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Kick off 2018 at a Sunshine Coast summer festival

11 Dec 2017

Swap work for sunshine these summer holidays!

By Liz Tuckett

Let down your hair down, kick up your heels and celebrate all your hard work throughout 2017 by getting along to a Sunshine Coast summer festival…if you are more of a sporty sort than a social butterfly, then you can also join the line up of lycra and compete in any number of events.

1. See in the New Year with a bang at the Woodford Folk Festival, to be held 27 December to 1 January. Set in the magical surrounds of Woodfordia in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, over 120,000 colourful performers, talented artists and party people pour in for six days of entertainment, music and art.

Take in a workshop or just sit back and watch hundreds of street performers weave their magic. For music lovers, big-name international and local acts like John Butler, Montaigne, Holy Holy and Sampa the Great are among over 400 artists who will grace the stage(s). Even rhyming act, Baker Boy will be there!

But the really feel good vibes come at the beginning and end of the festival thanks to the signature fire ceremonies. The occasion brings together hundreds of performers, giant puppets, fireworks and flames, and becomes more spectacular with each passing year.  

Woodford Folk Festival Sunshine Coast
Woodford Folk Festival Sunshine Coast

2. Did you know, Ginger is an excellent natural remedy for nausea and general stomach upset? Hands up if you overindulged during Christmas and the New Year and need to start 2018 in a healthy frame of mind…then get a dose of ginger and check out the Ginger Flower & Food Festival at the same time.

This annual event celebrates the Sunshine Coast’s rich agricultural profile and the international renown of ‘Buderim Ginger’. No longer located in Buderim, the Ginger Factory is now in Yandina, which is where the festival will be held from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 January. Over three spectacular days of food, flowers and entertainment, the park will burst alive with colour, showcasing the largest and most exquisite range of ornamental gingers and heliconias that thrive in our sub-tropical climate.

There will be specialist workshops, demonstrations and tastings, and a wide range of kids activities, including rides, entertainment and sampling of ginger-infused smoothies, cordials and – of course – gingerbread men. 

Ginger Factory Ginger Flower and Food Festival

Ginger Factory Ginger Flower and Food Festival

3. If you like a que and a brew, then The Mooloolaba Wharf has you sorted! Over the Australia Day weekend, the precinct is embracing everything we love about the Australian lifestyle and will be throwing one on the barbie for you at the MooloolaBABQ. With craft beer, food trucks and a barbeque competition it's the ideal place to sizzle into summer!

MooloolaBaBQ Festival


4. Arguably the best way to end the summer holidays and celebrate Australia Day at the same time is by participating in a unique Australian past time – Dunny Races. The celebration of the old Australian outdoor toilet is held each on Australia Day, January 26, at Aussie World. Other true blue events include tug of war and mullet tossing. Oi Oi Oi!

Dunny races at Aussie World on Australia Day
Australia Day dunny racing at Aussie World.

5. The Queensland Triathlon Series will be followed by the Noosa Summer Swim, a bucket list event for any keen ocean swimmer. Scheduled to be held on the weekend of 3 – 4 February, this year the event expands to a full weekend program offering a range of distances for every ability, from junior events to a new five kilometre marathon distance where seasoned swimmers can push their limits. 

Noosa Summer Swim
Noosa Summer Swim.

6. Beachside events are a ‘natural’ for the Sunshine Coast. With fresh air, blue skies and plenty of sunshine, there is no better place for a healthy holiday. You can test your skills at the Queensland Triathlon Series, taking place on 11 February at Caloundra. The event is open to athletes of all ages (from 7 years up) and all abilities to compete in a fun and friendly environment. 

Gatorade Queensland Triathlon
Queensland Triathlon Series

7. For the first time ever Spicers Tamarind Retreat hosing a Sunshine Coast Asian Food Festival. Come and enjoy cooking demonstrations whilst trying some incredible Asian food in the beautiful rainforest surrounds of Spicers Tamarind Retreat. Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy six mouth watering Asian dishes and three matching beverages.

8. Back up the active weekends with the Mooloolaba Beach Festival that's being held on the 17 - 18 Feb, on one of the Sunshine Coast's most iconic beaches. Like a fish to water, take to the open oceans as you compete in action-packed tournaments against other spoting enthusiasts. 

9.And after such exertions, it is worth celebrating with a glass of ‘sunshine in a bottle’ at the legendary STOMP at Flame Hill Vineyard in the Hinterland village of Montville. The Festival celebrates the grape harvest, which last year produced a host of medals for the vineyard, including Gold for their debut Fiano white wine in the Australian & New Zealand Smallmakers Wine Awards. The ‘Stomp’ will be held on Saturday, 24 February from 12 noon-5:30pm, and festivities include live entertainment, wine tasting, fine food and plenty of DIY crushing activities. 

10. Legendary Neil Diamond is coming to the Sunshine Coast on 22 March for is 50th anniversary tour. Performing at the Sunshine Coast Stadium, he will be performing some of the world's most recognisable songs of the past 50 years. This is your chance to sing and dance along as one of music's greats takes to the stage.


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