15 Events to Add to Your Calendar This May


This month’s top 15 cultural and sports events, plus a sneak peek at what’s happening in June. Compiled by Robert Badman.


Mother’s Day Classic

One in eight women and one in 688 men will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and the runners/joggers/walkers who take part in this event, at more than 100 locations, do so in the name of research to combat the disease. Mother’s Day is already a special date but this, Australia’s largest breast-cancer fundraiser, makes it extra meaningful for many.

WHEN May 8
WHERE Various locations; mothersdayclassic.com.au


High Country Harvest

From hunting and gathering to gold prospecting, bushrangers’ plundering and beyond, Victoria’s High Country has always been rich in bounty. The region’s produce will be the focus in a program of 40 events, including the Village Bonfires at Falls Creek and King Valley, among other spots, where you can enjoy mulled wine, pulled-pork rolls, music and a well-lubricated yarn or seven.

WHEN May 13-22
WHERE Various locations; victoriashighcountry.com.au


Martin Scorsese has a justifiably venerated position within the pantheon of great directors. From Mean Streets to The Wolf of Wall Street, his antiheroes have memorably coloured his films – often with crimson tones. Much of the American’s near-60-year career to date is covered at this exhibition featuring more than 600 objects and plenty of footage.

WHEN May 26-September 18
WHERE Australian Centre for the Moving Image

Good Beer Week

Any week is a good week for the amber nectar but this one in particular should have craft-beer enthusiasts drooling into their bushranger beards. More than 150 venues in Melbourne and slightly further afield will host a total of 270 hops-happy events with live music and food to savour, too, including a special dégustation at Vue de Monde restaurant. We’ll drink to that.

WHEN May 13-22
WHERE Various locations; goodbeerweek.com.au

Great Ocean Road Marathon

If you’re going to run a heap of kilometres in one hit, you may as well make it a scenic route. With six events to choose from, ranging from the 1.5-kilometre Kids’ Gallop to the 60-kilometre Ultra Marathon, participants of all fitness levels and ages will take in the rugged coast and sweeping Southern Ocean views as they pound the Great Ocean Road on their way to Apollo Bay.

WHEN May 14-15
WHERE Lorne to Apollo Bay


Sydney Writers’ Festival

“Writing is easy,” said American author Gene Fowler. “All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” It’s a safe bet the 400 international and Australian writers appearing at this festival of ideas relate to the sentiment. Hear their travails and triumphs at 300 events and don’t miss American activist Gloria Steinem and eloquent Brit Julian Barnes.

WHEN May 16-22
WHERE Various locations; swf.org.au

We Will Rock You

The title of this musical provides a confident boast but, with a cast that includes Aussie rocker Brian Mannix and lung-buster Casey Donovan from The Sapphires stage production, it’s likely to deliver. British motormouth Ben Elton will direct and 24 of rock band Queen’s greatest hits will feature in a tale of Bohemian rhapsody and rebellion.

WHEN April 30-June 12
WHERE Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star complex

Lovedale Long Lunch  

You don’t have to be an advertising exec to appreciate a long lunch. Anyone can buy into the afternoon delights at this Hunter Valley weekend of eating and drinking. Visit as many of the seven participating Lovedale wineries as you can manage and enjoy food from the region’s foremost chefs. Or just settle in at one of them. “Waiter...”

WHEN May 14-15
WHERE Lovedale, Hunter Valley; lovedalelonglunch.com.au

Country v City Origin 

The representative rugby league season continues with an “oomph” at this annual clash of prime footballing talent. NSW Origin legend Brad Fittler has signed

on to coach the city slickers this year, while his former Roosters teammate, Craig Fitzgibbon, will helm the country blokes. A great chance for players to impress Origin selectors, the match is always fast and furious.

WHEN May 8
WHERE Tamworth


Fremantle Heritage Festival

It’s been more than 185 years since the ship HMS Challenger sailed into waters off the West Australian coast and claimed the “Swan River Colony” for England’s King George IV. A lot’s happened there since, including a name change, and this festival celebrates it all with fine Freo produce, a bevy of rock and classical music acts, museum tours, films and more.

WHEN May 27-June 6
WHERE Various locations

Ord Valley Muster

This festival has become an institution in WA’s North West over the past 15 years and has grown to 30 events, largely of the palate-pleasing variety. Music fans won’t want to miss Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning rocking the stage at the Kimberley Moon Experience, while a dégustation dinner by Fervor chef Paul Iskov is one of many highlights for foodies.

WHEN May 13-22
WHERE Kimberley, various locations; ordvalleymuster.com.au


Noosa Food & Wine Festival

About 50 of the country’s leading chefs, including Frank Camorra and Pete “Paleo” Evans will be participating inan all-consuming extravaganza, with more than 40 tantalising events taking place at indoor and outdoor venues. Be sure to catch the live cooking demos at the Producers Meet the Chefs event at Noosa Farmers Market on the festival’s final day.

WHEN May 20-22
WHERE Noosa, various locations

SEE ALSO: Don’t Miss the Hottest Tickets at Noosa Food & Wine

Brisbane Racing Carnival

Dust off your fascinator or dry-clean your best suit and head trackside to be part of the well-dressed throng of Brisbane’s racing scene. Featuring Group 1 action, including the AAMI Stradbroke Handicap, and the Channel Seven-hosted Carnival Ball, there’s plenty for serious punters and partygoers alike.

WHEN May 14-June 11
WHERE Eagle Farm Racecourse; Doomben Racecourse; brc.com.au


Tasting Australia

You could easily gorge yourself into a blissed-out state of immobility at this eight-day food fair focusing on the produce and producers of South Australia. Directed by chef Simon Bryant and wine expert Paul Henry, the festival features an enticing array of events and a melting pot of culinary luminaries including Maggie Beer and writer Mark Kurlansky (Salt: A World History).

WHEN May 1-8
WHERE Adelaide, various locations; tastingaustralia.com.au


Garrmalang 2016

Darwin’s renowned Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural festival is back with a diverse three-day program of contemporary Indigenous dance, storytelling at the Spun: True Stories Told in the Territory event, theatrical acts and great music, headlined by three-time ARIA Award-winner Dan Sultan and his talented band. 

WHEN May 20-22
WHERE The Darwin Entertainment Centre

SEE ALSO: Australia's Hottest New Restaurants in May

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