REASONS TO STAY AT HOME
Add these Aussie experiences to your 2019 hit-list
VICTORIA MAKE TRACKS
The result of more than $30 million of funding, the highly anticipated Grampians Peaks Trail can be done in its entirety (160km over 13 days and 12 nights) or in smaller, more manageable sections. Showcasing ancient landscapes rich in Aboriginal cultural heritage, the walk will connect some of the Grampians’ most spectacular peaks when it’s completed in September.
TASMANIA AVOID FESTIVAL FOMA
If you’re a fan of Tasmania’s boundary-pushing MONA FOMA (aka MOFO), don’t miss out on the five-day event next year, set to be the biggest and best yet. Organised by the famed Museum Of Old & New Art (MONA), the Apple Isle Festival of Music and Art – its full title – will relocate all the action from its previous home in Hobart north to Launceston, Tasmania’s second largest city. With an A to Z of musical performances from classical and opera, to hip-hop and rock, the eclectic program also includes dance, theatre, visual art, food, wine and beer tastings. Headline acts for 2019 include Neneh Cherry, Underworld, and Melbourne-based songstress Courtney Barnett.
In addition to the venue change, next year’s MOFO also marks the culture carnival’s 10th anniversary.
VICTORIA GET A TICKET TO HOGWARTS
Can anyone remember a world before Hogwarts and quidditch? Author J.K. Rowling’s tales of Harry Potter have resulted in the sale of more than 450 million of her books, in addition to spawning a multibillion-dollar movie franchise, theme parks and, most recently, the very successful Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage show. Heading to Australia after sellout runs in London and New York, ticket sales have already broken Australian records.
The two-part play, featuring an allAussie cast, will debut in Melbourne’s Princess Theatre in January.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA/ NORTHERN TERRITORY HOP ON THE ‘GHANIVERSARY’
Since its 1929 debut journey from Adelaide to Alice Springs, The Ghan has become one of the country’s greatest rail journeys. The homegrown equivalent of the Orient Express, the 2979km, 54-hour train ride heads straight up the Red Centre from Adelaide to Darwin (and vice versa). To celebrate its 90th anniversary, The Ghan is organising 90 days of special events throughout June, July and August.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA NAB A QUOKKA SELFIE IN STYLE
The home of the quokka-selfie, Rottnest Island has seen a surge in visitor numbers thanks to the countless tourists visiting with the sole goal of a photo with one of its resident furry critters. Close to 8000 snaps were posted last year alone and as a response to this slew of selfiehungry Instagrammers a new property – the first development on the island in more than 30 years – will cater to the masses when it opens in January. Comprising 83 eco-tents, Discovery Eco-Village also features a resort pool and luxury dining.
Just don’t forget your selfie stick.
NEW SOUTH WALES CELEBRATE 30 YEARS OF BLUESFEST
Easily Byron Bay’s most iconic festival, Bluesfest is turning 30. Held over the Easter long weekend, the festival showcases more than 200 performances over five days and the anniversary show is set to be the biggest yet, with some of the event’s most popular artists returning,