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From blockbuster art exhibitions to the toughest of tournaments, here’s Queensland’s top 20 events to help get you excited and back on the road!

January - For Art’s Sake

If ever there was a need to experience joy, through art, it’s now. The Tenth Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art – APT10 (running until 25 April, 2022) brings to Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) both new and blockbuster art works from 150 individuals across 30 countries. Away from the walls, wishful travellers should make a beeline for “Under the Radar”, a curation of unseen cinema showcasing the cultures of lesser-known destinations like Nepal, Bhutan, and Kyrgyzstan, some featuring first time and untrained actors. Families will also enjoy APT10 Kids where large-scale installations and displays promote the theme of inclusivity and diversity.

 

February – Queensland’s Month of Music

The month of love is also Queensland’s month of music events. Kickstart the event beats at Cairns Summer Sounds with a two-night performance by Ocean Alley (Feb 4 – 5), the Aussie band that slammed into Triple J’s Top 100 by taking out both the Number 1 and the Number 100 spot in 2019. Stay in Cairns one more week to see Vera Blue (Feb 11), the muse whose haunting voice turned all four judges on The Voice in 2013. Nine years later, Celia Pavey – as she was then known - is now a proven electric pop performer.

Further south, but still on the Great Barrier Reef The Agnes Blues Roots & Rock Festival (Feb 18-20) returns for the eighth time to electrify audiences with three days of toe tapping tunes in one of the prettiest beach backdrops on the east coast of Australia. Talking of blues, the best remedy for this omi-crumminess has got to be the kitschy joy of Eurovision. Those who cant travel to Turin to watch the festivities on the big stage this year, can book a weekend at the Gold Coast to see the next best thing, Eurovision - Australia Decides (Feb 26-27). Enjoy two days of colour, drama and glitter across all musical spectrums and help vote for the artist who will go on to represent Australia at the worlds merriest eisteddfod.

 

March - When Sport Meets Science

Are you a jock or a nerd? This March choose which team you are on when Brisbane morphs into the City of Science over five days of free and ticketed events at the World Science Festival (March 9 – 13). It wouldn’t be the annual event without Curiocity (March 9 – 20), Brisbane’s own future facing festival that brings a myriad of temporary outdoor installations, some huge in size, to blow the mind.

Meanwhile, sporty types will love the line-up of action in March. Celebrate the joys of surfing and SUPing at the Noosa Festival of Surfing (5 – 13 March) and watch on as ocean lovers take pre-1985 twin fin boards to conquer the Noosa swells. Stick around on the Sunshine Coast for another week and join in or watch on as thousands of triathletes descend on the popular beach town of Mooloolaba for the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival (March 11-13). Back in Brisbane, March wheels in the next instalment of the Brisbane Cycling Festival (24 March – 14 April). There are professional, amateur and mass participation events at the celebrated Anna Meares Velodrome and other venues. Keen eyes will be on the 2022 Oceania Championships (BMX, Mountain Bike, Road, and track) Auscycling Track National Championships.

 

April – Ocean racing and Outback Season

Balmy 25-degree Celsius sea temperatures provide the perfect conditions for two major events on the Gold Coast in April: the Gold Coast Triathlon: Luke Harrop Memorial (3 April) and the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships (2 – 10 April). The latter welcomes more than 6000 competitors from 314 surf clubs for a tournament of guts and glory played out on the nations favourite beach destination. 

Autumn also signals the end of the heat and the start of the six-month winter odyssey. Its a time when a convoy of vanners head out to the Outback for nature, adventure and endless legends around wood fired pits. Fittingly, the Birdsville Races (10-11 April), the infamous Julia Creek Dirt & Dust Festival (April 2022) and Romas Easter in the Country (14-18 April) are firing up to welcome west leaning revellers.

 

May – Footy Fever

f theres one sport Queenslanders are passionate about its rugby league. Every May, 16 teams from across the NRL descend on Suncorp Stadium as the nations mightiest players battle it out over three-days for the NRL Magic Round Brisbane (13 – 15 May). Off field, its a time when whole streets are closed and the city comes out to play. Alternatively, for a different crusade escape north for the Port Douglas Carnivale (20-22 May) where the only sport on show are long lunches, live music, monster kite displays and hot and steamy parties.

 

June – Culture of the New and the North

Love a bit of pop culture?  Cooly Rocks On (8-12 June) brings polka-dot flounce alongside vintage vibes to the southern end of the Gold Coast while the 2022 TV Week Logies sees the nations A-Listers lob in for red carpet fun around Broadbeach. Further north, theres a month-long arts festival happening in Townsville thanks to NAFA (North Australian Festival of Arts June 10 – July 10). Kicking off June 10, expect to see punk, cabaret, comedy, dance, theatre and plenty more acts that will bring the community together and lift the soul. 

 

July – Poppin into History

Magic is bound to happen at the Mary Poppins Festival (July 3). Held in the glorious heritage streets of Maryborough, Disney aficionados can embrace their inner nanny and join in belly laughing events, including the great Nanny Challenge and the Chimney Sweep Dash. The event is part of Maryboroughs celebration of PL Travers, the author who was inspired by her birth town to conjure up the worlds most famous governess and the story of Mary Poppins.

 

More space in your calendar? Heres some other notable events

  • Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Festival, 25 Feb – 6 March, 2022
  • Toyota AFL Premiership – St Kilda v Port Adelaide, Cairns – 30 April 2022
  • Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival, Tropical North Queensland - 30 April, 2022
  • North Queensland Games, Townsville, 29 April – 2 May 2022
  • Boyne Tannum Hook Up, Gladstone 29 April – 1 May 2022
  • Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival, Gold Coast - 19 – 22 May 2022
  • Brisbane Marathon Festival - 4-5 June, 2022
  • IRONMAN Cairns – 12 June, 2022
  • Scenic Rim Eat Local Week/ Winter Harvest Festival – 25 June – 3 July, 2022 

So there you have it. Six months of hyper coloured fun as well as tournaments of guts and glory, and all served up in Queensland. For more information, visit Queensland.com/events.

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