Immerse Yourself in Arts in Sydney

First launched in 1977, the Sydney Festival is a three-week international extravaganza of dance, music, drama, visual arts, cabaret, and circus arts. The 2016 festival will mark the 40th anniversary edition of the event. Nearly half a million people spend their January holidays here, taking in massive free outdoor events and dozens of ticketed shows. In addition to acrobats and bluegrass bands to a lawn library and waterfall swing, there’s also a rich array of kids programming.

Get Wet in Jervis Bay

Does it get more idyllic than Jervis Bay in January? This sheltered bay filled with crystal-clear water, powder white sand, and bountiful sea life draw understandable crowds on holiday. You can pick from luxury tent-style accommodations on the beach or simple rentals further inland. Booderee National Park, located at the bay’s southeastern end, is a fantastic spot for surfing and diving. Booderee means “plenty of fish,” and it’s easy to see why once you’re in the water.


Catch a Match in Melbourne

Tennis lovers know that sophisticated restaurants, eclectic boutiques, and a lively arts scene aren’t the only reasons to visit Melbourne on holiday. In January, the city is home to the Australian Open, the first of four Grand Slam tournaments held around the world each year. Boisterous tennis fans descend on Melbourne in droves, hoping to catch a glimpse of top tennis players in action. Between matches, consider making a visit to Queen Victoria Market, the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere.

Seek the Sun in Tasmania

While the north of the country risks rain and humidity, Tasmania tends to be dry and sunny in January. But there’s more than just moderate weather to attract visitors to “Tassie.” This southern island has spectacular swimming at Seven Mile Beach, gourmet wineries and upscale restaurants in the Tamar Valley, and enough wildlife to keep even bushwalkers and nature nerds happy in Narawntapu National Park. The island’s east coast tends to attract more tourists this time of year thanks to its sunnier skies and crystalline waters.


Listen Along in Tamworth

The Tamworth Country Music Festival has been rated one of top music festivals, and if you set foot in this provincial town in late January, you’ll understand why. During this two-week event, Tamworth comes alive. The main street, Peel Street, is closed to traffic and nearly 50,000 festivalgoers walk the town between concerts and live musical performances. Artists who’ve performed in the past include Keith Urban, Kasey Chambers, John Williamson, and Lee Kernaghan. One word of warning: Accommodations are typically booked well in advance of January, so call ahead to find a reservation.


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