September 13, 2019 / By Nicole West
There’s nothing like Spring to put you in the mood to escape, with sunny days, fragrant air and warm temps. If you need an extra little boost to shed that winter hibernation mood and get active, New South Wale delivers. Here's a fantastic line up of festivals to (literally) get out there and smell the roses.
End2End Festival, Pokolbin - 14 September
Kick the season off with a musical, wine-infused bang at the End2End festival in the Hunter Valley. In its second year, the festival hosts four venues to hop around to on the End2End shuttle bus and sample the delights of 20 wineries, gourmet food, boutique beer and a dynamic line up of live music.
Head to Oak Cypress Lakes Resort to see the Ultimate Pink Show, Ben Ean to rock out to Pat vs. Cat, INXS Tribute Band and Live Baby Live, and Drayton’s Family Wines to sing along to ABBA tunes with Mamamia. To keep you fueled up, nibble on treats from Hunter Belle Cheese, Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar, Pokolbin Angus Beef Company and so much more!
Leura Gardens Festival, Blue Mountains - 5-7 & 11-13 October
If your own backyard is looking a bit worse for wear after winter, inspiration is just a short drive from Sydney in the Upper Blue Mountains. Among 10 blooming gardens on show, you’ll see the fruit-filled orchard and roses of Braes Garden Estate, the incredible vertical garden at Hill of Grace and the fairy tale wisteria walk at Fairways. That’s not all though!
Music in the Gardens, on the grounds of Nesuto Leura Gardens, means that jazz, gypsy tunes and mandolins will ring through the rose-infused air. You can also watch local artists painting throughout the gardens, in the lead up to the Art in the Gardens competition. This year marks the festival’s 55th event and the proceeds go to the Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital, along with other community health organisations.
Southern Highlands Food and Wine Festival, Bowral - 5-6 October
In just a 90-minute drive from Sydney, you’ll find yourself surrounded by scenic hills, waterfalls and cute-as-a-button country towns in the Southern Highlands. Bowral, the largest of them, is launching into Spring by showing off the region’s gourmet cuisine and cool-climate wines at the Southern Highland Food and Wine Festival, over the October long weekend.
Make a beeline for the Bradman Oval and over 70 stalls of delicious cuisine and local drops to indulge in across the entire weekend. You can dance away the food coma with live music and learn a few tips for your own kitchen, with chef cooking demonstrations letting you in on tasty secrets.
Berry Gardens Festival - 17-20 October
With fabulous boutique shopping, scrumptious restaurants alive with local produce and outdoor adventures galore, it’s always a good time to visit beautiful Berry. This year, time your countryside trip to coincide with the Berry Gardens Festival. You’ll feast your eyes - and your nose - on everything from charming cottage gardens to rare species and water lily ponds overlooking mountain panoramas.
It’s just $20 to enter all eight gardens or $5 for each, and kids under 18 can see them for free. Every year, the festival raises thousands of dollars for not-for-profit groups and local charities, with funds going towards buying vital equipment and supporting health and community programs.
Orange Wine Festival - 18-20 & 25-27 October
If you’ve always wanted to sample the premier wines from boutique vineyards surrounding Orange, here’s your chance. The Orange Wine Festival offers a vino-filled program across two weekends, with a range of ticketed events. A highlight is a 3-day package on The Vino Express, for access to exclusive food and wine experiences.
‘Pink Up’ is a Rosé-themed event to meet the local vignerons, with a designated driver so you can taste-test till your heart’s content. If you don’t want to join a ticketed event, head to the wine and food market in Robertson Park, with over 50 stalls, live music from local artists and plenty of fun activities for the kids.
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