What’s on in October


This month’s top 15 sports and cultural events.


The Dire Straits Experience

Let’s get this out of the way from the get-go: this show is Mark Knopfler-less. In fact, it boasts just two Dire Straits band members: Chris White on sax and Chris Whitten banging “them drums”. But... with a line-up of superb musicians who’ve played with the likes of David Bowie and Paul McCartney, the hits of Dire Straits are in skilful hands. Go to direstraitsexperience.com.au

When: October 5, 11, 12, 13, 14
Where: Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide

What’s on in October 2016

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup

State cricket emerges from hibernation with the limited-overs tournament that’s come some way in snappy branding since it originated in 1969 as the Vehicle & General Australasian Knock-out Competition. October 12 is a date to watch, when South Australia’s West End Redbacks seek revenge on NSW for last year’s thrashing by nine wickets in the final.

When: October 1-23
Where: Brisbane, Perth, Sydney

Wild Seas, Secret Shores

For marine biologist turned photographer Thomas Peschak, sharks should be revered, not feared. In this National Geographic Live! presentation, he takes you around the globe with his award-winning images and incredible tales of encounters with great white and whale sharks as well as humpback whales and manta rays.

When: October 13, 16, 19, 27
Where: Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne


Sculpture by the Sea

For 18 days every year, the coastal walk from Bondi to Tamarama becomes the world’s most spectacular art gallery (sorry, Guggenheim and Louvre). Always eye-catching and quirky – and sometimes provocative – this highlight of Sydney’s calendar is celebrating its 20th anniversary. More than 100 artworks grace two kilometres of coastline. Visit sculpturebythesea.com

When: October 20-November 6
Where: Bondi to Tamarama, Sydney

Sydney Craft Beer Week

Why craft macramé owls when you can craft beer? It’s a question on no-one’s lips, really – unlike the amber nectar itself during this 10-day celebration of the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage. With more than 75 venues hosting 100 events, including Pint of Origin (showcasing beers from six states), this festival brings unique brews and guests to the table.

When: October 21-30
Where: Various venues

Orange Wine Festival

The Orange region has become a significant player in Australia’s cool-climate premium wines and this festival comprehensively highlights the best on offer. With more than 90 entertaining events, including the Festival Night Market and Wine in the Vines – where punters meet their makers (winemakers, that is) – the town and surrounding vineyards will be buzzing.

When: October 14-30
Where: Orange region

Today Tomorrow Yesterday

“Yesterday is but to-day’s memory, and to-morrow is to-day’s dream,” wrote Lebanese artist Kahlil Gibran. Inspired by that evocation of time, Today Tomorrow Yesterday draws from the MCA Collection to reflect on the influence of the past on artistic practice today and the museum’s role in the evolving nature of contemporary art.

When: Until August 31, 2018
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney


Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix

Revheads rejoice and little penguins waddle for cover – the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, with all its throttle-twisting, rubber-burning sound and fury, is gearing up again on Phillip Island for the ultimate in two-wheeled thrills and spills. It’s arguably the best event on the MotoGP calendar, with plenty of on- and off-track action for motorbike enthusiasts of all ages.

When: October 21-23
Where: Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit

Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists

You don’t need to be a dedicated follower of fashion to appreciate the intricacy of these avant-garde “wearable art” pieces on display at the National Gallery of Victoria. In fact, their creators, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, consider themselves fashion-industry outsiders. This world-first exhibition features some of the Dutch design duo’s most innovative works.

When: October 21-February 26, 2017
Where: NGV International, Melbourne

What’s on in October 2016

Melbourne Festival

One of Australia’s most illustrious international arts extravaganzas returns. This year’s diverse offerings include Aussie rock legend Paul Kelly, a David Bowie tribute concert, Basque Country street-theatre company Deabru Beltzak and the Philip Glass Ensemble’s performance of an interpretive score to Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film, La Belle et la Bête. Visit festival.melbourne

When: October 6-23
Where: Various venues


Good Food & Wine Show

This well-stuffed event does exactly what it says on the tin. That said, you could argue most of the showcased produce is a class above “good”. More than 150 food and wine exhibitors display their wares while chefs Gary Mehigan and Miguel Maestre cook on stage. Be sure to get a slice of the action at Tucker’s Natural Cheese Alley. Visit goodfoodshow.com.au

When: October 28-30
Where: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Brisbane International Garden Show

If it’s true that gardeners know all the dirt, you should head north of Brisbane this month for inside info on blooms, beds and bulbs. Held over four days, this nature-lovers’ event brings together organic and landscape gardening displays, about 200 exhibitors, and free talks and workshops delivered by green-thumbed experts. Go to brisbanegardenshow.com.au

When: October 6-9
Where: Pine Rivers Park, Strathpine

What’s on in October 2016


Champagne Fest

“Pleasure without Champagne is purely artificial,” said the highly quotable Oscar Wilde. The National Wine Centre might just have that in mind when it focuses on undeniable gratification at its inaugural Champagne Fest. Hosted on the centre’s terrace overlooking Adelaide Botanic Garden, the event features French and local sparkling wines along with fresh seafood and live music.

When: October 23
Where: National Wine Centre, Adelaide


Cape to Cape MTB

Get back to nature then hurtle through it on two wheels in brightly coloured Lycra. The Cape to Cape MTB – a 220-kilometre course that takes in the scenic coastline and national parks of the Margaret River region – is a must for mountain bikers. Be among the 1200 eager riders, from rank beginners to elite speed freaks, hitting the tarmac, forest trails and even the beach.

When: October 20-23
Where: Margaret River region

What’s on in October 2016


Kakadu Bird Week

Home to more than a third of Australia’s feathered species, including the snooty-looking Australian bustard and colourful rainbow bee-eater, Kakadu is a utopia for birdwatchers. Pack your binoculars and flock to the Top End for an immersive and unique wildlife experience that involves guided walks, cruises, slide shows and ranger talks with the NT’s top bird experts. Go to parksaustralia.gov.au

When: October 1-9
Where: Kakadu National Park

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