3 June 2014
Explore the best of New South Wales with these exciting events taking place this winter.
1. Hunter Valley Food and Wine month 1 – 30 June
The Hunter Valley celebrates its exquisite restaurants, chefs, wineries and winemakers throughout the month of June. Learn to make cheese at the Hunter Valley Cheese Factory for $75 per person on 7 June. Taste the region's outstanding range of wines at one of the many cellar door experiences available at wineries such as Hungerford Hill and McGuigan Wines.
2. Yulefest in the Blue Mountains 1 June – 31 August
Celebrate a winter Christmas in the Blue Mountains with Yulefest. Restaurants and accommodation providers join to recreate the festive atmosphere of a northern hemisphere Christmas. Book a traditional turkey dinner at one of the participating restaurants, or escape to the warmth of a guest house or hotel. Watch the parade of jugglers, dancers, gymnasts, choirs, musicians and more down the main street of Katoomba on June 21.
3. Sydney Travelling Film Festival various dates
The Sydney Film Festival is one of the world's longest running film festivals, screening the best in feature films, documentaries, short films, and animation from around the world. The festival is held annually in Sydney, but tours across NSW throughout the remainder of the year. Catch it in Newcastle (20-22 June), Huskisson (22-24 August), or Wollongong (29-31 August) this winter.
4. 5 Lands Walk 21 June
Follow the spectacular Central Coast coastline for 10 kilometres from MacMasters Beach to Terrigal and enjoy fun events at each of the beaches along the way at Copacabana, Avoca and North Avoca. The walk coincides with whale watching season; lookout from the shorelines to catch passing humpback whales on their northern migration.
5. Capital Region Truffle Festival 21 June – mid August
Join growers and their dogs on a truffle hunt in the Yass Valley during the eight-week celebration of the local Black Perigord Truffle harvest. Learn to cook with truffles in a master class, or savour them from the specially-designed menus at one of the many participating restaurants, including Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa.
6. Opera at the Channon Lismore July 27
Lismore showcases some of Opera Australia's biggest stars in a spectacular afternoon event at the Coronation Park raising money for charity. Dress up for a silver service lunch, bring a picnic to the park, or enjoy a special BBQ available for purchase on the day. Unwind with a selection of songs from famous operas and musicals performed by some of Australia's best operatic talent.
7. Byron Bay Writers' Festival 1-3 August
Australian writers are in the spotlight at Byron Bay as locals and visitors celebrate the talent from around the country. Sit in on a reading, attend a book launch, or enjoy a lunch with some of the industry's top names such as children's book author Mem Fox, Foreword Magazine Book of the Year award winner Poe Ballantine and ABC radio and TV presenter Richard Fidler. Listen as celebrated author and Whitbread prize winner Jeanette Winterson delivers the keynote address.
8. Fireside Festival: The Poachers Way 1- 31 August
Celebrate the comforts of winter in Murrumbateman at this food and wine festival. Try the wines at Clonakilla Wines, Four Winds Vineyard or Eden Road Wines, stay at a cosy guesthouse such as Country Guesthouse Schönegg, or go horseriding with Burnelee Excursions on Horseback.
9. Bangalow Music Festival 15-17 August
Spanning three days and featuring nine concerts, this annual Bangalow festival features the highest acclaimed international soloists and Australian chamber music ensembles. This year's event focuses on the power of partnerships, as it showcases well-known musical pairings in history and presents its own couples. Guests from the USA, Singapore, Germany, Israel, and Australia will join the Southern Cross Soloists in a weekend of performances spanning traditions of jazz, classical, and contemporary chamber music.
10. Dungog Festival 28-31 August
The James Theatre in Dungog is Australia's oldest operational cinema and is the centre of this film festival. Watch contemporary Australian films, taste wine from the Hunter region, and dance at the 'big bash' barn dance.