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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Seven Summer Festivals Worth the Road Trip

Round up your mates for an epic adventure to one of these regional food, music and flower festivals.
By Emily Nicol
October 21, 2019
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Seven Summer Festivals Worth the Road Trip

Round up your mates for an epic adventure to one of these regional food, music and flower festivals.
By Emily Nicol
October 21, 2019
  shares

SEVEN SUMMER FESTIVALS WORTH THE ROAD TRIP

in partnership with

Round up your mates for an epic adventure to one of these regional food, music and flower festivals.

As summer draws nearer we all feel that urge to GTFO of the city, and when the weather heats up sometimes all we want to do is eat oysters on the Great Ocean Road or blast out summery tunes on the way to a three-day music festival. The list of cool, boutique festivals seems to get longer and more varied, so we've picked out seven regional festivals that we think are worth the drive not only for the main event, but also for the cute country towns and rolling vineyards they inhabit — from grape harvests in the Granite Belt of Queensland to family-friendly music festivals in country New South Wales.

Before you head out on a long drive, make sure you're doing it in comfort. MG's new limited-edition MG3S hatchback has ample luggage space (perfect for three-day camping festivals), rear camera and parking sensors (to help you nab that last parking spot) and an AppleCarPlay system (for that podcast binge). Start planning your journey to these seven events below.

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    Fairgrounds 2019

    Berry’s annual festival boasts one of the best music lineups of any music festival this summer. Amp yourself up for the likes of DMA’s, Meg Mac, Dope Lemon and Liam Gallagher with a megamix playlist that you can crank up out of the Yamaha speakers on the all-new MG3S all the way there. Aside from the music, Fairgrounds has markets, ‘games on the green’ and a chance to get dusty fingers at the record fair. Make sure to check out the town of Berry too for a great selection of cute country cafes, candle stores and antiques shops.

    Image: Andy Fraser.

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    The annual Manjimup Cherry Festival is one of the most popular events on the WA calendar. Set in the green pastures of the small town of Manjimup, just south of Perth, the annual celebration features cooking masterclasses, local Aboriginal food demos, log chopping, a magic show, music and art exhibitions. You’ll taste the best and juiciest local cherries, and cherry-flavoured goodies (such as fresh cherry ice cream). Make the drive there easier with the MG3S touchscreen, which means you’ll have maps at your fingertips — and therefore more time to plan your festival itinerary.

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    Falls Festival 2019

    Halsey, Vampire Weekend and Banks are just some of the hot international music acts heading our way this summer for Falls, an epic three-day New Year’s party. The Byron Bay festival site, nestled between valleys in the hinterland, is a nature-lover’s paradise. With lush green hills and pristine beaches not too far away, you’ll want to chuck your camping gear in the car to make the most of the great outdoors — the new MG3S has a particularly roomy boot if you’re in the market for more luggage space. Stick around town to try out some world class cuisine, catch some waves and maybe spot a dolphin at The Pass.

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  • 4
    People sitting at tables outdoors drinking wine

    A drive from Melbourne to Adelaide Hills for the annual Crush Festival could be one of the most stunning journeys in the country. Head along the Great Ocean Road and past the Blue Lake to Adelaide Hills — only a short drive from Adelaide CBD — for a free long weekend feast of local wines and regional foods over long lunches in the sun and wine-matched degustations in the evening. The January festival is free to attend, including a program of local live music, kids’ entertainment, art and theatre. The festival runs shuttle services from Adelaide CBD from $32–43 per person if you don’t want to be designated driver for the day.

    Image: Nick Lawrence.

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  • 3
    Apollo Bay Seafood Festival 2020

    Kicking off with an ocean-to-plate feast called ‘Down The Hatch’, the Apollo Bay Seafood Festival is a regional fest for foodies of the pescatarian persuasion. Held over three days, Apollo celebrates all things caught in the ocean with a fresh catch seafood market, two live music stages and live cooking demos. A conversation stage explores the connections between land and sea through a series of guest conversations and shared knowledge from Indigenous culture keepers. On the drive there, line up some podcasts on sustainability and seafood on your AppleCarPlay system for some expert input. Before you drive back, head a little further inland to chase waterfalls in the Great Otway National Park.

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    Stanthorpe Apple & Grape Harvest Festival

    It’s a leisurely 2.5-hour drive from Brisbane to the stunning Granite Belt region, one of Queensland’s finest food and wine havens. Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest Festival sees more than 70,000 visitors over the ten day-celebrations, so it’s a popular event. You’ll be thankful for the rear camera and sensors on the new limited-edition MG3S to help you find and secure a parking spot. Focusing on the region’s produce, the harvesting festival lets you sample plentiful local food and drink, while you catch the celebrity grape crushing championship, enter the Mount Marley marathon or simply kick back and watch the busking championships.

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    Ginger Flower and Food Festival

    Make a trip to the Sunshine Coast for Yundina’s annual Ginger Flower and Food Festival. The 24th annual festival features demos, walks and talks with local food and gardening experts — all with insights into the area’s produce, and in particular the popular Buderim ginger. It all takes place in the sub-tropical gardens of the Ginger Factory, where you’ll get to see ornamental gingers and beautiful heliconia plants on show, as well as over 3000 other plant species for sale. It’s a free family-friendly event, so load up the car with the full brood and time your visit to coincide with the twice-weekly Eumundi markets — live music, arts and crafts and street food.

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Planning a road trip this summer? To celebrate the launch of the limited edition MG3S, MG is giving you the chance to win one of two $500 RedBalloon accommodation vouchers — plus a fully fuelled MG3S to drive to your accommodation location in either Sydney or Melbourne. For more information and to enter, visit the MG website.

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