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Top 10 Victorian Events for October

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by Ian Gill (subscribe)
I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published September 24th 2018
Timeout In October
Welcome to spring in Victoria. I hope you enjoy my pick of 10 top events being staged in this fabulous State throughout October, all aimed at getting us out and about as we move towards summer.

Spring Racing Carnival

Victoria's Spring Racing Carnival is in full swing for 2018 at race tracks throughout the State, a fabulous blend of world-class thoroughbred racing, fashion and wining & dining culminating with the running of the Melbourne Cup, one of the world's iconic horse races.

Victoria Melbourne Regional Events Festivals Travel What's On Get Out Of Town Escape The City
Spring in Melbourne means racing and October presents a range of lead-up events to the iconic Melbourne Cup.

October brings with it a feast of great racing including the Caulfield Cup to be run at Caulfield on Saturday 20th October and perhaps the greatest weight for age event staged anywhere in the world, the W.S. Cox Plate to be held on Saturday 27th October at Moonee Valley.

For further information, a full Spring Carnival racing program and online tickets, visit the Victoria Racing Club website or telephone 1300 727 575.

Tesselaar Tulip Festival

The month-long Tesselaar Tulip Festival continues until Sunday 14th October with a host of events to please visitors of all ages.

Featured events for October include an Irish Weekend from Friday 5h o Sunday 7th October, Children's Week for Monday 1st to Thursday 4th October and Tulipmania Week from Monday 8th to Sunday 14th October.

Victoria Melbourne Regional Events Festivals Travel What's On Get Out Of Town Escape The City
Tesselaar Tulip Festival has been a favourite with thousands of Victorian families and continues until Sunday 14th October. Image courtesy Tesselaar Tulip Farm

This annual explosion of colour features more than a million spring flowering bulbs on show including more than 900,000 tulips. It features live entertainment, great food and a range of activities for the whole family.

Tesselaar Tulip Farm is at 357 – 359 Monbulk Road, Silvan (MELWAY Map 123 B5)

If you don't want to drive take the train to Lilydale and then the Route 663 bus from Lilydale Station to Tesselaar Tulip Festival.

You can go to the website or telephone on (03) 9737 7722 for full details and further information.

Melbourne International Arts Festival

Now in its 32nd year, the 2018 Melbourne International Arts Festival will be staged from Wednesday 3rd to Sunday 21st October, one of the world's great annual celebrations of dance, theatre, music, circus, visual arts and multimedia events.

A mammoth program of events to be staged at venues in and around Melbourne includes LEXICON, a celebration of the past, present and future of circus, FLIGHT, a journey of two orphaned brothers across Europe in search of a place to call home, 100 KEYBOARDS, a listening experience where 100 battery operated keyboards are brought to life to create what the artist calls textured soundscapes, or perhaps A QUIET EVENING OF DANCE presented by talented contemporary dancer William Forsythe is more your style.

Victoria Melbourne Regional Events Festivals Travel What's On Get Out Of Town Escape The City
The Melbourne International Arts Festival is Victoria's premier celebration of music, dance and the performing arts.

Suffice to say the program is huge. Go to the website for full details of events and venues, terms & conditions and online ticketing. Alternatively, you can telephone the organisers on (03) 9662 4242 for further information.

Heathcote Wine and Food Festival

The Heathcote Wine & Food Festival has been an annual event for almost 20 years now, showcasing the regions produce to almost 5000 visitors each year.

It's a great opportunity to sample new release wines and learn about the recent successes of local producers at Australian and overseas competitions.

Victoria Melbourne Regional Events Festivals Travel What's On Get Out Of Town Escape The City
Renowned for its world-beating Shiraz Heathcote Wine Region showcases all its natural wealth during the annual wine and food festival. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank

This year's event will run over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday 6th & 7th October at the Heathcote Showgrounds.

The annual Wine & Food Festival has grown along with Heathcote Wine Regions impressive reputation. Where else can you taste fine wines from more than 40 producers while enjoying great local food & produce at one central location over a single weekend?

For full details, go to the website or telephone the organisers on (03) 5433 3121.

Bendigo Heritage Uncorked

It's hard to beat a trip to the Central Victorian wine growing district to really kick back and relax while enjoying some fabulous boutique wines and outstanding local produce.

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Bendigo's historic buildings are the venue for Bendigo Heritage Uncorked. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank

Bendigo Uncorked Week begins with the popular Bendigo Heritage After Dark on Friday 12th October in the Fortuna Villa Gold Crushing Room. It continues with wine & food pairing sessions, wine dinners presented by local wineries, countless tastings, a jazz & wine afternoon and Bendigo Heritage Uncorked on Saturday 20th October.

All events are held in and around Bendigo's historic buildings.

Bendigo Heritage Uncorked runs from Friday 12th to Monday 22nd October. Go to the website for full a full program of events, venues, terms & conditions and online ticketing. Alternatively, you can call the organisers toll-free on 1300 656 650 for further information.

Glenrowan Winemakers Weekend

For another great wine experience Glenrowan Winemakers Weekend on Saturday & Sunday the 13th and 14th October where you can enjoy a picnic hamper of seasonal produce paired with wine and craft beer at four wineries and a brewery along the districts Wild Harvest Trail.

The picnics and a selection of cellar door lunch options will be available on both Saturday and Sunday.

Victoria Melbourne Regional Events Festivals Travel What's On Get Out Of Town Escape The City
They produce some great wine in this part of the world and it will be yours to sample during the Glenrowan Winemakers Weekend

On Saturday evening you can join local winemakers for the Gourmet Getabout, a roaming degustation to be enjoyed at a number of secret locations throughout 'Kelly Country'.

The weekend will also feature learning sessions, wine masterclasses and a brewery tour. For full details, costs and ticketing information go to or telephone 1800 801 065.

Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix

The Australian MotoGP has been run at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, one of the fastest and most picturesque racetracks in the world, since 1997.

This year's event, to be staged from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th October will see the world's greatest motorcycle rider's race at break-neck speeds around the 4.5 kilometre track against one of the most stunning backdrops in motorsport.

Victoria Melbourne Regional Events Festivals Travel What's On Get Out Of Town Escape The City
The very best of world sport comes to Phillip Island each October in the form of the MotoGP Championship.

Names like Petrucci, Miller, Lorenzo, Rossi and Pedrosa will attract thousands of spectators to Phillip Island for a weekend of world-class racing.

There'll be a host of travel and accommodation options available including campsites adjacent to the track.

A long list of ticketing options including VIP packages giving 'access all areas' will be available.

For full details, terms & conditions, travel, accommodation and ticketing options go to the website or call 1300 300 701 for details on some exciting travel packages.

Otway Oktoberfest

Now in its 11th year, the annual Otway Oktoberfest for 2018 will be held on Saturday 6th October between 11.30 AM and 5.30 PM at Otway Estate – Home of the Prickly Moses brewery, 10 Hoveys Road, Barongarook.

Apart from loads and loads of great beer, there'll be some great Bavarian food, traditional Oompah music, slap dancing, German carnival games, brewery tours, fun & games and lots, lots more.

Victoria Melbourne Regional Events Festivals Travel What's On Get Out Of Town Escape The City
Otway Oktoberfest has been showcasing fabulous boutique beers for the past 11 years.

As well as the incredibly popular Prickly Moses brewed onsite at Otway Estate the Otway Oktoberfest will feature great brews from local regional producers including Red Duck, Rogue Wave Brewing Co, Bells Beach Brewing, Southern Bay Brewery, Barrabool Hills Brewery, Flying Horse Bar & Brewery, Crowes Nest Brewery, Forrest Brewing Company, and Bellarine Brewing Co.

The very popular Home Brewing Competition returns again this year, offeing a First Prize of $300 cash, Second Prize a $100 voucher redeemable at the Queenscliff Brewhouse and a Third Prize of a $30 voucher redeemable at the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse, Apollo Bay. Entry to the Home Brewing Competition costs $25 and includes entry to the event.

You'll find full details, ticketing information and a full list of bus transfer options on the website at or by telephone at (03) 5233 8400.

Tastes of the Goulburn

The annual Tastes of The Goulburn exhibition is here again this year to be staged on Saturday 20th October between 11 AM and 5 PM.

Showcasing the very best food & wine from Victoria's Goulburn Valley district this is a fabulous day out with something for every member of the family.

Victoria Melbourne Regional Events Festivals Travel What's On Get Out Of Town Escape The City
The Goulburn Valley is at the heart of Victoria's food-bowl, producing great wine and local produce, all of which comes to the fore for Tastes Of The Goulburn.

Guest chefs will show you how to make the most of seasonal food in your home kitchen and team up with local winemakers and sommeliers pairing local wines with each dish.

The Goulburn Valley has been consistently producing award-winning wines since the mid-19th century and there'll be plenty of tastings to tempt your palate at the Tastes of the Goulburn event.

There'll be entertainment for young and old alike as well as a host of food vendors offering breakfast, brunch or lunch.

Tickets are available online at and cost Adults $20 with the inclusion of a tasting glass, $10 if you bring your own tasting glass and $5 with no wine tastings.

This event takes place in Station Street, Seymour, just under a 90-minute drive north of Melbourne via the Hume Freeway/M31.

Regular, fast VLine services operate from Melbourne (Southern Cross) to Seymour and for this event, the vintage 707 steam train will also operate a return trip from Southern Cross. See the website for details and ticketing.

Port Fairy Spring Music Festival

The 29th annual Port Fairy Spring Music Festival will be held over the weekend of Friday 12th to Sunday 14th October at venues in and around Port Fairy.

Featuring everything from traditional chamber music classics to exciting new works, this festival showcases the talent of a long list of established and emerging musicians in one of Victoria's most popular coastal villages.

Victoria Melbourne Regional Events Festivals Travel What's On Get Out Of Town Escape The City
One of Victoria's most popular tourist destinations Port Fairy hosts the annual Spring Music Festival each October. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank

The Opening Gala introduces singer Lior and features festival favourite Zoe Black. Others performing throughout the weekend include Enoch Arden, Strange Bedfellows, Rite of Spring and the Grigoryan Brothers.

Don't miss a relaxing weekend filled with music and dance in one of Victoria's premier tourist towns with its wealth of excellent accommodation and wining & dining options.

Go to the website for details, a full list of performers and venues as well as ticketing options.

Port Fairy is 288 Kilometres southwest of Melbourne, just under a 3½ -hour drive via the Princes Freeway/M1 and the Hamilton Highway/B140.

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Why? Celebrate spring by getting along to one or all of these exciting events happening around Victoria throughout the month of October.
When: October 2018
Phone: Melbourne Visitor Hub (03) 9658 9658
Where: Venues throughout Vitoria
Cost: Some are free others are ticketed events. Refer to the main article for details.
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