13 Must-See Day Trips from Melbourne – Victoria, Australia

13 Must-See Day Trips from Melbourne – Victoria, Australia

Melbourne is absolutely awesome in and of itself, but the extensive amount of day trips from Melbourne make it that much more incredible. While the culture, coffee, bars, history, laneways, and food make the city great, the amazing amount of natural beauty surrounding the city render it a fantastic base to travel or to live.

I spent the second year of my working holiday visa living in Melbourne and leading walking tours around the city each day. As it was literally my job to know the city and its surrounds, I have helped thousands of travelers plan their Melbourne trips. I would like to think this makes me pretty darn qualified to recommend the best Melbourne day trips (and general Melbourne tips!) to you as well.

If you are looking for other tips on Melbourne, I’ve got you covered as well – just click the links below! But for day trips from Melbourne, read on. I’ll give my best tips from my experience on these days trips, recommend to stay more days when applicable, let you know where would be best to rent a car and drive, and always link to the most trusted day tour provider I have tried and tested myself.

 

Heading to Australia? – Don’t forget to obtain your visitor’s visa beforehand.

Great Ocean road Melbourne day trips

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Great Ocean Road

What it is: Gorgeous Rugged Coastline road trip

How far from Melbourne: The Great Ocean Road starts at least 1.5-2 hours from the city, and is will include at LEAST 3 hours of driving.

How to Get There: Follow signs to Geelong and join the Great Ocean Road just past Anglesea

Recommended Day Tour: Great Ocean Road Day Tour with Go West Tours

The most popular and important day trips from Melbourne are to the Great Ocean Road. If you haven’t heard of this Melbourne day trip by now, you’re missing out! The Great Ocean Road is perhaps the number one option for a day trip, as it allows you to experience the rugged and beautiful Victorian coastline.

The Great Ocean Road gives you an entirely different perspective on the region than you can get in the city. You’ll drive through quaint little beach towns like Lorne and Apollo Bay, get to search for wild koalas climbing gumtrees out in the country, experience the sheer power of mother nature through powerful waves crashing on distant rocks, and view famous natural landmarks you may have seen in guidebooks and on Pinterest.

There are important Great Ocean Road trip stops throughout the entire journey, which your driver will be very familiar with. Perhaps the most famous stop on Great Ocean Road day trips from Melbourne is the Twelve Apostles. This landmark used to have twelve standalone cliffs out amid the waves on the shore, but today there are only seven remaining. Either way, it’s a gorgeous must-see sight in Victoria.

My other personal favorite stops are London Bridge (a beautiful sandstone rock out in the ocean that used to be connected to the land) and the Loch Ard Gorge. You’ll see all these stops on a tour from Melbourne, and can see even more if you rent a car.

Must See: Memorrial Arch, Teddy’s Lookout, Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge

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Dandenong Ranges – Puffing Billy, Belgrave

What it is: Beautiful mountain ranges (with a steam train) just outside the city

How far from Melbourne: about 45 minutes

How to Get There: Rent a car and drive east, or take the train to the base of the mountains

Recommended Day Tour: Dandenong + Puffing Billy Half Day with Autopia Tours (Dandenong Ranges Only) or Puffing Billy + Healesville Sanctuary with Bunyip Tours (Dandenong Ranges and Aussie Wildlife Experience)

The Dandenong Ranges are a bit of an undiscovered gem in my opinion. It’s not one of the most popular day trips from Melbourne, but really should be due to the remote beauty of the mountain ranges.

Within the Dandenong Ranges you can find all sorts of undiscovered gems. The beautiful town of Belgrave is home toe some amazing eateries and the famous Puffing Billy train, which is a decked-out steam train that serves meals and provides amazing views to patrons riding it through the mountainous region.

You can explore some gorgeous small mountain towns and explore lots of different forest hikes and mountain trails. There’s a gorgeous botanic garden area called the Alfred Nicholas Gardens as well, for any plant lovers out there.

Perhaps the most famous viewpoint of the Dandenong Ranges is from Sky High, a restaurant at the top of Mt Dandenong. Here you can try different types of food and telescopes looking out over the land, towards the city and other mountain regions of Victoria. Spot wild kookaburra as you hike to Burke’s lookout, which has a pristine view of Melbourne’s city skyline on a clear day.

Must See: Puffing Billy, Sky High, Burke’s Lookout

penguins parade phillip islands day tours from melbourne

Phillip Island – Penguins

What it is: An island inhabited by hundreds (thousands?) of indigenous (tiny!) penguins

How far from Melbourne: About 2 hours

How to Get There: Take a day tour or rent a car driving southeast

Recommended Day Tour: Moonlit Sanctuary + Penguin Parade with Bunyip Tours (allows you to see other Aussie wildlife with lunch in one day)

Phillip Island is one of the most popular day trips from Melbourne, and rightfully so! Although kangaroos and koalas are definitely very exciting, one of the most local wildlife species to view in Victoria is the ‘little penguin.’ They used to be called the ‘fairy penguin,’ but they have been aptly renamed because they are, well…. little!

When visiting Phillip Island, you can experience what they call the ‘penguin parade’ as dozens if not hundreds of these lil’ guys pop out of the water at dusk to make their homes on land for the night. You’ll sit in a stadium-like area to make sure their habitat is respected while still having a great vantage point – or you can pay a bit more to stand inside a building with a glass window to be even closer to them!

This happens at sunset, so it depends on the time of year that the penguin parade will happen. Some Phillip island day tours are half-day, but some are longer and include a visit to a wildlife sanctuary to view other types of classic Aussie wildlife. Many tours stop at the Moonlit Sanctuary about half way between the city and Phillip Island.

Must See: Penguin Parade

grampians national parks in australia

Grampians National Park

What it is: Bushy + Rocky Mountains with waterfalls and rich aboriginal culture

How far from Melbourne: About 3 hours

How to Get There: Take a day tour or rent a car driving northwest up the M8

Recommended Day Tour: Grampians Day Tour with Autopia Tours takes you to all important POI’s and the cultural center!

The Grampians National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty in a more regional part of Victoria. Due to its distance, it’s recommendable as a weekend trip but still doable to see its main sights in a day trip from Melbourne. Day tours from Melbourne to the Grampians will leave the city very early, but they will be worthwhile to experience main viewpoints, hikes, and waterfalls.

The Grampians are known for their extensive wildlife and mountain regions. You can walks to high vantage points over the valley with many hikes of varying difficulties throughout the park. There are also some famous waterfalls that are popular to visit, namely MacKenzie Falls.

It’s highly advisable to visit the cultural center when visiting the Grampians, as well. The local aboriginal tribes have an extremely  rich culture full of fascinating legends on how the area came about. You’ll learn all the different theories on colorful animals and regions while educating yourself on the historic culture of indigenous Australians.

Must See: MacKenzie Falls, Hall’s Gap, Boroka Lookout, Cultural center

yarra vallley wine tasting day trips from melbourne

Yarra Valley

What it is: Wine Region with scenic rolling hills

How far from Melbourne: About an hour

How to Get There: Take a day tour or rent a car driving directly east

Recommended Day Tour: Yarra Valley Gourmet Tour with Go West Tours – wine, fruit, cheese, AND chocolate!

The Yarra Valley is an absolute must for those who love wine, alcohol in general, and/or rolling wine regions. Generally less than an hour outside the city, the Yarra Valley is a stunning departure from the city bustle and easily done in a simple day trip.

The Yarra Valley is pretty special because there are over 150 wineries dotted through the countryside. While exploring these wineries, you can also visit a fresh dairy (helloooo, fresh cheese), a famous Gin Distillery called Four Pillars, a cider brewery, and the famous Yarra Valley chocolaterie. In other words, there’s plenty of wine, and also variety as well!

Many day trips from Melbourne to Yarra Valley will visit at least 3-4 wineries as well as a selection of other venues to change it up a little. Check on the itinerary of your tour of choice to make sure it visits all the stops you’d like to see! My personal fave is the Go West tour linked above, which visits plenty of wineries AND places to taste fresh fruit/juice, cheese, AND chocolate!

Must See: a few wineries, at least! Also a few of a dairy, chocolaterie, gin distillery, and cider brewery.

mornington peninsula Arthur's Seat melboure day trips

Mornington Peninsula

What it is: A scenic peninsula south of the city with beach towns, farmland viewpoints, and more wine.

How far from Melbourne: Between 30 mins and 1.5 hours

How to Get There: Take a day tour or rent a car driving directly south. Public Transport can only take you to the northern end of the peninsula.

Recommended Day Tour:  Peninsula + Hot Springs Tour with Hide and Seek (for adventurers – includes viewpoint, 5 mile hike, and then hot springs!) OR Mornington Peninsula Day Tour with Bunyip Tours for those who prefer strolling along beaches (Sorrento/Portsea included) and tasting wine! Both tours are fab.

The Mornington Peninsula may not grace the top of the lists on places to go from Melbourne, but it’s yet another lesser-known gem in Melbourne tourism. The peninsula faces the Port Phillip Bay on one side (calm waters and pristine beaches) and the open ocean on the other (heavy surf and rocky areas).

Between the two bodies of water are rolling hills of farmland, sheep/cows, small beachy towns, and beautiful viewpoints overlooking the coastline. Arthur’s seat is a famously touristy part of the peninsula, with a cable car going up a scenic beachside hill. There are dozens of wineries to visit as you make your way around, one of the most incredible of which is a winery/restaurant/sculpture garden called Pt Leo Estate.

Sorrento and Portsea are well-known beach towns on either side of the thin tip of the peninsula. Mornington is a trendy beach town on the bay side of the peninsula, and Arthur’s Seat overlooks most of it all! There are lots of gorgeous walks to do along the cliffy coastlines, and once you’re finished, you can dip in the warm waters of the amazing Peninsula Hot Springs.

Must See: Arthur’s Seat, wine tasting, bush walking, hot springs

There are SO many day trips from Melbourne - it would be a shame to miss out on the rugged coastlines, mountainous national parks, diverse wildlife, amazing views, wine regions, and relaxing getaways accessible from one of the best cities in the world. #melbourne #melbournedaytrips #australia #greatoceanroad #yarravalley #phillipisland #grampians #twelveapostles

There are enough Melbourne day trips to explore for weeks! Check out 13 of the best destinations to visit from melbourne, from beaches and coasts to wildlife and mountains. #melbourne #melbournedaytrips #australia #greatoceanroad #yarravalley #phillipisland #grampians #twelveapostles

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Daylesford/Hepburn Springs and the Macedon Ranges

What it is: A relaxing mountainside getaway

How far from Melbourne: About 1.5 hours

How to Get There: Rent a car and drive northwest – there are a few day tours but mostly private/wine tours

Recommended Day Tour: Private Daylesford Tour with highly acclaimed Melbourne Private Tours, or a weekend trip.

Daylesford and Hepburn Springs are known to be a relaxing getaway from Melbourne. Daylesford’s most popular feature is why it’s called a ‘spa town:’  pools of mineral hot springs at Daylesford Day Spa. You can visit hot springs, explore galleries in the quaint town, and dine lakeside at some highly acclaimed restaurants.

Although possible as a day trip, I would highly recommend Daylesford area as a weekend getaway from Melbourne because there’s so much to see (and luxurious accommodation as well)! The area is also a popular wine region, with dozens of wineries possible to visit in the area. There are tours that run through the wine region from Daylesford if you decide to stay longer.

Nearby, you will find the beautiful Macedon Ranges. If relaxing isn’t your thing (or before you unwind in the hot springs) there are plenty of trails to hike in the area. Check out Mount Macedon for the most incredible view, or many more trails and tiny country towns as well.

There aren’t too many Daylesford day tours from Melbourne, but check this private tour if you have a group, or book a wine tour from Daylesford itself.

Must See: Hot Springs, Lake Daylesford

healesville sanctuary koalas australian wildlife

Healesville Sanctuary

What it is: Sanctuary to experience Australian Wildlife

How far from Melbourne: About an Hour

How to Get There: Rent a Car, Take a Tour, or take a train and one bus.

Recommended Day Tour: Healesville Sanctuary + Puffing Billy Combined Tour by AAT Kings

Healesville Sanctuary is one of the most popular places for visitors to experience Aussie wildlife. It’s not a complete trip down under unless you get to experience some kangaroos and koalas, is it?! Healesville is a perfect destination to combine with a trip to the Dandenong Ranges or with Yarra Valley, and many day tours do so.

You can feel content that the animals are kept in a natural bushland setting and allowed to roam freely. Spend a few hours exploring many different species of marsupial, mammal, reptile, and bird, and see if you can find on you’ve never seen before!

If you’d prefer just to see the sanctuary, you can rent a car to drive there and schedule a sanctuary tour with a ranger which allows you even closer access to the animals you want to get up close and personal with.

Must See: Aussie Wildlife!

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Ballarat + Sovereign Hill Day Trips from Melbourne

What it is: An inland Gold Mining Town

How far from Melbourne: about 1.5 hours

How to Get There: Rent a car, take a day tour, or take a direct train

Recommended Day Tour: Sovereign Hill + Ballarat Tour from Melbourne with Gray Line

Visiting Ballarat is like stepping back in time. See, Ballarat was the epicenter of Victoria’s massive gold rush in the mid-1800’s, and there are still many remnants of this rich history there today.

Sovereign Hill is an actual replica of what the gold rush town may have looked like all those years ago – complete with gift shops, craft stores, restaurants, and even gold panning opportunities! You can also visit an old mine and experience what it may have been like.

The Gold Museum is a fascinating look back into the gold rush period, and you can also visit the Eureka Center to learn about a rebellion in 1854 that shaped the future of Australia. There are lots of trendy eateries in the Ballarat CBD, and you must also take a walk by Lake Wendouree for a bit of peace and quiet. See my Ballarat Travel Guide for an in-depth look at visiting the area!

READ
Things to do in Ballarat: A Ballarat Travel Guide

Must See: Sovereign Hill, Gold Museum, Lake Wendouree

Wilson’s Promontory National Park Day Tour from Melbourne

What it is: A seaside national park with wildlife, coast, and forest

How far from Melbourne: Under 3 hours

How to Get There: Take a day tour or rent a car driving southeast.

Recommended Day Tour: Wilson’s  Promontory National Park Day Tour with Bunyip Tours

Wilson’s Promontory is another gorgeous area of nature in Victoria, and one of the most rugged day trips from Melbourne. It’s a National Park with gorgeous viewpoints looking down pristine coastlines, complete with hiking trails that could take you for miles and miles.

There are dozens of beaches in what is actually the southernmost point of mainland Australia. The famous ‘squeaky beach’ actually has sand so white and fine that it squeaks when you walk on it!

It’s a huge area, but the day tour will take you to all the best bits within one big day. You’ll see some of the best viewpoints such as Mt Bishop and empty beaches, but perhaps one of the biggest pulls of this day trip is the wildlife. ‘Wilson’s Prom,’ as they call it for short, is inundated with local kangaroos and other marsupials, so make sure to keep your eyes out!

Must See: Squeaky Beach, Mt Bishop

 

my hotham clouds sunset

Mount Buller

What it is: One of the closest skiing mountains to Melbourne

How far from Melbourne: About 3.5 Hours

How to Get There: Take a day tour, rent a car, or take a coach

Recommended Day Tour: Mt Buller Day Tour with Gray Line

Many people are unfamiliar with the beautiful ‘Victorian Alps’ region. Mt Buller would also be much better as a longer trip, but the area is so worth checking out as a day trip if you don’t have much time.

Mt Buller is an alpine terrain park where you can adventure to your heart’s content: skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, snowshoeing, and more. You’ll have about 5 hours free time on Mt Buller day trips from Melbourne, which surely is plenty to try out a few runs and more. You can also reserve snow gear as well, if you are so inclined. Day tours will also stop in quite a few other small towns and scenic viewpoints to round out the journey.

There’s also a great alpine village in Mt Buller if you are not quite the skiing type but want to enjoy the area. Visitors can enjoy many different food options alongside walks and viewpoints. There are also sled dog tours!

Must See: Mt Buller Village Square, Mountain Vistas/Snow

Silo Art Trail

What it is: Massive murals painted on country silos

How far from Melbourne: Between 3 and 5.5 hours from beginning to end

How to Get There: Rent a Car and Drive!

Recommended Day Tour: You’ll have to rent a car and do this one yourself! 🙂

There are various parts of rural Victoria whose silos have been graced by the mural art of some incredible artists. These silos can be visited in order on what is known as the Silo Art Trail. Visit the silo art trail website to view a map and learn about all the official locations of these murals.

This silo art is actually known as Australia’s largest outdoor art gallery. It’s a brilliant way to get more people to visit the smaller country communities, and an incredible style of art not very attainable in other parts of the world.

To create these artworks, well-known artists met with the local indigenous communities of the areas and created artworks that represented unique stories about that town and its people. If you’d like to get out a bit more into real country Australia, and see how the farmers live in more remote corners of the state, this maybe the the Melbourne day trip for you!

Must See: Each silo that is part of the trail!

view of melbourne from the you yangs regional park

Geelong + You Yangs Regional Park

What it is: Beachside city and bush walks

How far from Melbourne: 1-1.5 hours

How to Get There: Rent a car or take the train

Recommended Day Tour: You’ll have to rent a car and do this one yourself! 🙂

Geelong is the second largest city in Victoria. It’s located in the southwestern part of the Port Phillip Bay (Melbourne is at the northernmost part). Geelong is much more laid back than Melbourne, and is defined by its beautiful botanic gardens, seaside paths, restaurants, museums, and galleries.

A great day trip from Melbourne would be to mix in a visit to Geelong with a stop at the nearby beach, Torquay, and a beautiful mountainous regional park called the You Yangs. Torquay area is roughly considered the starting point of the Great Ocean Road, and usually has lots windsurfers and people on the beach.

The You Yangs regional park is the perfect place to have a classic Aussie bush walk. The park has a few large hills with trails throughout. The trails are only mildly challenging. But, they present incredible views of the surrounding farmland and also of the Melbourne city skyline.


 

There are still more places that are possible as day trips from Melbourne, but by this point we have stretched to the point of Melbourne weekend getaways. All of the destinations above are fine as day trips, but many would be preferable as weekend trips so that you can spend more time and make the most of your time there.

So if you’d like to keep reading about other places to visit from Melbourne, but this time for places you should visit for LONGER than jsut a day trip, stay tuned for my upcoming article on Melbourne weekend getaways…. coming soon!

For now, give this article a pin if you enjoyed it!

There are enough Melbourne day trips to explore for weeks! Check out 13 of the best destinations to visit from melbourne, from beaches and coasts to wildlife and mountains. #melbourne #melbournedaytrips #australia #greatoceanroad #yarravalley #phillipisland #grampians #twelveapostles

 

 

September 17, 2019 0

Mt Hotham Weekend Guide – Lift Pass, Accommodation + Things to Do

Mt Hotham Weekend Guide – Lift Pass, Accommodation + Things to Do

Mt Hotham is a fantastic winter weekend getaway from Melbourne. I mean, if it’s freezing anyway, why not go up to actual snow and make the most of cold temperatures in the beautiful mountains?! That was my outlook, anyway, and I was glad that I planned an August trip up to the ‘Victorian Alps.”

Snow is most definitely not what comes to mind when you think of Australia, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the most mountainous part of the country. It’s incredibly gorgeous, and is inundated with quaint little alpine villages full of ski bums and mountain dwellers.

Mt Hotham Resort itself is a village set atop a mountain with incredible vistas and ski in ski out access to ski fields. The park has a dozen chair lifts that provide access to over 100 different runs of varying difficulties. There are lots of beautiful spots and viewpoints surrounding the main village, as well as some more smaller villages with restaurants/cafes galore, spas, hotels, and adventure areas. Of course most would come here for the snow, but there are actually loads of other amazing things to do in Mt Hotham than solely skiing!

A Guide to spending a weekend exploring one of Victoria's best alpine resorts - Mount Hotham! Mt Hotham is home to a fantastic terrain park and plenty more activities to go around, great food and drink, and even more adventures. #hotham #skiseason #mthotham

The Alpine Nature Experience in Mt Hotham, Victoria, Australia includes a showshoe walk, mulled wine around the fire, a three course traditional fondue meal, a night in an igloo under the stars, and a skidoo ride in the morning! It's a very unique experience to top off a weekend in Mt Hotham - one of Victoria's premiere ski resorts. Just 4 hours from Melbourne!

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What to Know Before Visiting Mt Hotham

When to Visit Mt Hotham

The Aussie mountains have a very short snow season – just over three months per year, maybe four depending on the season. This leaves a very slim amount of time that you can catch good snow. The best months are usually July and August, with occasional storms dumping fresh powder starting in June and into September. So if you want to catch snow, these are the times to go.

Although this Mt Hotham guide is mostly focused on winter, the region is just as spectacular in the summer! Visit in the summer months for mountain biking, trail running, hiking, and amazing views.

Hotham Weather

In winter, Mt Hotham will generally be about between the 5 and -5 degrees Celsius mark. Days can get up to 2-5, and nights can descend down to the negatives – only occasionally colder than -5. So prepare for (literally) freezing temperatures up in the snow, naturally!

The weather each day is quite unpredictable. There can be days of  snow and storms, extremely thick fog that descends over the mountaintop like a heavy blanket in the afternoon, and, usually come late August/September, some beautiful clear days where the snow glistens in the sun. The best thing I can say is to be prepared for whatever your weekend trip may bring – bring layers of clothing, goggles, AND sunglasses!

Mt Hotham Alpine resort snowy mountains victoria australia

 

Mt Hotham Accommodation

There are lots of options for accommodation in Mt Hotham  – from hotels to lodges to apartments to shared chalets.

However, it is VERY important to note that, because these properties only have a couple months a year to make all their money, it will be staggeringly expensive. This will be true most definitely if you plan to visit on a weekend.

This is the one unfortunate thing about a Mt Hotham weekend trip – it most definitely will not be cheap. Rooms fill up exceedingly quickly, and whichever are left over will be at least $700- $1200+ for one night. There are a few share-room options with bunk beds for groups, but if you want your own single room, it’s going to cost you due to limited supply and high demand.

I will list below a few main places to stay in Mt Hotham, followed by a  few other amazing options you will want to consider also:

Cloud 9 – More affordable/located in Dinner Plain – Check Rates

Zirky’s – Can go straight to the slopes from the door – Check Rates

Arlberg – centrally located and largest on the mountain – Check Rates

Alpine Nature Experience – See below!

Other options – If you find it hard to afford the options on the mountain, you can always stay in one of the towns at the foot of the mountain! Many people choose to stay in Bright, which ends up being about an hour’s drive down the Great Alpine Road from Hotham. Accommodation there will be much more reasonable, and the town is lively and beautiful as well.

snowboarding at mt hotham australia

 

Things to Do in Mt Hotham

Whether skiing or not, there’s still plenty to do!

Hotham Lift Pass + Terrain Park

To get the most obvious thing out of the way first, I assume you’ll be coming to Mount Hotham to do some form of skiing or snowboarding. Whether you’re spending half a day or three days straight on the slopes, I suggest getting a Hotham lift pass if you’re coming up here. It’s a must to experience the variety of slopes in the resort.

Get your Hotham Life Passes here – The more days you ride and the earlier you book, the better the deal! They also have discounts fo booking online and skiing mid-week.

On a good day there would be enough runs to last you most of the day in Mt Hotham. There are over 100 different runs, ranging from bunny slopes to double black diamonds. In seasons with less snow, keep in mind that some of these will be closed.

It’s a bit tough to gauge weather in a place where planning far in advance is essential,  but know that they will make snow for the main runs in high season no matter what the conditions. They have a three-lift snow guarantee.

If you have the freedom to be able to drive up after a big storm, you will be in the best place. In my situation, we planned an early weekend in August a month or so ahead of time, and there wasn’t much snow. The snow was sparse to the point of having quite a few runs closed (not that we didn’t have a great time, but we couldn’t experience absolutely everything as I like to do).

Then, about 4 days later, a MASSIVE snowstorm came through and within a week they had gotten TWO METERS of fresh powder. Talk about gutted! We still had a fab time, but it’s just unpredictable.

my hotham clouds sunset
Renting Gear in Mt Hotham

There are TONS of places for Mt Hotham Gear Rental. In  each little alpine town you will find a few ski shops, but I rented mine right from ‘Hotham Sports” ski shop at Hotham central. This is most definitely the most painless way to do it, as you can grab your gear, strap it on, and jump right onto the slopes within minutes!

Visit this link here to reserve your ski gear for Hotham at one of many approved gear rental outlets all over the mountain.

Car Chain Rental

Don’t forget to note that, in high season, it will be required to at least carry if not fit chains onto your car. The best place to do this if coming from Melbourne is Ray’s ski shop in Myrtleford; you can also rent skis here if it’s easier to get it all from one place.

alpine nature experience mt hotham bar

milky way and stars at alpine nature experience mt hotham

Alpine Nature Experience

And finally, the reason I came to Mt Hotham in the first place: the incredible Alpine Nature Experience! I somehow stumbled upon what turned out to be one of my most unique travel experiences, which was taking part in their ‘snowshoe to fondue’ and then ‘igloo to skidoo’ experiences. It all takes place at a small eco-village outside the main mountain village.

My intention to visit Mt Hotham was sealed upon learning about this. The Alpine Nature Experience starts with a 450ish meter snowshoe walk through the trees, learning bits of history about the area. After a little while you reach a tiny mountain eco village that was fully brought in and out by hand. Upon arrival, you are greeted with a steaming glass of homemade mulled wine, and invited to sit around a nice warm fire.

Arrival in the Eco-Village

At this point the bar opens (fully stocked with mulled wine, local craft beer, schnapps, different spirits, and more wine) and you are free to chat over the warm fire as the kitchen prepares for a delicious dinner.

showshoe to fondue experience mt hotham

mulled wine alpine nature experience

Snowshoe to Fondue

After a few warm drinks, you are invited into the massive teepee that is set to host dinner. And this is not just any dinner – it’s a three-course meal featuring a classic French fondue. The amazing owner, JF (Jean Francois), is a frenchman himself who relocated from the actual French alps to show visitors his newfound love in the Victorian alps.

After some delicious soup, JF teaches you all about the (proper) making of fondue. After the group pitches in to help make the fondue, it’s time for the moment we’ve all been waiting for – dipping that first piece of bread into the warm, dripping, melted cheese! An authentic fondue dinner ensues, as you drink wine by the warmth of the fireplace and share a piece of cake at the end as well.

Igloo to Skidoo

The second part of the experience is for those who dare to spend the night out in the snow – in an igloo! In the ‘igloo to skidoo’ experience, an igloo generally means one of their nice, massive, warmed tents with a clear top to view the stars.

HOWEVER, in our case, this meant, well… actual igloo. 

No, I am not kidding. They have TWO legitimate IGLOOS at the Alpine Nature Experience – full eskimo style. You must duck through a small door to enter a completely  snow-covered room – 5 or so feet  high – with a luxurious bed and side tables.

When we learned that it was possible to sleep in an actual igloo, we didn’t have to think twice. When given the opportunity to sleep in one of the most unique places you’ve ever slept, and in the only place in Australia to do so…. you most definitely don’t say no!

Night in the Igloo

After filling up to the brim with fondue, trying a classic French spirit called Genepi, and chatting away in the nice warm tipi, it was bed time. On the way to the igloo we just HAD to stop and have a little long-exposure photoshoot with some of the brightest stars I’ve ever seen.

sleeping in an igloo in australia at the mt hotham alpine nature experience

 

sleeping in an igloo in australia alpine nature experience

 

Climbing into the igloo felt like something out of a movie. It most definitely wasn’t something I thought I would be doing in my lifetime! The bed was covered with warm sleeping bags, blankets, and furs, and on the side tables were water bottles, a little light, and mats for our things. It was cozy, but it was all we needed!

The igloo had plenty of space to sit and change as we finished the last of our (many) mulled wines. Although cold at first, it warmed up quickly once we were inside, and this warmth was easily sustained by the few tonnes of insulating snow above our heads and around us! The bed was even more soft and warm, too. Before drifting off to sleep, I reached out in front of me and touched the snow roof above my head – just to make sure again that it  was real!

In the morning

Apparently these igloos tend to be completely sound-proof, because we didn’t even remotely hear the sound of the morning bell to signal breakfast time. We wandered over after 8am to find everyone up and about in the tipi, eating delicious breakfast sandwiches and drinking hot coffee from camping mugs.

We exchanged experiences from the igloo and the snow domes over a few brekky options, and had a last little wander around the beautiful grounds. There is a perfect view of the terrain park and surrounding mountains from different points in the area.

Skidoo ride

It’s not an igloo to skidoo experience without a skidoo ride! Like clockwork, our skidoo zoomed up to the camp as we were bringing our bags out of the igloo. We climbed into the back seats, and our driver took us on a looped route around the grounds. He showed us different viewpoints and told us a bit of history of the area on the way out. It was the perfect end to one of the most unique adventures I’ve done!

mt hotham dinner plain onsen spa experience

Dinner Plain

Dinner Plain is a quaint little alpine village 13 kilometers down the Great Alpine Road from Hotham Village. This is a fabulous place to look for more (potentially cheaper) accommodation options, and also a great place to visit for restaurants, a local brewery, and an Onsen spa.

Onsen Experience

The Onsen Spa in Dinner Plain is a classic option for those with sore muscles after a few days on the slopes – or those who simply want a bit of relaxation! With entry you can access a lap pool, a hot rock pool, a few different spas, a sauna, and showers.

If you want to up the ante a bit on your relaxation, you can book massages and other spa treatments, too. Again, it won’t be cheap, but there’s nothing quite like gazing out at fresh powdered snow from the warmth of a cozy spa.

SnowStuffPark Rides + Activities

If you want to see a bit more of the mountain than you can generally access, take a skidoo ride with SnowStuffPark. These guys will take you roaming out and about all over the mountains, down snow paths you didn’t know existed, to find different viewpoints and canyons inaccessible by foot or car.

They run skidoo rides for  sunset (which would be my choice, obviously) to get the best views, and also different sled tours through the back country. To have even more fun, try their tobogganing, snow scooter, or snow trampoline activities!

mt hotham furphy rail jam event

Mt Hotham Events + Competitions

No matter when you are arriving, make sure to check out whats on in Hotham for your dates. They are well known for having different kinds of events each weekend, including many ski/board competitions, races, and festivals – even in the summer!

When I was there they had the Furphy Rail Jam event, with skiers and boarders competing for the coolest rail trick right in from of the central bar. Jugs of Furphy were on special, of course!

Where to Eat+Drink in Mt Hotham

Swindler’s – Hotham Central

I wasn’t expecting much from the main bar/restaurant in Hotham Central. I expected it to be crazily expensive like everything else, but I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived and noticed $5 plates of wings, $8 poutine, and $7-8 happy hour drinks (including mulled wine of course).

Swindler’s really was a fabulous place to stop in for lunch for a beer and a cheap snack before heading out on the slopes again, and they also had more hearty  options for pizza and more. Don’t avoid the main resort area for food – it was actually not bad!

Frankie’s – By the Big D

Down on the other end of the terrain park you have Frankie’s, which is a small eatery near ‘the Big D’ bunny slope lift. Frankie’s has all you need – from breakfast sandwiches to snacks to mulled wine to their famous shakes.

Their shakes are famous because they are fully stacked ‘freak shakes’ – all different colors and piled high with cookies, lollies, and more. Definitely rich, but nothing less than an instagrammer’s paradise.

mt hotham dinner plain mountain kitchen home baked goods

mt hotham blizzard brewery beer tasting paddles

Mountain Kitchen –  Dinner Plain

When you make it over to Dinner Plain, make sure to check out Mountain Kitchen for some delicious coffee and homemade treats. They make EVERYTHING right there in their little, well, Mountain Kitchen. 😛

Try delicious coffees from massive colorful mugs, fresh baked muffins, and some savoury treats like and egg and bacon pie with their house made chutney. It’s a must!

Blizzard Brewing – Dinner Plain

It would also be silly not to stop by the local micro-brewery while in town to try all kinds of beer made right on site. Run by a friendly American man who  made the perfect getaway to the mountains, this quaint little brewery looks more like a big house with a bar area in the front, food truck in the middle, and actual brewery right there in the back.

Blizzard should have at least 10-12 different beers on tap, from IPA to lager to stout to sour to everything in between. I suggest heading in to try a beer paddle – a flight of four beers in one – to make the most of it! Make sure to grab some cans to take back with you… trust me, you’ll be happy you did!


Well, I think that’s all I can possibly say about a weekend getaway to Mt Hotham from Melbourne! Please pin this to your Pinterest to share the awesome experience of Australian snow, beautiful views, and sleeping in an actual igloo!

Disclosure: Thank you to the Alpine Nature Experience and Mt Hotham Ski Company for hosting me on many of my experiences this weekend. I can’t wait to come back!

can you hit the slopes in australia?! YES! There are many ski resorts in the great dividing range between Victoria and New South Wales where you can ski and snowboard. Here's a weekend guide to visiting Mt Hotham, one of the premiere alpine resorts in Australia.

 

 

September 10, 2019 0

Skydiving Melbourne: What to Know + Why You Should Go

Skydiving Melbourne: What to Know + Why You Should Go

Skydiving Melbourne is an adventure that I added to my bucket list as soon as I arrived in this city. With so many gorgeous viewpoints and multiple different drop zones, I knew that it would be time for me to yet again take part in – let’s be honest – probably the biggest adrenaline rush in the world. What could be more terrifying exciting than jumping out of a flying plane?!

The last time I went skydiving was eons ago, in San Diego, back when I turned 18. I figured I had to do something pretty daring for my 18th, and skydiving on the first day of being legally able was a good start. I absolutely loved the experience, but the fast pace of life and years of budget travel prevented me from attaining this special high again… for nearly 9 years!

A few months into living here, I learned about Skydive Australia’sElevate Your Courage” campaign – empowering women to face their fears by jumping out of a moving plane. I mean, what better way to prove to yourself that you can do anything than hurling yourself into the air at 15,000ft?!

I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to skydive again, to promote an awesome cause. I may be quite the daredevil generally myself, but the idea of motivating other women to do something they would ordinarily deem unattainable by skydiving Melbourne was fantastic to me.

free fall skydive over melbourne

Mid free-fall. Cute, right?!

Skydiving Melbourne: Why Go?

1. There are 3 places you can Skydive in Melbourne.

Not sure what kind of view you want from the sky? No problem. You can skydive Melbourne at:

If you’d like the city, dramatic coastlines, or rolling hills of vines, Skydive Melbourne has got you covered. Or, you can experience three completely different sides of Melbourne from a rare perspective – 15,000 feet up! Each drop zone is truly unique and showcases a different side of Victoria.

2. The Melbourne Skydive is the closest drop zone IN THE WORLD to a city.

Yep, that’s right, Skydiving Melbourne will allow you to come the closest in free fall to a city in the world. Skydive Melbourne is one of only two city skydives in the world (the other is Dubai), but this one comes quite a lot closer to the city center.

Imagine marveling at the skyscrapers while you free fall through the air much, much higher than they are? Skydiving near the city gives an entirely different perspective on what you can see below you, with a comparison point of massive buildings you may walk past on the daily. This is the ONLY place you can have that experience!

3. What better way to prove to yourself you CAN do anything?!

I really can’t think of a better way to kick yourself into gear and face your fears than jumping out of a plane… can you?! The adrenaline may run high as the plane climbs up and up, but the rush you’ll get when your feet touch the ground again is truly unlike anything else.

skydive st kilda melbourne

How about those ocean views?! 

Skydiving Melbourne: What to Know Before You Go

The whole experience is actually really chilled out and relaxed (although you may not have expected to hear that!). After checking in, you’ll be given the keys to a locker and a pair of Skydive Australia pants (and fleece/gloves if it’s cold enough, which is basically a given in Melbourne much of the year). After strapping into your harness you’ll watch an instructional video and then board a bus to the airport, where you’ll start your videos and board the plane in twos with your tandem instructor. Then, it’s go time!

General important info to know before skydiving Melbourne:

What do I wear?!

I was worried about this one, too! Just comfy clothes will do – loose fitting are best, likely with running shoes on the bottom. If it’s winter, bundle up a bit more!

Where can I put my stuff?

They have lockers at Skydive Melbourne that you can place all your belongings into before you leave. Safe and sound!

What am I allowed to bring?

Literally – nothing. You must leave all your belongings in the lockers. Can you imagine if your phone fell out of a pocked mid-air? Nooo, thank you. That’s why purchasing the photo/video package is the best idea to preserve some memories from your jump!

Which airport do you take off from?

You take off from Moorabbin airport, which is just down the coast about 30-40 minutes from St Kilda. It’s a tiny little airport with mostly private aviation groups. It only takes a few minutes to get back over St. Kilda, but you’ll spend more time getting up to 15,000 ft.

What about the weather?

If you know Melbourne, you know the weather is COMPLETELY unpredictable. Wind and rain will delay takeoffs, but the team does a great job fitting as many jumps in as they can when the weather is good. Instructors can do up to 7-8 jumps in a day in the high season!

kimmie conner skydive Melbourne CBD in the background

Well if that isn’t the face of pure happiness?

My Experience Skydiving in Melbourne:

So after confirming my jump, it finally actually hit me that morning that I was about to jump out of a plane…. Oh god. I mean, even as someone who loves to push the limits of adventurousness, there’s always that tiny little voice of normalcy in the back of your head. But obviously, I was going to elevate my courage and do the damn thing!

Making sure not to go out the night before (can you even imagine skydiving on a hangover?!), I woke up early and got ready… only to realize the wind had delayed any takeoffs for that morning.

Typical Melbourne. 

Luckily for us it was short lived, and I showed up just an hour later than planned. There were some fluffy white clouds in the sunny sky, and there really couldn’t have been a better day for it.

The build-up felt like forever, and my nerves really made themselves known as we climbed higher and higher into the sky. I’d day it was about half anxiety and half excitement, but what else would you expect when planning to hurl yourself out of a plane?! The whole group of 7 or so guests + instructors smiled for their respective cameras at regular intervals between marveling at the gorgeous coastline view of Melbourne.

After a short delay, we had finally reached our optimal height… it was go time. Before any of us could speak now or forever hold our peace, the rolling door was flung up, and the first skydiver had his feet right off over the edge… and then he had disappeared.

From the first jump it was only about ten seconds between, and before I know it I was being scooted over to the edge. “Holy sh*t holy sh*t holy sh*t” was going on in my brain, but I didn’t have a chance to comprehend anything before my feet were over the edge too. My goggles were on; I was holding the straps like i was supposed to, and milliseconds later my instructor Kez and I flung into a head-first tumble out into the open air.

The Free Fall

I was supposed to keep my head back, but I couldn’t help but absolutely gape at the incredible views from a state of free-fall. An airy scream was coming out of my lungs before I got the chance to acknowledge it, and I looked side to side in a wide-eyed and adrenaline-fueled frenzy. Kez had to non-verbally remind me to keep my head back and then to put my arms out (which were basically the two things we needed to remember (doh), but all flew out the window the same time I did…. get it? 😛 )

I couldn’t contain my exhilaration at I screamed “YAAAAHHHHSS” at the top of my lungs, catching glimpses of my very favorite city skyline from a vantage point you couldn’t possibly attain any other way.

After 2.5 seconds nearly 50 seconds, I felt the big tug of the parachute, and a big high-five from Kez. We hadn’t died! We grabbed a few more awesome shots from the Go Pro on his wrist, pointed out various landmarks throughout the city (including Luna Park), spun in a few circles, and I wiggled my feet, watching the ground get nearer with thousands of feet of nothingness between them and it.

We looped in to landing, and gave one final high five as I shouted praise to the entire experience. I was on SUCH a high – such a massive adrenaline rush that had me feeling awesome for the rest of the day.

As I walked back to pick up my stuff, I gazed up into the clouds and saw the final few parachutes drifting down the the landing site. I had never felt so…. normal... just being on the boring old ground. Walking around just doesn’t seem the same anymore once you have flown through the clouds. This was a feeling I’d never had before – the fact that I could long for more than what gravity limited me to in the everyday.

Skydiving gave me a new perspective in both a literal and mental way, a new level of adventurous high, and to this day has me longing to try it again. It is the perfect way to face your fears, and let me warn you – it can get addictive.

Nest step in life: completing a solo skydiving course. I am soooooo serious – watch this space! 😀

July 31, 2019

Things to do in Ballarat: A Ballarat Travel Guide

Things to do in Ballarat: A Ballarat Travel Guide

During an exciting winter weekend trip this year, Ballarat really did prove to be a worthwhile travel destination in Victoria. There are so many things to do in Ballarat, and it’s only just over an hour’s journey from Melbourne. This Ballarat travel guide will outline some amazing places I got to experience, with even more possibility in the surrounding areas as well.

When I heard about the Ballarat Winter Festival, I knew that I had to plan a weekend trip from Melbourne. I may have hung up my clothes from attending tons of amazing Aussie music festivals over the summer, but the colder winter months meant planning some more cozy getaways – learning some history, exploring more nature, and discovering gems in regional Victoria.

To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect when planning my visit to Ballarat. I usually tend to be more of a beaches + nature person (but let’s be honest, I’ll explore just about anything). But when I learned about all the rich history out here and fun things to do in Ballarat in any season, I knew I had to check it out.

Visit Ballarat was able to help me with the absolute perfect weekend itinerary. It included LOTS of delicious and trendy eateries (more than I knew existed out here!), some awesome wintertime activities as part of the Ballarat Winter Festival, wildlife, gorgeous views, and more. As soon as we checked into our luxurious apartment looking out over Lake Wendouree, I knew I was going to be sold on this city… and with our first delicious meal, it was sealed!

A Complete Ballarat Travel Guide to Victoria's largest inland city! Complete with all the things to do in Ballarat (including in winter) - including where to eat and drink, where to stay, where to walk, museums to visit, viewpoints to appreciate, and all sorts of historical places, too!

Things to do in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia - a complete Ballarat travel guide! Everything from nature to food/drink to history to viewpoints to accommodation to wildlife to special events. This guide has you covered!

Hey! This guide to all the best things to do in Ballarat is pretty long. Why not pin it to your Pinterest boards to save for later?

Things to Do in Ballarat

First of all, let’s get to all the adventurous, historic, and magical things to do in Ballarat. I may have visited in winter, but if I learned anything from their extremely involved tourism board, it’s that they won’t leave a single season without something exciting going on. I’ll start with general things to do, then tell you all about how amazing it is especially in winter.

Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill is perhaps the most notable of the things to do in Ballarat – it’s a must-do for all ages! This replica gold rush town has actually been constructed from real drawings/paintings of artists who lived in Ballrat during the gold rush that began in the 1850’s. They have done a fantastic job recreating it!

Sovereign Hill has some great accommodation options that look over the old town, and the buildings have recreated the same ones that would have been there in the 1800’s. There are eateries, post offices, gift shops, craft markets, plumbers, general stores, and more! You can even  explore an old mine!  If that’s not looking back into history, I don’t know what is. Walking around Sovereign Hill really makes it feel like you’ve stepped back in time, whether you’re a small child or a full-on adult (adults can have fun, too!).

sovereign hill things to do in ballarat sunset christmas in july

Ballarat Gold Mine Tour

Once inside Sovereign Hill, you can also tour a real Ballarat Gold Mine. Venture underneath the ground to explore the passageways of an old gold mine, similarly reimagined to look as it would have while it was in use. You can take a self-guided tour or also a few different tours that trace the experiences of real people in the mines long ago.

The Red Hill mine at Sovereign Hill may be open to visitors, but believe it or not, there’s actually a REAL mine not too far away. The Ballarat Gold Mine can be found a few kilometers away, within a protected industrial area. There are actually over 5km of underground mine tunnels underneath the city, but you’ll have to be very special to find your way in there. I would just stick with the Ballarat gold mine tour at Sovereign Hill if I were you!

ballarat sovereign hill gold museum

View from outside the Gold Museum

Gold Museum

Before you visit Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, you’ll definitely want to check out the Gold Museum. I say ‘before’ because the Gold Museum gives you a lot of the background facts and information that will help you understand different parts of the replica town.

The Gold Museum is actually situated atop a hilltop point that was actually once one of the most prolific areas to mine gold in the area (and there’s not a bad view, either!). Inside you’ll learn all about different sizes of gold nuggets found in the area, what gold was/is used for, history about the gold rush and massive immigration to the area, and even see the pictures that Sovereign Hill was created from.

Coming from someone who is sometimes iffy about museums, this one was really fascinating. You really get to learn all about the event that made Melbourne/Victoria boom to an international and multicultural city, and there are tons of fun facts!

feeding kangaroo or wallaby ballarat wildlife park winter

Feeding a mumma with a baby in her pouch!

koala cuddle ballarat wildlife park things to do in ballarat australia

A KOALA CUDDLE!! If that’s not the cutest thing in the world, I don’t know what is.

Ballarat Wildlife Park

Next, the Ballarat Wildlife Park is another of the must-do things to do in Ballarat. This park isn’t the same as your other, run-of-the-mill wildlife parks where you can gaze at kangaroos behind a fence. I mean, some of the animals are behind fences (and reasonably, too… no thanks, crocodile), but here dozens of kangaroos, wallabies, and emus run completely free.

You can wander through lots of different types of animals – reptiles, mammals, and even some birds (including penguins of course!) – but the real allure of this park is getting to pat and feed animals in the field.

For a small fee you can bring kangaroo feed with you, and let kangaroo mums and baby joeys eat straight from your hand! The animals are very tame here and enjoy being fed and patted, which, to someone like me from a different country, was VERY exciting! I made loads of new marsupial friends and even imitated a few emu before they ran away from me trying to peck a hole in the fence. Oh well.

This was a highlight of my day for sure, and getting to see animals so different than what I am used to will never get old during my time in Australia!

ballarat lake wendouree rowing club

One of many rowing clubs along Lake Wendouree

Lake Wendouree

Lake Wendouree is a fairly large lake just outside the Ballarat CBD. This lake is amazing for going on walks/runs (it’s about 6k round trip) and also plays host to the city’s many rowing clubs.

On any morning lots of rowing boats cut their way across the water, dozens of people run and walk the perimeter, and even more look on from waterside restaurants. The lake is bordered with leafy green trees and plenty of places to relax in the sun. This Lake provides a lovely little escape from an otherwise landlocked town, and is a mustt to at least check out when deciding on the best things to do in Ballarat.

Ballarat Botanical Gardens

On the opposite side of Lake Wendouree from the city, you’ll find the beautiful Ballarat Botanic Gardens. These gardens hold tons of different kinds of events, and are one of Australia’s most amazing cool climate gardens.

Wander through all the gorgeous trees, flowers, marble statues, and even greenhouses on a nice sunny day. Why not add it into your adventure around Lake Wendouree?

ballarat CBD

 

Ballarat CBD

Well you can’t leave our the city center when naming things to do in Ballarat now, can you? Of course, Ballarat’s city center deserves an exploration of its own. There are quite a few historic buildings you can tour, namely the Town Hall (1860’s), the Regent Threatre (1930’s) and more along  the main street, Sturt.

Sturt is a massive central street, separated by a leafy green area of grass and trees. It’s lined with mostly historic buildings, but sprinkled with a bit of more modern ones as well. This area is also home to tons of the city’s best eateries, museums, bars, and more.

Art Gallery of Ballarat

The Art Gallery of Ballarat is just off Sturt Street. It is best known for hosting regional art, and better yet, being the biggest and oldest art museum in Australia to do so! How’s that for a claim to fame?

You can find exhibitions from throughout the history of Australian art within this heritage-listed museum, from contemporary, to photography, to sculpture, to Victorian. Want to know the best part? It’s free!

Eureka Center

The Eureka Center is another historic center located on the site of one of Australia’s most defining rebellions – the Eureka stockade.  I don’t want to bore you so I’ll keep this short – but they say the Eureka Stockade was the foundation of moderns Australian democracy.

Why? Because gold miners started a rebellion in 1854 to fight to be given rights to vote, own land, and pay less crippling mining fees. They flew a special flag rather than the Victorian flag, which they named called the Eureka Flag. Although this rebellion was a huge failure (the military flattened it – killed more than 20 people in the first 30 mins), they were given the rights they wanted in the end when the news of a big rebellion got back to the UK.

Kept that nice and short and sweet now, didn’t I?! That’s quite impressive for a tour guide, if you ask me! Anyway – this center is on the site of that rebellion. It has tons of info about it and the area, and houses the original Eureka Flag, which you will see absolutely everywhere in Ballarat. No, like EVERYWHERE. Honestly, keep your eyes out – you’ll see what I mean.

mt buninyong view - things to do in Ballarat

Can you see the rainstorm approaching in the distance?!

Mount Buninyong

Mount Buninyong is another towering mountain (okay, let’s me honest – it’s more of a medium-sized hill) that is visible from around Ballarat. If you take the winding road up to the top, you’ll find a massive tower with stairs all the way to a platform up at the top. It’s the perfect amount taller than the hilltop trees, giving you panoramic views around the gorgeous countryside.

You can nearly see to the city, but what will be most impressive here is the view of surrounding farmland- green fields, paddocks, and bushland. Just don’t get caught in a rainstorm like we did! Either way, I love a good viewpoint, so this adventure was a highlight of all the things to do in Ballarat.

kryal castle things to do in ballarat

 

Kryal Castle

Ohhh, Kryal Castle. Although fairly dated, it will always be a staple of Ballarat. Located at the base of the big hill you can see from the city center (aka, like a 10 minute drive), Kryal Castle is a replicated medieval castle. Like, and actual castle, with big grey stone walls, towers, a moat, and all.

It’s complete with knights, dragons, rides, archery, pony rides, jester performances, and even medieval jousting shows! A highlight is watching horses gallop against each other through the sandy arena, surrounded by cheering fans. Of course this place is best suited for children, but it you can let that inner child free everyone will have fun.

woowookarung regional park Ballarat

Enjoying my Winter Wonderlights ginerbread man lollipop during my bush walk in the Woowookarung regional park!

Woowookarung Regional Park Viewpoint

This little park is a bit hard to come by, but once you get to the right part, the view is amazing! Woowookarung Regional park is on an elevated bit of bush just outside the city. The best scenic lookout (visible here on Google Maps for clarity) has a fantastic view of the city and also some great bushwalking trails.

You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see a few picnic tables just off the road, and can pick out some buildings from the city in the distance!

ballarat winter festival sovereign hill snow

Things to Do in Ballarat in Winter – Ballarat Winter Festival

Okay, so here we go with the specific things to do in Ballarat in Winter. They throw an absolutely MAGICAL ‘Christmas in July,’ which to my delight is actually a huge thing down here in Australia.

Clearly, the coldest month of July warrants the celebration of a more ‘stereotypical’ Christmas (northern hemisphere-style) full of snow, mulled wine, and Christmas sweaters. I mean, it makes sense when a classic Aussie Christmas includes barbecuing, cricket, and beach time in the sun!

Winter Wonderlights Festival at Sovereign Hill

So, I’ve already told you about how incredible Sovereign Hill is as a replica Gold Rush Town. Now, picture this: make the temperature nice and cold, and add in heaps of traditionally dressed villagers, bands, and processions. Picture amazing color-changing bright lights and scenes projected onto each and every building to music, and add in TONS of fake snow (it was really bubbles, but shhh). Picture EVERYTHING lit up, with workshops like arts and crafts and gold panning going on throughout the tiny town overlooking the city.

Sound magical? Yep, thats because IT WAS. I felt more Christmas spirit here than I have in quite a few years of warm Christmases…. and IT WAS JULY.

snowglobe kimmie conner ballrat winter wonderlights

sovereign hill winter wonderlights festival things to do in ballarat redcoat band

 

ice skating things to do in ballarat winter festival

I’m great at ice skating, I swear! 😛 

 

Ice Skating

Christmastime isn’t complete without ice skating, is it? I most certainly don’t think so, and if you agree with me you can visit the ice skating rink as part of the Ballarat Winter Festival. It’s conveniently located smack-dab in the city center, between the mall and the Town Hall.

It’s perfectly mixed in with a delicious brekky in the city and a few other CBD activities. There are even little penguin sleds for the little ones who may not be the most adept at ice skating quite yet 😉

Design Exchange Winter Market

The Design Exchange is yet another special event on at the Ballarat Winter Festival. This market is held in yet another open historic building, and will showcase the best of the artisan crafts that Ballarat is so well-known for. You can find artists of all kinds showcasing their handmade items and innovative design. In true Ballarat fashion, you can also expect certain showcases and workshops lead by the artists themselves.

Getting Around Ballarat

Getting around Ballarat is fairly easy, whether you have your own car or not. There are actually plenty of ubers around town if you’d like a quick car hire, or driving your own car around is fairly simple with plenty of parking around. If not, the city center is quite quaint and small and very possible to walk around on foot, too!

Where to Drink/Eat in Ballarat

Oh, there are SO many amazing, trendy, delicious places to eat in Ballarat – I was blown away! I didn’t think of this city as a foodie’s paradise before, but I surely do now. I wouldn’t even be able to decide on our favorite meal of the weekend, so I’ll leave you to see what you think from the mouth-watering photos from the five incredible eateries that we went to below.

oysters and cocktails moon and mountain

moon and mountain where to eat in ballarat DIY pork belly spring rolls

Moon & Mountain

We tried Moon & Mountain as soon as we arrived in Ballarat after driving from Melbourne, and oh what a warm welcome it was! This quaint little restaurant would best be labeled as ‘asian fusion,’ with asian-inspired dishes with a well-presented and Aussie twist.

I was first blown away by a few asian-inspired cocktails on the list, and we were quickly drawn to the ‘full moon’ tasting platter menu for two. This included seven or so different small courses from various facets of the menu, including chilli oysters, DIY pork belly spring rolls, salmon sashimi, chicken curry, and more. I mean… how could we not?!

webster's market and cafe breakfast ballarat

webster's market and cafe ballarat where to eat

Webster’s Market & Cafe

On the first morning of our weekend trip to Ballarat, we were welcomed warmly by Webster’s Market & Cafe down a quaint residential street near Lake Wendouree. Our lives were immediately completed by a breakfast tasting board (chia parfait, smashed avo + smoked salmon and eggs, home made jam on toast) and a chorizo egg + toast dish.

I reckon all good couples should order two dishes and split them both, so that’s exactly what we did (and always do)! It’s the way to try more things, if you ask me. We downed our delicious coffee and these scrumptios breakfast dishes by a green and leafy plant wall inside the warm restaurant. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day (or, should I say brunch because I rarely wake up in time…), and this was a great wake-up.

forge pizzeria charcuterie board - where to eat in ballarat

Can I finish all of this?! 

Forge Pizzeria

Although we were basically still full from brekky, when lunch time rolled around we knew we had to make room to try a new place because we only had so much time to do  eat all the things to do  eat in Ballarat. It was quickly becoming obvious that we would hardly scratch the surface! But we were going to have a damn good try.

At lunchtime we popped into the Forge Pizzeria – a large, brick, warehouse-style pizzeria right on the main cross street. It had a cozy and rustic vibe to match an old newspaper-style menu with just as much fun stories and info as there were items on the menu.

We started with a – you guessed it – tasting platter of a charcuterie board. Can you sense a common theme here?! 😛 Our jaws hit the floor when it came out, too – it was piled high with herbed flatbread and, like, a million different styles of meat. Well maybe realistically about 7 or 8, but who’s counting here?! We didn’t have time for that when sifting through prosciutto, chorizo, salami, and a few other delicious and spicy things I forgot the name of.

Although already stuffed, we ordered a pumpkin and feta pizza with two Aperol spritz’s to wash it down (obviously). We nearly had to roll each other out of the restaurant after this one, but luckily we were headed for a packed night at the Winter Wonderlights festival afterwards.

the pub with two names. the PWTN ballarat steak

The Pub with Two Names

This one came after our fun night at Sovereign Hill, so somehow we were actually hungry again! We made our way back into town to check out The Pub with Two Names, better known as The PWTN (which is how you’ll find it on maps and social media).

This was yet another lively yet cozy venue, with a bit of a twist on classic pub food. We tried croquettes and a risotto, and had a bit of a splash out on their steak when we heard it was delicious. The rumors were true – and we had officially eater FAR too much in one day but were oh-so-happily full! Make sure to try their desserts at the end too – I’m not usually a dessert person but their home-baked treats were to die for! 

yellow espresso ballarat

mushroom toast ballarat

Yellow Espresso

Ah, our last morning meal for out Ballarat weekend trip. It had to be Yellow Espresso – recommended to be both by Visit Ballarat and a few local friends! This one is right on Sturt street, with a trendy and leafy restaurant and tables out on the street for warmer days.

Yellow espresso was another delish and classic Aussie breakfast meal. After much deliberation we settles on the Eggs Benedict and Truffle egg toast, with a tumeric latte and a flat white. It was amazing, of course. I feel like there would have been no way to go wrong on this menu, though – a perfect start to the day!

BallaratExports-5

Where to Drink in Ballarat

The Lost Ones Basement Bar

This is an awesome 1920’s style bar just off of Sturt Street. Come in here for an array of classic cocktails in what I can best describe as a speakeasy vibe. It’s definitely one of the trendier bars in town! If you come in the day, there’s also an art gallery upstairs that you can check out, drink in hand.

Hop Temple

Hope temple is also right in the Ballarat CBD. As its name suggests, it truly is the temple of hops – aka TONS of fantastic beer! They have a lot on offer, both of local and national beers. My best recommendation is to get there early on a weekend to make sure there will be a space for you to sit, and to try ordering the beer flights so you can try a few different ones.

lake wndouree luxury apartments

Where to Stay in Ballarat

Lake Wendouree Luxury Apartments

For the perfect balance between proximity to the city and some gorgeous nature, we stayed in Lake Wendouree Luxury Apartments. From our top corner room we woke up to a sunrise over the lake, which despite the cold was still inviting enough to coax us out for a morning walk.

These two-bedroom apartments are decked out with all the trimmings – fluffy blankets, comfy couches, books and interesting trinkets, TV’s in each room, full kitchen with all your coffee and tea needs, and pristine stocked bathrooms. We truly didn’t want to leave this warm haven of an apartment – can we stay forever next time, please?!

places to see outside ballarat

Places to Visit Outside Ballarat

Making a weekend trip to Ballarat from Melbourne, or anywhere else for that matter? Make sure to check out the amazing things to do around Ballarat, too. There are some awesome areas of nature, mountains, and countryside outside the city that warrant a visit just as much. Here are a few ideas!

Pyrenees Wine Region + Mountains

While it may be a bit different than the European mountain range of the same name, the Victorian Pyrenees are worthy of a visit just the same – both for the outdoor adventurers AND the wine lovers!

The Pyrenees mountains are a southern section of the Great Dividing Range, and their climate lends them well to be a fantastic wine region of Victoria. Dozens of family-owned wineries sprawl out through the scenic rolling hills of the region, making it a fantastic destination for views and delicious wine. There are over 20 wineries that will often host events and tastings for the ones who venture out into rural Victoria in search of hidden gems.

For the hikers, check out some amazing hiking trails in the area. For the advanced ones, there’s actually a full-day 24km Pyrenees Endurance Walk that touches on lots of gorgeous areas. For people in search of a quicker hike, check out the Ebling Track Walks or the Sugarloaf Track walk, too.

Tuki Trout Farm

While it miiiight not sound the most appealing, this place is much more than a trout farm, and more of a rustic and luxurious location where you can literally catch your own food and eat it moments later.

The Tuki Trout Farm outside Ballarat is home to luxurious, self-contained accommodation, a fantastic restaurant, and quite a lot of trout who are sadly awaiting their last fate as someone’s lunch. The views from the property are bar-none, and you can watch the soft golden sunset  over fields of distant sheep, from your balcony overlooking the pond. Next getaway? I think: yes.

 

July 25, 2019

Melbourne’s Pitch Music Festival: A Complete Review-Guide

Melbourne’s Pitch Music Festival: A Complete Review-Guide

March 2019 was the third edition of one of the most incredible emerging music festivals in the Melbourne area – Pitch Music and Arts Festival. Pitch Music Festival honestly had one of the best lineups I have ever seen, especially in Australia, and is clearly at the forefront of the country’s house and techno scene.

Located out in the remote Victorian bushland with the incredible backdrop of mountains in Grampians National Park, Pitch is surely one of the most scenic bush doofs in Australia. Labor Day weekend in Australia (second weekend in March) also usually has quite a temperate climate, making for the perfect settings for a fantastic music festival.

Hosting over 7,000 attendees over four days, Pitch keeps a minimalistic and refined vibe across a tree-dotted landscape, with quite a few extra activities and food/drink to accompany the main event of house and techno. This Pitch Music Festival Review will go into all aspects of the festival such as the festival location, crowd, fashion, activities, security, weather, timings, and more – designed for those who have been to look back at their weekend, and for anyone who wants to go in the future to know all they need to know before they go.

But First: Headed to Any Other Festivals in Australia? Check Out My Review-Guides:
pitch festival australia

 

Pitch Festival Location/Venue

Pitch Music Festival is held in the bushland outside Moyston in Victoria, Australia. The festival venue backs right up to the outer mountain peaks of Grampians National Park, which are absolutely beautiful and glisten in the golden afternoon light. Moyston is about 2.5-3 hours from Melbourne – but the drive will be worth it when you see the beautiful location.

The venue is quite flat and is scattered generously with massive leafy trees which provide ample shade both within the venue and in the campgrounds (which is good to remember when setting up your tent!). Walking from the end of the Resident Advisor stage (farthest south) to the end of the Pitch Black Stage (farthest north) wouldn’t be much more than 15 minutes, with the third (Pitch Black) stage right in the middle of the two. So, basically, the venue was nice, small, and manageable. It was easy to walk from stage to stage (and even back again), and also manageable to walk back to the campgrounds multiple times a day to regroup.

One thing to keep in mind is that the venue is extremely dusty due to the dryness of the dirt on the grounds, so it’s also important to bring something to cover your face as well. They had the water truck driving around and wetting the grounds, but it can only do so much!

There were three main stages at Pitch Music Festival:

Pitch black stage pitch music festival

Pitch Black/Boiler Room Stage

resident advisor stage pitch music and arts

Resident Advisor Stage

Pitch One Stage

The Pitch One Stage was essentially considered the ‘main stage’ of Pitch Music Festival. It was a big stage setup in front of white blocks, upon which amazing visuals were projected come nightfall. Pitch One was shaded by very plain black shade sails, but the passing clouds and jutting mountain peaks actually looked really beautiful behind them.

Resident Advisor Stage

The RA stage was a big red ribbed cube stage with a massive range of music played. Most of the music that had any live elements was held at the RA stage, but some of the hardest techno was held here as well. It was a good mixture of great quality house and techno.

Pitch Black Stage/Boiler Room Stage

The unique ‘Pitch Black’ stage held a live streamed Boiler Room event on the Friday evening of Pitch Music Festival, hence being called the Boiler Room Stage on that day. This stage was essentially a big rectangle raised around a stage with a downstairs platform and an upstairs platform. There was a thin film of tarp around the stage, giving it a transparent appearance that looked amazing against the strobes and lasers in the night time. They streamed four boiler room sets from here – see if you can spot me!

Pitch Pavilion/Reinvigoration Centre

The ‘Pitch Pavilion’ was a lineup of interesting activities and workshops held at the festival alongside the music. There was yoga held each morning near the market area, and interesting performances, sound journeys, and activities held inside the cylindrical Reinvigoration Center. This was a place to come, take off your shoes, and relax in reclined chairs looking at interesting artistic interpretations on a screen to music nor take part in immersive activities.

pitch music festival crowd

Pitch Festival Crowd

The Crowd at Pitch Music Festival was quite mixed. I’d say that nearly everyone was either Australian or living in Australia (many UK/Irish/working holiday makers) with a few international visitors drawn in from the amazing lineup. Most people came from Melbourne for the festival, however many traveled there from different places in Australia.

The crowd at Pitch was not the most conscious crowd I’ve seen at a music festival. You can often tell the respect level of a crowd by the amount of rubbish they leave behind at stages and how well they can clean up after themselves; I would say there were tons of attendees at Pitch that did more than their part cleaning up trash from themselves and others, but also many who were quite careless. This could be attributed to the fact that it may be be one of the first festivals many people at Pitch had attended, or may be new to the doof/festival scene.

For the most part people were lovely and nice, spreading good vibes all around. I really didn’t meet any d*ckheads at the festival, which is always a plus! Most people were nice and open and there to enjoy the music. People generally handled themselves and took care of each other, save a few instances.

bubble wand girl blowing bubbles pitch music festival

pitch music festival smile girl fun

Vibe

There were good vibes all around at Pitch! Many people did attend for the mere reason of having a good party, but there were also large portions of the crowd who truly enjoyed the music and cared about the amazing sets going on around the venue. There was an air of fun and silliness going through the venue and floating between the leafy trees, people, and stages all the way to the lovely backdrop of mountains. People were having fun dressing up in crazy outfits, letting their freak flags fly, and letting loose at Pitch, and it created a great atmosphere to meet people and have a good boogie.

I think the vibe and identity of Pitch Music Festival is still developing, but they have done extremely well to get it to where it is after a mere three years. I was a bit disappointed that the opening ceremony seemed to have been cancelled, only to learn that it had been moved two hours back in the schedule causing me to miss the whole thing (after waiting an hour and a half). A bigger focus on art and tie-ins to indigenous tribes via a timely and well-promoted opening ceremony would do wonders.

 

pitch music festival art hammock structure

Atmosphere/Decorations

Pitch is technically called ‘Pitch Music and Arts’ festival, and has this handle on all of its social media as it is committed to showcasing both music and, well, art. Throughout the venue Pitch displayed different art installations, many of which were minimalistic and interesting. The map details five different ‘artworks’ that attendees could check out between stages.

All in all I think the atmosphere of Pitch pretty much perfectly paralleled the minimalistic and monochrome quality of their website and promotional videos. The stages and posters all followed the same color scheme of mostly white, black, and red, and really did match the branding that they had set for themselves online.

However, to be honest, the art was very lacking – and all the punters knew (and joked about) this. The installations were comprised of a loosely constructed hammock temple, some large silver (goon sack looking) bags which were removed after the first day because people kept jumping on them, a really sad looking fake stone fountain on a few pads of grass and enclosed by wood and clear panels, five or six tall LCD screens that played different visuals throughout the day (which were actually really cool), and another rather sad looking circular structure of two rings of clear rubber curtain strips, with a light in the middle.

If I’m being honest, I shouldn’t be able to list every single one of the art installations of an arts festival in one paragraph.  But I also think I am preaching to the choir here because I think myself, the other festival-goers, and the organizers of Pitch all know this deep down. I am sure they will continue to improve and curate their art selection and installations as they scale the festival up over the coming years. They can only get better from here. 😛

david august pitch festival

recondite pitch festival melbourne

David August + Recondite doing their thing

Lineup/Music/Artists

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the lineup of Pitch Music Festival was one of the best and deepest I have ever seen and the best house and techno lineup in Australia hands down. I started to drool when they first dropped the lineup as it was comprised of literally all my favorite artists at one time, including many I had not even seen before but had been wanting to see for years.

The Pitch festival lineup encompassed tons of local/Australian talent alongside an unbeatable international roster as well – all of course generally within the realm of house and techno. Certain days/times of Pitch were impossible to decide which stage to go to/stay at, because all of the artists were that good. The Boiler Room stage added another amazingly exclusive and high-brow element to the festival, as myself and I’m sure many others have always dreamed of attending a live Boiler Room taping.

This year’s lineup included but is not limited to (in no particular order either): Denis Sulta, Mall Grab, Oliver Huntemann, Job Jobse, Monolink, David August, Ame b2b Dixon (for 6 hours!), Four Tet, Palms Trax, Ross from Friends, 16 Bit Lolitas, Recondite, Tourist, Roman Flugel, Perc, Sven Vath, Avalon Emerson, The Drifter, Dasha Rush, Charlotte de Witte, Daniel Avery, Optimo, Merve, and Oliver Schories. See – pretty incredible.

Pitch has pulled in just as impressive a lineup in each year of its existence, and there’s no reason to doubt that they’ll continue to do this as they get even bigger. So whether there’s art, yoga, etc or not – the lineup will ALWAYS be a no-brainer to come to Pitch Music Festival. It’s almost as if they should just leave it at that! 😉

camping review pitch festival

Morning vibes at the campsite

Pitch Festival Camping

The camping area at Pitch Music & Arts was just outside two main entrances to the festival venue, sort-of wrapped in a lopsided semicircle around the venue. The farthest campsite wouldn’t ave been much more than a 10-15 minute walk to the venue entrance (maybe 20 if you camped out in the sticks); it was very manageable and fairly small, meaning that it was very easy to get around.

The campground was scattered with really large, thick trees that provided lots and lots of shade to those who were lucky enough to camp under them. I beelined straight to a lower-hanging tree to camp, and I was unbelievably glad I did when the sun got too hot a few of the mornings but I was still able to sleep under the shade of my tree.

The camping area is a total free-for-all without any direction or rules as to where you could or couldn’t camp. Many of the shaded areas were snapped up early, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own shade/gazebo to create even more.

There were a few composting toilet blocks throughout the campgrounds, but not nearly enough in my opinion. Lines often got quite long, leading many to use the trunks of said massive trees to relieve themselves, but the lines always moved fast enough. See below for more info on toilets and weather conditions.

Pitch Festival Glamping

There was a sectioned-off Glamping area at Pitch Festival with massive teepees and pre-set tents. I will never understand the high prices of Glamping at Australian Music Festivals, but the prices started at $325 extra per person for a 10-person tipi, and had options for canvas tents or tipis for different numbers of people. There was an 8 person tipi ($350pp), 6 person tipi ($375pp), and a 4 person tipi ($400pp), and they also had ‘ High Pitch’ and ‘Low Pitch’ bell tent options, with similar pricing for 2, 3, and 4 persons. The super fancy ‘Luna Pitch’ Bell tent rang in at a hefty $750pp for two people. It did however have ALL the trimmings – power, memory foam mattress, couch, fan, lights, water, rug, tables, mirror, clothes rack, and more.

Camping Amenities

Because the venue was fairly small, all the festival amenities were also the camping amenities – it was easy enough to walk into the festival venue to get anything you needed. The camping area was close enough to just use the festival market stalls, info areas, bars, and food stalls. There were a few areas of course of toilets, ‘helper hubs,’ drinking water, and showers within the campgrounds, but most of the festival amenities were concentrated within the actualy festival venue.

rejuvenation station pitch music festival

poof doof pitch music festival

Rejuvenation Station + Poof Doof 

Festival Amenities – Other Stuff to Do

Pitch was one of the only Australian ‘doofs’ that really didn’t even try to have a yoga tent, art gallery, or activity area. It was more focused on music. There was a morning yoga class every day, but not many people knew about it and it was held out in the open near the food stalls. The only real activity center was the white ‘rejuvenation center’ tent, which was still an awesome space:

Rejuvenation Center

This was one of the only interactive structures besides the stages. The Rejuvenation Center was full of soft sand and reclining day beds, and you had to take your shoes off to come inside (which kept it extra zen!). As I mentioned above, they had different activities and screenings of artistic/interesting films to music, some meditation sessions, other activities and art sessions, tarot, spiritual sessions such as affirmations, and other unique sessions lead by thought leaders.

Market Stalls

Pitch Music Festival had a fairly massive circus tent that held all of the festival’s market stalls. They had everything you could possibly need for a doof and more – from artisan jewelry to steampunk fashion to glittery leotards to accessories like hats, fans, sunglasses, and eve dress-up.

Poof Doof Event

Poof Doof, one of the best gay/drag clubs in Melbourne, put on an event all day on the Saturday of Pitch. They pulled up a stage on a truck and served mimosas and a full dose of drag queen sass along with great music for their epic show. I’ve seen them at quite a few Melbourne festivals now, and I won’t hesitate to say that they throw some of the best parties of the festival! They had a full crowd all day and some of the funniest drag performances I have seen – not to be missed!

poof doof pitch fesival

Roller Disco

Inside the market stalls tent they actually had a ROLLER DISCO! How epic is that?! If you ever needed a break from dancing to music, you could always go and roller skate to some instead.

Movie Tent

There was a tent just by the general store (outside the main entrance) that projected movies onto a big wall. I walked by one night and saw a few dozen people watching David Attenborough in the early hours of the morning – if that’s not a great end to the night, I don’t know what is!

General Store

There were also a few General Stores on site near the entrances with extra toiletries, camping supplies, snacks, and drinks in case you run out of anything.

pitch art installations pitch festival victoria

Transportation/Hotels/Parking – Getting to Pitch Music Festival

Most people going to Pitch Music Festival either drove their own car, rented a private charter bus for their group of friends, took public transport to the closest town/a  shuttle, or took the official Pitch Charter busses.

The official charter busses were about $65 round trip to the festival from Southern Cross Station (about 3 hours), and they had plenty of times to choose from to go there/back on Friday/Saturday and Monday/Tuesday. They had multiple busses for popular time slots, and were fairly organized and almost punctual… which is all you could ask for, really! People who rented out a charter bus for their group would pay a large range of prices depending on the company and number of people. You can also take public transport to Ararat train station and jump on the Pitch shuttle bus from there for a cheaper way to get to the festival. You can also take a taxi to the venue from Ararat.

People driving to Pitch Music Festival would have had a bit of a quicker trip than the busses, but not by much. There are no rules for parking at Pitch Festival; as soon as you get in the gate you’re free to drive anywhere in the venue as long as its reachable by the gridded road lanes. The closest thing that could come to a hotel at Pitch would be the Glamping area – see the camping description above!

mac n cheese burger australia festival vendor

My personal favorite: the mac-n-cheese BURGER!

Food/Drink

There were TONS of options for drinks and food at Pitch Festival. I was impressed with the food vendors at most Australian bush doofs as a whole, and Pitch was no different. There are definitely certain vendors who make their rounds to every single festival, which is great because they are all high quality, delicious, and diverse food!

There were Food vendors/trucks wrapped around a very generous portion of the venue, where you could try everything from delicious Chinese dumplings to the Avocado tent (burgers/sandwiches/fries/everything avo), my favorite mac-n-cheese burger place (pictured), pizza, Gozleme, smoothies, calamari, pork crackling, Indian food, a community tent with classic sausage-in-bread and burgers, gourmet toasties, and more. Man, I’m getting hungry as I write this! I tried to stick to food that I had brought to Pitch but the reality was that the food options were just too good to miss out on.

As far as drinks went, the festival is BYO so most people brought in drinks with them. It was technically ‘limited BYO’ with a no-glass policy (and one slab per person I believe), but this was not enforced very harshly. Most people had plenty of cans of their drink of choice and also options for mixed drinks as well. That being said, there were some great bars inside the venue as well. If you forgot to get morning ice or ran out of drinks at your campsite (or just wanted a nice delicious cold bev), the bars served quite the selection of cocktails and drinks. They had cider and beer alongside nearly 10 craft cocktails. I even succumbed to a few $14 bloody mary’s and espresso martinis when the only option at my camp was warm goon… and ohhh they were worth it!

pitch bush doof festivbal sunset silhouette

grampian mountains pitch music festival

Price

The Pitch ticket cost depended on how many days you wanted to go. The festival ran from around noon on Friday to Monday evening. 4-Day Pitch Festival tickets started at $350 and went up to $370. 3-Day tickets started at $310, and 2-Day tickets started around $260. To some it may seem pricey, but for the length of the festival and the *actually insane* lineup (many of the artists could charge quite a lot for one ticket), I think it’s totally fair!

Security

The Pitch festival security and police presence was quite easygoing. Upon entering the festival, there were police at the ready outside the gate, but all that was done (to my bus, at least) was having volunteers come on the bus to scan tickets and give wristbands. I believe there was an occasional lax look-through for some vehicles, but once we had our wristbands, our bus just went through to the drop-off point and we all got off and walked into the camping area.

There were occasional police roaming around the festival venue, but they were usually just making sure everything was okay and even having a good time themselves. Most of the attendees at Pitch festival were quite responsible and the need for extra precautions may not have been there.

pitch music festival night RA stage

rain lasers music festival pitch

RA Stage by night 

Bathrooms/Showers

The toilet situation at Pitch Music Festival was fairly pleasant. There were blocks of art-covered composting drop-toilets scattered throughout the venue and the campgrounds. Composting toilets come with sawdust bins for people to cover their business with to reduce odors, and they never became too clogged or overwhelming.

However, my one complaint would be that there weren’t enough. The campgrounds only had two toilet blocks that I knew of, and they only had about 10 toilets each. There was nearly always a line to get into them – up to 15/20 minutes at times – which was quite inconvenient. There were massive circus tent-covered toilet block rings within the venue which rarely filled up, and it would have been nice to have one of these within the campgrounds to reduce wait times.

Pitch Festival Showers

There were a few blocks of showers next to the campground toilets as well, so that people could shower in the mornings. The toilets were open for a select few hours each morning and again for a select few each evening – they weren’t open all the time. They were free, however, which was nice. I believe they only had 1-2 blocks of 6 showers at each point, though, meaning that wait times could reach up to an hour in the mornings when they opened. Make sure to ge there early!

pitch music festival grannies

Weather

Pitch music festival is held on Labor Day weekend in Australia the second weekend in March. March is the bridging season between summer and fall for Australia; some would say it’s in fall but personally I don’t believe the seasons change until the 21st of the month! 😛 Whichever season it is, you can expect very variable weather.

Melbourne is known for its crazy up-and-down weather, and as Pitch is still within the state of Victoria, it will be subject to the same. Early March should typically bring quite temperate to warm weather, but be prepared for rain, wind, and maybe a storm or even a scorching hot day (you never know out here!). It wouldn’t be abnormal to have one day at 32 and one at 20… Basically what I mean to say is – bring a little bit of everything!

When I went, the temperatures ranged from 22-24 most days to 29 on the hottest day. It got quite cold at night – maybe down to 11-13 – so warm clothes for the evening are essential. On Sunday morning quite a big storm rolled in with very heavy winds (gazebos flying everywhere) and persistent rain, which proceeded to clear into quite a warm day come the afternoon. This is to be expected.

the wiggles dress up pitch music festiva

pitch music festival fashion

Fashion

Punters at Pitch music festival wore all kinds of fun and silly outfits. Many of the girls definitely shopped at some of Melbourne’s popular ‘doof fashion’ stores – sporting patterned leotards, glittery bikinis, leather body straps, chain-mail jewelry, fishnets, platform/high boots, and all the glitter. Other gals, however, were happy in shorts and a t-shirt or a flowy kimono (and a bit more covered up for the rainy days). As it should be, people wore whatever they wanted at this festival, and many decided to go with what has become classic doof fashion.

For the guys, it seemed that anything fun was the outfit of choice. Party shirts, matching colors, and silly patterns/hats/scarves dominated the fashion, with the occasional mullet wig or Bunnings apron :P. A few groups dressed in matching outfits, too – I saw a group of monks, The Wiggles, a safari theme, and more!

pitch festival face paint

Time

Pitch Music festival begins on the Friday around noon, and finishes with a few sets on the main stage on Monday around 8pm/dusk.

The set times slowly build and then fall over the weekend. Music goes until 4am on Friday night, 7:30am Saturday night (on one stage, and 5am on the others), and 6am Sunday night (on one stage, 5am on the others). Monday sees a great last hurrah on the main (Pitch One) stage with three great sets  to close out the weekend. There were a few campsite kick-ons, but no official renegades that I knew of at this festival.

Money

Most of the food and market stalls accepted only cash, as the signal out in the bush could get quite iffy. Some of the bars were able to accept credit card. There were a few ATM’s near the food vendors to get cash out, but I would recommend bringing some because there were periods that the ATM’s didn’t work.

Volunteering

There is a great volunteering program at Pitch music festival, which ran smoothly largely because of the amazing volunteers who came out to help. Volunteer applications will be live a few weeks/months before the festival, and you can apply to work shifts at the gates, camping/glamping, environment/cleanup, the info tent, and the bars. They also take on tons of food and market vendors of course, with prior applications necessary for those as well.

pitch music festival crown monolink

The crowd going wild for Monolink at Pitch Black

Surrounding Areas of Pitch Music Festival

If you aren’t in a rush to get back to a job, it would be an amazing idea to spend more time out in the area where the festival is held. As it is right up against the amazing Grampians National Park, going to Pitch music festival would be the perfect excuse to explore one of Australia’s most beautiful parks and check out some authentic country towns.

Grampians National Park is best known for amazing mountains, scenic hikes/views, and some gorgeous waterfalls such as Mackenzie Falls. Halls Gap is a small town just outside the National Park where you can stay in quaint accommodations and watch the wild kangaroos graze on the fields at dusk. Ararat is a small town known for its ghost tours, museums, beautiful gardens, scenic walks, and proximity to Pyrenees wine region.

grampians mountains pitch music festival

Sunset over the  Grampians 

Final Pitch Festival Tips

  • Definitely schedule time to see some of your favorite artists, but make sure to also leave time to see the sets of artists you haven’t seen before. I was the most mind blown by artists I had never heard of (which happens to me at most festivals, ha), and I’d have been sad if I only stuck to what I knew. Hats off to you, The Drifter, for one of my favorite sets of the weekend!
  • Don’t miss the boiler room live stream if it becomes a yearly tradition. That stage was absolute amazing mayhem, and the sets were top notch.
  • Do your best to check out all of the art – hopefully there will be more in the coming years.
  • Try the FOOD. The options are endless.
  • If you need to use the toilet, go to the massive circus tent ones – the lines are shorter.
  • Go into the rejuvenation station at least once. They have cool things going on in there and it’s really easy to miss.
  • Don’t forget the roller disco!
  • When at Pitch Black stage, make sure to go on the upstairs level at least once. It’s a great bird’s eye view from there!

 

pitch festival stages pitch black boiler room stage night

 

 

March 26, 2019

Babylon Festival Review + Guide: All You Need to Know for Victoria

Babylon Festival Review + Guide: All You Need to Know for Victoria

I had the privilege of visiting the third edition of Babylon Festival this year – a house, techno, and psytrance bush doof held out in the country of Victoria, Australia. It’s quite a small festival for what it is – only about 5,000 people – but was the perfect size to be an almost-intimate gathering of likeminded music lovers.

Nestled on some rolling hills and between various patches of bush and shady trees, Babylon creates a remote vibe right from the start. As I danced alongside what was designed to look like a shipwrecked pirate ship, kicking up dust as I moved to the deep and resonating baselines, I thought to myself that this is the epitome of what you would think of a bush doof. Smiling people dressed in vibrant colors and sparkles moved about the countryside venue, going between yoga classes and shopping at the markets between dance sessions at any of a few main stages.

The festival really took off at night, though, when colorful lasers would begin to flicker through the crowd after a cotton candy sunset. This is when the stages started to get packed as the people gathered for what they had come for – to get lost in the deliciously deep music. The following Babylon festival review was written from a combination of my own and listening to others’ experience, and was designed to either help you look back fondly at your own experience at Babylon or to inform and guide you about every aspect of the festival you’d need to know for your trip there any other year.

Heading to any other music festivals in Australia?! Check my other Review-Guides:

babylon festival australia

Babylon Location/Venue

The Babylon location is out in the bush near Carapooee West, Victoria. Babylon’s venue is quite small and manageable and possible to walk from one end to the other in not much more than ten minutes. There were four main stages, an enclosed independent stage, lots of food vendors, heaps of market stalls, some art, and a yoga/art/chill area that made up the main parts of the venue. The main three stages had misters above the dancing areas, to keep people cool during the day and ended up keeping dust levels down as well.

Although quite small, the venue for Babylon actually seemed a bit large for the amount of people there. It seemed quite empty each day until the sun went down, when most of the punters would emerge from the campground for a night full of beats.

Mandala Stage

The Mandala Stage was the psytrance stage located at a more removed corner of the venue. This is the stage that the faster BPMs would play at, from surface level minimal/psytrance to some more of the deeper stuff.

Hanging Gardens

The hanging gardens were a beautiful stage designed like a wonky wooden pirate ship where all the deep house and slower playa techno-type vibes would play. It was nestled among some trees with multiple levels for dancing, and was great to relax in the shade or dance in the dust.

mandala stage babylon festival

Mandala Stage

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Hanging Gardens Stage 

Bloc 9 Stage

>Bloc 9 was the techno stage – enough said. Bloc 9 had a bit of bouncy house and tech house during the day but by nightfall it was bona fide hard techno.

Chillimanjaro

Chillimanjaro was, as its hilariously creative name suggests, the chill stage. It was a bit hard to find but was always emanating with slow and wompy chilled out baselines.

Healing Sanctuary/Hammock Garden/Art Space

Between the stages around the outside of the venue was a semi-circle of creative and chill spaces. Centered around a massive hammock structure, there was a flow art space, a small art gallery, a jam band space with tons of instruments, a help-yourself art space with body paint and group murals, and more. The Healing Sanctuary was a tent space with its own lineup of yoga, meditation, healing sessions, and even eye gazing.

Day Spa Stage

The Day Spa stage was run by the people at the Day Spa event (Sundays at Pawn & Co in Melbourne) and taken over independently by different record labels/event companies each day with their own lineups. This created a massively Melbourne stage with well-known Melbourne local dj’s in house and techno arenas. Most of the dj’s here would be residents at Melbourne clubs. They also had dress-up themes each day.

Renegade Stages

Right outside main festival entrance were a couple branded renegade parties that basically went all day every day – with their own dj’s and mini-parties. One was called ‘Let’s Get Natural’ and the other was ‘District of Love.’

babylon festival crowd

Bloc 9 Stage Crowd

Babylon Crowd

It’s tough to make an overarching statement about the crowd at Babylon. There were mixed reviews about the crowd’s behavior after the festival (mostly sourced from facebook) but from my experience Babylon was mostly a party crowd. They had extra activities but I would say that most people came to this festival to have a good time at the music stages and go hard. People were social but seemed to be a bit more cliquey/in their own world than some festivals I’ve been to. The classic festival vibe was still definitely present in that you were able to have a laugh with strangers and make random friends in the crowd, but it was definitely a bit scaled back at Babylon.

I would say that nearly all the attendees of Babylon festival were Aussie – mostly from/living in Victoria. There was actually a really high percentage of British and Irish people here, presumably ones that had moved to Melbourne. It didn’t seem like too many people had traveled far and wide for the festival (maybe just from NSW or SA) as Melbourne has a built-in psytrance and techno crowd who attend lots of doofs in the area.

Vibe

As with any festival, Babylon was full of happy people roaming around, dancing, laughing, and having a good time. Apart from the normal great festival vibes, the vibe could occasionally get a bit intense here. This is because quite a few of the punters didn’t really know how to properly conduct themselves – either going a bit too hard or not understanding how to take care of their own messes/rubbish. This was rare however and it was mostly happy and fun.

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Some performers at Bloc 9 Stage

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Amazing bush sunsets

Atmosphere/Decorations/Organization

Babylon did  REALLY well with the stages and design, and had a fair amount of fun art around the venue as well. There were quite a few colorful shade structures through the venue both above the stages and above some seating areas near the food stalls and healing gardens area that added a nice vibrant vibe to the space.

The festival entrance was graced by an absolutely gorgeous female buddha-like wooden installation that sort-of became a part of the tree it was up against. This and the small hut made from scraggly branches near the mandala stage were my favorite; the hut had a little herb garden and crystals hanging around it that made for a lovely chill space.

The stages were organized well – far enough apart from each other that there wasn’t too much noise pollution (although sometimes there was a crossover between the Day Spa stage and the Bloc 9 Stage) but close enough to walk very easily. As i mentioned before, however, the venue sometimes seemed a bit large for the amount of people there. I’m not sure if tickets were undersold, if most of the people didn’t come into the venue until night time (entirely possible), or if there was simply a bit too much space for the capacity, but it did sometimes feel quite empty to my group and I.

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Olivia Dawn performing live violin over house music

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Live painting going on at the Hanging Gardens stage

Lineup/Music/Artists

Babylon Festival had an all-time lineup of house, techno, and psytrance. There were big names in all three of these genres that no doubt brought in masses of crowds for their specific shows.

At the hanging gardens (house and ethereal tech), headliners were Guy J, Eagles & Butterflies, Damian Lazarus, Olivia Dawn, Behrouz, and Undercatt.’
At Bloc 9, the headliners were Nina Kraviz, Carl Cox, Sam Paganini, Luigi Madonna, Amelie Lens, Solardo, Butch, and Dax-J.

At the mandala stage, some of the headliners were Bliss, Laughing Buddha, Waio, Skwid, Earthlink, Emok, and Rayman.

The organization pf the music was great and the lineup and set times were on point, rising in intensity with the hour of the night. You could expect dj’s to increase the heat until about midnight, where the biggest headliners would come on consecutively until about 4am. The heaviest part of the night was definitely midnight to 4am or so (other stages too?) with the daytime bringing lighter and bouncier tunes.

A few artist highlights/mentions:

Nina Kraviz headlined night one, bringing a very interesting and fairly intense vibe to the beginning of the night. She started out with techno, eventuating even to some more hardstyle-esque beats with an acid sound. Dax-J brought the crowd up with a heavy techno set afterwards, as did an absoplutely all-time lineup of Butch (rising into the night with some tech house), into Luigi Madonna, Carl Cox, Sam Paganini, and Amelie Lens IN A ROW on the Saturday night. This night of heavy techno was balanced by some vibey house at the Day Spa stage for a change, a night of local Melbourne DJ’s at the Hanging Gardens, and some heavier psy at Mandala.

As he has for the past three years, Carl Cox and Eric Powell closed out the festival on Day 3 with their amazing, light-hearted Mobile Disco set full of 80’s bangers and good vibes. This was rivaled by am amazing psytrance set topped with amazing electric guitar by Bliss, and a very progressive 4-HOUR set by the incredible Guy J at Hanging Gardens. It was hard to decide where to go!

My favorite sets at this festival were actually all by artists that I hadn’t seen/heard of before – probably because I didn’t know what to expect from them but had an amazing time. These were by Olivia Dawn at Hanging Gardens (ethereal house/techno with live violin), Butch (bouncy + fun tech house at Bloc 9), Eagles & Butterflies at Hanging Gardens (amazingly melodic playa techno), and Bliss (progressive + bouncy psytrance with live electric guitar).

babylon festival relax art installation

Relaxing in the shade of a beautiful little hut made from tree branches

Babylon Camping

There were five main camping areas at Babylon, laid out nearly into a grid next to some areas of bush and a glamping ‘alpha camp.’ Gridded roads passed through these different areas where people were free to camp at their own will. There was no arranging people in any specific order; you could literally drive anywhere and set up wherever you pleased.

The farthest corner camp spot from the entrance was probably about a 15 minute walk to the venue – not too far at all. There were a few trees scattered throughout the area, but not too many – don’t count on tree shade; make sure to bring shade structures because it can get very hot!

Camping Amenities

Because the festival/venue was quite small, there weren’t any amenities that were specific to the camping area besides some toilets and showers. all the food, activities, markets, and extra amenities were inside the venue.

The showers at Babylon were scattered on a few sides of the camping area, and were stall-type warm showers that were free to use. The lines got slightly long in the morning but with the dust and grime the wait was worth it!

pawn shop jam space Babylon Festival

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Some interesting trinkets for sale near the public jam space, and a juggler at work in the flow arts tent

Festival Amenities – Other Stuff to Do

There was a corner of the festival entirely dedicated to other activities, arts & crafts, yoga, and more. Here’s what they had:

Art Space

This was a dome tent full of different kinds of art, paintings, murals, prints, and trinkets for sale. The work of a few different artists was on display along the walls.

Jam Space

This was a really cool covered area with tons of different instruments that different people would pick up throughout the day and play together. There were hooked up microphones, tons of instruments: bongos, guitar, drums, microphones, and even people banging along on anything at all to the beat. This was all next to a  quirky pawn shop-esque stand selling all kinds of interesting trinkets – fun to browse through!

Healing Sanctuary

This was a stretch tent and carpeted area that hosted a range of workshops and activities such as yoga, meditation, festival recovery, eye gazing, sound healing, and even pilates. There were about 5-6 different activities scheduled each day for people to come and have a bit of a release from relentless baselines, flow a bit, and let their creativity free.

Market Stalls

There were dozens of awesome market stalls at Babylon, all along the back fence of the venue. From door clothes to sunglasses to special Chili sauces and dread locks, Babylon really had it all. It was hard not to get sidetracked looking at some awesome shopping options while on the way from one side of the venue to the other.

Creative Corner

This was an open area with tubs of body paint for anyone’s use, and open art walls for anyone to contribute to. It was a carpeted and shaded space that was perfect to relax or unleash a bit of creativity either on a wall, on yourself, or on a friend!

babylon market stalls by night

Babylon Market Stalls by night 

Babylon Transportation/Hotels/Parking

Babylon had some official buses traveling from the CBD to the festival run by the popular festival bus company, Banana bus. These buses left from the city and dropped off near the intersection of the Alpha camp, the pink camp, and the bush which were very affordable and convenient.

Other than that I would say that most people either drove or hired their own bus to transport a group of friends (which is what I did). Parking was anywhere that you wanted to put your car within the camping areas (no different camping areas with car/no car). I highly doubt anyone stayed in hotels as the festival was quite remote and everyone camped.

festival hamburger

Kebabylon

Some food options at Babylon Festival

Babylon Food/Drink

The food at Babylon Festival was outstanding. There were dozens of vendors offering too many different options to possibly be able to choose – all along the front side of the venue between the entrance and the Bloc 9 Stage.

Babylon had quite similar food vendors as many of the Victoria doofs – but they are all awesome! They have the chai tea lounge which was well-loved at Rainbow Serpent, the delicious royal Burgers (and mac-n-cheese croquettes) stand, superfood smoothies, El Chivi hour get burgers, the avocado-on-everything booth, tons of different pizza, much more, and my personal favorite – KEBABYLON. I would say most full meals went for about $12 – $17AUD.

Although Babylon was a limited BYO event (allowed one slab and one decanted bottle of spirit per person – not that they really checked!), there was also alcohol for sale. There were a couple bars – the most prominent of which was right next to the Day Spa stage. The bar was selling classic mixed drinks into reusable cups, a couple different pre-mixed cans, and other soft drinks too. You’d be looking at about $10 for a can of pre-mix here.

Babylon Ticket Price

Babylon tickets go for just over $220 pre-sale, and go up to about 300. If you add in transport of $89 return taking the Banana bus, and a certain amount for food/drinks/etc each day, you should have your budget!

babylon festival crowd

Hanging out at the Day Spa Stage

Babylon Security

Babylon security was fairly lax. Upon going into the gates, my experience was that a security guard came onto our bud (about 17 people) and said hello, asked if we had any glass containers or anything else that we shouldn’t have, and upon hearing us say ’no,’ wished us a great time and gave us directions to the camping area we were looking for. We then had a few volunteers come on and scan/give wristbands, and then we were in.

The line to get in took ages, which makes me think that they had searched some cars better than others. I believe however that they were also searching for glass to keep the campsites safe.

Bathrooms

Babylon Festival had blocks of porta-potty style toilets scattered throughout the venue. They were in blocks of about 16 or so and were the kind with miniature sinks and flush functions inside them. Honestly, if I could say one bad thing about this festival it would be the bathrooms,. The year I went, they were honestly some of the  most rank toilets I have ever seen at a festival, which really is saying something if you know how many I have been to!

I’m not sure if the problem was the people being messy, or the fact that they weren’t cleaned enough. I think it was a bit of both, honestly – I only saw them getting cleaned a couple times and the ones near my tent definitely went nearly full days without being seen to multiple times, when they were already extremely unsanitary and at the point i thought it would be a legitimate threat to health. I think having drop/compost toilets would fix this problem – having tiny flushable toilet bowls that easily clog is a big problem with heavy use and rare cleaning.

babylon festival art installation wooden buddha

My very favorite installation at Babylon festival, right outside the entrance. 

festival sunrise

An amazing sunrise I was able to catch when I woke up in the middle of the night! 

Weather at Babylon

The bush of Victoria in mid-February can get hot, hot, hot! It would be wise to prepare for high temperatures during the day. My year it was about 28, 31, and 33 on the three festival days, which was very bearable and actually quite lovely. But, it can get much hotter around these parts.

It cooled down substantially at night, to the point that you would probably be uncomfortably cold without a coat unless you were in the middle of the crowd dancing nonstop (which is obviously very possible!). Warmth for sleeping is also a must – it got pretty chilly just before dawn in the camping areas so sleeping bags/blankets are a good idea.

The Babylon festival venue was also very dusty! Many people coped with this with bandanas around their noses/faces to breathe in cleaner air and not sniff tons of dust up their nose (hello, dove boogers! :P).  The ground was also quite rocky so boots would be a good idea as well as a bandana. The sun was also really strong, so hats and sunglasses are also important for commutes in the hot sun (as with anywhere in Australia!).

festival doof fashion

Some gorgeous festie gals on their way to a stage

Fashion

Babylon was some pretty classic doof fashion. It almost seemed as if the whole festival had shopped at Tibbs & Bones, Dolls Kill, or Frothlyf together and come in wearing the same outfits. You’d see leotards/high-waisted bottoms and shiny tops, fishnets, boots, braids, colorful thin sunnies, and tons of stick-on gems and glitter for the girls, and either party shirts and/or tight shiny leggings and silly accessories and sunnies for the boys. Plus, there were parasols and bandanas all around! I definitely saw quite a few girls in the same expensive shiny leotards over the weekend, which seems to be a shame given that doofs were originally a place of radical self-expression and have become their own mainstream fashion in and of themselves. But hey, the outfits were still cute as hell 😛

Timings

Babylon ran from the early afternoon each day (Mandala and Hanging Gardens started up around noon each day and 10am on Sunday) until LATE at night. The Bloc 9 Stage didn’t start until 3-4pm each day (and 12pm Sunday) and ran until 5am with its hard techno and incredible light shows.

However, this festival honestly seemed quite dead during the day. I think it attracted the after-party type crowd who like to go to kick-ons and attend the later-night parties rather than the daytime ones. It seemed to go from quite sparse during the day to absolutely packed and crazy a few hours into the night, and this was something we found really interesting  about Babylon. Some of the craziest times on the dance floor were when it was about to close, and some of the loudest campsite parties were actually Sunday night after the entire festival was over. I’m not sure what that means, but it was an interesting observation!

babylon festival entrance

Hustle & Bustle outside the festival entrance

 

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One of the first yoga classes on Friday afternoon at the Healing Garden

Money

Babylon merchants pretty much only took cash, in that there wasn’t much phone signal whatsoever to connect to the internet for cards. I would just bring plenty of cash with you!

Broadband/Reception

Babylon reception was slim to none. There were a few random high points in the venue where I would receive a bunch of text messages (like the toilets near my camp, strangely enough),  but I really would not count on being able to get in contact with anyone. You ‘might/ be able to send a text or two,  but the reception is so scarce that it would be to your benefit not to even try and to just enjoy being present.

Babylon Volunteering

There were tons of volunteers which helped to make the festival such a success. Many of them went around the campgrounds helloing to clean and giving out trash bags, some went around the crowds to give out water and make sure everyone was okay, and some helped with the crowd flow in and out of the venue.

If you are interested to volunteer at Babylon festival, make sure to check the website a few months before to apply! The volunteers  were vital to the event and super helpful.

BABYLON MUIC FESTIVAL NIGHJT

One of the art installations lit up by night!

Final Babylon Festival Tips

  • Check out the extra activities – they’re heaps of fun and a lot of effort went into the healing garden program! drop by a yoga or sound healing class to get some zen in your busy day of dancing.
  • Make sure to check out some different food – the options were fantastic and delish.
  • Try all of the stages and experience all the different kinds of music that people come for! Rather than sticking to what you know, try to branch out a bit – the talent in each genre is top-notch.
  • Make sure to stop by Chillimanjaro – it’s a bit tougher to find as it’s technically outside the main venue, m but it’s a cool space.
  • Keep in mind that this venue is extremely dusty – especially anywhere there weren’t misters going (i.e. Day Spa stage). It’s smart to bring a bandana.

 

March 6, 2019

Beyond the Valley Festival Review + Guide: All You Need to Know

Beyond the Valley Festival Review + Guide: All You Need to Know

I had the privilege of visiting Beyond the Valley Festival in Victoria, Australia to ring in the new year, and it was a wonderful experience. This music festival went above and beyond to create an awesome weekend for its attendees, and there was truly a bit of something for everyone. Located in the rolling green knolls of Lardner Park in central Gippsland, Beyond the Valley Music Festival had the perfect backdrop, crowd, lineup, and more for the perfect New Year’s celebration.

Put on by Triple J and Untitled Group, Beyond the Valley had a great mix of live music/popular bands and a stacked house + techno lineup as well. Mixed in with too many scrumptious food vendors to try, tons of markets and beauty tents to get festival-ready, a few fun extra parties, and a surplus of extra activities like speed dating, yoga, and swimming – you have a complete festival package of awesomeness. With its extremely manageable size and camping areas in close proximity, you really couldn’t go wrong at this festival.

Want to know more? Read on for my comprehensive Beyond the Valley review + festival guide, which delves into all the aspects of the music festival from fashion, security, and ticket prices to lineup, crowd, and transportation/parking situations.

Beyond the Valley is a four day music festival held in Victoria, Australia over New Years. It bring in a massive international lineup as well as having tons of extra activities, swimming, amazing food, and more! #musicfestival #festivalseason #beyondthevalley #australia

Heading to Beyond the Valley Festival? Pin this Guide! 

But First, Check Out Some More of My Aussie/Festival Content!

Beyond the Valley Location/Venue

The Beyond the Valley Festival location is Larder Park in Victoria – about  an hour and a half east of Melbourne, a bit southwest of Warragul. The park is a gorgeous green and hilly area, situated around/above a man made lake.

There are quite a few different camping areas on pretty much all sides of the venue, and each has a certain color of name assigned to them to make them easier to locate on the map – more on that later!

The Beyond the Valley venue was extremely manageable, with just two main stages with headliners playing, and two smaller stages doing their own thing.

Main Stage

The main stage had more of the mainstream/famous/live acts playing in an open-air setting. This stage was just above the lake, giving it an awesome view from onlookers going up a gradual hill.

The stage was adorned with reflective gold plates, giving it a really picturesque appearance against the green hilly backdrop. The sound system here was fantastic, and you could hear the music from all areas around the stage and from supplemental speakers at the back.

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Main Stage

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Dance Tent

The Dance Tent was just a few minutes away from the Main Stage, just up and over a small incline. The Dance Tent reminded me a lot of structures I have seen at Coachella, Boom, and Lightning in a Bottle made by the Do Lab – it was extremely colorful, with different panels of fabric hanging over and beside a main dancing area. There was a massive light panel across the front displaying amazing light shows, with the dj on top of it. The whole area was spread with sand, which was nice because it felt like you were at the beach but also quite strange to get stuck in big piles later at night 😛

Jim Beam On Tour

The Jim Beam stage was a bit hidden – you had to enter through a sea container on another side of the venue near the food trucks. Once you got in, however, it was awesome. Some headliners also played at this stage, and it had its own full lineup as well as the other two main stages. I heard every type of different music coming from this stage, from 80’s hits all the way to tech house. Unless you knew the artists you’d probably never know what you were going to get, but it was always a good time and the Jim Beam cocktails flowed like wine. I spent the last hour or so of night one here, dancing to 80’s bangers!

Dr. Dan’s Electric Psychedelic Pussycat Swinger Club

Oh yes, you read that one right. This was actually one of my favorite little venues of the whole festival – located actually technically in the camping area right outside the main gate. This was like the little side stage that you get pulled into because of a dirty bassline and end up dancing away there for 4 hours and don’t even realize how much time has passed (that’s happened to everyone else at least once, right? RIGHT?!). Ha, but honestly, it was a lot of fun and where the smaller dj’s just basically played whatever the hell they wanted. It was usually funky housey bassy tracks – lots of fun.

They also held a Poof Doof – one of the most fun events of the weekend – at this stage. Poof Doof is an awesome and ostentatious gay bar that also brings its events to different places around Melbourne. The enclosed stage was completely full for this event, and there were drag queens strutting their stuff on the poles surrounding the crowd, up in the dj booth, and everywhere really. Two amazing drag queens played a killer set as well. It was inclusive, colorful, flamboyant, and fun.

For the extra things to do and parts of the venue, see below!

Dr Dan's Electric Psychedelic Pussycat Swinger's club Beyond the Valley Festival

The Poof Doof Event at Dr Dan’s Stage

Beyond the Valley Crowd + Vibe

The crowd at Beyond the Valley is basically what you would expect of a mainstream/Triple J crowd. This is NOT a doof crowd – not even close – although some doofers do come to Beyond the Valley because of the awesome house + techno names it brings into the lineup. And by that, I mean it was not really a conscious crowd. People threw their rubbish everywhere, and it was the kind of crowd that would just push through people to get through the stages without saying excuse me. Like, how hard is it to say excuse me?! This was the kind of crowd that truly believed that they could leave everything at their campsite because the expensive cost of their ticket covered the cost of cleanup. I actually heard a guy say that and it made my blood boil, but this is the kind of crowd you’d expect at a festival that isn’t a burn, doof, or transformational festival I suppose.

The being said, it was still great festival vibes here. You could have conversations and random hilarious moments with strangers; people smiled and were open. I really didn’t see anyone that couldn’t handle themselves or partied too hard to be honest. At times it even seemed like the crowd was quite mellow. But all in all there was a great vibe in the air, people were all having fun, and were excited to ring in the new year.

music festival crowd streamers beyond the valley

beyond the valley location lardner park victoria lake

Atmosphere/Decorations

Beyond the Valley didn’t have a major focus on art and decor, but it was definitely around. The stages in and of themselves were colorful, pretty, and beautifully done. None of the festival was done in a boring way – the light shows were awesome, speakers were on point, and the stages were unique. There were painted panels all over the site, some with feathers or other colorful patterns. There was a massive hammock structure in the middle of the venue as well. There were sandy beach areas with beach chairs near the pools, and everything was legibly and colorfully labeled from the toilets and showers to the different areas.

While not having a massive focus on atmosphere, BTV still did it well and did all they needed to do to make it awesome.

beyond the valley music festival new years eve main stage lights

Main Stage at New Years

Beyond the Valley Lineup/Music/Artists

Beyond the Valley is put on both by Triple-J and Untitled Group, which represent both the mainstream Aussie music and a bit more underground dj scene, respectively. The lineup reflected that perfectly in having a fantastic mix of more mainstream live acts and some fantastic house + techno djs. There was a little bit of everything at this festival, and there was really something for everyone.

The main stage was graced by acts such as Tash Sultana, The Kooks, Duke Dumont, Bonobo, Boo Seeka, Client Liason, Running Touch, Vera Blue, Late Night Tuff Guy, Fisher, SAFIA, Bonobo, Joey Bada$$, REMI, and Pnau. A lot of these acts are either extremely famous or have live elements to their shows. Sets at the main stage were usually about an hour, give or take 15-30 mins.

The Dance tent saw artists like Kolsch, Oxia, Peggy Gou, Richy Ahmed, KiNK, Dom Dolla, Yotto, Mall Grab, Foals, and DJ Tennis. These sets were all generally 2 hours long, giving the artists the perfect amount of time to build up their vibe.

The organization of the lineup was generally very successful, give or take a few slightly more confusing placements (such as putting Duke Dumont before The Kooks on New Year’s eve – seemed backwards to many of us). There was a fun dj playing throwback tunes during the main stage changeover times, which the crowd seemed to love as well.

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The camping areas from the entrance

Beyond the Valley Camping

As I mentioned above, Beyond the Valley Festival camping was basically on all sides of the venue. Camping came with each ticket, but you would have to purchase a car pass. You have to arrive with friends in order to get the same camping spot with them, as the camping is laid out in neat rows in order, with lots of space for each area. There was an area to wait for your friends so you could all drive in together and get a spot together. Most of the camping was car camping, and there were also a few parking lots so you could walk over to meet your friends if need be.

General Camping

The general camping lots were on pretty much all sides of the venue. There was a Black, Blue, Orange, Purple, Silver, Pink, and Green Camps, basically circled around the main venue area. No camp would be more than about a 10-15 (tops) minute walk to get into the main area – sometimes 3-5. It was small and nicely manageable. It was a bit hilly but nothing too crazy.

Again, all these general camping areas were car camping areas with people gathered around a few cars, tents, and EZ-up’s (do they call those something different in Australia?!).

Electric City

Electric City was a camping area near the Lux Camp which had access to electricity. I think this is where anyone with an RV would go, or people who just wanted a little extra comfort of being able to charge things. Passes to this camping area would need to be purchased as an extra package.

glamping beyond the valley festival

Luxe Camp AKA Lux Vegas

Lux Camp – Glamping

The Lux Camp was a pretty big thing at Beyond the Valley Festival. There were dozens (hundreds?) of two-person pre-erected luxe tents, located right next to the lake and a few minutes to one of the main entrances. The Luxe Tents included beds/bedding, a mirror, electricity, towels, a special pool/bathroom/shower, and a lock.

This was the basic Lux package, but if you wanted even MORE amenities (rug, door mat, queen bed, throw, sofa, cushions, etc etc etc) you could do a few different upgrade packages for these tents. Prices got pretty high, but these are super nice and spacious if you have the money.

Staff/Media/Artist Guest Camp

At the top of the hill near a big building was the staff and media camp – this is where I was! It was a small sectioned off area which made it feel very safe. This camp also got access to the big building where the artists were hosted – only a small corner of it, but this is where the EXTREMELY nice and usually empty bathrooms were. You’ll be in luck if you work, because having a real bathroom to get ready in was something I have hardly ever experienced at a festival.

beyond the valley festival swimming pools

No better way to start the day than a lakeside pool dip! 

Camping Amenities

Beyond the Valley Showers + Toilets

The camping areas at BTV all had accessible toilets and showers. The toilets (unless you were in luxe camp) were porta-potty type units, which were spead all over the park and venue. The showers were similar small units like the toilets, and were spread out over the whole venue at most corners and also FREE! The lines could get quite long in the morning but nothing too crazy. The Lux camp had their own toilets and showers also.

General Stores

There were a few general stores throughout the venue, selling anything you could need for camping. From air mattresses and sleeping bags to tissues, red bull, baby wipes, drinks, and snacks, these really had it all if you needed to top up your camping stock.

Swimming Pools

One of the coolest things about Beyond the Valley festival is the swimming pools. They have a few massive pools next to the lake, situated on a little (man-made) sandy beach with beach chairs and lifeguards. The pools are right next to a general store and coffee shop too, so they are the perfect way to wake yourself up in the morning before getting ready and grab anything you may need for the day.  Did they get a big mangy? I mean, yes and no. There was definitely some sand and grime but they didn’t get too bad. If you use them to cool off before an actual shower, cool off, or just cleanse yourself a bit, they’re fine.

Beyond the valley festival activities and workshops meditation

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A meditation going on in the workshops area, as well as some fake brides heading into the inflatable church for their unholy wedding. 😛 

beyond the valley music festival painting

Painting time!

Beyond the Valley Festival Amenities – Other Stuff to Do/Extra Activities

There was plenty else to do at Beyond the Valley Festival, even after you cool off in the pool! Here are a few things that went on inside the venue:

Sanctuary Area

The Sanctuary area was right inside the main entrance to the festival, and had all the extra kinds of activities in the mindfulness/creativity sector. It really was a sanctuary, with lots of chill spaces with bean bags and chairs if you just needed to get away from it all for a bit. There was a little schedule of workshops that went each day on in one of the tents, and some things available at all times. Here are some things that went on:

Painting

There was a massive pile of small, square, blank canvases, tons of paint, and a bunch of brushes that anyone could just come up and use whenever they pleased. I walked in and was astonished to find the totally free creation zone, and looked over all the amazing/hilarious/beautiful canvases. I then spent the next half hour creating one of my own while chatting with a few fellow newfound artists trying their hand at painting.

Doof Stick Making

On the first day they had multiple windows of Doof Stick Making at Beyond the Valley – how fun! If you don’t know, a ‘doof stick’ is what I call a ‘totem’ in the US; it’s basically anything long, thin, and tall that will help you find your group in the crowd. These are usually funny pictures or phrases at the top of a stick, sometimes with lights. They can be anything!

Meditations, Sound Healing, Sound Journey

They had all kinds of mediations in the workshop area, many of them incorporating sound or instruments. I did one that used a sound bowl with a didjeridoo and bells. It was lovely and grounding, and lead by such a beautiful couple. I’m sure they were all different but equally perfect for a little relaxing of the mind during a busy day.

Speed Dating

Okay, I’m actually so sad I missed this! It would have been so much fun, especially at a festival. They had speed dating a few of the days in the sanctuary area, and I would love to know if anyone found their festival girlfriend/boyfriend.

Yoga

There was yoga each day at 9am, for the extra-keen early bird who didn’t go a bit too crazy the night before. But in saying that, the music ended at 3am most nights so you could still get a good few (festival) hours in before yoga if you wanted.

Tarot Cards, Massage

Another side of the Sanctuary area had a space for other things like tarot card reading, massage, and more. For these activities you would have had to go in earlier and book yourself a time. My friend had her tarot cards read, and she said it was amazing.

market stalls at beyond the valley

 

instattoo at beyond the valley

Market Stalls and Beauty Services

There were TONS of market stalls at Beyond the Valley festival. There was every kind of festival dress-up you can imagine, from sunglasses to jewelry to clothing of every possible kind. There were a few well-known clothing brands there, as well as some smaller ones. There was even a charity tent selling books for refugees! One thing that’s for sure is that you could find basically anything festival-related here that you could want, and it would be silly not to have a wander through all the options.

As far as extra things at the market stalls, there were plenty of hair and beauty tents as well. The famous ‘glitoris’ tent would have you covered with glitter, and there were other tents that would glitter and braid your hair, or even your beard! How fun. There was a temporary tattoo tent with high quality tats (mine lasted ages), and well as phone charging for anyone who needed it.

The Inflatable Church

To me, this was one of the highlights of the festival! It was SO much fun, SO inappropriate, SO hilarious, and just generally the funniest idea ever. Basically what it was, was a massive inflatable church with a potty-mouthed vicar and an alien-faced DJ where you could  marry someone in unholy matrimony just for shits & giggles. They had an entire tent full of hilarious costumes and glitter, where men were encouraged to wear dresses and women were encouraged to, well, get weird also.

I didn’t know what was going on at first when I saw a guy holding up the train of another guy’s dress ready to walk down the aisle. Intrigued, I went inside and became a part of the best wedding party ever, with two glitter-faced couples getting married with a wedding speech peppered with outrageous lines, rude jokes, and so much laughter. I saw a wedding taking place between three girls later on the next day – they all had fake rings, vows, and the whole shebang. So good.

beyond the valley festival

 

Transportation/Hotels/Parking

You have a few options to get to Beyond the Valley Festival:

Drive Yourself.

I would say that most people drove themselves to the festival, in that the camping areas were car camping. This is fairly easy to do, and only 1.5 hours from Melbourne and it’s nice to have a car to lock things in. Just be mindful that there are car searches (see below) and that there are alcohol and drug tests on the way out too.

As far as parking goes, there were a few parking lots for those people who didn’t want to park in the campsite or missed the window to drive in with friends. I would recommend you just drive in with your friends though, and make an awesome festival campsite together.

Public Transport

Yes, it’s possible! If you want to take public transport to BTV, you can get yourself to Drouin Station or Warragul Station and there are free shuttle busses to and from  the venue from there. Too easy! You can get a train to these stations that goes through Flinders or Southern Cross. Busses run during usual hours (8-6pm) from the first day to the last day to these stations.

Charter Bus

For $79, Beyond the Valley had its own charter busses that ran from central Melbourne (Fed Square) to the Beyond the Valley location. The numbers and timings depended on bookings, but they had plenty available.

beyond the valley food options nachos

Food/Drink at Beyond the Valley

The Beyond the Valley Food was freaking FANTASTIC. There were SO many options that it was almost too many!! There were food stalls all around the outside of the venue, on both sides, and they all had really good options. Some of the stuff they had was:

  • A REALLY good burger place, with tons of options and loaded fries too.
  • All kinds of coffee and iced coffee
  • A Ribs place with perhaps the best loaded fries i have ever had, involving cheese, veggies, and shredded rib meat.
  • Avocado Tent with Avo on EVERYTHING
  • A Vegan-Optional tent that did fantastic nachos, I got the beef ones 😛
  • Steak Sandwiches + Brekky Rolls + Sausage Sizzle
  • Pork Crackling Tent with many variations thereof
  • Paella Tent
  • Amsterdam Tent with sweets like waffles and Dutch pancakes
  • Indian Food
  • Seafood/Calamari Tent
  • Greek Souvlaki

Okay, do you get the point? There was everything. Whatever you felt like, it was there. Whatever you didn’t feel like, it was also there. I swear I ate sometimes just because I really wanted to try something from one of the food stands. It really was that good.

Beyond the Valley Drinks

Oh, of course, the dranks. They were abundant and plentiful. There were so many bars that there was hardly ever too long of a line, which was AWESOME. There were heaps of options, from a fancy BTV cocktail to vodka mixers to pre-mixed Jim Beam, CC, double black, etc to beer and cider in cans. There was a VIP bar near the main stage with extra options and less of a line, and of course the Jim Beam stage which focused on everything Jim Beam. There was also a Furphy’s beer truck with a viewing platform on top. There was everything you would expect.

fisher dj beyond the valley music festival

Fisher opening his set just after New Years

Beyond the Valley Tickets + Price

As with any festival, the price of Beyond the Valley tickets depended on at which point you bought them and how many days you want to go. BTV has 4 day, 3 day, 2 day, and 1 day (NYE) passes. I would say that most people either went 3-4 days or just NYE.

Early bird starts cheaper, but just before it sold out (which is usually does) you’d be looking to pay about 430 for 4 days, $390 for 3, $330 for 2, and $180 for NYE. 4 days is obvi the best all-around deal.

Extra Expenses

On top of your ticket, you’ll want to consider:

Luxe Camping/Camping Packages: $300-$500 per person depending on level of luxuriousness and how many people in the tent! There fits 2-4 people per tent, and some are nicer than others with couches etc. Electric City is another $200 per campsite for plugs etc. Regular campers only need to worry about buying a car pass per car.

Transport: Return bus ticket costs $79, and it might cost the same to split a rental car between 4 people. If you have a car, you eliminate that and just pay gas of course.

Food, drinks, etc: However much you usually spend… plus some, let’s be honest.

beyond the valley security

beyond the valley festival crowd

Beyond the Valley security line to get in, and a few happy festival-goers!

Beyond the Valley Security

Beyond the Valley was not a BYO event, so police were searching cars for alcohol and well, you know, any other problematic substances.

Getting into the Campground

Beyond the Valley security was fairly tight. There will be police and sniffer dogs searching cars at random. I would say that most cars that went into the general camping entrance were at least searched. The cars I saw before NYE had everything taken out and put back in, but nothing really opened or messed with too much (that I saw). Someone told me that about every third car was searched, so I guess that’s a pretty high chance. I also heard stories about alcohol being found in very well-concealed places, so take with that what you will and be careful!

There wasn’t a search at the staff gate for me, and my friends in Lux said they weren’t searched very much at all. I think the brunt of it goes onto the general camping entrance. I also heard rumors of police going through people’s tents to find alcohol and other things, which of course is completely illegal (if it’s not in plain sight) but is also something to be aware of.

Security Getting into the Venue

There is an extra security check when you walk from the camping into the actual venue with the stages. These guards just basically want to make sure you aren’t bringing any drinks or alcohol in (not that anyone could have any in the campgrounds…. right?! :P). They made people throw away their cups and cans and maybe glanced into a bag or two but that’s all.

Security Inside the Venue

There were cops and security guards walking around the venue here and there, standing at the back edges of crowds and overseeing the general debauchery. Sometimes there would be a group of cops standing by the front of the stages, lingering around and watching people. I’m not sure what they were doing or if they were doing much but they were there, ha.

poof doof selfie dj beyond the valley

Selfie time with the amazing drag dg’s at the Poof Doof. 

Beyond the Valley Bathrooms

The bathrooms at BTV were average. Most were the kind of porta-potties that had their own little built-in sink in each stall, with a foggy mirror. They were pretty clean to begin with, but went WAY downhill towards the end and especially on the last night. The female toilets were extremely overcrowded on the last night, to the point people were using the men’s and squatting behind things, and half of them were overflowed. I’m not sure if this was a problem with maintenance, or too many people and not enough loos (probably the latter), but the last night was very grim. They rarely ran out of toilet paper though which is, I suppose, a plus.

There were actual toilets in the Lux area, near the staff camping, and also in the VIP area there were some better ones as well. I wouldn’t say you need to bring your own toilet paper but maybe try to use the bathrooms across the festival from a main act or go right before one ends.

beyond the valley festival lake lardner park kimmie conner

Me enjoying a drink from my pineapple cup before heading into the venue 😉

Beyond the Valley Weather

All I have to say about the Beyond the Valley weather is: Melbourne. BTV is classic Melbourne weather aka unpredictable af and will probably run the entire gamut of weather. My year it began by pouring with rain (wet grass, some mud, and all), then forecasted rain for the next two days but hardly rained at all and ended up extremely hot to the sunburn level but freezing at night.

What I mean by this is: you never know. Bring your umbrella, rain jacket, and make sure your tent is waterproof. Make sure you have something warm to bundle up in at the festival at night and when you sleep. But also, be prepared to strip down to swim suit status in the daytime, to stay in the shade, and to have a dip in the pools.

vera blue beyond the valley

Vera Blue (totally looking right at me 😉 ) 

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Charlie and his multi-colored angels

Beyond the Valley Fashion

In that it is a bit more mainstream than other festivals, Beyond the Valley has a more boho/chic/trendy fashion trend than some other festivals and doofs. That being said, festivals are a place where anyone can dress any way they like, and people all definitely do this. You’ll still see your leotards, fishnets, wigs, and LOTS of glitter, but not EVERYONE goes as hard fashion-wise as they would at, say, Rainbow Serpent. Anything really goes here, but for once I actually wore a super boho outfit and not my usual crazy colorful stuff – just for one of the days 😛

Girls wore all kinds of outfits- really anything festival-y goes. Boys wore party shirts, silly hats, and the occasional costume. Have fun with it if you want,  don’t if you don’t… that’s pretty much how BTV went.

Beyond the Valley Themes

That being said, there was a theme my year – SAFARI. The last day had a safari theme and honestly I would say that the majority of people got into it. I honestly didn’t even get the memo (don’t ask me how 🙁 ) but tons of people were wearing animal print, khaki, and safari hats on New Year’s Eve. This kindof surprised me given the crowd, but people really got into it. So make sure to check if there’s a theme when you go.

the kooks live beyond the valley

The Kooks 

Time

The Beyond the Valley timings run from about 12-1pm to 3-4am each day, and that goes for music. The main stage begins in the early afternoon and ends around 1-2am, and the Dance Tent begins around the same time and ends later at 3am (4 on NYE). The Jim Beam tent also goes on late night – around 3am also. Late night food is also available (I recommend the shredded rib fries late at night, ha).

Extra activities begin earlier (yoga is at 9am, meditations and activities run 10am – 5/6pm) and end earlier too. The pools are open pretty much all day, as are the general stores etc. Unclear if the showers ever closed but I don’t think so.

Beyond the Valley Money

The bars here only took card, so if you had cash you would need to exchange it at a few different points for these little Beyond the Valley tickets that you could exchange for drinks.

As far as the food tents went, each one was different but I would say most accepted card and some accepted cash.

happy crowd music festival

The crowd going wild for… I can’t remember which act 😛 

Beyond the Valley Volunteering

Volunteering was readily available at Beyond the Valley Festival. Volunteers helped with everything from bartending to directing cars to the information desk to giving directions, and the applications were open for a long time. On the website they list different positions and requirements to apply – check it out! You will have to work a few shifts (totaling 20 hours) to get a festival/camping ticket. Not a bad deal if you are short on cash!

You can also apply for market stalls, food vendors, and other staff (bartending was a separate application for some reason) on the site as well.

Final Beyond the Valley Tips

  •  If you are going with friends, make sure you all caravan and drive in together. This will make for an absolutely epic, massive camp metropolis. Bring Easy-ups for shade above your tents and chill areas.
  • Be wary of security checks
  • If you camp at the bottom of the hill near orange camp, beware of a huge swamp puddle I heard was there if it rains. I heard about people who fell waist deep into it 😮
  • Make sure to check out ALL the stages- Dr. Dan’s and Jim Beam included. Festivals are always more fun when you experience a bit of everything.
  • This also goes for the Sanctuary! Head in there at least once for a workshop, to paint, or to chill. You might be surprised how fun it is to let out some creativity, or how relaxing it it to try some yoga or meditation.
  • Check my festival camping checklist if you are traveling from far away 🙂
Beyond the Valley is a four day music festival held in Victoria, Australia over New Years. It bring in a massive international lineup as well as having tons of extra activities, swimming, amazing food, and more! #musicfestival #festivalseason #beyondthevalley #australia

Don’t forget to Pin this Beyond the Valley Review!

Thanks to Beyond the Valley for hosting me. As you hopefully know by now, all words are always my own. 

January 14, 2019

Petting Zoo Festival: A One-Day Animal Themed Festival in Central Melbourne

Petting Zoo Festival: A One-Day Animal Themed Festival in Central Melbourne

This December I had the pleasure of visiting one of Melbourne’s epic one-day music festivals, The Petting Zoo festival. I’ve quickly realized that there are one-day festivals and events in this city every single weekend (dangerous), but this one was something special. Taking place in a new and larger venue from its previous years, The Petting Zoo Festival took place in Yarra Park this year, directly outside the MCG Cricket oval.

The Petting Zoo festival encourages all its attendees to dress up like animals, thereby creating an awesome ‘zoo’ of house + techno lovers partying in the (hopefully) sun on a gorgeous Melbourne summer day.

petting zoo festival location melbourne

The Petting Zoo Festival Venue

Yarra Park was a perfect grassy area to hold this multi-stage daytime fest. The only problem was that it rained buckets the night before, leaving the area quite extremely muddy. But The Petting Zoo did a great job laying down carpets and trying to ease the mud situation for us all.

There was a totally decked out main stage, called the Enclosure, decorated to the nines with colorful animal print and silly animals shapes and figures. It was equipped with CO2 and confetti cannons, function one speakers, and all the good stuff you look for in an awesome main stage experience. Most of the headliners threw down on these main stage decks, to a crowd scattered through the grass and little shaded platforms as well.

There was another tiny stage around the side of the main stage called the Sanctuary, and another just around the other side of the park called the Playpen. The whole venue was extremely manageable, with it being more than possible to pop over to each stage to check the music to make an assessment on where you wanted to go.

petting zoo festival ball pit melbourne

petting zoo festival crowd

Atmosphere + Extras

The venue was adorned with colorful animals, crazy animal patterns, and all-in-all fun stuff to add to the carefree and light hearted vibe of the day. The perfect example of the vibe this festival goes for is the fact that there was a legit ball pit inside the venue, with festival-goers periodically burying themselves inside leaving only their face to remain exposed. This was a lot of fun and a nice little break from dancing to totally feel like a kid again.

The Petting Zoo Lineup + Music

Petting Zoo Festival was stacked with house, techno, more house, and tech house… but mostly house. Hey, did I mention house?! 😛 DJ’s like Latmun, Friend Within, Dennis Cruz, Miguel Campbell, and Angelo Ferreri rained down upon the crowd with relentless baselines and bouncy house tracks – rain or shine.

Although most of the headliners played at the main stage, the second stage was always going off as well. I didn’t hear a single bad set there, and heard a few songs that I couldn’t get enough of. Although I was moving back and forth between stages most of the night, my group mostly remained at the smaller one.

When the night fell over the late Melbourne summer day, the lasers turned on and the night festival was in full swing. Although the sun sets quite late in mid December, there were still a good few hours of darkness for the animals of the night to emerge. The shift between daytime and night time at festivals is one of my favorite transition periods, and it was no different at Petting Zoo festival as the darkness fell over the hundreds of dancing bodies.

The closing sets were on point, bringing a bit of a deeper vibe than the bouncy daytime sets to match the progressing intensity. People crowded more closely into the stages and stayed for good, riding out the 11pm shut of the outdoor party and then moving to any of a few official Petting Zoo after parties.

petting zoo festival outfits animal makeup costumes

music festival blowing bubblesd pink petting zoo festival

Petting Zoo Festival Food + Drink + Shopping

There was also a fantastic food + drink lineup to go with the musical lineup. Food trucks lined the side of the venue, serving things like blended smoothies, pizza, Mexican chorizo and churros, and even artisan popsicles. There were never too long of lines, and plenty to go around!

As any good festie should be, Petting Zoo Festival was lined with bars basically on all other sides. We’re talking all the basic festival drinks – canned beers and ciders, basic mixes, and that. You can expect to pay about $10 for one of these bad boys, which is also fairly standard for a festival.

If you fancied a dance break, you could wander through any of a few different festival clothing stands, such as Frothlyf. Aussie festivals always have amazing ‘doof clothing’ options.

The Weather

As always, the weather in Melbs is, well, the definition of UNPREDICTABLE. There were a few showers during the fest this year at Petting Zoo Festival, but luckily there was ample shade to wait out the water if you needed to.

The Petting Zoo Festival was an awesomely successful little ‘day doof,’ and I’m stoked that I could see such talented artists in such a fun atmosphere. Thanks for having me!

petting zoo festival crowd

petting zoo music festival girls

January 4, 2019

Strawberry Fields Festival Review + Guide: All You Need to Know for Australia

Strawberry Fields Festival Review + Guide: All You Need to Know for Australia

Strawberry Fields Festival is an absolute oasis in the middle of Australia’s bushland, nestled in a serene nook on the Murray River right between Victoria and Tocumwal, New South Wales. This Strawberry Fields festival review + guide will tell you all you need to know for your trip to the festival through reviewing my experience there; from the location, venue, lineup, and camping to the workshops, art, clothing, and extra activities, to the nitty gritty stuff like security, bathrooms, and tickets… I got you covered!

A small and manageable venue, Strawberry Fields (or ‘Strawbs’ as it is lovingly called by those who attend it) is the perfect mix of open air, river-side beach, and tall tree forests. It is known by many to be one of the best Transformational Festivals in Australia, bringing in crowds of colorful festival-lovers to the banks of the cool Murray River each November.

Strawberry Fields Festival Review + Guide in Tocumwal, Australia on the banks of the Murray River in 'the Wildlands,' an amazing camping music festival/bush doof on the border of New South Wales and Victoria!

Pssst… this is a LONG review-guide. Pin it to Pinterest?

Strawberry Fields Location/Venue/Stages

Strawberry Fields festival is located in the deep bush area on the Murray river which separates Victoria from New South Wales. Strawbs is on the NSW side of the river, just outside a small farming town called Tocumwal. Tocumwal is about 3 hours from Melbourne and 5 hours from Canberra, most easily reached from Melbourne.

Strawberry Fields’ location is aptly named ‘the Wildlands,’ which is a fitting name to describe the open bush areas, forests, and river side parts that make the venue whole. Throughout the Wildlands you will find 5 main stage areas, each with a vibe of their own, and many different areas of market stalls, gourmet food, art, workshops, creative spaces, galleries, and a beach along the river. There’s even a ferris wheel!

Apparently they do change the layout of the stages and camping a bit each year – a lot of my campmates said that everything was in a different place this year, but it worked well. Either way you’ll still find the main components and stages. Here are the main areas that you’ll find:

strawberry fields festival beach stage

The Beach Stage – right next to the Murray River! 

The Beach Stage

This was the absolute place to be during the day at Strawberry Fields festival. When the sun comes up and it’s a bit too hot in your tent, it’s time to head straight to the Beach Stage (perhaps stopping for a brekkie sandwich) to have a dip in the cool Murray River.

Right on the banks of the Murray after giving ample space for netting and hammock chill areas and for people to sunbathe, you’ll find the beach stage. Generally going off during the day and playing tunes that you would naturally associate with a beach (think funk, chilled house, etc), this is the place to be. There’s nothing better than being nestled amongst the trees  next to the water on a warm day in the bush. The Murray water is also just perfectly crisp and refreshing!

The Tea Lounge + The Village

The Tea Lounge was an actual tea lounge where you could pick up a selection of totally free and delicious teas during the day. Next to the Tea Lounge was The Village, which was also an activity space during the day – think, workshops on things like nutrition, bongo drumming classes, yoga and dance, etc – and a live music stage at night. After other stages close you can still count on the Tea Lounge/The Village to provide the vibes, with funky bands, jazz, and all of the live instruments.

monoss art garden strawberry fields festival

Monoss Art Area

Monoss: Art Garden + Workshop/Painting Area

Monoss was the center for art at Strawberry Fields Festival. The Art Garden was an inside space with tons of festival photography, paintings, and every possible type of art inside. It was beautifully designed and a nice quiet space that even had different seminars and workshops going on throughout the day in different kinds of art and even massage.

Monoss has a performance and workshop schedule that hosted some of the most creative and interesting shows. From hula hooping and disco dancing to choreographed dances and minuature plays, this place had everything and would be a true surprise each time you checked it out.

Next to the Art Garden was a massive hammock structure where lots of live art took place. Throughout the weekend artists covered the walls and spaces around the Art Garden in colorful and beautiful paintings. It was amazing to see the space come to life more and more each time I passed by it.

strawberry fields festival wildlands stage main stage

Wildlands Stage

Wildlands (Main Stage)

This is where all the ridiculousness went down! Covered in beautiful pastel tarps, the main stage (Wildlands) had enough space for practically the whole festival and was the center of the action all weekend. All the headlining names played here to a sea of crazy dancers, funny doof sticks, and groups of happy friends.

The production value was fantastic everywhere, but the Funktion One bassline especially moved the crowd into a beautiful unison at The Wildlands stage.

The Grove Stage

This was the place that always had quirky live music and jam bands going on at all hours. I saw some instruments I had never seen before, live trumpet/sax/flute, and some hilariously catchy beats here. If there was an act that featured more live elements, it would surely perform here at The Grove stage.

Strawberry Fields Festival deep jungle stage

Deep Jungle Stage

Deep Jungle

The Deep Jungle Stage was actually located closer to the campgrounds than anything else, which was slightly misleading because judging from it’s name you’d think you’d have to go on a few hour trek through the bush to get there 😛 This stage was a beautiful painted wooded bird-like structure with stairs to climb up and party above the crowd. It spread out like a bird’s wings in an almost-semicircle around the crown, with the dj playing inside the bird’s beak. It was really beautiful and complimented the forest perfectly.

There were generally deeper vibes here, with nice house, tech house, and techno beats emanating from within the trees.

The Playground

This was a fun adult playground with a hammock chill area and a big wooded pirate ship with a mirror maze inside.

Markets and Food

The main grass (read: dirt) area of the festival was bordered on all sides with stalls with everything you can imagine. There were dozens of food stalls (it was impossible to decide what to get) also dozens of market stalls (any doof clothes you could ever want) and also smaller tents with things like henna and shiatsu massage. See below for more info on food.

Strawberry Fields Festival crowd

Strawberry Fields Festival crowd main stage

Strawberry Fields Crowd

The crowd here were of all ages (well, 18+) and generally Aussie. Of course the majority of people were young but you’d see the veteran doofers here and there still practicing and perfecting their craft 😉 I met some Brits and Irish, but most of the people at Strawberry Fields festival were Australian, and at that I would say most were even based in Melbourne. I have heard it said that Strawberry tends to have a bit of a younger crowd and I would say that this is true – Strawberry Fields festival is often people’s ‘first doof’ and you could tell that many faces may have been younger and newer to the scene.

however, I did find that the people here were all completely into it and knew how to do a proper doof. Everyone was dressed up to the nines, getting weird in the best possible way, meeting strangers, sharing moments, and generally just being awesome. I didn’t come across one person here who was a bad vibe or didn’t know how to carry/handle themselves in a festival situation.

The only thing I found unimpressive about the Strawberry crowd was a bit of lack of respect for rubbish… okay a big one. It seemed to me that the crowd mentality took over everyone’s animal brains upon seeing one or two people throw trash on the ground… eventually everyone was doing it. It was a big shame to see some of the younger doofers carelessly tossing their cans and bottles onto the ground expecting someone to clean up after them at a festival that sound be ‘leave no trace.’

There were rubbish bins all over the grounds and always easily reachable, but like I said once people saw it happening it seemed to get worse and worse. Veteran doofers picked up some slack by collecting rubbish here and there and reprimanding those who littered, as did helpful volunteers. The grounds were quite despicable after the festival as well with tents and trash strewn about the grounds. But I think it may be a crowd mentality and a bit of a lack of education for the younger partiers – it was just unfortunate to see. If you’re going next year, don’t forget to respect the incredible venue so Strawberry Fields Festival can take place for years to come.

Lastly, it did seem occasionally to me that the crowd were more there for the party than the music. As a lover of music as well as the entire festival experience, I noticed that some of the people really just seemed to place themselves at the stage and move to the music no matter what it was, without a solid appreciation or knowledge of who was playing or how they were playing it. Now this didn’t go for absolutely everyone by any means (LOTS of people knew the music and knew it well), and other people’s lack of knowledge of the music of course doesn’t affect anyone else’s experience but their own. But, I had to note it – this is something I have heard Aussies say about how Strawberry Fields festival has changed over the years to become more of a mainstream party than a doof.

Strawberry Fields Festival performers artists vibe

Strawberry Fields Festival wildlands forest sunset

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It’s finally time for the return of FESTIVAL KIMMIE!☺️🎉🔥💃🏼 I just got back from the incredible @strawberryfields_festival , aka my very first ‘bush doof’ aka an awesome music + arts festival held out in the Australian bush. My true crazy self got to emerge and have a bloody fantastic time out in ‘the wildlands’ with incredible new friends, a top notch diverse range of music, amazing art, interesting workshops, delicious food, and a lot of the best kind of wierdness😜 (as you can see, my ‘fun meter’ was off the charts😏) . . Strawberry Fields, aka ‘Strawbs’ (the Aussies shorten absolutely EVERYTHING😂) is held on the border of the Murray River which forms the border of Victoria and New South Wales, well, in the middle of not much at all. But this is what makes it awesome! Think, morning swims in the crisp and cool river while floating on a flamingo listening to music from the funky beach stage, sunsets gleaming through the dust and tall forest trees, happy people wearing crazy colorful outfits and dancing the night away under the lights, morning campsite powwows, too much food to try it all, and fun workshops (I went to a bongo drum one!). . . Phew that was a lot – some is still up on my story if ya missed it! More will be coming, of course…. I’m super excited to share more of my photos!🙌🏽 . . . . . . . . . . . #strawberryfields #strawberryfieldsfestival #doofseason #bushdoof #musicfestival #festival #festivalfashion #festivalstyle #festivaljewelry #festivalgirls #festivalvibes #festivalseason #tocumwal #doof #funmeter #travelblogger #festivalblogger #transformationalfestival #dametraveler #femmetravel #ladiesgoneglobal #travelinladies #wearetravelgirls #globelletravels #femaletravelbloggers #girlslovetravel #sheisnotlost #explorerbabes #radgirlslife #freewanderess

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Vibe

The vibe here is light and airy, with a feeling of fun, happiness, and wierdness going through the air! You can tell that everyone here has been waiting for this weekend for a long time and is enjoying it to the fullest by dressing up, dancing, and having fun with their friends.

Strawberry Fields is very high energy and very open, with most strangers eager to have a chat, hug, or high-five with any random person who may walk by. In my eyes, this is the absolute best way for a festival to be! No one seemed to be ‘too cool’ here, everyone was a big family.

There was definitely a big party vibe at this festival, with lots of people out to party hard. That being said, I again didn’t witness any people who couldn’t handle themselves in the situation they’d chosen or went too hard. It was a caring environment  with people looking out for their friends while having a good time.

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Strawberry Fields Festival art hammoch structure installation music festival

Strawberry Fields Atmosphere/Decorations

As a music and arts festival, Strawbs did have a good amount of art scattered around the venue. From a few larger and more central wooden installations like a climbable ball, a tall pyramid, a massive wooded hammock structure, a coloful mist-spraying tree, and some more abstract structures, to a specified art area with live painting, it would be hard not to appreciate at least some art.

The “Monoss” art gallery and hammock structure was the center for art at Strawberry Fields Festival. It was here that artists did live painting in all sorts of psychedelic and colorful patterns, and where there was lots of art and photography from previous installations of the festival on display. Inside the Art Garden you could also purchase merchandise, or simply gaze at the work of some diverse yet equally incredible different artists. It was a wonderful space of a bit more peace and quiet, where you could get away from the vibrating basslines and take in some creativity.

Other than these areas, there was more art scattered here and there, lanterns and colorful things hanging from trees, loads of fairy lights that would come alive at dusk, wooded doorways crafted from branches, and much more. All of this came together with the sunlight shining through the kicked-up dust amidst the tall wildlands trees to create a vibe of total magic. Sunset in the Wildlands was a spectacle, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t spend at least a bit of quiet time sitting in the trees and appreciating the surroundings.

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Sasha throwing down his sunset set

Strawberry Fields Lineup/Music/Artists

Strawberry hosted a diverse lineup mostly within the house, techno, disco, and funk genres. For more live music, jam bands, funk, and soul, you could head to The Tea Lounge and to The Grove stages. Each time I passed by any of these there was always a really interesting vibe going on with the more creative types of live music on display. Some headliners here included Max Graef, Dirtwire, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Danika Smith.

The Wildlands Stage hosted most of the bigger names of the weekend and headliners. Bringing in the classic house music were the likes of Sasha, Honey Dijon, Oona Dahl, Carl Craig, Blond:ish, and Andhim, with some techno legends like Peter Van Hoesen and DJ Nobu raising the energy later into the night. Nicola Cruz slayed the trippy tribal beats during his legendary unique afternoon set. The Deep Jungle stage hosted more of the deeper vibes such as DJ Seinfeld, Hoj, and Township Rebellion. You could always head to The Beach stage in the day for the more chilled out and ‘beachy’ vibes to hear while you swim and lay out in the sun.

One thing that is for sure is that the headliners were supplemented by all kinds of awesomeness that I didn’t know by name but thoroughly enjoyed the beats of. This is the type of festival where you often get more drawn in by DJ’s you don’t know. you would often end up dancing for hours at at stage you didn’t even intend to go to in the first place, and leave with some new favorite artists to look up when you get home.

Strawberry Fields camping info

Friends getting ready at the campsite

Strawberry Fields Camping

Getting In

After waiting in line to have wristbands checked and put on, you’ll be let out into the large camping areas. Apparently the camping areas have changed in the past editions of Strawberry Fields, but this year they were mostly in large open grass/dirt fields. The line to get in a few hours after the gate opening couldn’t have taken much more than about 30-45 minutes, which is not too bad considering the amount of people. Cars split into multiple lines to check tickets and were then let in.

Camping Areas

A few different massive camping areas were wrapped like a glove around the festival site. These were divided into two main areas, Redgum and Woperana, and if you looked at the map you could place your camping area on a grid that corresponded to a letter and a number. This was extremely convenient to find people, given that they had a map and knew which spot they were at! I definitely heard a lot of people exchanging their letter-and-number camping areas with others for an easier meetup later on.

The camping areas had main roads etc going through them, making most areas quite easily accessible by car. The camping extended all along one side of the venue and on either side of the main entrance road. Most camping was such a close walking distance to the venue that it was quite easy just to walk back to the tents to grab some beers or rest for a bit if you wanted to. This was a great benefit of having a fairly compact venue – nothing eas ever too far away.

The Strawberry Fields camping had toilets scattered here and there (usually within 5 minutes of any campsite) with water refill stations and some medic tents and that along the different streets. There was one shower area.

Best Strawberry Fields Camping Spots

Most of the camping areas are quite open to the sun, and it was hard to find the stray tree here and there in the middle of the campgrounds to set up under to grab some shade. I would recommend either getting in very early and taking one of the maybe 4-5 trees in the main Redgum area, bringing plenty of shade structures and EZ-ups for your tent and your group chill space, or possibly setting up at the very back of the camping area near the road to get in, which is fully covered in trees but a bit hilly and farther away. You’ll see it when you drive in! Setting up near the glamping tents would also be a good idea and very close, but no shade.

Strawberry Fields festival glamping options WOW tents

Glamping at Strawberry Fields Festival

Strawbs did have glamping options available, called “WOW” tents. There were a few different sizes of these and essentially they were either massive teepee shade structures or pre-erected bell tents for 2-10 people.

There were four different WOW options available, from the ‘Wildlands Wonder’ tent for two with a memory foam bed, power, lighing, mirrors, and a fan, to the ‘Doofers Dream’ and the ‘doofers den’ with similar amenities for up to 5 people but one with BYO linens, to the ‘Basic Bell Tent’  which is pre-erected but BYO everything else. There were options for everyone!

Camping Amenities, Showers, Etc

Since camping was so incredibly close to the festival, and because there was no border/entrance/barrier between the camping and the actual venue, the festival amenities and the camping amenities were one and the same.

Again, there were drop toilets scattered through the campgrounds, most of which were kept fairly clean. There were water refilling stations next to most bathrooms.

The Strawberry Fields camping did have some showers, located near the main entrance next to the glamping areas, if anyone was actually  so inclined as to take a shower. You could walk to the showers or pull the classic baby wipe wipe-down, which a lot of people did. 😛

 

Strawberry Fields Festival bongo drum class festival workshops and activities

A Bongo Drumming + Rhythm Class

Strawberry Fields Festival massage and stretching at the monoss art garden

Some massage and stretching going on outside the Monoss Art Garden

Festival Amenities – Other Stuff to Do

As I have already mentioned, there were tons more things to do at Strawberry Fields festival than just doof your little heart away (although that’s fine too!). Strawberry boasted a fantastic lineup of roaming performers, workshops and classes, live art and painting, activities, and LOTS of gourmet food and drinks.

Many may not have specifically known it, but Strawbs has just as an extensive of a lineup in performance, art, and workshops as it did in music and food.  Surely you had to put in a bit of effort to make some of the shows at Monoss, see the roving performers, and make it to yoga classes on time, but to me it is also an important part of a transformational festival to make it to some, well… transformational experiences.

I went into most of this above but will include another summary of extra Strawberry Fields festival activitied below.

Workshops – Tea Lounge

The Tea Lounge and Village had massage, bongo drumming, yoga, meditation, hula hooping, tarot card reading, all different types of tea, jam and funk bands, and interesting discussions.

Monoss Art Classes + Roaming Performers

Monoss was the center for live art and workshops. Art workshops included things like pottery and macrame. Each day there was an aerial hour near the hammock structure with amazing aerial artists doing their thing. There were fire spinners, belly dancers, twirlers, and more who would road around the festival grounds creating even more magic.

Market Stalls

There were nearly as many epic market stalls at Strawbs as there were amazing food stands. The markets had a lot of epic and eclectic doof clothes, but had other things like sunglasses, hear dreading, henna tattoos, and more.

Amazing food

See below for details!

Strawberry Fields festival food and drunk options

Some of the shaded space near the dozens of food stalls 

Transportation/Hotels/Parking

Strawberry Fields Accommodation

I do think you could stay in Tocumwal if you really want to, but as I always say, you’re doing it wrong if you don’t camp at festivals. The camping here is freaking awesome and so much fun, and its cool enough/ends early enough to sleep at night too.

If you’re totally adamant not to camp, there are hotels in Tocumwal and Airbnb’s as well.  But, driving would definitely be a hectic experience each day with a massive police presence, and getting in and out would likely be more trouble than it’s worth. There’s a shuttle bus from/to Tocumwal from the venue but it’s only on Friday and Sunday for those who take the train. Creating an awesome camping haven for you and your friends in the best option.

Strawberry Fields Transportation

I would say most people at Strawberry Fields Festival either drove themselves, rented a bus among friends, or took one of the Strawberry official busses from the city in Melbourne. The official shuttle bus was definitely the easiest and cheapest option at only $25, but it sold out very quickly.It was really convenient to share a big 24-person bus among friends and split costs, and not have to worry about all the crazy drug testing upon exit of the venue – see ‘security’ section below!

Lastly, it was possible to take public transport from Melbourne to Tocumwal via Shepparton. For anyone waiting at the Tocumwal train station they had a bus to the festival venue.

Parking is simply amongst the camping area wherever you would like, or wherever they shuffle you into as you arrive. I didn’t see much shuffling as it was essentially a free-for-all camping-wise, as long as you parked within the designated lines. If there was any assigned camping, I didn’t see it as we simply drove into the site and drove around until we saw a spot we liked.

Strawberry Fields Festival food options

Just a few menu options at the Aussie food stand!

Strawberry Fields Food/Drink

Strawberry Fields Food

Strawberry Fields was almost just as much a food festival as it was a music festival! They took a great deal of pride in their extensive food options, whicvh lined a goof few hundred meters of the main festival area. There were dozens of food stands and you were really spoilt for choice when it came to deciding just which stalls to allot your daily food intake to.

Some of the most popular food stalls were gourmet grilled cheese, Mexican food/tacos/nachos, Greek gyros, breakfast sandwiches, smoothies, Indian wraps, and loaded fries. Some other stands around included Acai Bowls/Superfoods, gourmet burgers, noodles, Japanese street food, pizza, and more. There was even a classic Aussie tent that sold $3 sausages in bread among other classics like brekkie rolls. Here is a detailed list of all the food… yummmm!

Strawberry Field Drinks

Strawbs was a FULL BYO festival – no bars or drinks available onsite! This might sound funny but in reality it’s totally awesome. People dragged their coolers around with them from stage to stage, cracking open another cold one  literally from right at their feet whenever they felt like it.

That being said, there was no glass allowed. I must say that they didn’t really search for glass upon entry, but if someone saw you walking around with glass onsite they would ask you to throw it away once you finished it.

Strawberry Fields beach stage murray river swim

Daytime beach chilling

henna tattoo

A beautiful henna tattoo

Strawberry Fields Tickets Costs + Prices

Tickets include camping and entry Friday to Monday, and cost about $250 early bird to about $300 final release.

Car Passes cost $30 (and don’t sell out) and early entry for Thursday night is about another $100 per car. Not everything is open on Thursday, but it’s great for getting a good spot and checking out the grounds before they become too crowded.

If you wanted a WOW tent you could add another few hundred bucks depending on how many people and which tent you got. Factor in your food each day, BYO alcohol and other drinks, ice, and camping stuff, and make your budget for the weekend.

strawberry fields security

Just a coupla kind-looking security dudes making their round at the beach

Strawberry Fields Security

There was a heightened police presence going to/from Strawberry Fields festival, as can apparently be expected at pretty much all Australian festivals. You can expect:

Getting to the Venue

There were random police/dog checks on the way into the venue on the main road to/from Tocumwal. It didn’t seem that too many cars were pulled over into the security/dog tests (my bus did not get stopped) but they were definitely apparent. I only saw one police/dog checking area on our way in and there were maybe 4-5 cars in it and the same amount of police cars.

Getting into the Venue

There was no specific security check upon entry – it seemed that the festival left that responsibility to the local police who did a plenty good job with it! After waiting in line outside the entrance they scanned everyone’s tickets and gave out wristbands. Some may have done a quick car check or looked for glass, but with my vehicle there was nothing.

At the Venue

Once inside the Strawberry Fields festival venue, there was not too much security. There was a higher presence of volunteers who roamed around checking that everything/everyone was all good. There were definitely some police roaming around here and there, generally in teams of two and just walking through the grounds checking on things. They seemed fairly chilled however.

Leaving the Venue

Upon exit from Strawberry fields festival, there were TONS of cops doing testing for all types of alcohol and drugs. There were multiple breath tests within the first few miles of the venue, and I would say most cars got pulled in to be tested (while busses were safe). Australia is extremely serious about their driving laws, and if would be risky for anyone to drive if they shouldn’t.

However, within the venue, you could could pay for a preliminary alcohol/drug test to make sure you’re all good. The lines for these tests were understandably long as everyone wanted to make sure to stay safe and ensure they were ok to get their friends home.

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Yep, that’s me, with my tiny hand. 😛 

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Happy Strawberry Fields festival boy

Bathrooms

The bathrooms were long blocks drop toilets set around the venue, painted across their fronts. At that, they were actually really good for drop toilets! They were the kind of sanitary bin drop toilets with sawdust to put in after you do your business, which helps them not to smell! They being said, many doofers can’t really be trusted to remember to pout sawdust in. All in all the bathrooms were really not too bad and I would say they nearly always had toilet paper in them, which is also impressive.

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Only like, 1/3 of the vendor stands at Strawbs!

Weather

The Strawberry Fields weather is quite perfect in November in the Wildlands. It ranged from very warm to hot in the day, and definitely got chilly at night. The temperatures on either side of the spectrum were generally very manageable, with a small fur or light jacket enough to keep you warm at night. During the day it sometimes got a bit too hot in the sun, but many people set up in the shade, had water spray bottles, or most importantly took a dip in the Murray River to cool off.

The Murray River is truly one of the best selling points of Strawberry Fields festival, with its crisp and chilly water doing a perfect job to cool down your body temperature to the perfect level before you head back out into the sun. Lots of people took the opportunity to lay out and work on their tan. Jsut remember sunscreen is extra important here!

strawberry fields clothing

strAWBERRY FIELDS CLOTHING

Strawberry Fields Clothing + Fashion

Strawberry Fields clothing was the classic doof/party attire, with everything weird and wonderful encouraged the most. It does seem that doofs/burns/festivals are taking on a life of their own when it comes to fashion, with leotards and fishnets paired with chunky boots, sparkles, wigs, and body paint paramount for girls and party shirts (crazy patterned button-ups) and silly tights for the guys,

I would say if you were packing to dress up at Strawberry, bring sparkles, colors, chaps, everything colorful spandex, necklaces, glitter, wigs, party shirts, anything robotic or shiny, leotards, silly jewelry or accessories, fishnets, bathing suits, crazy tights, body chains, gloves, high-waisted swimmer bottoms, silly hats or headdresses, big sunglasses, fur coats, silly patterns, and anything bright and silly.

Many people had hilarious ‘doof sticks’ (as they call them in Australia; we call them ‘totems’ at home) in the crowds to help find their friends. The doof sticks here were probably the funniest out of any festival I have been to, with punny jokes and hilarious pictures holding high in the sky. I even saw a guy who brought a vacuum cleaner to the main stage and was hilariously pretending to vacuum up the dirt while wearing octopus tentacles as hands, and it made my day! These kinds of events really enable to to act like a kid again, and anything goes. I ended up making friends with this guy because I was wearing a tiny mini-hand on one of my fingers and high-fived his tentacles with it. 😛

strawberry field festival venue forest doof

strawberry fields sunset venue

Strawberry Fields Timings

Early entry began from 2pm Thursday, with regular entry at 12pm Friday,

Music ran until about 2:30/3am Friday and Saturday. On Sunday the main stages stopped at 7pm and the Tea Lounge stopped at 930pm.

I found this early ending time extremely strange and unfavorable, but as this was my first real Aussie doof I did not realize that many festivals apparently run like this? I understand the intention of getting people out early, but as most people take Mondays off of work after festivals anyway I saw it as an unnecessary limit to the fun. Rather than get people to leave early, this early ending time just made everyone go back and throw campsite parties and run amuck around the festival grounds trying to find other things to do.

I most definitely didn’t go to bed early that night, most people just hopped from campsite to campsite looking for renegade parties and trying to squeeze the last drops out of an epic weekend. For me this was one of the most strange and disappointing parts of the festival – it was like the last half of day three (kind of like, 1/6 of the festival if you think ab out it) was randomly removed, which I’ve never seen at festivals on the other 5 continents. But again, everywhere is different and there is logic behind it somewhere, I suppose.

Strawberry Fields Volunteering

Strawberry Fields had a great volunteer program where you would exchange three 4-hour shifts for your festival ticket. Volunteers came in three different types:

General: Worked at the gate giving/checking tickets, directing traffic, or helping with trash and recycling.

Harm Reduction: did things like carrying water around to people who needed it (cups and all), checking that things were generally going well and radio’ing in anything that was not (any people needing help, missing water stations, working bathrooms, etc)

Wilderness Restoration: Helped clean up after the festival and restore the Wildlands to their ‘leave no trace’ policy standard.

Money

Money worked normally at Strawbs – pay for things with card or cash. Some food stalls only took cash. There was an ATM on site.

 

straberry fields festival vacuum cleaner

Strawberry Fields costumes clothing dress up wedding dresses in the river

Just one more dose of weirdness for your day 😛

Strawberry Fields Cell Phone Service

Phone service was spotty at the festival. There were certain places you could get a call or text through, or an email read, but generally you wouldn’t be able to load things like videos, social media, or many internet pages. I only used my phone to take photos and videos which I posted to my story after the fact. Other than that it’s a good idea to unplug and enjoy the moment! You can see my Strawberry Fields story on the highlights on my instagram.

Final Strawberry Fields Tips

  • Make sure to take time out of dancing to check out all the other things on offer! Pencil in at least one yoga class, art workshop, or fun session. It’s so much more fulfilling to know you made the most out of all that was available.
  • Do know the music before you go! Research a bit on artists you prefer and familiarize yourself with parts of the lineup.
  • THROW AWAY YOUR GOD DAMN TRASH. If each person just takes care of their own sh*t, ther festival would be spotless. It’s not that hard. It’s actually sad how hard people make it seem. Don’t be careless for the incredible venue that Strawberry Fields festival is lucky to have. If you want to keep coming back, pull your weight!
  • Swim in the Murray each morning before you get all ready. It’s honestly THE BEST THING. Nothing is more refreshing!
  • Don’t forget to eat! There is so much amazing food there it would be silly to miss out on trying some. I thought I would try and save money and bring my own food but it’s honestly worth splurging on some of these food stalls.
  • Spend at least some time checking out the live painting and art gallery.
  • Try the ferris wheel! Why not?
Strawberry Fields Festival Review + Guide in Tocumwal, Australia on the banks of the Murray River in 'the Wildlands,' an amazing camping music festival/bush doof on the border of New South Wales and Victoria!

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strawberry fields art live painting

An amazing painting being done live 

 

Thanks for hosting me, Strawbs! As always, all words are my own…. I had the time of my life!

November 28, 2018

The Definitive Best Melbourne Summer Festivals/Doofs/Events Schedule

The Definitive Best Melbourne Summer Festivals/Doofs/Events Schedule

Having just moved here as a music lover, I have been pretty overwhelmed looking at how much there is going on over the Melbourne summer. I’ve had my eyes on quite a few Aussie festivals over the years, but after moving to Victoria I’ve been hoping to hone in on the awesome events going on in this state (I would be in way too deep if I tried to make it to festivals all over the country!) After making my own little list of events I’ve seen here and there, I wanted to share it with all of you fellow music lovers so you can have some insight into what kinds of things are going on here that you’ll love too.

Being a house music and transformational festival fan, I have had the tendency to lean toward events that have a focus on house + techno, probably more mindful events like yoga and different workshops, and definitely a good focus on art. All of the complete festivals I’ve included will fit this bill, whereas most of the one-day events (of which there are also a surprising amount) do as well.

The festivals I have my eyes on are unique. A lot of these are during the day, and they all have a focus on good food, art, performances and/or activities, and obviously awesome music. One thing you will notice is that these all incorporate more than just a club-night music show… if you want to find club nights, you can easily check online.

When making my summer festival schedule, I thought it would be a good idea not to have more than one full 3-4 day festival a month (due to trying to maintain wellbeing, work, sleep, money, and all that boring slightly important stuff :P) but fill in the schedule with a surprising amount of incredible 1-day events/doofs in the Melbourne area with awesome lineups and unique aspects in and of themselves.

So, if you’re a Melbourne doofer, house + techno lover, or transformational festie fanatic, I’ve done the research for you and all you have to do is plan your schedule and most likely save up just a a liiiiiittle bit of money.

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Do like @peggygou_ & show us your best moves.

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Nov 2 Weekend

Chi Wow Wah Town: Nov 2-4

Where: “Out Friends Farm” near Melbourne

Lineup: Steve Bug, Andreas Henneberg, Bondi, Saand, Moontide, Doppel, Jamie Stevens, Sacred Summit many more

Time: 12pm Friday – 12pm Monday

Price: $180- $240

Notes: This is a 3 days camping, art, and house + techno gathering on a farm.

Nov 10th Weekend

Lake People Gathering: Nov 10

Where: Riva St Kilda

Lineup: Lee Burridge, Saand, Oona Dahl, Bondi

Time: 5pm-3am

Price: $60-$80 on the Door

Notes: The All Day I Dream Crew comes to an awesome venue in Aus for a night of incredible melodic house music and interesting performers! Be there.

Nov 15 Weekend

Strawberry Fields: Nov 15-18

Where: Bank of the Murray River, Tocumwal, NSW (Just over the border from Victoria)

Lineup: Andhim, Blond:ish, CC:Disco!, Heidi, Honey Dijon, Hiatus Coyote, Max Gref, Oona Dahl, Sasha, Willow, Township Rebellion

Time: 12pm Friday – Monday

Price: $280 – $340

Notes: Strawberry Fields is one of Australia’s premiere transformational festivals/doofs and has the lineup, activities, art, and production to show it. If there’s one festival you make it to out here, make it ‘Strawbs’ as it’;s affectionately called by those who attend. It’s on the banks of the Murray river, and you can compliment your dancing and art0admiring with swims in the river.

Website  + Read my Strawberry Fields Festival Review-Guide Here!

Nov 24 Weekend

Grapevine Gathering : Nov 24

Where: Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley

Lineup: The Wombats, The Jungle Giants, Tkay Maizda, Lovebirds, Dom Dolla, MK, Miami Horror

Time: 1pm – 10pm

Price: $86 – $117

Notes: Victoria’s music and wine pairing festival… what could be better?! Head out to an actual winery in the Yarra Valley to see an incredible mix of TripleJ-esque music and some nice boiuncy + melodic house. This is an event not to miss this season!

Website

Piknic Electronik #1: Nov 25 (+ Every Sunday Till Feb 24)

Where: Sidney Mywe Music Bowl Southside

Lineup: Mall Grab, Nite Leite, Lodos, Pelvis (week 1) Plus many other artists each week

Time: 2pm-9pm

Price: $20 – $35 / Season Pass $165

Notes: Piknic Electronik is an awesome event that takes place right on the banks of the Yarra River near the Botanical Gardens, twice a month on Sunday. Each week they have an awesome lineup with a backdrop of the city to spend a sunny Sunday with awesome electronic music.

Website

Hatch Laneway Fiesta: Nov 25

Where: Apparently, a Secret Location in Melbs

Lineup: Lonely C from Soul Clap, Minilogue/Son Kite (Marcus), Edd Fisher (Wax’o Paradiso), SQL + Child, Muska

Time: 2pm-12am

Price: $28 – $46

Notes: Hatch is a psychedelic Melbourne Events company running events in Bali and Melbs. Should always be a good vibe.

Tickets

Dec 2 Weekend

LUFT: Dec 2

Where: Central Pier, Docklands

Lineup: Andhim, Alex Stein, Victor Ruiz, Solee, Boogs, Amuze, Leigh Boy, many more

Time: 2pm- 10pm

Price: $63 – $105

Notes: LUFT is a first year house and techno event held in a diverse venue with both inside and outside elements, right on the water in docklands. Along with great sounds, they also focus on art and delicious culinary experiences as well.

Tickets

December 8th Weekend

Meredith Music Festival: Dec 7-9

Where: Meredith Supernatural Amphitheater (1.5hrs from CBD)

Lineup: Sampa the Great, the Presets, Dj Jnett, Clypso, Genesis Owusu, Billy Bragg, The Breeders, City of Ballarat Municipal Brass Band

Time: Dec 7-9

Price: $390

Notes: A bit more of an alternative/rock/basically everything possible festival, Meredith is known for being a little but of everything with a lot going on. It’s one of the most well-known festivals in Australia with an unfathomable amount of art, talent, performers, activities, and silliness. Oh, and did I mention it’s in its 28th year?! Yep.

It’s sold out for this year, so you’ll have to pull some strings for a ticket!

Website

The Pleasure Garden: Dec 8

Where: Catani Gardens, St Kilda

Lineup: The Temper Trap, Zavier Rudd, Sampa the Great, Spoonbill, Stickybuds, Nora En Pure, A.Skillz, Jamie Stevens, Alex Stein

Time: 10:30am-10pm

Price: $71 – $105

Notes: In a sunny field on the water in St Kilda you’ll find the awesome Pleasure Garden Festival. Along with a multi – genre lineup there will be handcrafted cockatils, awesome art installations and activities, and delicious food. There’s even yoga and workshops in the morning! Check, check, and check…. see ya there.

Website

 

Smalltown: Dec 9

Where: Catani Gardens St Kilda

Lineup: Steven Bodzin, Marcel Dettman, Dense & Pika, Made in Paris

Time: 1pm – 9pm

Price: $65 – $97

Notes: Novel has come out with their very first edition of Smalltown for this year, with a massive international lineup – as would be expected by big shots like them. This daytime shindig will take place in the grassy fields of Catani Gardens on the shores of St Kilda – a perfect setting for some incredible daytime house + techno.

Website

December 15 Weekend

Petting Zoo Festival: Dec 15

Where: Yarra Park, East Melbourne

Lineup: Denis Cruz, Latmun, Miguel Campbell, Max Chapman, Friend Within, Raffa FL, Dousk, Angelo Ferreri

Time: 12pm – 11pm

Price: $64.31 – $123.28

Notes: The Petting Zoo is where all the wild animals go to play on this (hopefully) sunny December afternoon in the park! Get your techno pants on and get ready for a nice of awesome music, rover artists, performers, and magicians, installations, and of course amazing food and drink.

Tickets

December 22 Weekend

Elrow Melbourne: Dec 22

Where: Melbourne Showgrounds, Ascot Vale

Lineup: John Digweed, Kevin Knapp,

Time: 1pm –

Price: $93 – $114

Notes: The world famous ELROW comes to Melbourne just before Christmas this year. If you don’t know what elrow is…. I’m tempted to convince you to buy a ticket without telling you what it is and have your mind TOTALLY BLOWN when you arrive. But really, Elrow is unlike any party on this earth. If you take wierdness and square it a million times, throw in costumed characters and stilt walkers acting and playing within the crowd, add a sh*tload fo confetti/streamers and busloads of inflatable pool toys in wierd shapes… you get elrow. Just go, that’s all I can say.

Tickets

Day Doof: Dec 23

Where: Greenfields Albert Park

Lineup: Sebastian Leger, Davi, Khen

Time: 2pm – 11pm

Price: $40 – $50

Notes: After orignally being held iunsude a venue, this year Day Doof will be in a beautiful aprk overlooking Albert Lake. Expect performers, installations, activations, yoga + lifestyle, and food trucks alongside your incredible melodic house/techno lineup. Like honestly, these three dj’s together is  dream… I hope I’m in town.

Tickets

 

New Years Weekend/Day

Beyond the Valley Dec 28 – Jan 1

Where: Lardner Park, Victoria

Lineup: The Kooks, Fisher, Tash Sultana, Duke Dumont, Pnau, Yotto, Boo Seeka, Sonny Fodera, Peggy Gou, Safia, Vera Blue, Boogs, Foals, CAssian, Richy Ahmed, Mall Grab

Time: Thurs 28 Dec – Leave Jan 1st

Price: About $465

Notes: Beyond the Valley is an absolutely stacked festival taking place over New Years in Victoria. The lineup is unbeatable, and its shaping up to be an epic weekend with lots of different camping options, workshops, yoga, colorful art all over the place, and an equally stacked lineup of food and drinks. If there’s an easy pick for New Years… it’s this. And hey, iif you’re a bit crazy, you can still make it to some NYD events afterwards! 😛

Website

Falls Festival Lorne: Dec 28 Dec – 31 Jan

Where: Lorne

Lineup: Anderson.Paak, Catfish + the Bottlemen, Vance Joy, Chvrches, Dizzee Rascal, Toto, Flight Facilities, Golden Features, Tkay Maizda

Time: Friday-Sunday

Price: $350+ For 4-day

Notes: Falls is a classic traveling festival that takes place in most Aussie states on/around New Years.

Website

Let Them Eat Cake: Jan 1

Where: Werribee Park Mansion Grounds

Lineup: Ama Lou, CC; Disco!, Opiou, Peggy Gou, DJ Tennis, Moxie, Flava D, Nightmares on Wax

Time: 11am – 10:30pm

Price: $130 – $160

Notes: Let Them Eat Cake is the quintessential and trendy Melbourne New Year’s Day event – anyone who is anyone should be there. Taking place in a beautiful park outside the Werribee mansion, the venue will set it up to be another incredible year of house music and good times to start out the new year. If I’m still alive after my New Years festival, I’ll be there 😛

Website

 

Jan 19 Weekend

Electric Gardens: Jan 18 (Friday)

Where: Shed 14, Docklands

Lineup: Erick Morillo, Eats Everything, Set Mo, Bag Raiders, Underworld

Time: 6pm -1am

Price: $85- $128

Notes: Electric Gardens comes for another edition this year just outside the CBD inside a shed in Docklands… perfect for the deep warehouse vibes that will be going on inside it. This begins in the daytime and continues into night, with special VIP experiences available.

Tickets

Jan 25 Weekend

Rainbow Serpent Festival: Jan 25 -28

Where: Lexton, Victoria

Lineup: Altruism, Christopher Lawrence,Pollyfonkia, Clozee, Oliver Koletzki, G.M.S., Nanoplex, Patrick Topping, Way Out West, The Funk Hunters, Super Flu

Time:Jan 25th morning to 28th Afternoon

Price: $330 – $400

Notes: The quintessential Australian bush doof, Rainbow Serpent is a haven for music, arts, and all types of creativity. There’s a little bit of everythiing at this incredible and colorful summer gathering, which is surely the one doof to attend if you had to choose. There are millions of workshops, permaculture, kids areas, cinema, ceremonies, live art, installations, performances, and more at Rainbow, as well as an absolutely killer lineup. You’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice when deciding what to do, but that’s the beauty of it!

Feb 2 Weekend

Let Go Fest: Feb 2

Where: Mornington Racecourse

Lineup: Gang of Youths, Safia, Boogs, Allday, Bag Raiders, Remi

Time: 12pm – 9pm

Price: $80 – $175

Notes: Let Go Fest has just released their 2019 lineup, and it looks like it’s going to be a great one. Located on the sunny fields of the Mornington Racecourse, there will be great beats, good food, and an epic time.

Tickets

Feb 9 Weekend

Laneway: Feb 9

Where: Footscray Park + Gardens

Lineup: Gang of Youths, Courtney Barnett, Mansionair, Cosmo’s Midnight, What So Not, Crooked Colours, Masego, Skeggs, Rex Orange County

Time: 11:30am- 10:30pm

Price: $175

Notes: Laneway is another popular Aussie summer festival, this one a one-dayer that travels through different main cities with a similar lineup. You’ll find Aussie-loved acts from quite a few different genres along with some great food and drink.

Website

St Kilda Festival Feb 10

Where: St Kilda Foreshore

Lineup: announced January – local talent

Time: 10am – 10pm

Price: FREE.99 BABY!

Notes: St Kilda Festival is a classic celebration of summer on the beach in St Kilda. It’s totally free and a perfect summer activity!

 

Feb 16 Weekend

Babylon Festival: 14-17 Feb

Where: Carapooee West, Central Victoria

Lineup: Amelia Lens, Damian Lazarus, Behrouz, Stimming, Solardo, Bliss, Butch, Undercat, Woo York, Guy J, Electric Universe

Time: Thursday Eve- Monday Morning

Price: $260 – $330

Notes: Babylon is another incredible music, arts, and culture festival taking place deep in the Victorian bush. The top lineup is only a small part of this festival, however. Babylon also lends a great focus to all different forms of art and performance, psychedelic stage design, workshops and installations, and more.

Website

For the Love 16 Feb

Where: Riva St Kilda

Lineup: Rufus Du Sol, Motez, KLLO

Time: 2pm – 10pm

Price: $90 – $130

Notes:  For the Love is a festival that taken place at scenic venues in three different beachside countries, and boasts a great vibe and fun lineup.

Tickets

Smalltown 2: Feb 16

Where: Caufield Racecourse

Lineup: TBA

Time: 2pm – 10pm

Price: $40 – $80

Notes: Smalltown comes back for another amazing event after its incredible December edition. These events are put 0n by Novel – who put on Pitch Music + Arts, Let them Eat Cake, and Days Like This – and they’ve yet to put on a bad show.

Event

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Pitch 2019 feat. @duskymusic

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Pitch Music + Arts: March 8-11

Where: Moyston, Victoria

Lineup: Charlotte de Witte, David August, Dixon b2b Ame, 16 Bit Lolitas, Daniel Avery, Disky, Four Tet, Horse Meat Disco, Monolink, Perc, Retiree, Job Jobse, Oliver Huntemann, Recondite, Tourist

Time: 12pm March 8 – March 12 morning exit

Price: $340 – $360 (4-day)

Notes: Pitch is now in its 3rd year and has quickly taken hold as one of the top transformational festivals in Australia. Pitch Music + Arts focuses on exactly that – music and arts – and large quantities of each. Pitch goes above and beyond a normal festival and elopes its festivalgoers into a wonderland full of creativity, knowledge, and relentless beats. It also has one of the best lineups out there!

Website

Days Like This March 9

Where: Victoria Park, Melbourne

Lineup: Dusky, Dixon, CC:Disco!, Cassette, Kali, Sven Vath, Denis Sulta, David August, Kali, Tourist, Oliver Huntemann, DJ Harvey, Charlotte De Witte

Time: 12om – 10pm

Price: $130 – $150

Notes: Days Like This is put on by the same stellar company as Pitch, but more for the people who can’t quite swing a 4-day camping festival but still want to check out some of the all-star international acts it’s bringing in.

Tickets

 

 

How many of these amazing events will y0u be going to? Which ones should be added? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Thanks so many of these events for hosting me; I can’t wait to share the magic of the Melbourne scene with the world!

November 10, 2018