The Sand Safari Arts Festival will be held between 8th - 24th February on the beachfront at Surfers Paradise, 1 hour south of Brisbane. The popular, free event showcases what sand artists can do with the humble grain of sand - and they can do a lot! Over 16 days and 16 nights, visitors can walk along and watch sand artists create original sculptures right in front of them, as well as admire finished designs by local and international artists.
The theme of this year's festival to reflect the importance of one of life's real treasures – friendship. Take a walk along and "ooh" and "aah" over their spectacular creations, which take days to make and requires infinite patience. Children will enjoy pointing out characters and marine animals they know, whilst adults will admire the care, attention and pure talent, of the sand artists in action (see here for the carving schedule).
Capture the moment, before they disappear at the end of the festival. Image: Visit Sunshine Coast Facebook
Walk along and expect the unexpected - with large tentacles bursting through the sand and humorous scenes to make you smile. Each year, sand artists create a unique marine-themed work for the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships, with each piece taking several days to create. The finished artworks will form the impressive centrepiece for the Sand Safari Arts Festival, with visitors asked to vote for their favourite at the People's Choice Awards. Ensure you pick up an event guide for the festival and pop out your voting tokens from out of the back of the book, so that you can drop them into the box at the sand sculpt you like the most (before Friday 22nd February).
Admire the skill and precision of each sand sculpture. Image: Surfers Paradise website
As well as enjoying the sand art exhibitions on display, there will also be family events and activities happening through the festival, such as daily Mermaid Book Readings, interactive walkways and a Treasure Hunt in 3D!
The Mermaid Book Readings are particularly popular, with the resident mermaid Heidi reading a Sand Safari children's book, which is set at Surfers Paradise. This year's book is called Heidi and Jake's Treasure Hunt Adventure, which they will be giving away free at the Treasure Rock (with limited copies), or you can download it and read it at home. The Mermaid Book Readings will be held at Treasure Rock daily at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm and at Circle on Cavill on 12th and 19th February at 11am. See the Visit Surfers Paradise website and Facebook for all the latest details and events.
Kids will enjoy the Mermaid Book Readings on Treasure Rock. Image: Visit Surfers Paradise Facebook
Fun for all ages at the Sand Safari Arts Festival. Image: Visit Surfers Paradise Facebook
If you plan on visiting the Sand Safari Arts Festival in the evening, ensure you wander along Cavill Mall and appreciate the displays along the Artists Plaza, as part of the festival. The Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets will also be held along the beachfront foreshore three nights a week, to add to the family-friendly, summertime atmosphere. Also look out for illuminated art installations around the buildings and foreshore, to highlight the marine theme of the festival.
See the YouTube clip below, for what else lies in store...