From all-ages music events to foodie spectaculars and sporting shenanigans, mark these regional highlights in your calendar this summer.
Story by Krysia Bonkowski.
'Vertices' by Matthew Harding, Hanging Rock Winery
Music to our ears
Bendigo Blues & Roots Festival, November 8-11 Bendigo gets the blues in all the right ways as more than 150 acts from near and far appear in largely free performances around the city. Music fans of all ages can get their groove on during a family-friendly day at Rosalind Park on Saturday, November 10.
Queenscliff Music Festival, November 23-25 A massive line-up brings the likes of Courtney Barnett, Sarah Blasko and Nigeria’s Bombino to the Bellarine. A tribute tothe late, great Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is a sure-fire highlight, with a haunting orchestral performance of the indigenous artist’s album Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow).
Inverloch Sounds of Summer, December 29 Celebrate life’s good things at Inverloch’s music, food and wine festival. Aussie supergroup Antipodean Rock Collective, the swinging Melbourne Ska Orchestra, songstress Claire Bowditch and more will perform, with the Food + Wine Village offering tastes of the Bass Coast and Gippsland.
Under the Southern Stars, January 12 Catch the Victorian leg of this national rock ‘n’ roll fest on the Mornington Peninsula. A rocking bill delivers Aussie icons including the Hoodoo Gurus, You Am I and The Superjesus to the stage at the Hastings Foreshore Reserve near Mornington.
The spirit of wellness at Live.Love.Life. Weekend.
Tina Del Twist.
Image supplied by Live.Love.Life. Weekend.
Flavours to savour
Budburst Festival, November 17-18 With life returning to the Macedon region’s cool-climate vineyards, more than 30 cellar doors welcome wine pilgrims for the Macedon Ranges Wine and Food Budburst Festival. Shuttle buses will trundle between events – including long-table lunches, al-fresco afternoons and live performances, matched with boutique local drops.
Ballarat Beer Festival, January 19 Hopheads unite for this ever-popular craft-beer gathering. In the scenic North Gardens next to Lake Wendouree, the proceedings include master classes, live music, street-food eats and, of course, tastings of fine brews (and local wines) across two brewers’ “boulevards”.
Mirboo North Italian Festa, February 10 Live la dolce vita as Gippsland’s Mirboo North pays tribute to its Italian heritage. From pizza and gnocchi to cannoli, dozens of food stalls will serve up your favourite dishes – there’s even cooking demonstrations from bona fide Nonnas.
Yoga will be on offer throughout the Live.Love.Life Weekend.
For culture vultures
Live.Love.Life Weekend, November 16-18 Feed your soul during this wholesome wellness festival. All around Daylesford and the Hepburn region, visitors can partake in yoga or meditation, try “plant styling” or watercolour painting and catch diverse performances, foodie events and workshops.
Nightjar Festival, January 3 to February 22 Commandeering Torquay Common on Thursdays throughout January before moving onto Geelong in February, this indie festival creates a little twilight magic. Family-friendly fun includes lives music and night markets packed with delicious food and arts and crafts.
Peninsula Film Festival, February 1-3 Mornington Peninsula’s flick fest is a must-do for film fans. Rosebud Cinemas hosts Friday’s indie showcase and Sunday’s movie workshops, with Saturday’s main event attracting thousands to Rosebud Village Green for a free, open-air short-film festival.
Murray Quad, November 24-25 The mighty Murray stars in this dual event. Saturday’s Peaches and Cream Paddle departs Cobram’s Thompsons Beach for the 25km journey to Tocumwal, with Sunday’s Running of the Black Bull offering riverside courses from a half marathon to a 2km fun run. Afterwards you might even be treated like royalty – with winners crowned King and Queen of the Murray.
Maryborough Highland Gathering, January 1 The Scottish Highlands meets the Goldfields for Australia’s oldest continually running sporting event. The 158th games will offer traditional diversions including caber tossing and strongman contests, along with Highland dancing and the competitive Maryborough Gift sprint.
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, January 24-27 Have a Tour-de-France moment along one of Australia’s most scenic coastlines. The race pits elite and amateur riders against the twists and turns of the road between Geelong, Barwon Heads and Torquay, with spectators cheering on trackside. The People’s Ride on January 26 has courses to suit all abilities, and there’s a twilight edition of the Family Ride on January 25 on the Geelong waterfront.
Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm north of Hepburn Springs.