The annual festival arrives over the New Year and hosts some of the best international talent from all genres. The festival has boasted the likes of Disclosure, alt-J and MGMT in recent years and this year will welcome Childish Gambino, London Grammar, The Avalanches and Grandmaster Flash among more first-class talent. Beginning in 1996, the Victorian coastal town of Lorne was initially the sole host of the event, but in 2003 it expanded to the stunningly picturesque Tasmanian beachside location of Marion Bay.
Prior to the festival, it is definitely worth spending time in Hobart, the cosy port city is enriched with history beyond its first European settlement in 1803. The illustrious Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is a fascinating archive of rare contemporary and bygone art. The summit of Mt Wellington must be reached and if you’re feeling extra adventurous, hire a car and drive up to Cradle Mountain, Queenstown or Launceston where truly intrepid ventures await.
Falls Festival Marion Bay goes down from Thursday December 29 till Sunday January 1.
Victoria’s South East Gippsland area is home to some of Australia’s most underappreciated towns and locales. The likes of the prosperous Inverloch, Fish Creek, Koonwarra and Mirboo North are just a few of the untouched treasures in the region. For three days over the New Year, however, the area comes to life when boutique festival NYE on the Hill goes down. Set on the foothills above diminutive old railway town Loch Village, the festival sees a slew of outstanding musicians hit its stage year after year. For the coming instalment, The Preatures lead a lineup also featuring the Pierce Brothers, Tash Sultana, Camp Cope, The Bennies and Sex on Toast. You’d be daft not to check out Wilsons Promontory while you’re in god’s country. Why not tackle an overnight hike through Sealers Cove, Little Waterloo Bay, Roaring Meg and Oberon Bay?
NYE on the Hill hits Loch Village from Friday December 30 till Sunday January 1.
Held at the aforementioned MONA, Mofo encapsulates everything elusive and obscure about Tasmania’s heritage. Mofo’s alumni is rich and has seen all-time greats such as The Flaming Lips, Violent Femmes, Swans and Death Grips grace its stage. In 2017, two music luminaries from Faith No More and Tool are bringing their side-projects to Hobart. Mike Patton’s tētēma and Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifer will perform at a festival which also parades some of the world’s most prestigious art. Special exhibition, On the Origin of Art, will be showcased during the festival which sees four world-renowned scientists and evolutionary theorists explore the universal human drivers behind why we make art.
Take a road trip from Hobart along the east coast and you reach the Freycinet National Park. It’s home to the famous Wineglass Bay, one of Australia’s most charming sights as well as The Hazards, an eminent sunburnt mountain-range which is best seen during the golden hour (the hour before sunset).
Mona Foma comes to MONA from Wednesday January 18 till Sunday January 22.
Bluesfest is not just a music festival, it’s a celebration of virtuosic musicianship and panache. The organisers achieve the implausible year after year, welcoming superlative blues and roots lineups never thought possible. The 2017 incarnation is set to be the biggest yet and will be co-headlined by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Neil Young alongside his support band the Promise of the Real and Bee Gees frontman Barry Gibb. Other artists to perform include Patti Smith, Santana, the Zac Brown Band, Mary J. Blige and Bonnie Raitt.
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm is the festival’s home, located about ten kilometres north of New South Wales’ hippy haven Byron Bay. It’s one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations and is ideal for those wanderlusters fit for the outdoors. You can learn to surf, go sea kayaking or snorkelling or head inland and hike Minyon Falls.
Bluesfest will go down from Thursday April 13 – Monday April 17, just north of Bryon Bay.
Situated on the southern Indian Ocean coastline of Western Australia, those who make the trek out to Southbound are in for a real treat. Scenic views aside, the festival also offers a top-notch lineup of music and art – as well as being renowned for its environmental awareness. With calm crystal blue bays and a two-kilometre long jetty, its Bussleton location is practically worth the trip alone.
As for the lineup itself, you’ll be treated to the likes of Boo Seeka, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Cut Chemist, an epic Daft Punk tribute, Drapht, Hot Chip, Hudson Mohawke, Ladyhawke, Olympia, Peaches, Tash Sultana, The Bennies, The Smith Street Band, Vera Blue, Tkay Maidza and so much more. Not bad, eh?
Sleep tight: Dunsborough YHA
Southbound goes down from Tuesday December 27 – Thursday December 29 at Busselton, WA.