Best Australian summer events for the family

Katy Moore
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Face painting
Face painting

With summer just around the corner, it's time to get excited by the selection of events Australia has to offer. Whether you plan to celebrate those long sunny days with a glass of wine at a food festival or prefer getting amongst it at a sporting event, now is the time to start popping dates in the calendar. To get your cultural taste buds in the mood, here are a few of our family friendly favourites.

Crave Sydney International Food Festival

When: October 1 – 31 This month long festival features a series of events throughout Sydney, celebrating food and culture. This year, you can greet the sunrise on Sydney's most famous beach at Breakfast on Bondi. It's BYO breakfast on the sand with celebrity chefs, including Bill Granger and MasterChef contestant Hayden Quinn.

Harry Potter Exhibition at The Powerhouse Museum, NSW

When: November 19, 2011 to March 18, 2012

Australia is the first venue outside the US to host this highly anticipated exhibition celebrating all things Potter. With hundreds of film props, costumes and authentic artefacts displayed in settings inspired by the popular franchise, grab the kids and be a part of the magic.

South American Festival, NSW

When: Sunday, February 12, 2012

Immerse yourself in festival fever down at Bondi Beach this summer with the South American Festival. Mixing up Latino beats with vibrant dance acts, workshops and delicious foods, this colourful one-day event will have the whole family shaking their tail feather — who needs Rio?

Tasmania Taste Festival

December 28 till January 3

For seven days, Hobart’s waterfront will host the annual Taste Festival, showcasing the uniqueness and diversity of Tasmania’s produce and gourmet food and wine to approximately 250,000 people.

Perth Zoo with Jay Laga'aia, WA

When: Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 5.30pm

On January 22, Perth Zoo will transform into a musical playground as popular playschool presenter Jay Laga'aia leads the West Australian Symphony Orchestra through a variety of classic kids' songs.

Annie NSW, Victoria, Queensland

When: Sydney: From December 29 ; Brisbane: From April 7; and Melbourne: From May 24

One of the most loved musicals of all-time hits Australian shores over summer, starting in Sydney. With a classic score and a touching theme about never giving up hope, Annie makes an enjoyable outing for all ages.

Lunar Circus, WA

When: January 21-23, 2012

For three days of fun and madness, the Lunar Circus is back on the banks of the Margaret River. With non-stop cabaret, music and interactive shows, this is one circus you'd want to run away to.

Festival Balloon Spectacular, ACT

When: March 10-18, 2012

For a relaxed, early morning event, head down to the lawns of Parliament House to watch giant balloons fill the Canberra sky. Whether you celebrate the festival in the air or on the ground, the free live entertainment and hot breakfasts adds to the morning magic.

Gold Coast National Finals Rodeo, Queensland

When: January 12-15, 2012

For fast-paced fun, check out the Gold Coast Convention Centre for the National Finals Rodeo. Prepare for some high intensity action from Australia's top cowboys and girls as they show off their skills in bareback riding, bull riding and steer wrestling.

Festival of Sails, Victoria

When: January 21-22, 2012

This annual boating regatta is the oldest and biggest sporting event in Victoria attracting 4500 competitors. Held over the Australia Day long weekend on the Geelong waterfront, the program includes gourmet food and wine, live entertainment, performers and markets.

Carnevale, SA

When: February 11-12, 2012

Bringing the spirit of Italy to Adelaide, Carnavale offers up fun aplenty with delicious food, fashion parades and even some Italian opera, not to be missed.

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