What’s on in July


This month’s top 14 sports and cultural events.


State of Origin: Game 3

Of the 34 full State of Origin series played to date since 1982, Queensland have won 19, NSW 13, with two drawn. Having narrowly lost a hard-fought first game (6-4) at ANZ Stadium, the Blues endured further heartbreak (26-16) at Suncorp Stadium. In an all-too-familiar situation, the Cockroaches are now playing for pride. Can they catch the Cane Toads off guard?

WHEN July 13
WHERE ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes

From William Dobell’s 1943 portrait, Mr Joshua Smith, to last year’s winning effort by Nigel Milsom, the Archibald produces controversies and masterpieces – sometimes in the same work. This prize, along with the Wynne (landscape painting or figure sculpture) and Sulman (subject/genre painting or mural), forms our most celebrated art event.

WHEN July 16-October 9
WHERE Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney 

Così Fan Tutte

The title of this Italian-language opera roughly translates to “thus do all [women]”. Opera Australia takes on Mozart’s tuneful farce laced with searing commentary on love, faith, sex and loss. In other words, timeless subject matter. David McVicar directs, Jonathan Darlington conducts and American tenor Charles Castronovo makes his Australian debut.

WHEN July 19-August 13
WHERE Sydney Opera House

NAIDOC in the City

NAIDOC Week, held from July 3 to 10, is a nationwide nod to the achievements and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This free City of Sydney event is one of the highlights and covers everything from dance and live music to arts and crafts. Learn some deadly dance moves, enjoy traditional storytelling or tuck into food cooked in an earth oven.

WHEN July 4
WHERE Hyde Park, Sydney

SEE ALSO: Sydney Opera House: The Movie


AFL: Hawthorn vs Richmond

“We’re a happy team at Hawwwwthorn,” begins the Hawks’ victory song. It’s a stirring ode to camaraderie for some; an earworm that wouldn’t sound out of place on Play School for others. With three premierships on the fly, though, the brown-and-golds have it down pat. Can the Tigers ruffle some feathers? Well, they managed it this time last year at The G. Expect another classic.

WHEN July 24
WHERE MCG, Melbourne

Mildura Writers Festival

One of the year’s most anticipated literary festivals, this is an annual gathering of some of Australia’s best writers in a winter program of more than 15 events comprising workshops, lectures and discussion forums. This year’s talent is a rich pool of deep thinkers, including acclaimed author David Malouf and award-winning poets Les Murray and Judith Beveridge.

WHEN July 14-17
WHERE Various locations, Mildura 


Regional Flavours

Attending Regional Flavours is free but scoffing the grub isn’t. That said, with food trucks dishing up meals for $8 or less, it’s unlikely you’ll go hungry. This popular festival is back bigger than ever in 2016, with a producers’ market boasting more than 80 stallholders from across Queensland and events with top Aussie chefs such as Maggie Beer and Gary Mehigan.

WHEN July 16-17
WHERE South Bank, Brisbane

Noosa Long Weekend Festival

There’s nothing Australians like more than a long weekend and 10 days certainly makes for a hefty celebration. With more than 80 events and in excess of 220 artists and special guests, Noosa is set for a helluva party. Don’t miss Aussie cabaret diva Meow Meow, Italian-American pianist Julian Gargiulo and the One-Act Play Festival at Noosa Arts Theatre.

WHEN July 15-24
WHERE Various locations, Noosa

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

“Art fair” sums up only one aspect of this three-day event in tropical Cairns. Sure, one of its big selling points is its vibrant market, where you can browse and buy original art, jewellery and craft. But there’s plenty more on offer, including: CIAF’s opening-night party, the Jana Jaral Fashion Performance and Spear, a film by Bangarra Dance Theatre artistic director Stephen Page.

WHEN July 15-17
WHERE Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal

Australian Festival of Chamber Music

This is one of the true highlights of the classical music calender in Australia. More than 30 concerts and special events punctuate the AFCM nine-day program showcasing world-class local musicians and a host of international stars, including British violinist Tasmin Little, Chinese cellist Trey Lee and French, er, French horn player Hervé Joulain.

WHEN July 29-August 6
WHERE Various locations, Townsville


Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival

After making an amber-coloured splash last year, the Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival is back with more brews, chefs and music. About 50 international and local beer and cider brands will feature, along with grilling gurus Rodney Scott from South Carolina and South African-born Duncan Welgemoed, plus more bands than you can wave a smoky-sauced pork rib at. 

WHEN July 8-10
WHERE Adelaide Showground 


Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest

Does the idea of burning effigies and uttering incantations around apple trees sound like a good night out to you? Then get on down to this quirky pagan-influenced festival. To be fair, there’s a lot more on offer than that, with Tasmania’s whisky, wine, cider and food producers bringing their wares to the table and more than a dozen live bands providing an upbeat soundtrack. 

WHEN July 15-17
WHERE The Apple Shed, Huon Valley


Darwin Fringe Festival

An open-access, community-driven arts festival with an edge, the Darwin Fringe supports independent artists of all kinds, bringing a diverse range of talent to audiences in the Top End for 10 days of creative fun. Encompassing music, theatre, art, film and more, the focus is on engaging and somewhat left-of-centre entertainment.

WHEN July 15-24
WHERE Various locations, Darwin

Australian Outback Marathon

Does the icy hand of winter have you firmly in its grip? Here’s the perfect remedy. Perfect, that is, if pounding 42 kilometres of red earth with your once-clean running shoes is your cup of bush tea. Too insanely arduous? Sign up for the half marathon, 11-kilometre-run or six-kilometre-trundle instead. In any case, you’ll have the best backdrop in Australia – Uluru. 

WHEN July 30
WHERE Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park


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