Time Out (Melbourne) - - TRAVEL SPECIAL -

1 Dar­win Fes­ti­val Aug10-27 (the NIMAS: Aug 6)

What is it? Dar­win’s fes­ti­val of live per­for­mance and vis­ual art floods the city with ev­ery­thing from cabaret to Cen­tral Desert paint­ings, and in­cludes the Na­tional Indige­nous Mu­sic Awards.

When should I book? For the best deals on ac­com­mo­da­tion and flights, book be­fore July. The fes­ti­val line-up is an­nounced in late June, with tick­ets on sale shortly af­ter­wards.

Past high­lights Gur­ru­mul win­ning his fifth Artist of the Year award at the NIMAS last year; the Indige­nous-run Dar­win Abo­rig­i­nal Art Fair (back again this year); Na­tional Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der Indige­nous Art Awards (also back this year). Òwww. dar­win­fes­ti­val.org.au. 2 Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week Aug 19-26.

What is it? A su­per-luxe off­shore keel­boat re­gatta (read: week-long yacht party) with feasts, fash­ion shows, celebri­ties and cocktail par­ties, all held in the Whit­sun­days.

When should I book? Ideally you’ll have re­served ac­com­mo­da­tion and flights by midApril – the is­land books out for Race Week.

Past high­lights A Pas­pa­ley-spon­sored white lunch at re­sort Qualia; the chance to ca­su­ally bump into Richard Roxburgh; a star­lit din­ner party catered by GOMA’S Josh Lopez. Òwww. hamil­ton­is­landrace­week.com.au. 3 Par­rtjima: A Fes­ti­val of Light Sep 22-Oct 1

What is it? An in­stal­la­tion fes­ti­val that uses the North­ern Ter­ri­tory’s 300-mil­lion-year-old Mac­don­nell Ranges as a nat­u­ral back­drop and brings Indige­nous sto­ries to life.

When should I book? Reg­is­ter to at­tend one of two free ses­sions each night (6.308.30pm or 8.30-10.30pm) via Par­rj­tima’s web­site in ad­vance, or on the day you wish to at­tend. Be early to book your hire car and ac­com­mo­da­tion in Alice Springs.

Past high­light Last year’s in­au­gu­ral event fea­tured Range of Ex­pres­sion, a glass booth that let vis­i­tors take con­trol of lights pro­jected over 2.5km. Òwww. par­rtji­maaus­tralia.com.au. 4 Mar­garet River Gourmet Es­cape Nov 16-19

What is it? World-fa­mous chefs come to­gether to cook, teach, guide and an­swer your burn­ing culi­nary ques­tions while you eat and drink un­til you’re fit to burst.

When should I book? The fes­ti­val gets about 20,000 vis­i­tors each year, so it’s worth book­ing early if you plan to head out west.

Past high­lights In­ter­na­tional lu­mi­nar­ies of the culi­nary world join do­mes­tic rock­stars for the fes­ti­val each year. Last year Nigella Law­son joined Do­minique Crenn, Rick Stein and David Thomp­son as head­line tal­ent, but peo­ple also go for the cocktail par­ties on the beach, for­est feasts and all the wine. Òwww. gourme­tescape.com.au. 5 Wood­ford Folk Fes­ti­val Dec 27-Jan 1

What is it? A fes­ti­val where you can let your freak flag fly with com­edy, work­shops, cir­cus, cabaret, elec­tron­ica, Indige­nous arts, mar­kets, in­stal­la­tions, food stalls and mu­sic.

When should I book? To get your pick it’s best to book early (tick­ets are al­ready on sale).

Past high­lights Michael Franti, Go­tye, Her­mi­tude, Archie Roach, the Cat Em­pire, John But­ler Trio and Ju­lia Stone. The fes­ti­val also stretches out your New Year cel­e­bra­tions a lit­tle longer by hav­ing their fa­mous fire cer­e­mony on New Year’s Night. Òwood­ford­folk­fes­ti­val. com. 6 MOFO Late Jan 2018 (TBC)

What is it? A fes­ti­val of ex­per­i­men­tal mu­sic, art and feast­ing cen­tred around Ho­bart’s Mu­seum of Old and New Art.

When should I book? You can get cheap flights to Ho­bart up to three months be­fore the fes­ti­val, al­though it’s bet­ter to book ac­com­mo­da­tion as soon as dates are an­nounced in Septem­ber.

Past high­lights Late-night par­ties fea­tur­ing screen­ings by So­da_­jerk and rave caves filled with naked dancers at af­ter­party Faux Mo; Peaches per­form­ing the en­tirety of

Je­sus Christ Su­per­star, solo. Òmofo. net.au. 7 Splore Feb 23-25 2018

What is it? New Zealand’s big­gest, wildest three-day art and mu­sic fes­ti­val (lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional acts), set on the stupidly scenic, beach­side Ta­pa­pakanga Re­gional Park, 70km south of Auck­land.

When should I book? Tick­ets went on sale in June, with early bird tick­ets sell­ing out within 24 hours. Stan­dard and tier one tick­ets are still avail­able, how­ever.

Past high­lights Erykah Badu pelt­ing the crowd with ex­er­cise balls; the an­nual 8,000-per­son cos­tume party. Òwww. splore.net. 8 Perth In­ter­na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val Feb 9-Mar 4 2018 What is it? This fes­ti­val is known for a strong fo­cus on lo­cal con­tent, dance and vis­ual arts.

It co­in­cides with Perth’s Fringe World fes­ti­val and in­cor­po­rates Perth Writ­ers Fes­ti­val.

When should I book? The pro­gram will be an­nounced on Novem­ber 9, so buy tick­ets to ma­jor shows as an early Christ­mas present to your­self. Book flights and ac­com­mo­da­tion as soon as you have your tick­ets.

Past high­lights Tony Award-win­ner Richard Nel­son’s epic play cy­cle The Gabriels. But the open­ing night event is worth trav­el­ling for in it­self. Òperth­fes­ti­val. com.au.

9 Ade­laide Fes­ti­val + Fringe

Ade­laide Fes­ti­val 2018: Mar 2-18. Writ­ers’ Week 2018: Mar 3-8. Ade­laide Fringe 2018: Feb 16-Mar 18.

What is it? Ade­laide Fes­ti­val spans art, dance, theatre and mu­sic – and now in­cludes Ade­laide Writ­ers’ Week. When should I book? The pro­gram is re­leased in Oc­to­ber, and ma­jor shows can sell out as early as De­cem­ber. You’ll also want to be or­gan­ised four months in ad­vance with ac­com­mo­da­tion (Clip­sal 500 is on too).

Past high­lights This year they broke box of­fice records and scored raves for Richard 3 from Ber­lin’s Schaubühne and Saul by Komis­che Oper artis­tic direc­tor Bar­rie Kosky. Òwww. ade­laide­fes­ti­val.com.au; www.ade­laide­fringe.com.au.

10 Syd­ney Writ­ers’ Fes­ti­val Apr 30-May 6 2018

What is it? In a week of talks, work­shops and per­for­mances, the SWF brings to­gether more than 400 in­ter­na­tional and Aus­tralian writ­ers from authors of best-sell­ing fic­tion to TV scriptwrit­ers and spo­ken word po­ets.

When should I book? Tick­ets gen­er­ally go on sale just over a month prior to the fes­ti­val.

Past high­lights The 2017 event had Teen Vogue ed­i­tor Elaine Wel­teroth prais­ing the young for their pas­sion­ate re­sistence, Cle­men­tine Ford on rape cul­ture, and for­mer child sol­dier Deng Adut on how he took back his free­dom and his soul. Òwww. swf.org.au.

11 Vivid Syd­ney Late May-mid-june 2018

What is it? The largest win­ter fes­ti­val in the South­ern Hemi­sphere. It at­tracted a record­break­ing 2.3 mil­lion vis­i­tors in 2016 for its pro­gram of free light pro­jec­tions and tick­eted mu­sic and ideas events, staged at Syd­ney Opera House and neigh­bour­ing venues.

When should I book? Tick­ets usu­ally go on sale for con­certs and talks in mid-march (Vivid Light pro­jec­tions are free and not tick­eted). Book flights and ac­com­mo­da­tion in Fe­bru­ary for the best deals.

Past high­lights In 2017 there were per­for­mances by Gold­frapp, Air, Laura Mar­ling, Nick Mur­phy, Beth Or­ton and the Prea­tures, and a block party star­ring the Avalanches. Artist Shep­ard ‘Hope’ Fairey spoke about street art cul­ture, and light in­stal­la­tions stretched from the Botanic Gar­dens to Dar­ling Har­bour. Òwww. vividsyd­ney.com.

12 Queen­stown Win­ter Fes­ti­val

Jun 23-24 2018 What is it? A week­end win­ter fes­ti­val on the South Is­land with food, live mu­sic, suit­case bob­sled­ding and a black tie ball. When should I book? Tick­ets go on sale at the start of May, but you should book your ac­com­mo­da­tion and flights in April.

Past high­lights Fire­works dis­plays on open­ing night, a freez­ing lake swim, and a whole lot of dogs frol­ick­ing in the snow at the an­nual Dog Derby. Òwww. win­ter­fes­ti­val.co.nz.

13 Huon Val­ley Mid-win­ter Fest Mid-jul 2018

What is it? A wild pa­gan fes­ti­val in the green, frosty hills of Tas­ma­nia’s Huon Val­ley, an hour west of Ho­bart. Guests can feast by the fire on pro­duce from Tas­ma­nia’s best pro­duc­ers, winer­ies and cider brew­eries.

When should I book? Tick­ets go on sale around April. Book ac­com­mo­da­tion, flights and tick­ets at least two months in ad­vance.

Past high­lights There is some­thing more than a lit­tle bit mag­i­cal about gather­ing by a huge bon­fire un­der the full moon then watch­ing as a tow­er­ing pa­gan ef­figy catches fire. Òwww. huon­va­l­leymid­win­ter­fest.com.au.

Mar­garet River Gourmet Es­cape Splore Wood­ford Folk Fes­ti­val

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