LET’S MAKE A DATE

The Comm Games is just the start of a packed cal­en­dar for Queens­land this year

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - WHAT’S ON QUEENSLAND - SARAH NI­CHOL­SON

APRIL

Aus­tralia has been ea­gerly await­ing the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games since the Gold Coast was named host in 2011 and now al­most 7000 ath­letes from 70 na­tions on six con­ti­nents are gather­ing to com­pete April 4-15. GC2018.COM

Fes­ti­val 2018 is run­ning be­side the Com­mon­wealth Games with hubs in Broad­beach and Surfers Par­adise day and night host­ing an “arts and cul­ture pro­gram’’ with theatre, world-class mu­si­cians and in­dige­nous artists. GC2018.COM/FESTIVAL2018

The Ju­lia Creek Dust N Dirt Fes­ti­val is a chance for sub­ur­ban­ites to ex­pe­ri­ence out­back hos­pi­tal­ity with three days from April 13 fea­tur­ing ev­ery­thing from a triathlon to bog snorkelling and bull rid­ing. DIRTNDUST.COM

An ar­chi­tec­tural light in­stal­la­tion by artist James Tur­rell will trans­form the ex­te­rior of Bris­bane’s Gallery of Modern Art on April 20, with the work il­lu­mi­nat­ing the fa­cade af­ter sun­set. QAGOMA.QLD.GOV.AU

MAY

Rock­hamp­ton, Aus­tralia’s selfde­scribed beef cap­i­tal, is host­ing Beef Aus­tralia again from May 6-12. BEEFAUSTRALIA.COM.AU

Noosa Food & Wine fes­ti­val, at the Sun­shine Coast May 17-20, in­cludes events at Main Beach, Hast­ings St and the hin­ter­land. NOOSAFOODANDWINE.COM.AU

Blues on Broad­beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val is promis­ing a “stel­lar lineup’’ of in­ter­na­tional and home­grown acts per­form­ing in venues around the Gold Coast from May 17-20. BLUESONBROADBEACH.COM

The Star on the Gold Coast will host Stomp for six shows from May 31 to June 3 with the en­sem­ble us­ing “in­stru­ments” rang­ing from shop­ping trol­leys to Zippo lighters. STOMPTOUR.COM.AU

JUNE

Cooly Rocks On ’50s and ’60s nos­tal­gia fes­ti­val trans­forms the streets of Coolan­gatta and Tweed Heads to cel­e­brate all things rock and roll, rock­a­billy and vin­tage June 6 -10. COOLYROCKSON.COM

The lawn bowls com­mu­nity has fallen for the Gold Coast with its an­nual Aus­tralian Open tak­ing place there again this year, June 9-22. BOWLS.COM.AU

Long-dis­tance run­ners con­sider the Gold Coast Marathon to be Aus­tralia’s pre­mier road race with June 30 and July 1 not only host­ing the main event that passes beaches but a va­ri­ety of other dis­tances. GOLDCOASTMARATHON.COM.AU

Mary Pop­pins’ au­thor P.L. Travers was born in Mary­bor­ough, an event the town celebrates dur­ing the Mary Pop­pins Fes­ti­val, June 29-July 8. The Great Nanny Chal­lenge and Chim­ney Sweep Dash are two events. MARYPOPPINSFESTIVAL.COM.AU

JULY

The Cairns in­dige­nous Art Fair, July 13-15, is when com­mer­cial gal­leries and com­mu­nity cen­tres show­case the work of artists from Queens­land’s Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­land com­mu­ni­ties. CIAF.COM.AU

Ca­bool­ture will host the Abbey Me­dieval Fes­ti­val on July 14 and 15 with vis­i­tors able to dis­cover joust­ing and me­dieval cui­sine dur­ing the an­nual jour­ney into the past. ABBEYMEDIEVALFESTIVAL.COM

The tiny out­back set­tle­ment of Bou­lia, be­tween Lon­greach and the NT bor­der, will burst at the seams when 3000 peo­ple set­tle in for the an­nual camel races, July 20-22. BOULIACAMELRACES.COM.AU

Clas­si­cal mu­sic comes to north­ern Queens­land for nine days from July 27 with the es­teemed Townsville Fes­ti­val of Cham­ber Mu­sic draw­ing mu­si­cians from around the world. AFCM.COM.AU

AU­GUST

The moun­tain bike com­mu­nity is look­ing to the Sun­shine State on Au­gust 9-12 for the in­au­gu­ral Reef to Reef, an “epic” stage race for rid­ers to nav­i­gate rain­forests around Cairns and Port Dou­glas. REEFTOREEFMTB.COM

Au­gust is all about yachts with Air­lie Beach Race Week in the diary for Au­gust 9-16, Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week set for Au­gust 18-25, and Mag­netic Is­land Race Week round­ing out the sail­ing sched­ule from Au­gust 30 to Septem­ber 5. QUEENS­LAND.COM

The Ekka, Bris­bane’s Royal Queens­land Show, is a favourite event with the bush com­ing to the big smoke from Au­gust 10-19. EKKA.COM.AU

The Her­vey Bay Ocean Fes­ti­val, Au­gust 11-20, celebrates the ar­rival of whales travers­ing “hump­back high­way’’ re­turn­ing to Antarc­tica. HERVEYBAYOCEANFESTIVAL.COM.AU

The Gympie Mu­sic Muster is Aus­tralia’s largest out­door mu­sic fes­ti­val with eight venues across the Amamoor Creek State Park ready to host folk, blue­grass, gospel, blues and bush po­etry from Au­gust 23 to 26. MUSTER.COM.AU

SEPTEM­BER

Birdsville Races re­turn with all the ac­tion Septem­ber 1-2. The oc­ca­sion known as the “Mel­bourne Cup of the Out­back’’ raises money for the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice. BIRDSVILLERACES.COM

Bris­bane Fes­ti­val, Septem­ber 8-29, is the state’s big­gest cul­tural event – a gala of mu­sic, theatre, dance, com­edy, and opera be­fore the spec­tac­u­lar River­fire il­lu­mi­nates the fi­nal night. BRISBANEFESTIVAL.COM.AU

Toowoomba’s Car­ni­val of Flow­ers – Aus­tralia’s long­est run­ning flo­ral dis­play, now in its 69th year – is on Septem­ber 21-30.

TCOF.COM.AU

Caloun­dra Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, Septem­ber 28-Oc­to­ber 1, takes over the Sun­shine Coast com­mu­nity with kid-friendly, rov­ing per­for­mances. CALOUNDRAMUSICFESTIVAL.COM

OC­TO­BER

The 2018 World Parachut­ing Cham­pi­onships will take to the sky above the Gold Coast be­tween Oc­to­ber 7-13 with 1000 sky­divers from 45 coun­tries jump­ing for the ti­tle. APF.COM.AU

Oc­to­ber 19-21 is set for this year’s Gold Coast 600 and while the mighty Su­per­cars are set to be the stars of the show there will also be V8 utes, Porsches and For­mula 4 on the track. SU­PER­CARS.COM

Port Dou­glas is home to the Great Bar­rier Reef Marathon Fes­ti­val on Oc­to­ber 28 with the event in­clud­ing 42km, 21km, 10km and 5km races set be­side reef and rain­for­est. GREATBARRIERREEFMARATHON.COM.AU

NOVEM­BER

Pan Pa­cific Mas­ters Games will re­turn to the Gold Coast on Novem­ber 2-11. The event now in its 20th year will at­tract more than 13,000 com­peti­tors from 40 sports. MASTERSGAMES.COM.AU/PPMG

Sad­dle up for Townsville on Novem­ber 23-24 when the city hosts the PBR Iron Cow­boy. The win­ner must con­quer four or five of the big­gest bulls in two days to take the ti­tle.

PBRAUSTRALIA.COM.AU

DE­CEM­BER

The Play­house at Queens­land Per­form­ing Art Cen­tre in Bris­bane will host Queens­land Bal­let’s The Nutcracker from De­cem­ber 14-22. QUEENSLANDBALLET.COM.AU

From De­cem­ber 27 to Jan­uary 1 more than 2000 per­form­ers and an au­di­ence of about 120,000 will de­scend on 200ha near Wood­ford, an hour’s drive from Bris­bane, for the an­nual Wood­ford Folk Fes­ti­val. WOODFORDFOLKFESTIVAL.COM

PIC­TURES: TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENS­LAND, SUP­PLIED

PORT DOU­GLAS There are so many rea­sons to visit the Sun­shine State, in­clud­ing the Great Bar­rier Reef Marathon Fes­ti­val at Port Dou­glas in Oc­to­ber; the iconic Birdsville Races in Septem­ber; and Blues on Broad­beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in May.

BLUES ON BROAD­BEACH

BIRDSVILLE RACES

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