Don’t Miss June’s 15 Best Events Around Australia


This month’s top 15 sporting and cultural events.


Cook Cup: Australia v England

There’s nothing like beating England at sport and, in a first, the Qantas Wallabies have the chance to do it three times in the one series. The old enemy has a poor record Down Under, winning just three out of 17 Tests, but their current crop of ogre-like forwards will aim to ensure the only pushovers you’ll see come in the form of their tries.

WHEN June 11, 18, 25
WHERE Suncorp Stadium, AAMI Park, Allianz Stadium


State of Origin 

“It’s like running a marathon, at pace, while surviving about 20 or 40 small car crashes.” This was Russell Crowe’s description of rugby league to Jay Leno and he wasn’t even talking about the sport’s most brutal contest, State of Origin. After copping a heavy defeat in the decider last year, NSW are desperate to restore pride (again). Can they find chinks in the Maroons’ armour?

WHEN June 1, 22, July 13
WHERE ANZ Stadium, Suncorp Stadium


Disney on Ice Magical Ice Festival

If the cold never bothered you anyway, get your Disney-loving family seats right by the ice rink for a thoroughly entertaining spectacle. The Disney on Ice show features live-action interpretations of four modern animated classics: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Tangled and, of course, Frozen.

WHEN June 2-6, 10-13, 16-19, 23-27
WHERE Perth, Adelaide, Wollongong, Brisbane


Sydney Film Festival

One of the world’s longest-running film festivals, this staple of Sydney’s crowded cultural calendar is more than 60 years old. This year’s highlights include Demolition, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, and Everybody Wants Some!!, the long-awaited “spiritual sequel” to cult classic Dazed & Confused by acclaimed American director Richard Linklater.

WHEN June 8-19
WHERE Various locations

Don’t Miss June’s 15 Best Events Around Australia

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Referring to both a life-altering bus crash and her volatile relationship with fellow 20th-century Mexican artist Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo once remarked: “There have been two great accidents in my life… Diego was by far the worst.” This superb collection of 40 of their paintings and drawings, however, is nothing short of a perfect marriage of styles.

WHEN June 25-October 9
WHERE Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

SEE ALSO: The Six Top Vantage Points to View Vivid Sydney


Passion and danger underlying a gritty tale of love’s destructive side, all set to sultry Spanish tunes – this new take on Bizet’s famous opera has it all. Australian theatrical director John Bell takes the helm and French mezzo-soprano Clementine Margaine has the title role. Another Opera Australia production debuting this month is acerbic fairytale The Love for Three Oranges.

WHERE Sydney Opera House
WHEN June 16-August 12

Our Land People Stories

Bangarra presents a soulful triple bill of contemporary dance inspired by true events. The company’s artistic director, Stephen Page, choreographs Nyapanyapa, about acclaimed Arnhem Land artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu; Jasmin Sheppard directs the darkly powerful Macq; and Daniel Riley and Beau Dean Riley Smith have a stirring tale of family heritage in Miyagan

WHEN June 17–July 2
WHERE Sydney Opera House


Degas: A New Vision

He preferred to be called a Realist but Edgar Degas is one of French Impressionism’s most celebrated artists. More than 200 of his works, largely depicting 19th-century Parisian scenes, will be on display at this sweeping exhibition. Another great collection to catch this month is Luminous: Australian Watercolours 1900-2000 – at the NGV’s Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square.

WHEN June 24-September 18
WHERE National Gallery of Victoria

Melbourne International Jazz Festival

“I’ll play it and tell you what it is later.” So said legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, summing up an intricate musical form perfectly. Whether you’re a jazz aficionado or not, this festival is a chance to see and hear 335 of the world’s finest musicians, including Japanese pianist Hiromi and America’s Esperanza Spalding, in unpredictable action.

WHEN June 3-12
WHERE Melbourne

Romeo and Juliet

Just sneaking into June’s listings is the latest rendezvous with Shakespeare’s enduring “star-crossed lovers”. The Australian Ballet presents this Houston Ballet production choreographed by Melbourne-born Stanton Welch. Featuring music from Sergei Prokofiev, as well as elaborate period costumes and sets, this is sensory overload at its most majestic. 

WHEN June 30-July 9
WHERE State Theatre, Melbourne


Adelaide Cabaret Festival

“What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play.” You can do exactly that, along with appreciating comedy, dance and theatre, at this renowned festival, now in its 16th year. Highlights include Australian vocalist Emma Pask and the festival’s showstopper attraction: American superstar of burlesque, Dita Von Teese. “Life is a cabaret, old chum.”

WHEN June 10-25
WHERE Adelaide Festival Centre

Don’t Miss June’s 15 Best Events Around Australia


Barunga Festival

Promoting the Katherine region and its people, this annual carnival brings remote communities and wider Australia together with a fantastic program of sport, music and Indigenous arts and culture. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Women” and among the don’t-miss acts will be Indigenous all-girl pop band Wildflower and singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett.

WHEN June 10-12
WHERE Barunga, Katherine region


The Truffle Festival

Throughout the Canberra region, more than 60 venues are participating in this two-month reverence of an utterly ugly but decidedly delectable thing: the black winter truffle. Take cooking classes with expert chefs, join in one of many truffle hunts and enjoy the unique tastes of dishes flavoured with this highly prized fungi at local cafés, restaurants and wineries.

WHEN Until late August
WHERE Various locations


Out of the Box

The idea of being dragged (not necessarily literally) around an arts festival might not be most kids’ idea of entertainment but Out of the Box is different. It’s designed for children eight years and under and is a full week of engaging workshops, displays and shows, including Creature, a 3D projection-based adaptation of Dot and the Kangaroo.

WHEN June 21-28
WHERE Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane


Dark Mofo

Come to the dark side; there’s a lot to see. Twenty venues in and around Hobart, including the Museum of Old and New Art, will host more than 30 local and international artists with an edge, such as London rock outfit Savages. The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery will also feature, with the exhibition Tempest seamlessly fitting Dark Mofo’s 2016 theme: The Storm.

WHEN June 10-21
WHERE Various locations

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Top image: Federation Bells, Melbourne International Jazz Festival

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