Local Festivals and Events: Guide for International Students in Australia

Zeeshan Virk
Published on Sep 08, 2023

Australia isn't only a place with stunning cities and landscapes; it's also a destination where you can participate in the richness of local celebrations and festivals. If you're an international student in Australia, participating in these celebrations is a fantastic opportunity to experience the local traditions, meet new people, and make lasting memories. In this guide, we'll take you through many of the nation's fascinating local festivals and events.

Sydney Festival

Location: Sydney, New South Wales

Time: January

Start your year off with a bang at this year's Sydney Festival. The multi-art festival turns the city into an artistic playground featuring world-class performers, including visual arts, music, and much more. Take advantage of the incredible free events in The Festival Village, where you can enjoy the best of Australian world culture.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Time: March to April

Get ready for a night of non-stop laughs at Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Australia's biggest comedy festival draws world-class comedians from all over the world. If you're a stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy fan, the festival promises to be unforgettable.

Vivid Sydney

Location: Sydney, New South Wales

Time: May to June

Vibrant Sydney is a captivating blend of technology, art, and music. The city is transformed into an art gallery for breathtaking lighting installations along with 3D projections and live performances. It's a fantastic way of experiencing Sydney's iconic landmarks from a new perspective.

Splendour in the Grass

Location: Byron Bay, New South Wales

Time: July

For those who enjoy music, Splendour in the Grass is essential. The three-day arts and music festival will showcase an impressive line-up of Australian and international artists. With a stunning background that is Byron Bay, it's an incredible musical experience.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Time: March

Foodies, rejoice! Food lovers, rejoice! Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is a feast for the senses that celebrates Australia's varied food scene. From tastings of wine to meals with celebrity chefs and food tour tours, this is a culinary pleasure.

Diwali - Festival of Lights

Location: Various cities

Time: October/November

The Festival of Lights, Celebrate Diwali, with the vibrant Indian community of Australia. Stunning street parades, traditional dance performances, and delicious Indian dishes during this holiday season.

Tasting Australia

Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Time: April

Taste Australia is a foodie's paradise. The festival celebrates Australia's most exquisite culinary offerings by bringing together top chefs, winemakers, and producers. It's a chance to taste unique flavors and experience the numerous food regions in Australia.

Woodford Folk Festival

Location: Woodford, Queensland

Time: December to January

Bring in the new year. The new year is ringing in with the Woodford Folk Festival. The festival is a multi-day celebration featuring various music and dance, art, and even workshops. It celebrates imagination and a sense of community in the stunning Australian bush.

Australian Open

Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Time: January

If you're an avid tennis fan, the Australian Open is a sporting spectacle you want to attend. The pulsing atmosphere of Melbourne Park is truly something to be experienced.

Anzac Day

Location: Nationwide

Time: April 25th

Anzac Day is a significant national day of commemoration in Australia as well as New Zealand. Participate in dawn services, marches, and other ceremonies to pay homage to those who fought and gave their lives for their country. It's a solemn yet emotional experience.

Adelaide Fringe Festival

Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Time: February to March

Adelaide Fringe Festival is the largest festival in Australia. Adelaide Fringe Festival is a huge arts festival across South Australia in the Southern Hemisphere, and it's an explosion of creativity in musical, theater, comedy, and visual art. With thousands of performances taking place across diverse locations, it's a great chance to meet emerging talents and original shows.

Lunar New Year Celebrations

Location: Various cities

Time: January to February

Take part in participating in Lunar New Year celebrations, which is a major cultural celebration for Asian communities in Australia. Experience colorful procession parades on the streets, traditional shows, and mouth-watering Asian food during this holiday.

Bondi Beach Sculpture by the Sea

Location: Sydney, New South Wales

Time: October to November

Enjoy art in a stunning beach setting at Bondi Beach Sculpture by the Sea. The outdoor sculpture exhibit showcases incredible artwork set against Bondi's sand beaches, making it a distinctive combination of nature and art.

Dark Mofo

Location: Hobart, Tasmania

Time: June

Dark Mofo is a winter festival unlike any other, showcasing the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. It features immersive art installations along with music and dance performances. It also includes the famed Dark Mofo Winter Feast, where you can enjoy the best food.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Location: Sydney, New South Wales

Time: February to March

The  festival Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is an exciting celebration of equality, diversity, and love. Participate in the parade with a colorful theme, take in live performances, and demonstrate your solidarity with LGBTQ+ rights and culture.

Royal Easter Show

Location: Sydney, New South Wales

Time: March to April

The Royal Easter Show is a family-friendly event with agricultural displays, adrenaline-filled attractions, live music, delicious food, and stalls. It's an excellent opportunity to explore the Australian lifestyle and the culture.

Festival of the Winds

Location: Sydney, New South Wales

Time: September

Get your kites flying during the Festival of the Winds, the most spectacular kite-flying event in Bondi Beach. Admire the colorful kites of every shape and size and listen to live music and food stalls worldwide.


Location: Brisbane, Queensland

Time: September

Riverfire is an incredible fireworks show that illuminates Brisbane's Brisbane River. The event is part of the Brisbane Festival and is one of the city's most breathtaking celebrations, with aerial performances and a spectacular final display of fireworks.

Cairns Festival

Location: Cairns, Queensland

Time: August

Cairns Festival Cairns Festival is a celebration of North Queensland's unique tradition. It is a celebration of dance, music, visual arts, and food-related events highlighting the region's diverse Indigenous tradition and community.

St. Jerome's Laneway Festival

Location: Various cities

Time: January to February

Music lovers will love St. Jerome's Laneway Festival, an indie festival. With an array of new and well-known artists, The festival is scheduled to visit several Australian cities, offering a memorable musical experience.


The multicultural landscape of Australia has a wide range of festivals and celebrations suitable for all tastes. These events offer international students the chance to take in the local culture and make lasting memories and friendships. Therefore, make your plans now, be a part of this spirit occasion, and enjoy your experience while studying abroad in Australia.

These events and festivals showcase the diverse and vibrant cultures of Australia. For international students, they give you a chance to meet people living in the area, embrace various traditions, and create lasting memories. If you're interested in music, the arts, food, or even celebrations of the culture, Australia has something exciting to offer you all year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there opportunities to volunteer or participate in these events as artists or performers?

Various festivals allow performers, volunteers, and artists to be involved. Check out festival websites or email organizers directly to find out more information about how to get involved.

What is the most efficient way to obtain tickets to these events and festivals?

Tickets for events and festivals are usually available online via official websites or ticketing platforms. It is recommended to purchase tickets ahead, particularly for popular events, to guarantee your place.

Are there any age limitations for these events?

Age restrictions differ based on the particular event. Specific festivals are family-friendly and accept all ages. However, other celebrations may have age limits or separate sections for adults.

Do I have to take my food items and beverages to these events?

Many festivals have food and drink stalls that offer many choices. Some festivals may permit the use of food or beverages; it's best to read the festival's rules before the event.