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Australia's top festivals to add to your summer road trip

In Australia, a good Aussie summer includes trips to the beach, barbeques with your mates, and a summer festival or two. To help get you geared for an epic summer ahead, we’ve pulled together our fave Australia festivals to see you live it up 2024 style.  

Add a festival to your road trip or use this as the perfect excuse to book a campervan or car road trip. Remember, road trips + music + sunshine + mates = best summer ever!  

From folk vibes to hard beats to Elvis Presley, Australia knows how to show you a good time. Check out our pick of the best summer music festivals in handy date order.  

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QLD: Woodford Folk Festival – 27 December-1 January 

Located in Woodfordia, QLD, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, the Woodford Folk Festival is an institution on the Aussie event festival calendar. It’s one of the largest folk festivals in the world and also takes the top spot for the largest gathering of artists and musicians (over 400!) in Australia. You could say it’s kind of a big deal!  

This is a cultural smörgâsbord of entertainment – from music, dance, cabaret, comedy, circus, theatre, circus, and more. Whether you visit for a day, stay for the entire six days, or volunteer your services, expect to leave with good vibes under your belt and an upgrade in your cultural and artistic expression, too!  

Detour to Woodford on this jam-packed 7-day Brisbane to 1770 itinerary. 

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Photo Credit: Beat Magazine

NSW: Lost Paradise – 28 December-1 January 

Only 75 minutes drive north of Sydney, you can access Lost Paradise. This is a festival as dreamy as it sounds, with a solid line-up, incredible art and food, and a mindfulness programme filled with workshops, yoga, and healing. This is a one-of-a-kind Australian summer festival!  

Lost Paradise will be extra special this year as it’s returning after a 3-year hiatus (thanks bush fires and COVID). We would expect their goals of enriching, enlightening, and inspiring you to be absolutely smashed this year! If there was any year to get yourself to Lost Paradise, it’s this one. 

Check out #5 on our Sydney-based road trip blog. Lost Paradise is located between Sydney and Newcastle!  

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Photo Credit: Beyond the Valley

VIC: Beyond the Valley – 28 December-1 January

Looking for a VIC festival with a stacked line-up, world-class production, and a lush location away from it all? Beyond the Valley is back with a new home in Barunah Plains, on the land of the Wadawarrung people.  

Only 1.5 hours from Melbourne, this new location ups the festival a few notches, thanks to its natural 100,000-sqm amphitheatre amid rolling hills and a winding creek. 

Besides the international and local line-up, there are daily meditation and yoga, drag bingo, a beach club and more.  

 Make a road trip out of it by combining Beyond the Valley with this epic Great Ocean Road itinerary! 

NSW: Field Day – 1 January

Bored with starting New Year’s Day with nothing to think of but a hangover and some lacklustre resolutions? Let Field Day take your mind off the mundane with cool tunes from around the world! 

This boutique fest is at Sydney’s Domain and popular for its friendly vibes, variety of artists on its line-up, and lush green Domain setting. And don’t worry if you have an NYE hangover, the event kicks off at noon, leaving plenty of time for a lie-in.   

Follow up funky tunes with fresh air and lush scenery with one of these inspired Sydney scenic drives 

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Photo Credit: Concrete Playground

NSW: Parkes Elvis Festival – 10-14 January

For something a little different, how about a whole 4-day festival dedicated to the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley? Parkes Elvis Festival is possibly one of the biggest events on the festival calendar that you’ve never heard of.  

For the 31st year, tens of thousands of Elvis lovers will descend on Parkes, in Central NSW. They are there to see a plethora of Elvis Presley tribute artists, attend workshops (like how to line dance), watch street parades, and enjoy a ton of vintage vibes! 

There are many free events and ticketed options across Parkes, so join in one thing, or join in them all!  

Stop in at the Blue Mountains on your way to Parkes. We’ve got just the guide 

NSW: Tamworth Country Music Festival – 19-28 January 

Inland 3.5 hours from Port Macquarie, join country music lovers from across Australia and the world at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. 

Nurturing and supporting the Australian country music scene, the event pinnacle is on the second Saturday of the event, when the Golden Guitars Country Music Awards of Australia throwdown a true yeeha of a show!  

Tamworth Country Music Festival is in its 52nd year, with 2024 offering 2,800 free and ticketed gigs across 120 venues! There are plenty of local campgrounds for your JUCY campervan, though book early as around 40,000 attend the fest. 

Take a detour to Tamworth on our epic Sydney to Byron Bay roadie 

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Photo Credit: couturing.com

Multi: St Jerome’s Laneway – 3-11 February

With six events across Australia and New Zealand (check out our NZ summer festival guide here), Laneway offers the most locations to Trans-Tasman music lovers. And they do LOVE Laneway; the festival has a loyal fanbase who dig the diverse line-up and cool-as vibes. 

Self-expression is a tenet of the Laneway ethos. This is evident in the unique sounds of the artists who take to the stage, the anything-goes dress code of the crowd, and that Laneway is a 16+ event at all venues.  

Laneway’s Australia February dates are: 3rd Brisbane; 4th Sydney; 9th Adelaide; 10th Melbourne; 11th Perth. .   

Love Laneway and want to hit up two? Follow our Sydney to Melbourne itinerary and you can! 

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Photo Credit: WOMADelaide

WOMADelaide – 8-11 March

Embrace a World of Music Arts and Dance (WOMAD) in Adelaide this March. A celebration of all things cultural, musical, and artistic, WOMAD brings the best vibes from around the globe for three inspiring high-vibing days.  

Running since 1992, WOMAD is a well-oiled machine, which means effortless days at Adelaide’s Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla. You already know Adelaide as a foodie haven. Therefore, it should be no surprise that besides shake-ya-booty beats, you’ll be able to chow down on delectable cultural eats at WOMAD, too.  

WOMADelaide + inspiring road trips from Adelaide = a mega vacay! Do it, you know you want to. 

VIC: Golden Plains – 9-11 March

If a festival without sponsors, signage, market stalls, and dickheads then Golden Plains is the only event you’ll need on your festival calendar.  

Held at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, about a 90-minute drive from Melbourne, Golden Plains is about as rule-free a festival as you can find in Australia (unless those rules are about marketing, of course). Camp where you like, bring what you want, and create your own rituals (to join the cool naturally evolved ones the festival already has). 

Follow wild times with wildlife. We’ve got the best wildlife spots around VIC to tack on to your Golden Plains adventure. Our pick? Recuperate at the Grampians!  

Inspired and ready to get your Australian festival road trip on? Cool as. Hit the BOOK NOW button or give our road trip-lovin' crew a call on 1800 150 850 

 

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