What's on in January


This month’s top 15 sports and cultural events.


Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

Inspired by the European classics, this event brings an exciting weekend of cycling to Geelong. On Saturday, the People’s Ride gives fans a chance to cycle with Cadel Evans himself before the Elite women’s and men’s races. Grab a spot on the Geelong waterfront or at Torquay or Bells Beach for the best viewing.

WHEN: January 27-29
WHERE: Geelong

Australian Master of the Amateurs

See golf’s next big thing win the coveted green jacket at the country’s highest-ranked amateur golf championship. Aussie Jason Day, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, won the jacket back in 2006. Held at one of the world’s best golf courses, the 72-hole competition attracts young players from across the globe. Entry is free for spectators. 

WHEN: January 4-7
WHERE: The Royal Melbourne Golf Club

Australian Open

After a rebrand and a venue upgrade, the first tennis Grand Slam of the year returns to Melbourne Park. The tennis will be of the usual high standard, with the best of the best battling it out and upsets, as always, from the next generation of talent. Immerse yourself in the tournament’s party atmosphere at the free Australian Open Festival at Birrarung Marr.

WHEN: January 16-29
WHERE: Melbourne Park

South Melbourne Night Market

Late-night shopping turns up the heat this summer when South Melbourne Market, which has been going strong for 150 years, opens on Thursday nights from 5.30pm. As well as bars and hawker-style food vans, there are stalls selling clothing, jewellery and art and four acoustic stages hosting emerging talent and crowd favourites.

WHEN: January 5-February 23
WHERE: South Melbourne


Sydney Festival

The festival’s new director, Wesley Enoch, has launched his first program and it’s jam-packed. On the music front, there’s Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and PJ Harvey. Stage highlights include The Season, written, directed and performed by Aboriginal artists. Almost half of the festival’s 150 events are free, including 21 nights of shows on a stage in Hyde Park. sydneyfestival.org.au

WHEN: January 7-29
WHERE: Various venues, Sydney


Australia Day

You could enter your local thong-throwing competition or you can head to Sydney Harbour, where the Australia Day Council of NSW is putting on a real show. Watch ferries race to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, followed by the Tug & Yacht Ballet and a Qantas flyover. There’s an Indigenous ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve and The Wiggles get the kids dancing at Darling Harbour. australiaday.com.au

WHEN: January 26
WHERE: Various venues, Sydney


After vetting more than 2000 entries, the Flickerfest team has selected 100 of the best short films from Australia and overseas to screen under the stars at Bondi Beach. Now in its 26th year, the event is considered to be one of the most important short film festivals in the world. When the Sydney screenings wrap up, Flickerfest will tour nationally until May.

WHEN: January 6-15
WHERE: Bondi Beach, Sydney

OpenAir Cinema

Sweeping harbour views provide the backdrop while the latest releases, premieres and art-house classics are projected onto a 350-square-metre outdoor screen at Mrs Macquaries Point. The bill includes Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; sci-fi film Arrival, starring Amy Adams; Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, a thriller with Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal; and space flick Passengers. stgeorgeopenair.com.au

WHEN: January 7-February 17
WHERE: Mrs Macquaries Point, Sydney

Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci

Opera Australia offers a “double dose of desperation and drama”, staging two tragedies on the same night. Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci – aka “Cav and Pag” – is a classic double bill. Both short operas tell raw stories of spurned lovers and jealous rage. Co-produced with London’s Royal Opera House, the show will also be staged at Melbourne’s State Theatre in May.WA

WHEN: January 12-February 4
WHERE: Sydney Opera House


Dusty the Musical

Amy Lehpamer, Todd McKenney and Virginia Gay star in this musical about shy Londoner Mary O’Brien, who became the legendary Dusty Springfield, an icon of the swinging sixties. Lehpamer belts out faithful versions of Springfield’s best-loved tunes, including You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, Wishin’ and Hopin’ and Son of a Preacher Man. adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au

WHEN: December 31-January 22
WHERE: Festival Theatre, Adelaide

Crush Festival

Head for the Adelaide Hills to escape the heat and sample the region’s cool-climate sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir. More than 30 wineries will host events such as picnics, dégustation dinners, wine masterclasses, outdoor movies and Shakespeare in the Vines. Best of all, the shuttle bus between venues on Sunday means there’s no need to drive. crushfestival.com.au

WHEN: January 27-29
WHERE: Various venues, Adelaide Hills


The Western Australian Circus Festival

Step right up for three days of circus antics (human, not animal), including acrobatics, magic and music, by performers from around the world. Highlights include the Circus Olympics and Australia’s longest highwire. Just 20 minutes from Margaret River, the festival is open to day visitors. Alternatively, pitch your own “big top” and camp.

WHEN: January 27-29
WHERE: Karridale

Hopman Cup

The first tournament of the year pits eight countries against one another and welcomes Roger Federer’s return to tennis after he missed the second half of 2016 due to injury. There are two sessions a day for six days before the final on Saturday. Aussie duo Daria Gavrilova and Nick Kyrgios will attempt to be the first pair to win back-to-back titles. 

WHEN: January 1-7
WHERE: Perth Arena



Curated by the Violent Femmes’ Brian Ritchie, the Museum of Old and New Art’s ninth Mofo features more than 200 experimental musicians. Peaches will sing all parts of rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, while Regurgitator will reimagine The Velvet Underground and Nico’s debut album. Events will be held around Hobart until Friday, when the festival moves to Mona.

WHEN: January 18-22
WHERE: Various venues, Hobart


Magic Millions

Magic Millions is much more than a horse auction, with top buyers from around the world gathering at the Gold Coast for a host of other events, too, including horseraces, polo, luncheons and parties. Saturday’s race day is one of the richest in the world but it’s Tuesday’s Barrier Draw that promises a unique spectacle when thoroughbreds race on the beach at Surfers Paradise. 

WHEN: January 6-17
WHERE: Various venues, Gold Coast

Complied by Emma Mulholland and Rebecca Villis

SEE ALSO: The Hottest Restaurant Openings in January

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