Head to Eden for its annual three-day whale festival. Running from November 2-4, the festival includes a street parade, hot rod run, live music, activities for kids, and fireworks. The events will be based at Eden’s Snug Cove Wharf and at the Sports Oval. A whale-watching cruise will run out of Twofold Bay, and there’ll also be a free shore-based whale-watching session. Or just nosh down on local seafood. Visit www.edenwhalefestival.com.au for more info.
Head to the magical Vic High Country for this famous event. Running from November 2-6, the festival includes a fireworks display on the first night, great food and wine, a Grand Parade featuring local businesses and personalities, and the Torch Light Parade where fire trucks and emergency services vehicles load-up with participants and are applauded for their past and no doubt future services to the High Country communities. For the fit, there’s also a Fun Run; for the less fit, the awesome Mansfield Cup race day. See www. highcountryfestival.com.au for more information.
Kicking off on October 12, the three-day Mount Hunter Country Music Stampede is the product of a partnership between Mick Kearney (owner of K Ranch) and Golden Guitar winner Drew McAlister. This celebration of all things country music starts with a bang on Friday evening with Christie Lamb (CMC Female Artist of the Year and Golden Guitar winner) and Jasmine Rae (three-time ARIA nominee and CMC Australian Artist of the Year). On Saturday night is the Men of Country showcase, with Adam Harvey, Adam Brand and Drew McAlister. See www. countrymusicstampede.com
The small Queensland town of Millmerran will welcome more than 7000 visitors when it hosts the Australian Camp Oven Festival on October 6 and 7. This event is held every second year and is designed to celebrate all things Australian, including camp oven cooking demos and competitions, bush poetry, bush-craft displays, blacksmithing demos, sheep shearing and even damper throwing! There will be two days of live music at the festival and special guests include siblings Luke and Cody, from Channel 7’s House Rules TV show and who live the country life. See www.acof.com.au for more info.
To celebrate rural and outback life, head to Baranald in NSW for three cracking days of country fun (October 5-7). The community sits near the junction of five NSW rivers: the Murrumbidgee, Murray, Lachlan, Edward and Wakool. There will be numerous events and activities – think: markets, cooking demos, kids’ jumping castles, etc. – and also some great musicians entertaining the masses each night. The inaugural festival was held back in 2010, and the event celebrates all that is great about outback NSW. For more info and ticket purchase, visit www.5riversoutbackfestival.com.au
The famous Huon Show will be held on November 17 at the Ranelagh Showground, Tasmania. Events and activities include horse riding, woodchop competitions, home crafts, livestock judging, a cool ute muster, and some crazy dog high-jumping. In other words, all the fun things you remember from the traditional country shows. Admission prices are $10 for adults; $5 for kids aged 5-16; and $25 for families. To lock in your admission, check out www.huonshow.com.au
Test the latest 4x4s, check out the radical driving of Isuzu Team D-Max, ogle the many thousands of dollars’ worth of Land Rovers as they tackle the LR Terrapod, and check out the Engel Bush Camp Stage. Kaj ‘Bushy’ Busch – the co-founder of Squidgy soft plastic lures – will be there, as will John Rooth. Also joining in the fun will be Terrain Tamer TV’s Allan Gray and Jillaroo Jess. See sydney.4wdshow.com. au for info.