All the top events across Australia in December 2018.
Boxing Day Test
26-30 December | MCG, Melbourne
Cricket fans will be scrambling to get their hands on tickets to the clash between the Australian and Indian teams at the ’G, with this tour marking the Men in Blue’s first appearance Down Under since 2016.
28-31 December | 985 Erskine Falls Road, Lorne
Get ready to bless the rains down in Lorne – ’80s rockers Toto join Vance Joy, Hilltop Hoods and Chvrches for the Victorian leg of the musical extravaganza.
Escher x Nendo: Between Two Worlds
2 December-7 April | National Gallery of Victoria
The artistic might of two creative titans – Dutch master of optical illusion M.C. Escher and famed Japanese design firm Nendo – is revealed in this groundbreaking collaborative exhibition.
An Evening with Malala Yousafzai
11 December | Melbourne Convention Centre
The world’s youngest Nobel Laureate and United Nations Messenger of Peace shares her insights and personal stories in what promises to be an inspiring and empowering evening.
From 5 December | Arts Centre Melbourne
The stellar revival of this all-time favourite features Hal Prince’s original Broadway direction, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s soul-stirring compositions and Tina Arena in one of the best performances of her career.
Until 19 December | Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Choreographer and MacArthur “genius” grant winner Alexei Ratmansky brings the beloved fairytale to life with a fantastical set design and dazzling costumes by Jérôme Kaplan.
Carols in the Domain
22 December | The Domain, Sydney
Join 50,000 revellers and kick off the festive season at this family-friendly event, which includes a visit from a jolly special guest.
Compass: MCA Collection
Until 3 February | Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Drawn from the MCA’s collections, these works by Indigenous and non-Indigenous female artists spark a dialogue about what it means for them to be women in Australia.
Dubboo: Life of a Songman
6-8 December | Carriageworks, Sydney
Celebrating the life of the dance company’s revolutionary musical director and resident composer, the late David Page, this production features a series of performances by artists such as Archie Roach.
New Year’s Eve with Opera Australia
31 December | Sydney Opera House
Enjoy a gala dinner with some of the best views in the city before heading into either a performance of La Bohème or a concert of opera’s greatest hits. At the interval, make your way out to catch the 9pm fireworks. Later, join a midnight party to usher in 2019 in style.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
From 5 January | Capitol Theatre, Sydney
Have you found your golden ticket? Follow young Charlie Bucket through Willy Wonka’s wondrous factory, complete with Oompa-Loompas, wacky inventions and plenty of the sweet stuff.
Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival
8 December | Various venues, Manjimup
Heads up, cherry lovers! This festival pips the rest with a full day of food and entertainment, including wood-chopping competitions and a long-table lunch in a cherry orchard.
29 December-5 January | RAC Arena, Perth
This is what tennis fans dream of: the pick of the eight-day draw will see defending Hopman Cup victors Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic take on 23-time Grand Slam champ Serena Williams and Frances Tiafoe in the mixed-team match-up on New Year’s Day.
Polo in the City
14 December | Victoria Park, Adelaide
Bringing spectators closer to the action than your traditional polo match, the contemporary summer favourite gallops back to Adelaide on the last stop of its five-city tour of the country.
John Mawurndjul: I Am the Old and the New
Until 28 January | Art Gallery of South Australia
Held as part of the annual South Australian contemporary art festival Tarnanthi, the exhibition of more than 160 paintings and sculptures from Indigenous artist Mawurndjul’s pioneering body of work showcases timeless Kuninjku culture and history.
6 December | Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Fans have been livin’ on a prayer that the hard rock idols would visit again. Five years after their last tour, they’re storming across the country in support of their 13th album, This House Is Not for Sale, and playing huge hits such as You Give Love a Bad Name and Wanted Dead or Alive.
Paul Kelly: Making Gravy
21 December | Riverstage, Brisbane
It’s the 21st of December and Paul and his friends are ringing the last bell. Joined by Angus & Julia Stone among others, the Australian music legend will welcome the festive season with songs including his Christmas classic, How to Make Gravy.
Image credit: Cybele Malinowski
Woodford Folk Festival
27 December-1 January | Woodfordia, Woodford
The Cat Empire, Kimbra, The Waifs and Dan Sultan are among the extensive line-up of musicians, speakers, comedians and dancers at this year’s event, coming to entertain – and inform – more than 100,000 like-minded revellers over six days.
Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate
14 December-28 April | National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Forty Pre-Raphaelite works from the Tate, including John Everett Millais’ Ophelia and William Holman Hunt’s The Awakening Conscience, plus 40 paintings from other collections combine for this survey of the 19th-century art movement.
Image credit: John William Waterhouse, The Lady of Shalott 1888, oil on cavas, Tate
Rome: City and Empire
Until 3 February | National Museum of Australia, Canberra
What did the Romans ever do for us? Find out at this exclusive exhibition of more than 200 objects, including medallions, helmets and statues, direct from the British Museum.
Out of the Dark
Until 17 February | Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Specimens, including megafauna fossils, selected from the gallery’s 400,000-strong natural-sciences collection and 21,000 cultural objects and artworks are on display in this special exhibition.
Master Series IV: All I Want for Christmas
8 December | Darwin Convention Centre
The talented Darwin Symphony Orchestra will be heralding in the silly season, performing a selection of your yuletide favourites.
The Taste of Tasmania
28 December-3 January | Various venues, Hobart
The beloved event returns for its 30th birthday, taking thousands of visitors on a food and wine journey through the best the state has to offer, with cooking classes, workshops, tastings, a community breakfast and plenty of free entertainment.
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
26 December-1 January | Sydney Harbour to Constitution Dock, Hobart
To tackle the iconic race’s 628 nautical miles of treacherous ocean, yacht crews will head out of Sydney Harbour, cross the fearsome Bass Strait and loop around Tasman Island to reach the cheering crowds at Constitution Dock.
The Unmanned: Part Two
Until 4 February | Mona, Berriedale
A 24-hour live performance, set in the year 7231 and staged at the museum, will be at the centre of this exhibition, which will feature a series of sculptures as well as a film of the live show.