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Biggest Events in Australia and Oceania

By Paul Stephen Gettings

Posted: 15th May 2013 09:34

Australia and Oceania continue to foster a burdening reputation as a place where culture flourishes with a whole host of eclectic events and festivals. It is a testament to the vibrancy of the countries which make up this part of the world such is the diversity and excitement to be had with some of the most exciting events in the world.

Fiji International Jazz and Blues Festival
Port Denarau, Fiji

Something a little different, a visit to Fiji this May will be a perfect chance to see some of the best jazz and blues musicians in the world.  With a focus on Fijian artists, this promises to be an education, while the international guests from the US, New Zealand, Australia and England will give a varied experience.  There’s no need to already be a jazz aficionado, even if you’re a novice to the genre, you’ll find the best way to enjoy it is by plunging yourself in with these four days of live music.  A bargain for such an international festival, this will definitely leave you hungry for more.

Norfolk Island Country Music Festival
20th- 24th May
Norfolk Island

After almost a decade, this festival has become one of the most important in the country music calendar, and on the stunning Norfolk Island, it is well worth a visit.  With the added appeal of some friendly rivalry between Australia and New Zealand, the line-up is split into sections of performances from both sides as well as outright competitions, so pick a side to support and get ready to cheer.  Jam sessions and late night parties litter the festival, so there’ll be plenty of more interactive experiences when you’re dancing the night away!

Bluff Oyster and Southland Seafood Festival
25th May 2013
Bluff, New Zealand

If you’re a fan of seafood, there is no better place to go in New Zealand.  Arriving in the New Zealand winter, this festival has an incredible array of oysters, scallops, salmon and more to tempt you, as well as an ample selection of other treats for those not so keen on shellfish.  There’s also plenty going on throughout the day with live music and oyster competitions.  If you want to try a bit of south New Zealand culture and sample a few of their delicious oysters, this is the trip for you.

National Mask Festival
Papua New Guinea

A longstanding part of the culture, the National Mask Festival is an integral festival for Papua New Guinea.  Masks are used to represent ancestral spirits and come in a wide variety.  Some of these are incredibly rare and to see them displayed is a real treat.  There are elaborate ceremonies and fire dances to see the masks in use, and the larger masks (called tumbuans) are particularly riveting.  The best time to witness a part of the traditional culture of Papua New Guinea, the displays alone are worth visiting for!

2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup

18-28 September 2013


Do you want to swap the rain drenched terraces of the DW Stadium for the sun soaked islands of Tahiti? Of course you do… it is time to start taking an interest in beach soccer as this year’s Beach Soccer World Cup is being held in the heart of the South Pacific.  Without doubt the most unique football viewing experience on the planet – instead of Bovril you’ll be sipping a refreshing cocktail in your swim shorts while seeing some of the best beach soccer players in the world battle it out – just don’t expect to see England win anything!

Christmas Island Red Crab Migration
Begins late October - November
Christmas Island

The migration of the Christmas Island red crab is a treat to witness – all at once, millions of the scarlet crabs flock towards the sea for their annual mating season and swarm the island getting there.  While the migration lasts until December, the most thrilling part is the first few days and this is the event you won’t want to miss.  Arriving before the migration means you’ll get a chance to explore the rest of the island, as well as ensuring that you don’t miss the slightly unpredictable event – since the crabs’ migration depends on moon cycles and tides, it isn’t possible to predict too far in advance when they’ll arrive!

Australia Day
26th January
Across Australia

One of the biggest events in Australia, this day is noted countrywide.  Since Australia Day falls right in the middle of the summer, there’s no greater time or place to celebrate Australia’s history than the capital city, Sydney.  Events celebrate Australia’s multiculturalism with open air concerts, food and drink stalls and massive festivals and fireworks in the evening.  Around the country there are large music festivals and if you’re into cricket, there’s an international match held in Adelaide.  With a huge variety of things to do, Australia Day has something for everyone.

New Zealand Fringe Festival
Late-February – Early March
Wellington, New Zealand

With a massive variety of comedy, the New Zealand Fringe has launched many of its performers careers, including the excellent Flight of the Conchords.  With an open policy in terms of its players, the Fringe encourages new and exciting talent, so if you’re feeling brave and you’ve got some material up your sleeve, why not give it a go? Showing a diverse group of artists, the Fringe Festival is the best way to see the up-and-coming comedians that New Zealand offers and to sample some of the classic New Zealand culture too.

Rip Curl Pro Surf and Music Festival
Bells Beach, Victoria, Australia

One of the most well-known and popular surf spots, every year competitors and fans gather on Bells Beach for the longest-running surf competition in the world.  The event itself always promises to be an incredible sight, with many famous pros competing for the prestigious Bell trophy.  Even if you’re not an expert you’ll love the thrill of watching world-class surfers do their tricks on some of the finest waves the country has to offer, and there’s plenty of things to do keep you entertained if you fancy a break from the nail-biting competition.

Penguin Parade
Daily at sunset
Phillip Island, Australia

Situated in the spectacular Phillip Island, this nature reserve has many attractions and conservation projects to explore.  However, the main draw is the Penguin Parade; at sunset every night the smallest species of penguin, the Little Penguin comes in from the sea in a procession.  This is a stunning sight, and is an absolute must for animal lovers in particular.  Arrive early for excellent surf conditions or a look around the conservation centre.  You may even catch a glimpse of seals and whales by looking out from the viewing platforms near the Nobbies Centre!

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