Culture

What’s on: Top events and experiences happening around Australia

Your guide to what's on in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and around the country this month and beyond.
Winter Feast at Dark Mofo in Hobart, Tasmania
Rosie Hastie x Dark Mofo

WHAT’S ON THIS AUTUMN AND WINTER

Country Road x NGV First Nations Commissions

Ends 8 August 2024

The biennial NGV First Nations Commissions is back this year with a new theme: My Country. The first and only initiative of its kind in Australia, the project pairs First Nations designers and artists with industry mentors. The artists are invited by the NGV to participate in the series, before nominating an emerging artist to guide through the development of their project, from beginning to end. A diverse range of artistic disciplines are showcased through the series, with works ranging from intricate textile design to paintings and installations. After the exhibition, the works are displayed in the NGV Collection, as part of an enduring legacy for future generations.

ngv.vic.gov.au

Smoked blue gum barramundi, chardonnay vinegar mash, Dutch carrots, lemon aspen white wine cream sauce with white wine in a glass from Midden in the Opera House.

Taste of the House

The last Sunday of every month until November.

Get to know the Opera House on a whole new level with this delicious and extensive tour of the iconic landmark’s culinary offerings. The experience starts at Opera Bar, where a bartender will guide guests to craft a Sydney Sling cocktail, before moving onto House Canteen, where guests will learn how to make hand-rolled sushi with an experienced chef. Enjoy lunch at the Opera House’s newest venue, Midden, where chef-owner Mark Olive will be serving up slow-braised wallaby shank with matching wine, of course, accompanied by some of Sydney’s best harbour views. Next, be ushered through the Stage Door and onto the Boardroom balcony, where a boozy palate cleanser of Sgroppino will be waiting for you. Finally, slip under the sails and enjoy dessert and a signature cocktail courtesy of executive chef Peter Gilmore at Bennelong, backed by a mellow Jazz soundtrack as part of the Bennelong Presents Sunday Jazz series.

sydneyoperahouse.com

Vivid Sydney

24 May to 15 June 2024

Sydney’s nights of lights and culture return in 2024, with a strong food program underpinning Vivid Sydney 2024. Last year the Southern Hemisphere’s largest multi-artform festival added a food pillar to its program, and it’s coming back for 2024. This year’s theme of ‘humanity’ will be interpreted through programs of light, music, ideas and food across 23 nights.

Highlights include Vivid Residence, with Manoella Buffara of Manu Restaurant coming for a restaurant takeover. Best known as Manu, and for her trailblazing eponymous restaurant, Buffara will hit the pans at Ploós, meaning guests will be treated to both a boundary-pushing Brazilian degustation as well as unparalleled views of Vivid’s lights and installations. Working Ploós Executive Chef Peter Conistis to craft an unforgettable fine-dining experience. All set within the stunning action of Vivid Sydney’s Light Walk, surrounded by installations and with the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House in full, sparkling view.

Fred’s, Aalia and The Charles Brasserie will host Michelin-starred chefs including Max Coen, Sally Abé and Ivan Brehm for the Vivid Chef Series; while Vivid Fire Kitchen will host Christine Manfield, Lennox Hastie and Oscar Solomon (Cho Cho San, Greca and Yoko); while Jess Pryles will fly in from Texas and Niklas Ekstedt from Sweden.

vividsydney.com

Yellow Water River cruise for Taste of Kakadu
Yellow Water River cruise for Taste of Kakadu

Taste of Kakadu

24-26 May 2024

The Northern Territory’s Karrimanjbekkan An-me Kakadu or Taste of Kakadu centres on the home and practices of the world’s oldest living culture. Native ingredients, bush tucker and local entrepreneurs are the stars of this three-day food festival, with highlights including a dinner under the stars by chefs Paul Iskov of Fervor and Ben Tyler of Kakadu Kitchen; ground oven feasts; and the unique croc and canapés cruise.

parksaustralia.gov.au

Aerial shot of Noosa Eat & Drink
Noosa Eat & Drink

Noosa Eat & Drink Festival

30 May to 2 June 2024

Returning from a short hiatus, Noosa’s homegrown festival is back and teeming with culinary capers. Highlights include the opening party on the beach, lunch cruises and the much-loved alfresco long lunch. There are also masterclasses from notable chefs, including Richard Ousby (ex-Quay and Stokehouse) and Jason Jones (Mamasita and Bandita), plus a devoted festival bar serving up vino aplenty. noosaeatdrink.com.au

GABS Craft Beer Festival

2-3 June in Sydney; 10 June in Brisbane

GABS craft beer festival will return in June in Sydney and Brisbane, with 120 new craft beers set to be unveiled for the very first time. Featuring local favourites like Balter, BentSpoke and Mountain Culture, as well as some highly anticipated new start-up breweries, this year’s GABS will welcome back international brewers Sierra Nevada from California and Cloudwater from Manchester in the UK. Both international brewers will be pouring some GABS-exclusive beers, as well as brews from their core ranges.

gabsfestival.com

Dark Mofo presents Winter Feast, Nude Solstice Swim, Night Shift and ‘Namedropping’

Inside the Dark Mofo's Winter Feast
Dark Mofo’s Winter Feast

13-23 June 2024

While Tasmania’s subversive winter arts festival takes a hiatus this year, Dark Mofo is forging ahead with a condensed program of its more popular events. Winter Feast will return for eight nights of food stalls, bar pop-ups, firepits and long table feasting at Princes Wharf 1. The Nude Solstice Swim at Long Beach will also return, taking place on the winter solstice on Friday 21 June, and with an even larger capacity than last year. The debaucherous after-dark party Night Shift is set to run across two nights (Friday 21 and Saturday 22 June). Over at MONA, the brand-new exhibition Namedropping will open with an extravagant gala at the gallery on 14 June and will run until April next year.

darkmofo.net.au

Our House Shell House Series

8 May – 6 July 2024

The Our House food and fun festival has returned for its third year at Shell House Restaurant and Bar in Sydney’s CBD. The event runs for two months from May through to July, and is stacked with compelling experiences ranging from art and culture to food and wine. On the food front, Sydney-based sushi chef Toshihiko Oe of the elusive and tough-to-book Sushi Oe will run a takeover dinner at the Clocktower Bar on 17 June, showcasing his mastery in a rare opportunity for guests to sample the famed omakase. On 20 June, Anthony Puharich of Victor Churchill/Vic’s Meats will collaborate with Shell House’s Joel Bickford on a menu set to showcase some of the best beef available in Australia, and on 22 June, famed Melbourne chef Luke Skidmore of Osteria Ilaria will takeover the Menzies Bar in a night of pasta, wine, and killer cocktails.

Lennox Hastie cooking over the fire at his restaurant Firedoor in Sydney's Surry Hills.
Lennox Hastie cooking over fire at his restaurant Firedoor in Sydney’s Surry Hills. Photo: Rob Shaw

Tedesca Osteria x Firedoor Kitchen Swap

Firedoor to take over Tedesca Osteria 25 June 2024; Tedesca Osteria to take over Firedoor 23 July 2024

Kitchen swaps seem to be all the rage this year, and the trend is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The fiery new four-hands getting ready to set kitchens alight will see Lennox Hastie of Sydney’s famed Firedoor swap house with Brigitte Hafner of Tedesca Osteria in Red Hill for one night each of high octane cooking. Hafner’s approachable fine-dining menu at Tedesca is highly-refined and humble food, local produce-driven, whereas Hastie has found acclaim for his fire-focused fare at Firedoor. Hastie’s take on Tedesca’s five-course menu will be $325 per person inclusive of wine pairings, and Hafner’s take on Firedoor’s smoky menu will also be five courses, inclusive of wine pairings, at $375 per per person.

Book Firedoor’s takeover of Tedesca Osteria here, and Tedesca Osteria’s takeover of Firedoor here.

Pt. Leo Estate’s Winter Tides Event Series

Events run from 16 June – 25 August

Running from June, Pt. Leo Estate’s Winter Tides Event Series begins, in celebration of the rugged coastal beauty of the Mornington Peninsula and the produce the local suppliers grow during the harsher winter months. Truffles take centre stage at local restaurant Laura, with culinary director Josep Espuga hosting a series of lunches and cooking demonstrations showcasing producer Red Hill Truffles. Arrive at 11.30am for a cooking demonstration, followed by four courses all featuring the funky fungus. Also at Laura, join olive oil producers Cape Schanck for a bespoke five-course menu featuring five varietals of their newly pressed olive oils. To close the series of truffle lunches, the Estate is putting on a bespoke seven-course, truffle-centric menu on 25 August, offering guests the opportunity to meet the owners of Red Hill Truffles and their truffle hunting dogs. Other events include an Angus strip loin steak night running every Friday and roast lunches in Pt. Leo’s intimate Wine Terrace.

ptleoestate.com.au

Related stories