Moomba Festival, Melbourne

A three-day extravaganza described as the largest community festival in Australia, Moomba has been drawing huge crowds to the city centre of Melbourne for more than 60 years. The family-favourite event features carnival rides, fireworks, free entertainment and activities, as well as the Moomba Masters water skiing competition on the Yarra River. The highlights are the colourful Moomba Parade that enraptures crowds lining St Kilda Road and the zany Birdman Rally, where winged daredevils in costumes plunge into the river as they try to ‘outfly’ the competition.

Moomba on Labour Day, Melbourne
Image courtesy of Chris Phutully via Flickr Creative Commons

Sculpture by the Sea, Perth

Fancy seeing a skeleton riding a pushbike up a power pole or a flock of giant flamingos catching some rays on the beach? At Sculpture by the Sea in Cottesloe you can see these kinds of quirky artworks and more. The exhibition starts on the Labour Day long weekend and features more than 70 sculptures artistically displayed on the beach and foreshore.

Manly Jazz Festival, Sydney

Seaside views and soulful tunes go hand in hand at the 11-day Manly Jazz Festival, which reaches its peak over the Labour Day long weekend. In it’s fourth decade, the festival features artists from across Australia and around the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors. Grab a program, head to one of the outdoor stages in Manly and get set to jiggle to the sounds of funk, blues and swing tunes.

Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival, Darwin

Territorians sure know how to welcome the dry season, and you can join them at the Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival. The week-long festival starting on the long weekend is a community event of music, dance, art and activities. See artists from around Australia perform, test your castle-crafting cred in the sand sculpture competition, take part in a creative workshop, limber up at a free yoga class or eat your way around the abundant food stalls in beautiful Darwin.

Semaphore Music Festival, Adelaide

Port Adelaide is the place to be on the Labour Day long weekend, when the coastal suburb of Semaphore erupts in a three-day extravaganza of music and song. The Semaphore Music Festival showcases the best local musicians, as well as a line-up of other Australian acts. More than 60 artists play to crowds along the foreshore and at packed out pubs and clubs in the area. The festival, now in its second decade, attracts about 5000 music lovers.