This month’s top events, plus a sneak peek at what’s on in October.
Sport AFL Grand Final
29 September | Melbourne Cricket Ground
It’s the clash of the 2018 Premiership season’s footy titans, when two of the fiercely contested top eight teams take to the hallowed MCG turf for the last showdown.
Mandela My Life
From 22 September | Melbourne Museum
Coinciding with what would have been the inspirational leader’s 100th year, this touring exhibition of rare and personal Nelson Mandela memorabilia is the first of its kind to be shown outside South Africa.
New York! New York! For Kids
Until 7 October | National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Part of the NGV’s popular MoMA masterpieces exhibition – featuring works by artists such as Picasso, van Gogh and Frida Kahlo – this interactive installation encourages kids young and old to explore the delights of the Big Apple.
13-30 September | Various venues, Melbourne
Taking over the city for two-and-a-half entertainment-packed weeks, this year’s Fringe will welcome thousands of spectators to more than 400 events, including plenty of music, interactive digital art installations and performance.
8 and 15 September | Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Hitting the road to support his latest album, Nation of Two, the Melbourne-born singer/songwriter will play new material, plus hits such as his 2013 Triple J Hottest 100 number-one track, Riptide.
Next Month: School of Rock: The Musical
From 31 October | Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne
Based on the hit film, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest offering follows a wannabe rock-star-turned-fake-substitute-teacher and his plot to win the Battle of the Bands with his class of talented tweens.
13 September-3 November | Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
The multi-award-winning musical follows the life of Argentina’s former first lady, Eva Perón, who became her country’s “spiritual leader”. Local star Tina Arena steps into the role that made Broadway legend Patti LuPone famous.
Mudgee Wine & Food Festival
7-30 September | Various venues, Mudgee
Savour the best of this bountiful region at one of the state’s longest-running food and wine festivals, with tastings, live music and events, including the popular Go Grazing roving dining experience.
Until 4 November | Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, Sydney
The pop-up trend has gone a step further, with a to-scale rendition of Shakespeare’s London playhouse arriving in Sydney to host the Bard’s works. Pop-up Globe features a season of four of his classic plays in a close approximation of the space for which they were written.
NRL Grand Final
30 September | ANZ Stadium, Sydney
The biggest day on any rugby league fan’s calendar is here again. Those lucky enough to be there will witness the 2018 championship decider, with the victors claiming the Provan-Summons Trophy.
Julian Lawrence Gargiulo
9, 11, 14, 16 September | Glasshouse Performing Arts Centre, Port Macquarie; Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, Queanbeyan; Griffith Regional Theathre, Griffith; Dubbo Regional Theatre, Dubbo
The pianist shakes up the understanding of what classical music is with his energetic performance style on his tour through regional New South Wales.
Until 16 December | Capitol Theatre, Sydney
The smash-hit story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons is making its way around the country for an encore tour. Tap your toes to songs such as Sherry, December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.
Next Month: Invictus Games
20-27 October | Various venues, Sydney
This inspiring sporting event will see more than 500 injured veteran and active servicemen and women from 18 countries take part in the fourth Invictus Games, with the recently married Duke and Duchess of Sussex cheering them on.
15 September-14 October | Various venues, Canberra
Celebrate the beauty of spring with Australia’s biggest and most impressive floral display planted across more than 8000 square metres of parkland in the nation’s capital. Bloomin’ lovely.
6-8 September | Canberra Theatre Centre
Opera Australia presents this English-language version of Puccini’s famed tale of the ill-fated romance between young geisha Cio-Cio-San and American lieutenant Benjamin Pinkerton, directed by Australian theatre legend John Bell.
26 September-13 October | Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Australian acting royalty Judy Davis directs her husband, Colin Friels, fresh from their critically acclaimed roles in the ABC TV miniseries Mystery Road, in this reimagining of the great Irish drama by Brian Friel.
Royal Adelaide Show
Until 9 September | Adelaide Showground
The state’s largest agricultural exhibition is back and primed to welcome more than 500,000 guests through the gates. You’ll find scores of attractions, from rides and livestock to fireworks and show bags.
Barossa Gourmet Weekend
1-2 September | Various venues, Barossa Valley
Enjoy the best of the Barossa in spring, with this sumptuous showcase of the area’s finest food and wine. On the menu are long lunches, workshops, tastings and a Gourmet Trail through wineries.
Kings Park Festival
1-30 September | Kings Park, Perth
Go to Kings Park for the scent of more than 25,000 wildflowers, as the city of Perth celebrates the arrival of spring with exhibitions and family activities.
The Antarctica Experience
1 September-14 October | WA Maritime Museum, Fremantle
Ever wanted to make the perilous journey south? Enjoy the next best thing with a virtual-reality trip that lets you stand in the shoes of an Antarctic explorer at Davis Station.
Next Month: Don Giovanni
20-27 October | His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth
New Zealand baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes reprises the role of the decadent aristocrat as the West Australian Symphony Orchestra performs Mozart’s dramatic score.
8-29 September | Various venues, Brisbane
Locals and visitors will be treated to more than three weeks of theatre, music, circus and comedy acts featuring international and homegrown talent.
Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
26 September-28 October | QPAC, Brisbane
The lavender bus has picked up a special guest on the way to QPAC – flamin’ Alf Stewart, aka Ray Meagher, who’ll reprise his role as Bob the mechanic from Priscilla’s original 2007 road trip.
Wallabies vs Springboks
8 September | Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
The 2018 Rugby Championship is upon us, with the Wallabies facing South Africa in Brisbane. If you miss this game, the team takes on Argentina at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast on the 15th.
Next Month: Good Food & Wine Show
26-28 October | Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
A must for culinary connoisseurs, the Brisbane leg of this touring festival features demonstrations and masterclasses from leading food personalities, including Maggie Beer and Darren Robertson.
Desert Song Festival
7-16 September | Various venues, Alice Springs
This year’s event embraces global heritage, with musicians and singers from across the Northern Territory performing music from their own cultures, India, Africa and the Americas in a series of indoor and outdoor concerts.
Parrtjima: A Festival in Light
28 September-7 October | Alice Springs Desert Park
Gather under the night sky to see the MacDonnell Ranges transformed into a massive outdoor gallery, showcasing the world’s oldest continuous culture with 21st-century technology.
Junction Arts Festival
5-9 September | Prince’s Square, Launceston junction
Launceston becomes a hub of culture as this popular festival rolls into town. One must-see event is Breathtaking, in which vocalists including Sakthi Ravitharan – who sings in the Carnatic style, a Hindu spiritual form of music from southern India – perform inside the city’s oldest church.
21, 22 and 23 September | Wrest Point Casino, Hobart; Country Club Casino, Launceston; Devonport Entertainment & Convention Centre
The Irish comedian brings his new stand-up show, The Ridiculous, to Tassie as he gives audiences a fresh dose of the humour that’s made him a household name.
Katie Noonan’s Elixir: Gratitude & Grief
28 September | Federation Concert Hall, Hobart
Singer Katie Noonan joins forces with poet and cartoonist Michael Leunig, her jazz trio Elixir and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
in this evening of sublime music, poetry and art.
Next month: Devonport Food & Wine
1-31 October | Various venues, Devonport
Eat, drink and indulge your way through stalls, food trucks and special events during this month-long festival that makes the most of the best food and
wine in Devonport and its verdant rural surroundings.