Woodford Folk Festival â€“ New Years Week
This New Years, pack your deodorant and plenty of water, jump in the rental car and prepare yourself to â€œgo feralâ€ at the Woodford Folk Festival. Pick up a rental car in Brisbane and head north for about an hour to the quaint Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Woodford.
What started as a handful of hippies getting down and muddy to folk music is now a five day long camping extravaganza, featuring over two thousand of the worldâ€™s most creative (and popular) musicians and artists. Eco and Indigenous respect, good karma and creativity set it apart from the seemingly endless stream of ho-hum festivals that grace Aussie shores each summer.
Unfortunately, there is very little public transport so a rental car is probably your only option. Consider picking up a campervan if you have the funds or keep an eye out for rental car dollar deals. At the end of the festival, youâ€™re just a half hour away from the secluded beaches of the Sunshine Coast and an hour from the tourist Mecca that is Noosa.
Nimbin â€“ May Mardigrass
Your travel agent may have mentioned Byron Bay but probably kept Nimbin a bit quiet! Byron Bay is about two hours drive south of Brisbane (or around eleven hours north of Sydney) and an hour east of the tiny town of Nimbin. Byron Bay is a must see tourist town that ensures youâ€™ve got somewhere to drink, eat and take photographs 24/7 and throws in just a hint of itâ€™s past counter-culture days through itâ€™s hip and hippy stores and lifestyle.
Once youâ€™ve checked into your Byron accommodation and taken in some of its sights, climb in the rental car and buckle up, because youâ€™re headed to an Australia you wonâ€™t see anywhere else.
Nimbin is the Australian counter-culture headquarters with its liberal views on, well, everything. From its open and overt acceptance and celebration of marijuana to its in-your-face anti-establishment attitude, what started with the 1973 Aquarius Music Festival simply never ended. Love it or hate it, thereâ€™s no place like Nimbin.
Early May, sees Nimbin dust off its beeswax candles, re-string its dream catchers, and fire up some effigies for the annual harvest festival â€œMardigrassâ€. With everything from political rallies to the â€œBong Olympicsâ€ itâ€™s not your average street party and itâ€™s not for everyone. While the local police are said to turn a blind (and some say bloodshot) eye to the goings on, your rental car is likely to be searched on the way back to Byron Bay because New South Wales police are determined to make what happens in Nimbin, stay in Nimbin.
There are very few public transport options so a rental car is a must for this trip and can be collected from Brisbane, Gold Coast or Byron Bay itself.
Sydney Mardi Gras
Blokes in frocks â€“ thereâ€™s nothing Australia likes more! Sydney Mardi Gras is the annual Australian celebration of all things fabulous and everyone from A-list drag performers to members of parliament will be there! While at its core, itâ€™s a celebration of all aspects of Gay and Lesbian culture, itâ€™s also a chance for Sydney to frock up, kick up its (stiletto) heels and party.
For two weeks every February, youâ€™ll have the chance to see the sights of Sydney through Pink Champagne coloured glasses as the Opera House becomes home to a spectacular concert, the Harbour hosts endless booze cruises, Taronga Park Zoo stages dinners and events and the streets of Sydney close for â€œDrag Racesâ€, political rallies and of course, the show stopping parade.
Sydney knows how to party at the best of times, with its awesome pub and club scene but every February, for two fabulous weeks, you can see it turned up to 11!
- Rental Cars, Accommodation and other tips to make it great!
- Book your accommodation well in advance as it will sell out fast
- Australia is a big place and transport outside cities is pretty limited, so booking a rental car is often the only way to see the best stuff
- Accommodation and car rental rate comparison sites are the best way to get the cheapest deals
- Australian companies offer Dollar a Day Deals on rental cars â€“ if you know where to look
- For every long trip, take plenty of water in case of emergencies
Avoid Gold Coast travel in late November as it is all but closed for â€œSchooliesâ€, a large event catering to 17 year old high school graduates.
- The distance between cities in Australia means many worthwhile road trips are long trips – so it is worth the few extra dollars for a roomier, more comfortable rental car.