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Holidays

Five festivals worth road-tripping to

Hit the road and head to some of Australia's best festivals taking place in the second half of 2022.

By Shell on Jul. 14, 2022

It’s been a quiet time for festivals in the past couple of years, but all of that is changing this year as Australia starts to celebrate again. Taking a road trip with family or friends is generally a great experience whenever you go, but if you can time it to coincide with one of these festivals, you’ll take in a huge dose of culture at the same time.

Barunga Festival, NT

When: 12-14 August, 2022

Where: Barunga

Driving time: Four hours (400km) from Darwin

The Barunga Festival may be a celebration of remote Indigenous Australia, but it’s easily accessible on a road trip from Darwin. About 4,000 visitors (Indigenous and non-Indigenous, from all over the world) will gather in this community near Katherine to camp and enjoy everything from storytelling to live music, Indigenous art to Aussie rules football games, and from kids’ activities to great food. It’s all about cultural exchange and collaboration – as well as a lot of fun.

CinefestOZ, WA

When: 23-28 August 2022

Where: WA’s South West

Driving time: 2.5-5 hours (220-420km) from Perth

Couldn’t make it to the Cannes Film Festival this year? Head to CinefestOZ instead. In its 15th year, the festival will be putting on no fewer than 270 film experiences in the cinemas, wineries, boutique breweries, bars and galleries of Western Australia’s beautiful South West region.

If you like the idea of combining great movies with spectacular locations and some of Australia’s best food and wine, CinefestOZ has you covered. You’ll find Q&As with filmmakers, screenings of the finalists for the CinefestOZ Film Prize, industry workshops, a schools’ short film competition, and more.

Plus the festival incorporates IndigifestOZ, which showcases Indigenous works and includes free community days in Bunbury and Busselton.

Gympie Music Muster, QLD

When: 25-28 August 2022

Where: Gympie

Driving time: Two hours (170km) from Brisbane

It’s birthday time for the Gympie Music Muster, which started as a community fundraiser in 1982, and has raised more than $20 million for community groups and charities in the 40 years since.

After a two-year hiatus, the Muster will be rocking the Amamoor Creek State Forest again in 2022, with more than 100 artists performing country, blues, roots, folk and rock across six stages, including the likes of Troy Cassar-Daley, Lee Kernaghan, Kasey Chambers, James Blundell, Tex Perkins and John Williamson.

You’ll also find workshops and kids’ activities, as well as line dancing, barn dancing, and all-kinds-of-dancing classes.

Floriade, ACT

When: 17 September – 16 October 2022

Where: Canberra

Driving time: Three hours (290km) from Sydney or seven hours (660km) from Melbourne

There’s nothing that says springtime quite like flowers, and the gardeners of Canberra know how to put on a show.

Floriade’s theme this year is the Sounds of Spring, and the national capital’s Commonwealth Park will be alive with colour and music, as more than 1 million blooms are accompanied by live performances, from classical to contemporary.

Organisers will be handing out more than 300,000 bulbs and annuals to ensure the city is a riot of colour for the festival’s 500,000 visitors, and NightFest (29 September – 2 October) will light up the park after dark, with horticultural illuminations, food and entertainment.

Deni Ute Muster, NSW

When: 30 September - 1 October, 2022

Where: Deniliquin

Driving time: 3.5 hours (300km) from Melbourne or 7.5 hours (710km) from Sydney

Load up the you-beaut super-ute (or whatever car you’ve got, for that matter), and head to Deniliqiun for a festival that’s as dinky-di as they come.

More than 2,800 utes rocked up to the first Deni Ute Muster in 1999, and this year up to 20,000 people (and almost 10,000 utes) are expected to descend on the outback plains for two days of vehicle admiring, whip cracking, wood chopping, bull riding and fantastic live music. American country music star Brad Paisley is this year’s headline act, supported by Jessica Mauboy, John Williamson, The Angels and more.

If you want to be part of history, make sure you pack a blue singlet: the Blue Singlet Count takes place on the Saturday at 1pm, with organisers hoping to beat the 2019 record of 3,972.

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