Best annual events in New South Wales for over 50s
From fantastic regional music festivals to a diversity of unique events held in spectacular Sydney, New South Wales has it something to suit every interest for the over 50s crowd – whether that be bootscooting at Tamworth Country Music Festival, watching the woodchopping of the Sydney Royal Easter Show, or lapping up laughs at Sydney Comedy Festival.
1 December – 1 April, Sydney
In Sydney’s wonderful Centennial Park, screenings of great new and classic films are set to screen throughout Moonlight Cinema’s anticipated summer season.
13 December, Sydney
Carols by the Sea
This annual community event in Bondi features live local musicians and performers throughout the day, followed by a night of festive carol singing. At the free event, all proceeds from stalls and activities go toward local charities.
17 December, Sydney
Woolworths Carols in the Domain
Sydney’s largest outdoor Christmas concert comes to life in the sprawling Domain, with entertainment beginning at midday, performances and carols lasting well into the night at the family-friendly event. Most bring a picnic rug and find their own spot in the Domain, or VIP tickets are available for those who would prefer seating.
6 – 28 January, Sydney
Over three weeks the internationally acclaimed Sydney Festival showcases a rich and diverse program of the arts, featuring dance, music, film, theatre, cabaret, comedy and visual arts. Over 500 Australian and international artists perform across Sydney’s best theatres, art spaces and dynamic outdoor locations.
10 – 14 January, Parkes
Parkes Elvis Festival
Dedicated to everything vintage Elvis in rural Parkes, the festival features an ultimate Elvis tribute concert, music symposium, rock ‘n’ roll dancing, street parade, vintage car show, festival markets, and renewal of vows celebrations.
19 – 28 January, Tamworth
Tamworth Country Music Festival
Australia’s largest music festival and one of the top ten music festivals in the world, the iconic Tamworth Country Music Festival hosts the best country artists from across Australia, and remarkable country entertainment along with it.
26 January, Sydney
An annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, Yabun showcases Australia’s best Indigenous musicians and traditional performances from across the country. The SpeakOut Tent features critical forums led by some of Australia’s leading artists, authors and thinkers.
13 – 17 February, Sydney
This iconic festival celebrating short film seeks to create a platform for filmmakers and celebrate emerging talent in the film industry. Attracting artists and fans from around the world, Tropfest’s major event day on 17 February screens the finalist films in Parramatta Park, while the TropTalks ideas program features four days of critical debate and keynote speakers from the film industry.
16 February – 4 March, Sydney
Sydney Chinese New Year Festival
Traditional Lion Dancers and red fire crackers kick off the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival, a 1,000-year-old Chinese tradition. Originating in Chinatown, the free annual event now extends across Sydney Harbour in an international celebration of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Korean cultures.
16 February – 4 March, Sydney
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
A kaleidoscope of events take place across Sydney celebrating Australia’s LGBTQI+ community, with the theme 40 Years of Evolution in 2018. The 40th Anniversary Mardi Gras Parade will be held on 3 March with over 200 groups and fantastic floats showcasing all the best the community has to offer.
23 March – 3 April, Sydney
Sydney Royal Easter Show
At the Sydney Royal Easter Show the best of the country is presented to the city with wonderful animal, outback and woodchopping shows, spectacular arts and crafts pavilions, fresh produce displays, thrilling sideshows and memorable evening entertainment.
29 March – 2 April, Byron Bay
Byron Bay Bluesfest
Showcasing music from around the world every Easter long-weekend, the Byron Bay Bluesfest is a top-tier festival presenting the biggest names in blues and roots music. The Boomerang Festival is a new Indigenous festival performed within Bluesfest featuring an array of music, dance, theatre, comedy, film and visual arts.
April 2018, Newcastle
Newcastle Food and Wine Weekend
In Newcastle’s beautiful Lambton Park, more than eighty local wineries, food trucks, coffee houses and desert bars come together to present the best food and wine of the Newcastle & Hunter Valley region, including Newcastle’s Biggest Grazing Lunch feast accompanied by Hunter Valley wines.
4 – 15 April, Sydney
NSW Seniors Festival
The largest festival for seniors in the Southern Hemisphere, the NSW Seniors Festival features a range of wonderful events for over 60s, including Premier’s Gala Concerts, Seniors Comedy Debate Night, and the Seniors Festival Expo with exhibits in wellness, lifestyle, travel and more on 5 & 6 April 2018.
23 April – 20 May, Sydney
Sydney Comedy Festival
Featuring the best comedic talent from across Australia and a fantastic lineup of international comedians, the Sydney Comedy Festival features kick-off Gala events at Sydney’s most iconic venues, Showcase events featuring a sneak-peak of the Festival’s brightest stars, and smaller comedy gigs at venues across Sydney.
30 April – 6 May, Sydney
Sydney Writers’ Festival
Australia’s biggest celebration of writing and ideas, the Sydney Writers’ Festival brings together the world’s leading intellectuals, novelists, journalists, screenwriters, scientists and musicians in a superbly curated programme of keynotes, forums, workshops and unique events.
25 May – 16 June, Sydney
The city of Sydney is set to light up again this coming winter for the brightest event of the season, with free events, art installations and light displays across Sydney city and Harbour. The wonderful programme ranges from colourful night markets and exotic forests of light to the Vivid Ideas programme with a focus on performance for change.
6 – 17 June, Sydney
Sydney Film Festival
At the State Theatre and cinemas around Sydney, more than 200 of the world’s best new films, not usually found in multiplexes, are set to screen amongst nights of entertaining premieres, inspiring talks and parties.
1 – 8 July, Sydney
Australian International Music Festival
A fantastic music and cultural experience, the festival is open to all music types, most particularly featuring Wind Bands, Orchestra, Choirs and Jazz. At the flagship Sydney Opera House venue, world-class performances and workshops are conducted by some of the best talent from around the world.
August 2018, Sydney
Sydney International Boat Show
Australia’s largest boat show set in Darling Harbour features exhibitions, kayak and paddleboard demonstrations, the Australian International Dive Expo, and a wonderful Event Deck with seafood, bars and spectacular Harbour views.
September 2018, Bellingen
Bellingen Fine Music Festival
In beautiful small-town Bellingen, a mix of diverse fine music concerts, workshops and festival fringe events make up three days of community-minded celebrations. Performance genres include orchestra, classical, chamber music, jazz, opera and a diverse program of so much more.
September 2018, Sydney
Sydney Fringe Festival
The largest independent arts festival in New South Wales, the Sydney Fringe celebrates the artistic works of local independent artists and performers at venues across the sprawling city, including a Festival Village in Chippendale, Festival Hub in Alexandria and performances across Sydney’s inner-city.
20 – 27 October, Sydney
Invictus Games Sydney 2018
Founded by Prince Harry in 2014, the Invictus Games is an international sporting event for wounded and injured former and serving defence personnel, striving to inspire recovery, support and understanding through the power of sport. At 2018 Games, archery, athletics, indoor rowing, powerlifting, cycling, sailing, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby will be held at Sydney Olympic Park, in and around Sydney Harbour and venues across Greater Sydney.
15 – 18 November, Mullumbimby
Mullum Music Festival
This laidback music festival in quirky Mullumbimby creates an atmosphere both authentic and vibrant, featuring artists from a range of genres, workshops, horticulture, farmers markets and street parades.
November 2018, Wangaratta
Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues
Of all types of arts festivals in Australia, jazz festivals are the most numerous. And the most prestigious among them is the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, hosting the major Australian Jazz Awards each year and an outstanding programme of jazz musicians.