Who has ever said that a bad mood can’t be fixed by the kind of comfort food and drink that fills the heart and warms the belly? Yes, your not-so-beach-ready-body might not be smiling back at you in the mirror come summer time, but that’s months away… So, we’re sharing our favourite events that tick all the boxes to banish the hermit in you – warm cider, red wine, pies, doughnuts, bonfires and dancing. How could you not? Go on, throw on a scarf and have some fun!
Willie Smith’s Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival
Always considered yourself more of a country bumpkin than city slicker? Then we have just the event for you. Join in pagan celebrations at Willie Smith’s Cider Shed in the Huon Valley, Tasmania that are believed to wake up the apple trees and scare away evil spirits for a good harvest. Or, you could grab a hay bale, sit by the bonfire and relax with a large mug of good ol’ cider and one of the woodfired pizza’s from the Red Head food truck. Kids are also welcome and there are lots of activities to keep them occupied with maypole dancing, a secret hideout and flower crown workshops.
Location: Willie Smith’s Apple Shed,
2064 Huon Highway Grove, TAS 7109
Dates: Friday 13 – Sunday 15 July
Tickets: Friday, $25 ($35 on the door if available)
Saturday, $35 ($45 on the door if available)
Sunday, $15 ($20 on the door if available)
Weekend Pass (Fri – Sun), $70
Mr Black Caffeine Festival (AKA the Espresso Martini Festival)
The perfect remedy for those winter blues – coffee and alcohol. If Sydney’s espresso martini festival can’t entice you out of your winter layers, we don’t know what will. Think of endless cocktails brimming with the magic concoction, master classes if you’re really up for a good time, burgers, doughnuts and boozy affogatos, set against the bright lights of Vivid and DJ sets to help you dance your blues away.
Location: Cargo Hall,
Overseas Passenger Terminal,
The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000
Dates: Friday 25 – Sunday 27 May
Winery Walkabout, Rutherglen
Escape to the Rutherglen over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and forget your winter blues as you indulge in the best wine and produce the region has to offer. Visit 19 cellar doors and go behind-the-scenes in winery tours, take part in tastings and master classes, recharge with a hearty meal at one of the many food trucks, unwind to live music and entertainment and more. It’s all happening here. And if you’re not ready to head home on the Sunday, head to the Rutherglen Rotary Country Fair from 9am-3pm and explore over 300 market stalls and see the Apex Great Australian Barrel Rolling Competition.
Location: Rutherglen, VIC 3685
Dates: Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 June
Tickets: Saturday, $35 – if purchased between 9 April – 31 May ($40 last minute 1 June – 11 June)
Sunday, $40 – if purchased between 9 April – 31 May ($44 last minute 1 June – 11 June)
Weekend, $55 – if purchased between 9 April – 31 May ($75 last minute 1 June – 11 June)
Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS)
The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, the popular beer, cider and food festival, will return to Melbourne this May and Sydney in June, with over 500 new and experimental drops from Australian and New Zealand breweries to try. You can also expect all of the same great entertainment this year, including Holey Moley Golf, the Yenda Wheel of Beer, roaming circus performers and the popular GABS Silent Disco.
Check out some of the beers that are on offer this year in our article: What’s Your Flavour? 10 Weird and Wonderful Beers to Try at GABS Festival
Location: Royal Exhibition Building,
9 Nicholson St,
Carlton, Melbourne, VIC 3053
Dates: Friday 18 – Sunday 20 May
Location: Sydney Showground,
Sydney Olympic Park, NSW 2127
Dates: Saturday 2 June 2018
Scents of Place, Gin Meet The Maker Experience
For the first time in 20 years, Australia’s go-to gin establishment, Gin Palace in Melbourne, will host seven gin distillers for lunch and you’re invited! With a line-up that lets you experience the uniquely aromatic Dasher + Fisher gins from Tasmania and the award-winning gins from Archie Rose in Sydney, this is an event not to be missed. You’ll get a G&T on arrival and enjoy a three-course lunch matched to three cocktails with the makers. You’ll also take part in a cocktail workshop and go home with a goody-bag.
Location: Gin Palace,
10 Russell Place,
Melbourne, VIC 3000
(Tickets now available)
Dasher + Fisher, Tasmania – Saturday 2 June
Alchemy, Yarra Valley – Saturday 16 June
Animus, Kyneton, VIC – Saturday 30 June
(Tickets released in June)
Archie Rose, Sydney – Saturday 14 July
Patient Wolf, Melbourne – Saturday 28 July
(Tickets released in July)
Melbourne Gin Company, Melbourne – Saturday 11 August
Anther, Melbourne – Saturday 25 August