desert at Uluru.
Recently extended until December 2020, the internationally acclaimed exhibition features more than 50,000 solar-powered stems crowned with frosted-glass spheres over an area the size of more than seven football fields.
Located in a remote desert area, you can access the exhibition by flying from Singapore to Darwin and hopping on a domestic flight to Uluru. Jazz up your holiday experience by joining a guided camel tour that will take you through red sand dunes to discover native flora and fauna before stopping at the Field of Light exhibition. As your ride comes to a close, enjoy a refreshing sip of sparkling wine before starting your Field of Light experience from a viewing platform.
Vivid Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales (25 May–16 June)
See Australia’s biggest city in a whole other light at Vivid Sydney — the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.
Held between May and June, the annual outdoor extravaganza is the perfect way to bring in the school holidays. Flex your Instagram skills as some of the city’s most iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge are transformed into interactive light canvases.
If you are feeling adventurous, take your Vivid experience to new heights by climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge for a bird’s-eye view of the colourful projections on the Opera House sails. As part of this immersive experience, you will be put in a flashing vest so you blend in with the light shows across the city.
Don’t miss a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden, just around the corner from the Opera House, to see plants, rock walls and tree canopies turn into psychedelic art pieces from 6pm to 11pm. To make your trip even more memorable, join a dining cruise and partake in a six-course meal matched with vintage Australian wines, serenaded by music from a live band as you take in the sights around you.
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