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Bush, blues and bars – what’s on in April 2020 for families

Eeenie, meenie, minie, mo. An ocean-loving surf festival. A blues and roots music festival. Australia’s toughest triathlon festival. A desert light display.

It is family-friendly festivals aplenty this April, including The Drop Festival in Busselton and beyond. Credit: Mitch Lowe

With the school holidays fast approaching, it is time to open those calendars and check out what’s on in April. It’s lucky that the family-friendly festival scene is turning up the heat this month, because there is a huge range of events and activities to suit everyone. They say variety is the spice of life, right? So spice up your Easter break with this go-to guide for what’s on in April 2020.

Man from Snowy River Bush Festival – Corryong, VIC – 2nd to 5th April

Have some whip-cracking fun and spin a good yarn at this bush festival inspired by the famous Banjo Paterson poem. This year is geared up to be the biggest and best yet, with all profits going to bushfire relief. Watch the ute muster, rodeo and street parade, before witnessing the working cattledogs in action and listening to some bush poetry. Pick the camping area that suits your budget, then send the kids off to the Colts ‘n Fillies Kids Party. Read more about the Bush Festival here.

Park After Dark: Illusions, Dreamworld – Gold Coast, QLD – 4th April

Be part of the first crowd to enjoy this all-new event at Australia’s biggest theme park. See Dreamworld in a new light, with rides, acrobatics shows and roving entertainers from 6.30pm. Be sure to catch the Aerial Angels perform their breathtaking stunts!

Parrtjima – Alice Springs, NT – 3rd to 12th April

The breathtaking backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges is transformed with a light show, desert light installations, live music and more. Taking place on Arrernte country, this ‘Festival in Light’ combines new technology with story and tradition from the oldest continuous culture in the world.

Sydney Royal Easter Show – Sydney, NSW – 3rd to 14th April

From woodchopping champs to show dogs, from BMX aerials to flower displays, the time-honoured tradition that is the Sydney Royal Easter Show never fails to deliver. Maybe chuck in a show bag, some fairy floss and a ride or two to make your family outing all the sweeter.

Bluesfest – Byron Bay, NSW – 9th to 13th April

Relax as a family to the laid-back vibe of blues and roots at this famous music festival, with headlining heavyweights such as Crowded House, Alanis Morissette and Lenny Kravitz. Not to mention the dedicated Kidzone with face-painting, bubble blowing, clowns and an Easter treasure hunt. Don’t miss the Boomerang Festival, celebrating First Nations artists and cultural practices.

Bendigo Easter Festival – Bendigo, VIC – 10th to 13th April

It is Bendigo Easter Festival’s 150th birthday this year, so the celebrations reach a whole new level. Try out lantern-making workshops, fire truck rides and Easter egg hunts. On Saturday, the festivities go off with a bang with the awakening of the dragon, lion dancing and torchlight procession as well as fireworks. Read our guide from the 2018 festival here.

Fairbridge Festival – Pinjarra, WA – 17th to 19th April

This family camping festival is held on a bush site about 100 kilometres from Perth, so it is the perfect spot for sinking into folk, roots, blues, acoustic and Celtic music. It also has the kid-friendly scene down pat. Join a kids’ cooking workshop with Bindi Bindi Dreaming using Indigenous ingredients, hear kooky bedtime stories from Glenn Swift and watch the Ungrounded Circus do their thing. If you’re a high-schooler, you can also sign up to the Quest song-writing competition.

Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival – Julia Creek, QLD – 17th to 19th April

Australia’s toughest triathlon – as well as horse-racing and rodeo – unfolds in one of the most remote Queensland destinations, 250 kilometres east of Mount Isa. The opening night concert on the Friday is totally free. Jump in early to compete in the Junior Triathlon for 4 to 15-year-olds two weeks prior in Mount Isa. Of course, there is the hilarious ‘Best Butt’ competition with contestants showing off their best shake on stage.

The Drop Festival 2020 – Torquay, VIC or Busselton, WA – 11th or 25th April respectively

Follow the tide to this national touring festival making waves in the ocean-loving community. Capturing the spirit of surfing and the Aussie road trip, the Torquay and Busselton legs of The Drop coincide with championship surf events. Grommets can enjoy face-painting, games, craft and indie hits from the likes of the Presets, Boy and Bear and Ball Park Music.

Kid’s activities differ at each instalment of this touring festival, but Torquay and Busselton are sure to deliver! Credit: Jess Gleeson

Taste Tamworth Festival – Tamworth, NSW – 17th to 20th April

Foodies can tickle their tastebuds at this gourmet festival in regional NSW. The grown-ups can make the most of the festival’s pop-up laneway bar and garden bar. Then the whole family can let loose at Taste in the Park on the Saturday, with local produce stalls and free kids’ activities at Bite Size.

Derwent Valley Autumn Festival – New Norfolk, TAS – 19th April

Watch the autumn colours hit the oaks, elms, willows and poplars on the banks of the Derwent River. You’ll find food, local wine, craft stalls, rides and free non-stop entertainment just over 35 kilometres from Hobart.


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