Explore the food, sights and events of Canberra and the surrounding regions with me. To see what I've been up to, I'm on Instagram @heids_c
Published February 18th 2020
Enjoy an amazing autumn of experiences around Canberra
Enlighten Festival, Canberra
If you love the idea of cramming in as many autumn festivals as you can before the winter chill sets in, you're in luck! Canberra hosts some amazing festivals in autumn and not to be overlooked, the towns and villages of the Canberra region get in on the act as well. With celebrations of the autumn harvest, oysters, folk music, falling leaves and so much more, you're bound to find a festival to enjoy this autumn! The events here are listed chronologically so you can start filling your diary for an amazing autumn of experiences.
Festa Italiana, Canberra
Get ready for a taste of Italy at Festa Italiana. Taking place at the Italian Embassy, you'll find Italian food, music, and family fun. La dolce vita is all yours to enjoy on Sunday, 1st March.
Enlighten Canberra Festival
If you want to light up your autumn social life, the Enlighten Canberra Festival is the place to be. Over two weeks in March, the festival sees some of Canberra's most well-known architecture in coloured in vivid light art displays. With both moving and still images projected onto our national icons, this is a wonderful way to see the city with a whole new perspective. As well as the lights, the festival includes music, art installations and, of course, the gastronomic delights of the Night Noodle Market. The best bit? Enlighten is entirely free (other than any food you want to buy) so there's no excuse not to check it out if you're in town.
Canberra Balloon Spectacular
The Canberra Balloon Spectacular lifts off just as the Enlighten lights dim and fade. For a few glorious days each autumn, a flotilla (fleet, flock?) of hot air balloons take the to skies over Canberra. If the weather is just right, the balloons will float over the lake, dipping low to the water, taking paddleboarders for a tow and skimming over the iconic buildings of Canberra. Even on days when they can't fly, they'll usually still inflate on the lawns which is an experience in itself. Take off between 7 and 15 March 2020.
Canberra Balloon Spectacular
Murrumbateman Harvest Hamper Trail
With the harvest over, Murrumbateman celebrates and you can get involved by joining the Harvest Hamper Trail. You can picnic in the vines, take a tour of the cellars and vineyards, settle in for some live music and stock up on some local food and wine. Held over the weekend of 28 and 29 March, check the website for participating locations and events.
AusIndia Fair, Canberra
The AusIndia Fair is a celebration of the Indian community - come along to experience traditional arts and culture, food, tourism, spirituality, and glimpses into the traditional health. On stage 88, there will be music, poetry, skits and dances throughout the day. Pencil it in for 28 March 2020.
The Forage, Fyshwick
Food, glorious food is what you'll find at Canberra's only street food event, the Forage. Showcasing local cafes, restaurants, food trucks, bars, wineries & breweries, this is the place to indulge and get your foodie fix. The autumn Forage will get sizzling on 4 April 2020.
Hamper Harvest Trail, Murrumbateman
The National Folk Festival, Canberra
Get ready to mellow out at the National Folk Festival. With a chilled vibe and a great musical line-up, the Folk Festival has established itself as a firm favourite in the Canberra autumn. The festival is family-friendly and has a vibrant mix of activities alongside the music including circus performances, food, drinks and market stalls. Entertaining Canberra from 9 - 13 April 2020.
Narooma Oyster Festival, Narooma
If you want to head to the coast, you can get shucked at The Narooma Oyster Festival. Celebrating the oysters and other produce of the NSW South Coast, the festival's reputation as a gold-star gourmet event is deserved. There is plenty of entertainment but the oysters are the star of the show. You can compare the flavours of oysters from eight different estuaries, visit the Big Oyster Bar, see cooking demonstrations or try your luck in the oyster shucking competition. Oyster tours are also available throughout the festival. Running on May 1 and 2, 2020.
Festival of the Falling Leaf, Tumut
What better way to welcome the chilly autumn than at the Festival of the Falling Leaf. Held in the little mountain town of Tumut, the festival began way back in 1954 and is still going strong. Celebrating the arrival of autumn and the falling leaves which colour the town's many parks and gardens, this is a quintessential country festival. The leaves will be falling on 2 May 2020.
Enjoy some oysters at the Narooma Oyster Festival
Collector Pumpkin Festival, Collector
A true country festival celebrating the humble pumpkin, this quirky event has grown almost as fast as its prize-winning pumpkins. With giant pumpkins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin scone and more, if you like pumpkins, you'll like this festival. The Collector Pumpkin Festival is a good old fashioned country fair and includes pumpkin rolling, wheelbarrow races and a scarecrow building competition. You'll also find free activities including a giant hay bale maze, pony rides, a rescue dog demonstration, working sheep dogs, cow milking, pumpkin-themed board games, a farm animal petting paddock, a rock climbing wall and mechanical bull ride. Be warned, this event has become huge and traffic and parking are difficult around the festival so plan ahead to make sure you don't miss out.
Oranjefest Dutch Food and Culture Festival, Canberra
Whether you're Dutch or just love trying some delicious food, the Dutch Food and Culture Festival welcomes everyone to celebrate King Willem Alexander's birthday in style. Albert Hall and the surrounding gardens turn orange and you can try delicacies like olieballen, bitterballen, croquettes, poffertjes, pea soup, strooopwaffels, salted licorice and even raw herring! Dutch food may not be as famous as some other cuisines but get there and try it - you won't be disappointed. As well as food, there are kids games, activities and entertainment. Get your best orange outfit ready for 3 May 2020.
Batlow Cider Fest, Batlow
Batlow Cider Fest is the perfect opportunity to fill an empty esky in a town which has been hit hard by the recent bushfires. Batlow is renowned for its apples which happen to be the key ingredient in cider so this resilient town has worked out a way to celebrate in style. Cider Fest's key attractions include orchard and cidery tours, craft cider sessions and a street party. Scheduled to run from 15-17 May in 2020 but keep an eye on the festival website for updates because fire damage is still being assessed.
The Lambing Flat Chinese Festival, Young
These days, Young is famous for its bountiful cherries but in a past life, it was a gold rush town. It had an influx of Chinese miners seeking their fortune and the Lambing Flat Chinese Festival , now in its sixth year, celebrates the contribution of the Chinese community to Young. See the town light up with the sunset lantern parade and enjoy Chinese food, music, dancing and of course lion dance. The Lambing Flat Chinese Festival is a celebration of history and culture sure to go off with a bang on 21 May 2020.