10 Amazing Festivals You Must Visit In Australia

Australia is a long way away, we get it. Often the time and money it takes to get here makes potential visitors to think twice. Tourists may tell you that you have to visit Australia for the amazing landscape, the weather, the beaches, cute koalas and so on, but they rarely tell you about Australia’s wide and varied array of fantastic festivals. Most people know about the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardis Gras, and the Melbourne International Film Festival – both of which are absolutely worth participating in – but here are ten other festivals you may not have heard of that are definitely worth a long plane trip (or two).

Parkes Elvis Festival

The Parkes Elvis Festival started in 1993 as a small local event, and has now grown into the biggest Elvis Festival in the southern hemisphere. On the second weekend of January every year, over 20,000 people make the trip out to Parkes, 365kms from Sydney, to brave the fierce Australian country heat in full Vegas suits and wigs. Elvis is literally everywhere, and visitors can enjoy concerts, shopping, competitions, and even an Elvis inspired gospel service. The whole place smells like sweat and hairspray, and it’s heaven for true Elvis fans!

Vivid Sydney

Sydney is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and the lights of Vivid only make it more so. Every year for 18 days from late May to early June, the city is transformed by dozens of light installations that bring icons like the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House to life. The festival also includes Vivid Music (Morrissey will be appearing in 2015) and Vivid Ideas which presents over 200 speakers about the creative industry. The festival enjoys 1.43 million visitors and it’s growing every year.