The Events You Need to Know About in October


This month’s top sports and cultural events include the Melbourne Festival and Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea.


The Second Hurricane 

Aaron Copland’s timeless youth opera – which premiered in New York in 1937 – follows a group of high-school students in the midst of a natural disaster. The cast of singers are aged 15 to 25.

WHEN: 6-15 October
WHERE: Horti Hall, Melbourne

Fast5 Netball World Series

Six teams (Australia, England, New Zealand, Jamaica, Malawi and South Africa), each with five players, go head-to-head in this fast-paced tournament

WHEN: 28-29 October
WHERE: Hisense Arena, Melbourne  

The House of Dior: 70 Years of Haute Couture 

Exclusive to Melbourne, this exhibition features more than 140 garments designed by the French fashion house from 1947 to 2017.

WHEN: Until 7 November
WHERE: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix

Some of the world’s greatest riders descend on Phillip Island for a weekend of adrenaline-pumping action.

WHEN: 20-22 October
WHERE: Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit

Melbourne Festival 

The highlight of this year’s 19-day festival program of more than 65 events is Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, which is staged over four six-hour-long instalments of musical theatre (on 11, 13, 18 and 20 October).

WHEN: 4-22 October
WHERE: Various venues


Madama Butterfly 

With Japanese-inspired art direction, this production of Puccini’s tragic love story returns to Sydney for a limited season. Visit Opera Australia.

WHEN: 24 October-4 November
WHERE: Capitol Theatre, Sydney 

Bowral Classic

Take in the splendour of the Southern Highlands from the seat of a bicycle, whether you rise to the challenge of the leg-burning 160- or 120-kilometre courses or pace yourself on the 45-kilometre Social Classic with winery stops.

WHEN: 22 October
WHERE: Rides start in Bowral

Kidtopia Festival 

With live music, a circus school, magic masterclasses, fun fair rides, an open-air cinema and a variety of foods, this child-centric festival is the perfect school-holiday entertainment for the entire family. Other highlights include hands-on activities such as craft projects, kids’ cooking lessons and crocodile encounters.

WHEN: 6-8 October
WHERE: Parramatta Park, Sydney 

Festival Orange Wine Festival

Sip your way through the wineries that produce some of Australia’s best cool-climate drops.

WHEN: 13-22 October
WHERE: Orange region

Sculpture by the Sea

Wander past the temporary installations dotted along the coastal path from Bondi Beach to Tamarama Beach at the largest free sculpture exhibition in the world, now in its 21st year.

WHEN: 19 October-5 November
WHERE: Bondi to Tamarama, Sydney

What's on in October 2017


Midnight Oil

The Australian rock band performs in Canberra on the homecoming leg of their first tour in 15 years, with additional shows throughout the country.

WHEN: 24 October
WHERE: AIS Arena, Canberra 

What's on in October 2017

Hyper Real 

Unsettlingly realistic figures made with silicon skin, glass eyes and human hair populate this exhibition that explores what makes us human.

WHEN: 20 October-18 February 2018
WHERE: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 

What's on in October 2017


Ferment The Festival

Stalls of chocolates, cheeses, charcuterie and more feature at this four-day event showcasing fermented foods and beverages.

WHEN: 19-22 October
WHERE: Rundle Park, Adelaide


Encompassing a festival, art fair and gallery exhibition, Tarnanthi celebrates the works of more than 1000 contemporary artists from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

WHEN: 13 October-28 January 2018
WHERE: Various venues, Adelaide


Heath Ledger: A Life in Pictures 

The late Australian actor’s family and close friends have contributed to this exhibition that includes his role-research journals and the Joker suit from his Oscar-winning performance in The Dark Knight.

WHEN: 14 October-29 January 2018
WHERE: Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth 

What's on in October 2017

Tina Arena 

Celebrating 40 years in the music business, the singer-songwriter makes Perth the final stop on her Innocence to Understanding Greatest Hits Tour of Australia.

WHEN: 6 October
WHERE: Crown Theatre Perth


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – in Concert

Harry Potter’s world of wizardry comes to life at this concert that combines the screening of the film with a Queensland Symphony Orchestra performance of John Williams’ bewitching score.

WHEN: 7 October
WHERE: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Good Food & Wine Show 

Strike up a conversation with the artisan producers at the Good Food Village and see celebrity chefs, such as George Calombaris and Adam Liaw, cook on stage. 

WHEN: 27-29 October
WHERE: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre


Help to keep the Great Barrier Reef great during this month-long citizen-science initiative by participating in community events and data collection along Queensland’s coast.

WHEN: 1-28 October
WHERE: Brisbane to Cairns


Uluru Astronomy Weekend

Take in the majesty of the outback and be guided through the universe by astronomer Lisa Harvey-Smith on a unique getaway that includes a starlit dinner in the desert.

WHEN: 20-22 October
WHEN: WHERE: Voyages Ayers Rock Resort

Arj Barker 

The popular American comedian makes a stop in Darwin with his hilarious stand-up set, Organic.

WHEN: 21 October
WHERE: Darwin Entertainment Centre 


Megan Washington and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra 

The ARIA Award winner performs new songs and a selection from her albums with an orchestral backing. 

WHEN: 24 October
WHERE: Federation Concert Hall, Hobart  

Royal Hobart Show

This annual event celebrates the best of the Apple Isle, from the state’s agriculture and heritage to the new names in food and drink shaping Tasmanian cuisine.

WHEN: 25-28 October
WHERE: Hobart Showground  

Australian Masters Games

About 6000 athletes – including boxers, archers, golfers, swimmers and gymnasts – will converge on Tasmania’s beautiful north-west coast for a week of competition when the Games return to the state for the first time in 30 years.

WHEN: 21-28 October
WHERE: Various venues, North West Tasmania

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