Coming up in Canberra #5 + a giveaway!

15 Sep

Helloooooo, spring! My favourite season. I feel like I spend all winter waiting for spring to arrive, and while a) we haven’t hit the spring equinox quite yet and b) there have been some cold mornings, the glorious days so far have me convinced that we may – may – have even completely missed false spring (please, please).

These next few glorious months call for another Coming up in Canberra. You can read my previous recommendations for the year: #1, #2, #3 and #4.

But first – what did I enjoy of what I recommended last time?

  • I thoroughly enjoyed ImproACT’s Battle for Canberra (Northside v Southside) final. They’ve got a production on right now until 20 September called In-Person-8, where eight audience members are interviewed on stage, and then an unscripted play is created around them, with the actors using the interviewees’ mannerisms. More details are here.
  • The Taste of Two Regions on 6 July was packed with people enjoying wines from one of the Australia’s premier wine regions, and we’re lucky that such successful winemakers realise what a good reception they get in Canberra. My trip down to the region earlier this year is here.
  • The Truffle Festival put on a number of excellent dinners. The Boathouse by the Lake hosted a delicate menu, and Mt Majura Wines again put on their very successful truffled brie event throughout the season.
  • The Burning at The Q was phenomenal theatre; local playwright Duncan Ley wrote and starred in the production. I’ll be looking out for more productions by Everyman Productions in the future.
  • And what would winter in Canberra be without the Fireside Festival? I was lucky enough to be hosted by HerCanberra, The Poachers Way and Rolfe Classic BMW to tour the region, which included a horse ride at Burnelee Excursions, an overnight stay at East Hotel and dinner at Ox Eatery, and lunch at Flint in the Vines. Check it out here.

And what’s coming up over the next few months? Well:

  • From 9 September to 9 October on every Tuesday-Thursday is Sage Restaurant’s Taste and Test – for $75 you get five courses and be a food critic – let them know exactly what you think by writing scores and comments on the paper tablecloths. I think this is great value for money and I’m looking forward to going again in a few weeks’ time. Read my latest review here.

  • The Thai Food and Cultural Festival is this Saturday, 21 September from 11am-4pm at the Royal Thai Embassy. Entry is free! Check out Bizzy Lizzy’s review of last year’s to tempt you!
  • I mentioned this in the last post but it deserves a mention again. Remember Equus (among other things, it was a theatre production Daniel Radcliffe starred in which was reported on widely)? There’s a Canberra production coming at the end of the month, with tix at $35-$40. I’ve been so impressed with local theatre this year and the value for money is high.
  • At the same time, there’s Floriade! Floriade launched on 13 September and runs until 12 October. Between Wednesday 24 and Sunday 28 September there’s also Nightfest – Floriade at night. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children. I went along to the opening night last year and it was stunning! See the review here.

One of my favourite images from last year’s Nightfest

  • From 23 September to 15 October is the Lavazza Italian Film Festival at Palace Electric Cinemas in New Acton. Tickets are $19 for adults and many of the selections are award nominees, with a number selected to show at Cannes this year. I’m particularly interested in Incompresa, The Art of Happiness (animated) and Those Happy Years.
  • On the first long weekend, the Forage and Hustle & Scout will return (27 September from 2-7pm) – this time at Hangar #47 at Point Cook Avenue, Fairbairn. This combination is going to be bigger and better, and a bigger location will remove some of that claustrophic feeling of last time. I’m excited about all the new designers and especially (of course) all the food stands! My review of the last experience is here.
  • Monster Kitchen and Bar in New Acton has started life drawing classes for $20 on the second and last Tuesday of each month. The next one is 30 September!
  • On the second long weekend is the Murrumbateman Moving Feast. On Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 October, you can experience lunch ($20) at a winery, then travel to another for dessert ($15) (or desserts at a few wineries, if you’re like me!). My tips on how to have the best weekend feasting are here.
  • Also that weekend is the excellent Handmade Market, from 10am-4pm on the 4th and 5th. Haven’t been? Do yourselves a favour and get there!

Very full glasses are served at some venues!

  • Saturday 18 October is my favourite event of the year: the Riesling Challenge tasting! It’s just $30 at the door from 11am-3pm, with a free wine glass (Riedel!) and access to some of the world’s most incredible wines. It’s a generous, simple effort with huge value; I can’t recommend it enough. Here’s my gushing review last year.

  • The Canberra Nara Candle Festival is going ahead on Saturday 25 October. This is a family-friendly event with free entry from 4.30pm and yummy food. Here’s my review of last year’s.
  • On Sunday 26 October, the Belconnen Arts Centre is hosting the Spring Winds Festival from 12-4pm, followed by a celebration of its 5th birthday. This is another one for the whole family with jumping castles, kite-making and -flying, and face painting. The after-party at the Arts Centre for the birthday celebrations will be great!
  • And then there’s beer. From Friday 31 October to Sunday 2 November is the Harmonie German Club’s Oktoberfest at EPIC. Tickets range from $10-25 depending on the day you attend. My review of last year’s event is here.

  • And if that’s not enough, the week after has second year of Beer Day Out (Saturday, 8 November) from 1-8pm. This time it’s being held at the Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston. Tickets are being sold via Moshtix and my review of the 2013 event at Thoroughbred Park is here.


Thanks to the Lavazza Italian Film Festival (23 September to 15 October), I have FIVE double passes to give away to it! The passes are valid for any festival session of your choice (not including opening/closing nights, QA events, after 5pm Saturdays and on public holidays). The passes are valued at $38 each.

How to win:

Simply comment below and tell me what you’re most looking forward to coming up in Canberra this Spring! Is it a special film at the festival? Or one of the many events happening (including something I’ve missed)? In commenting, make sure you include a real e-mail address so that I can contact you. The competition will close at 5pm AEST Friday, 19 September 2014 and winners will be randomly chosen shortly after. Winners will be listed in an update on this page, and contacted via their e-mail address individually. If you don’t respond to me within 48 hours of being contacted, I will randomly choose another winner. Good luck!


Thanks so much to everyone who entered! We had 10 valid entries, which started at chifley_alison. From chifley_alison I assigned each person a number in order (1-10) and then used the random number generator to select five numbers between 1 and 10. The winners are: Lan, Damo, Greg L, canberracanuck and Olivia M. I’ll be contacting you shortly from to discuss how to get your prize to you! Congratulations!


12 Responses to “Coming up in Canberra #5 + a giveaway!”

  1. Venessa Tripp September 15, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    Venessa Tripp executive coaching m: 0418219215 VT Coach Pty Ltd

  2. Chilfey_Alison September 15, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    Hey Tara, I’m a traditionalist, because I love Floriade and go several times very year. Really looking forward to it again. I’m also looking forward to going to the Arthur Boyd exhibition at the Nstional Gallery.
    Spookily I picked up the brochure for the Italian film festival at my coffee shop this morning because I’m off to Italy for a holiday in April next year and thought I might enjoy absorbing some Italian culture through the movies.

  3. Natasha September 15, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

    After reading your review of the Reisling Challenge last year I was determined not to miss out this year, but I’m pretty sure my parents are visiting that weekend! & they’re obviously non-drinkers 😦

    & thanks for the heads up about the Thai festival which I somehow always manage to find out after its been and gone.

  4. Greg L September 16, 2014 at 5:35 am #

    I’m looking forward to Oktoberfest, wherein meine Freunde und Ich communicate via lifting of the beer glass and shouting loudly over the oompa band. Ahh, German culture boiled down to its essence.

    But seriously, Floriade is always a winner on the awesome spring days. And the Sage dinner (if I can find a night, and friends willing to come along).

  5. Olivia M September 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    School fete season!

  6. canberracanuck September 16, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    Hey! If you have developed a taste for local theatre then Free Rain is puting August: Osage County on stage starting 17 October at Courtyard Studio. It’s an awesome script – I know because I am in the cast 🙂
    And for anyone who hasn’t been to any of the numerous foreign film festivals yet, for goodness sake go! Stop wasting your money on Hollywood’s pablum.

  7. Hannahh September 16, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    What I’m most looking forward to in Canberra is being back after two years living in Canada, woooot! Does that count? If you need more specific… the riesling challenge sounds awesome.

  8. Michael McKenna September 16, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    I am looking forward to seeing Sunset Boulevard at the Q Theatre because it is a great musical with a brilliant cast

  9. Betty September 16, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    Nightfest! Always such a stunning event!

  10. Lan September 18, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    I’m always keen to attend the Thai Food and Cultural Festival. And it’s THIS weekend, awesome!

  11. Damo September 19, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    Will there be gelato instead of choc-tops?

    i am most looking forward to the scent of a thousand flowers filling the air.

  12. lizzygoodthings September 23, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    Great post, Tara… and many thanks for the shout out! xo

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