Queensland’s Best Festivals

Who doesn’t love a festival? Last year, we had more pressing things on our mind – but in 2021, a whole swag of festival, events, celebrations and shindigs are back on the agenda!

If you’re itching to hit the festivities – in a socially distant and responsible way, of course – then there’s a party that will suit you perfectly.

Outback Festivals

Roma’s Easter in the Country kicks off a bumper crop of Outback celebrations this year.

It’s a 5 day, best-of-the-bush bash with more fun events than cow pats in the field. We’re talking Easter egg hunts for the kids; bull riding; goat races; go-kart showdowns; tours of local attractions like Up the Creek Museum and the impressive Roma Saleyards; beef-themed dinners; and an unexpected event called the Wife Carrying Contest.

Hubbies carry their wives – upside down – around an obstacle course, in a bid to have the fastest time. Winner scores their wife’s weight in beer.

Other outback celebrations this year include the Outback Queensland Masters – a golfing odyssey across the west’s best courses.

And film fans, load up the Jaffas and head to the Vision Splendid Film Festival in Winton – a celebration of Australian cinema set in Queensland’s epic Outback.

Produce Festivals

What could worthier of a festival than good food?

One of our favourite Queensland celebrations of the downright delicious happens in Bundaberg.

Taste Bundaberg brings together local growers, producers, brewers and chefs who pour passion into every sip and bite.

And it’s an opportunity to celebrate amazing local produce – from figs and limes to chillies and seafood. Believe it or not, Bundaberg supplies 25 per cent of Australia’s fresh fruit and veggies.

The festival includes various events at landmarks across Bundy, including much-loved local restaurants like Water Street Kitchen.

And, of course, Bundy is famous for certain grown-up beverages. Take a tour of the Bundaberg Rum Distillery and follow the journey from molasses to amazing tipples.

Bundaberg isn’t the only place punching above its weight in the food festival ring.

Eat Local Week celebrates more than a decade of deliciousness in the spectacular Scenic Rim.

From long table lunching to plucking produce from paddocks, festival-goers get to taste the best of the region’s abundant food and wine.

Quirky Festivals

 You can count on a couple of things with Queensland festivals – they’re colourful and, often, a little bit quirky!

Take the Aussie Dunny Derby at Winton’s Outback Festival.

Contestants construct what they hope will be the fastest loo in the west – and battle it out in this fun, crowd-pleasing showdown.

Goomeri kicks its Pumpkin Festival into gear – celebrating its pumpkin harvest with a string of fabulous gourd-themed events.  There’s the great Pumpkin Roll; Pumpkin throwing contests; and plenty of tasty Pumpkin specialties to try.

Another event that’s proudly unconventional is the Woodford Folk Festival.

It’s a let-your-hair-down, shake-your-shoes-off summer party of music, art and culture.

The festival happens at Woodfordia – 500 acres of country paradise north of Brisbane that was once barren farmland.

A massive project to regenerate the site sowed the seed for another festival. Appropriately enough, it’s called The Planting.

The Planting is a late-Autumn, long weekend of back-to-nature celebrations, on the same site as the Woodford Folk Festival.

What began as a working bee has blossomed into a gathering that celebrates nature with workshops; environmental forums; and kids activities.  The festival is taking a breather for 2021 – but will be on again in 2022.

Regional Festivals

Every corner of Queensland has its own personality… with a festival to match!

On the Granite Belt, food and wine get all the fanfare during the Apple & Grape Festival. The festival is biennial and is happening again in 2022.

Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef put First Nation artists on the pedestal at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.

And the glamorous Gold Coast is home to a wave of events… like the Gold Coast Open…and the Gold Coast Film Festival – hosted at HOTA.

But the Gold Coast party that really rocks is the one that spins back the clock…

Cooly Rocks On is as far from Squaresville as you can get – a nostalgic blast of classic cars; juke-box music; and retro fashion.

Dressing up for the festival is all the rage – so why not head into Retro Sheila at Coolangatta. This fashion and collectibles den stocks only items that are authentically of their era – from the 30s to the 70s.

Once you’ve got your threads, Daddy-O (and a handful of grease in your hair), why not hit the dance floor with Miss Chrissy and husband, Ray. They run the Swing On In dance school – and have a big presence during Cooly Rocks On.

And this year, Cooly Rocks On channels the spirit of Viva Surfers Paradise with the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Contest – a leg-shaking showdown with the winner heading to Memphis.

Whether you’re a retro tragic… a food fanatic… sports-mad… or someone who just loves to party… Queensland’s calendar of festival and events has something for you.

For the skinny on everything mentioned – and more amazing festivals for your diary – head to Queensland Events website.

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