Shinju Matsuri, Festival of the Pearl
Broome, WA. 28 August - 6 September, 2020
Broome is known as the pearl in Western Australia’s crown for good reason, having established its reputation in the late 1800s as a producer of South Sea Pearls. As of the late 1800s, Japanese, Chinese, Malay, Koepangers, Filipino and Europeans flocked to Broome to be a part of this prosperity. This unique multicultural population of pearl industry workers collaborated with the local Indigenous and Europeans to work on approimately 400 pearling luggers that sailed out of Broome.
In celebration of this fusion of cultures, the annual Shinju Matsuri (Japanese for ‘Festival of the Pearl’) evolved from three cultural festivals – Japanese Obon Matsuri, Malaysian Hari Merdeka, Independence Day from British rule in 1957, and the Chinese Hang Seng.
From a world of cuisines to sample, to floating lantern lighting ceremonies, dancing and music, Shinju Matsuri is with an exciting whirlwind of colour, sound, taste and smell as the Broome and Kimberley communities share their stunning locale with locals and visitors alike.
Parkes Elvis Festival
Parkes, NSW. 8-12 January, 2020.
What’s better than an Elvis impersonator? 300 Elvis impersonators! If this makes you go uh-huh-huh, you’ll be wanting to shake, rattle and roll yourself along to Parkes in western NSW this coming January to the legendary Parkes Elvis Festival.
Originally a one-off festival in 1993, today it’s a five-day extravaganza that celebrates all things ‘The King’. Now with more than 200 events, the festival attracts more than 25,000 people to Parkes every year. The 2020 the theme will be celebrating Elvis' musical film, Frankie and Johnny and the program is bursting with car shows, dance displays, performances, dress up dinners and every imaginable excuse you could ever possibly need to pull out your bedazzler.
Norfolk Island Line Dancing Festival
Norfolk Island. 4 – 9 April, 2020
If line dancing in an island paradise is your idea of heaven, you’d better get your boots on and scoot for this one! Norfolk Island is located off the east coast of Australia, above New Zealand and below New Caledonia. It’s part of Australia so it has all the familiarity you need, but its history, landscape and stories are all its own with a rich history stretching back to Captain Cook. (Although we’re fairly sure he wasn’t much of a line dancer.)
Run by line dancing champion and award-winning instructor Kate Simpkin, The Norfolk Line Dancing Festival is a week of line dancing workshops, socialising and fun activities that let visitors enjoy all the island has to offer and sample its thriving food scene, too. It’s not all kicking up your heels though, dancers will still have time to catch their breath and explore the island’s diverse range of activities on offer. For details contact Norfolk Island Tourism.
Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers
Toowoomba, Qld. 18-27 September, 2020.
Gardeners, rejoice! This festival has your name all over it. The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is an iconic Queensland event and has been going strong since 1949, winning tourism awards time after time. It was even inducted into the Queensland Tourism Hall of Fame in 2018.
The Carnival is when the regional town of Toowoomba pulls out all stops with open gardens, displays, parades and events to celebrate this picture-perfect town known as The Garden City. The place is ablaze with flowers at this time of year and you’d find it hard to take a bad photo, so make sure you’ve got your camera or phone at the ready. There’s a fantastic food scene in Toowoomba too, and a huge range of accommodation from B&Bs to motels, farm stays and more, so you won’t be short on choice.
Tasmanian Craft Fair
Deloraine, Tas. October 30 - November 2, 2020.
We know our BHG audience is a crafty lot, so no list of festivals would be complete without including the Tasmanian Craft Fair. Held annually in the picturesque township of Deloraine in northern Tasmania, it’s a destination for lovers of all things handmade as it brings together an amazing array of talented artists and craftspeople to exhibit and demonstrate their work.
The Tasmanian Craft Fair is the largest working display of arts and crafts in Australia with more than 200 artists and artisans and 20,000 annual visitors. From fine art to craft stalls and working displays, artisan produce and gourmet food, there’s something for everyone. Kids can get involved too, with fun craft activities for big and little kids to learn and create their own works of art.