The car festival sees around 1800 Australian street machines head to Exhibition Park in the capital, and a few cars that arrive from elsewhere in the world. The aim is to show off these vehicles to crowds of more than 100,000 people, complete with burnouts, a street machine judging competition and precision driving demos. Combine this with one of the nation's biggest motor retail trade shows and a scent of burnt rubber in the air and you've got a taste of Summernats.

The event sees a search for the Street Machine Summernats Grand Champion plus plenty of rock and roll, attracting dedicated rev heads along with people who know nothing about cars.

Getting There

Exhibition Park is located on the corner of Flemington Road and Northbourne Avenue. The massive venue covered 80 hectares yet is located just a ten minute drive from the heart of the city. This makes it accessible via car (it is a car festival, after all) and public transport alike. Depending on where in Canberra you're staying, you can even walk to the venue.


Summernats is different every year, but the 2015 program saw a spectacle of fireworks, Saturday Night Supercruise and a Guinness World Record Burnout Attempt. Expect cruising, drive-in movies, concerts, kids entertainment and event art exhibitions - albeit in airbrush form. Other events include Horsepower Heroes, a tattoo competition, the Miss Summernats competition, a classic and vintage car show and car audio sound-off.

Get Involved

You can enter your car to be displayed at Summernats, but be warned that the organisers are looking for cars that are unique, cool and different. Most Summernats cars are obviously modified or customised, setting them apart from the everyday cars you see on the streets. You can enter into the City Cruise and put your car up for judging, or simply have it on show as a display piece.

Buying Tickets

You can only buy Summernats tickets if you belong to the Nats Club. Membership here entitles you to retail discounts, early bird discounts and plenty of other cool things. Membership is free and it's easy to sign up.

Banner image courtesy of jeremyg3030 via Flickr Creative Commons