Your Guide to Food and Fun Down Under

Daniela Hantuchova on the court at the Australian Open — a favorite with local tennis  fans. (Photo by heatherbell2011 / CC BY 2.0)

Daniela Hantuchova on the court at the Australian Open — a favorite with local tennis

fans. (Photo by heatherbell2011 / CC BY 2.0)

Australia is a fantastic country to visit on an extended holiday. With an indigenous culture that stretches back over 40,000 years, breathtaking environments and vibrant modernity, Australia is at once both ancient and future forward.

There are so many activities to do and places to see in this beautiful country that you’ll never get bored. You could even plan a separate itinerary for each day of your holiday depending on which city you visit. One of the best ways to enjoy Australia, however, is from the point of view of a local, so here’s our guide to Aussie-style food and fun!

Sports

It’s no secret that Australians have a big passion for sports, especially tennis, rugby, cricket and the Australian Rules Football (AFL). Here are some of the events that you should look out for if you want to feel at home while enjoying some sporting action during your holiday next year:

● Australian Open – Contested in Melbourne Park in 2019, from January 14–27, is the 107th Grand Slam event. The world’s top 100 male and top 100 female players will battle it out on the court for prizes worth an incredible $60.5 million in total. Caroline Wozniacki and Roger Federer, both 2018 champions, will defend their titles, and the legendary Serena Williams has confirmed that she will be back to try and reclaim the Women’s Singles trophy once more.

● Rolex Grand Prix – As we keep the focus on Melbourne for the next highlight of the

Aussie sporting calendar, the always thrilling Rolex Grand Prix will take over the city

(and the Albert Park Formula One circuit) from March 14–17.

● ICC Future Tours Cricket – The 2018/19 cricket season is well underway Down Under.

However, you might be able to take in a few new exciting test matches under the ICC

Future Tours Program for 2019/20 if you’re planning to visit toward the end of 2019.

From November 2019 to January 2020, the Australian team will play three T20s against

Sri Lanka, two Tests and three T20s against Pakistan as well as three Tests and three

ODIs against New Zealand.

Entertainment

As far as entertainment in Australia goes, you can find anything you can think of here, from funky nightlife scenes to the performing arts to plenty of cultural festivals.

The Sydney Opera House, a cultural hot spot Down Under. (Photo by Unknown / CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Sydney Opera House, a cultural hot spot Down Under. (Photo by Unknown / CC BY-SA 3.0)

The iconic Sydney Opera House is the number one destination for culture in the country. And 2019’s calendar is jam-packed with spectacular events and exciting concerts, including performances by the seemingly-immortal Iggy Pop (April 15–17). The Opera House will also host the 2019 Sydney Festival (January 9–27) and the Australian International Music Festival (July 4–9).

For something a bit more unusual, the Dark Mofo art gallery in Berriedale, Tasmania, will run their annual mid-winter festival from June 14–23 in 2019. Never afraid to court controversy,

Dark Mofo’s 2017 event featured the Viking black metal band, Ulver, performance art involving 500 liters of blood and a bull carcass, and even a winter solstice skinny-dip. Although 2019’s events are yet confirmed, you can expect something explosive!

Interestingly, the country has recently jumped on board the global iGaming craze, and there are now several dedicated Australian online platforms and casino rooms in operation. The online casino gaming industry is massive, with revenues reaching the tens of billions, so it’s little wonder that Australian businesses want in on the action.

Food

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As you might expect from a country with such a diverse heritage as Australia, the food scene here is eclectic, to say the least. The ubiquitous BBQ reigns supreme during the summer months (naturally). However, you’ll also find a broad range of dishes across Australia, including chicken parmigiana, pumpkin soup, barramundi, meat pie, lamingtons, pavlova and of course, vegemite on toast.

Here are a couple of the exciting food and wine festivals that take place annually throughout Australia if you love food:

● Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – Set to take place in Victoria’s capital city from

March 8–24 in 2019, the festival will feature over 200 separate events, including a dog-

walking winery tour and specially priced menus at top city restaurants.

● Orange F.O.O.D. Week – As the longest running regional food festival in Australia, the

F.O.O.D. (Food of Orange District) week takes place in Orange, New South Wales, from

April 5–14. With the favorite, the Forage event, which involves wine tasting every 500

meters on a vineyard tour, this festival is a must for fans of the grape.

A Note About the Seasons

Since Australia is in the southern hemisphere, the country’s seasons run in reverse to what you may be used to if you are traveling from Europe or North America. The spring-summer months run from September to the end of February while the autumn-winter months start in March and end in August.

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