From culinary delights to crowd pleasers, here are some of the best cultural experiences Australia has to offer over the Easter Long Weekend.
New South Wales
World class opera, fine dining and Sydney’s signature harbour sunset. Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is the ideal way to celebrate the long weekend; headlining Sydney’s cultural calendar, the spectacular comes complete with idyllic backdrop of Sydney’s most famous monuments.
Showing on Easter Saturday and Sunday, experience the breathtaking display executed with a team of more than 700 people involved in the production of Aida. A three-course dinner at The Platinum Club and a well-timed spot of fireworks makes for the ultimate night out.
It’s always a good idea to visit NSW’s Hunter Valley region, but the extended break of the long weekend will allow you to fit in all the cellar doors you’ve got on your list. Top picks include Tyrrells Winery with its iconic Vat 1 Semillon as well as one of the most picturesque cellar doors at Audrey Wilkinson. From the legendary Mount Pleasant Winery with it’s Mount Henry Shiraz, Leontine Chardonnay and Maurice O’Shea Shiraz to the the Scarborough Wine Co overlooking the Valley featuring it’s stellar pinot noir rosé, there’s a drop (or two) for everybody.
Make a meal of it at The Vintage Golf Club who are holding a Good Friday Seafood Feast featuring the very best local produce; Holberts Nelson Bay oysters, chilled king prawns, blue swimmer crabs and smoked mussels.
Ben Harper, Hozier, Angus and Julia Stone, Xavier Rudd and The Counting Crows are just the beginning of the stellar line-up of local and international acts to take the stage over the Easter long weekend at Byron Bay’s 2015 Bluesfest. Touted as “the best, best festival in Australia”, it’s a number’s game at Australia’s premier blues and roots festival which spans five days, over 200 performances, 52 market stalls and 50 international food stalls.
Don’t miss out – tickets are selling fast.
Further north in Brisbane sees the ‘David Lynch – Between Two Worlds’ exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). The Mulholland Drive director and visual artist of 50 years has produced an extensive body of paintings, photography and works on paper. The display is a rare opportunity to consider Lynch’s entire creative vision and the relationships between his practice as an artist, filmmaker and musician. Witness more than 200 works and is organised around three ideas – ‘Man and machine’, ‘The extra-ordinary’, and ‘Psychic Aches’.
Now in its 11th year, taste the newest and best of Perth’s evolving culinary culture this long weekend at Eat Drink Perth, the month long food and beverage festival. From fine dining to food trucks, Perth’s burgeoning restaurant, bar and café scene sees a focus on quality product and service cementing their status as one of the world’s most liveable cities.
Experience the sustainable produce market Perth Home Grown and regular Twilight Hawkers Market as well as the special (and sweet) additions including a Dessert Garden, Easter treats and celebrity chef appearances as part of a jam-packed schedule of events.
Referred to as the greatest road trip in Australia, take a tour of the country’s best views along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. From Torquay to Port Fairy, experience the epic coastal drive, and see the 12 Apostles, iconic surf breaks and waterfalls. Jump on the Otway Harvest Trail and experience the most exceptional foods and flavours from the region.
For some quintessential rooftop action in Melbourne, head to the unrivalled Emerson hotel with its full length indoor and outdoor rooftop. With stunning views from South Yarra to the CBD, the space boasts world class bars, a sundrenched deck, day beds and relaxed tunes to take you well into the evening.
Make the most of the long weekend and enjoy an Easter escape to South Australia’s beautiful wine regions; some of the best in Australia. The Adelaide Hills wine region, 15 minutes from Adelaide’s CBD, is South Australia’s oldest wine region and includes cellar doors such as the award-winning Shaw & Smith, Nepenthe and Bird in Hand all provide excellent tasting options in The Hills. The Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek wine regions provide great boutique accommodation options. Hop over to the Clare Valley for the Clare Easter Races where you can book your own private marquee or pack a picnic and enjoy a day on the green.
If you truly want to take yourself off the grid this long weekend, experience one of Australia’s most remote and southerly islands, Tasmania’s Bruny Island. Best explored by car, the two parts of the island are linked by an isthmus known as The Neck. Boutique accommodation, picturesque beaches, and the many walking tracks of South Bruny National Park make for an autumn escape like no other. Put the Bruny Island Cheese Company on your list and you’ve got the perfect long weekend.
The Northern Territory
Litchfield National Park in the Territory is among one of the best places to visit renowned for its bush walks, camping and swimming. The 1500-sq-km national park encloses much of the spectacular Tabletop Range, and the waterfalls that pour off the edge of this plateau into crystal clear (croc-free) plunge pools are a highlight. Take a tour at nearby Batchelor Butterfly Farm and Tropical Retreat where you can wine and dine at the restaurant or pick up a picnic hamper.
Perhaps this is the weekend to make the pilgrimage to the nation’s capital? The city boasts fine art galleries and spectacular museums including the Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, National Film & Sound Archive and National Museum of Australia. Easily accessible and featuring some of Australia’s best artefacts and artworks.
Relax and enjoy folk life with the multifaceted National Folk Festival which offers high-end entertainment to grassroots and participatory events with over 200 acts.