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Five Out-of-Town Happenings That Are Worthy of a Road Trip This Spring

As the weather starts to thaw, make the most of the sunshine with live music, blossoming flowers and art on the road.
By Concrete Playground
September 03, 2019

Five Out-of-Town Happenings That Are Worthy of a Road Trip This Spring

As the weather starts to thaw, make the most of the sunshine with live music, blossoming flowers and art on the road.
By Concrete Playground
September 03, 2019


in partnership with

As the weather starts to thaw, make the most of the sunshine with live music, blossoming flowers and art on the road.

You did it. You survived another Melbourne winter. You made it through the dreary, grey season and we're not even going to judge you for how many nights you spent under a doona, indulging in goodies from the snack aisle and binging Fleabag.

Obviously, this is Melbourne, so it's still a little nippy outside and you're probably not leaving the house without a jumper anytime soon. But one of the wonderful things about living in this part of the world is poking your head out as spring arrives and jumping on the road for an adventure before the weather gets altogether too hot. With flowers blossoming in the Yarra Valley, art exhibitions and light installations hitting regional hubs, and festival season just around the corner, there's no better time to get out there.

Together with MG — in celebration of its new limited-edition MG3S hatchback — we've come up with five activities that will get you out of Melbourne and enjoying the spring sunshine in style.

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    Archibald Prize 2019

    Widely touted as Australia’s most prestigious portraiture prize, the Archibald Prize is a curated collection of the year’s best portrait paintings. This year, the lineup includes 51 talented finalists who were selected from a record 919 entries. After an obligatory stint at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the exhibition will move to TarraWarra Museum of Art on September 14.

    Tony Costa’s portrait of fellow artist Lindy Lee, simply titled Lindy Lee, took out the top gong, while Tessa MacKay was awarded the 2019 Archibald Packing Room Prize for her hyperreal portrait of actor David Wenham, called Through the Looking Glass. You’ll also see a painting by Vietnamese-Australian artist, actor and writer Anh Do, a portrait of Paralympic champion Dylan Alcott by Sydney-based stencil artist Kirpy, Carla Fletcher’s cosmic work of Del Kathryn Baron and a hyperreal self-portrait of a nude, pregnant Katherine Edney.

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    White Night Ballarat 2019

    Jump in your MG3S and head west to explore Ballarat’s one-night-only spectacular of light and sound, when the regional city hosts its own annual White Night festivities.

    Themed around the idea of lighting ‘a spark’, White Night Ballarat 2019 promises an illuminating showcase of local talent, featuring more than 50 artworks and experiences across a diverse range of mediums. You can paint with LED water at Antonin Fourneau’s Waterlight Graffiti, walk through a storybook-like installation made almost entirely from wool in Kathy Holowko’s Spidergoat & The Insect Electro, step inside calming musical clouds and visit giant animal lanterns.

    Throw in a program of roving entertainment, live tunes and captivating projections, and you’ll find yourself happily wandering the historic centre right through until White Night wraps up at 2am.

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    CherryHill Blossom Festival 2019

    Get ready for your Instagram feed to explode with cherry blossoms because these highly photogenic trees are nearly in bloom once again. If you’re looking for the best of the bunch, head to the Yarra Valley for the annual Blossom Festival at CherryHill Orchards.

    Apart from the blossoms — which you’ll most likely spend the entire day taking selfies with — there’ll be live music and giant lawn games to keep you entertained.

    If you’re too eager to get on the road and forget to pack a picnic (or you’re too lazy to do so), there’ll be food trucks serving up everything from tacos to dumplings and burgers. And you can expect plenty of cherry-flavoured goods, too — think ice cream, pie, cider and spritzers. Yarra Valley’s Four Pillars Gin will also be on hand, stirring cherry-spiked cocktails.

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    Loch Hart Music Festival

    We can’t think of a much better way to finish off spring and slip happily into summer, than a laid-back weekend of live tunes and camping by the Great Ocean Road. Enter, Loch Hart Music Festival.

    Set among the coastal surrounds of Princetown, the boutique BYO festival has a very happy lineup, lead by indie-pop darlings Alpine, Surf Coast natives Didirri and artist-producer Alice Ivy. Moaning Lisa, Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird, hip hop star Genesis Owusu and Ruby Gill are just some of the other names set to grace the Loch Hart stage.

    As well as all those tunes, Saturday’s comedy hour will dish up laughs from some top emerging comics, morning yoga sessions will help soothe those muscles, and you’ll find top-notch eats including Fugazi’s woodfired pizza. Load up your MG3S with your own booze, or stop by the pop-up James Bully Forbes Bar for a couple of local drops from Forrest Brewery.

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    Grapevine Gathering 2019

    Hear it on the grapevine this spring. For one day only, Mickleham’s Grapevine Estate will be serenaded by the likes of Irish indie rock band Two Door Cinema Club and Aussie electro duo Flight Facilities. They’ll be joined on the winery stage by Crooked Colours, Mallrat, Jack River, Touch Sensitive, Late Night Tuff Guy, Kira Puru, Lovebirds and Big Words. It’s going to be a big day of tunes, folks.

    Punters will have access to an array of first-rate food options, including gourmet burgers, woodfired pizzas and slow-cooked smoked treats. And that’s to say nothing of the drinks list, which will feature craft beers, cocktails and summery beverages. Oh, and a heap of wines, of course.


Once you’ve ticked off these activities, keep making the most of Melbourne spring by hopping around in MG’s new limited-edition MG3S hatchback

Top image: Grapevine Gathering.

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