Summer events in South East Queensland

There’s plenty to do in Queensland all year round, but a wave of big-ticket items is about to hit this summer
APT Monira Al Qadiri
Photograph: QAGOMA Asia Pacific Triennial: Artwork by Monira Al Qadiri
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During summer in Queensland it’s all systems go on fun and frivolities. The southeast corner in particular becomes a flurry of activity, including sporting tournaments, music festivals, art exhibitions and much more.

As 2018 ticks over to 2019, you can watch all the tennis action in Brisbane, let your hair down at one of the country’s biggest folk festivals, and enjoy a spot of polo by the beach. Culture buffs can peruse international works of contemporary art, while sports nuts sit it out for three days at the Gabba with eyes fixed on a cricket ball.

In between the formalities there are plenty of other places to chill/explore (depending on your energy levels), including Brisbane’s inner-city beach at South Bank, which makes even locals feel like they’re on holidays; the hill with a view, Mt Coot-tha; and wine trails through the Granite Belt. You can also head offshore to Stradbroke, Moreton and Fraser Islands, the latter being the world’s largest sand island, or get lost in the hinterlands behind the Gold or Sunshine Coasts. Of course, the coasts are also ripe for beachy stuff, so bring your towel and a surfboard.

Brisbane International tennis
Photograph: Supplied
Sport and fitness, Tennis and racquet sports

Brisbane International

icon-location-pin Queensland Tennis Centre, Tennyson

Brisbane’s summer cues a hot line-up of tennis stars, when the world’s greats vie to thwack their way into sporting history. Qualifying rounds are free to the public on December 28-30, then the real (ticketed) showdown begins on December 31. The event is launched with a Kids’ Tennis Day on Sunday Dec 30. Brisbane, Dec 28-Jan 6.

While you're there: Post-game, head to the nearby Brisbane Marketplace in Rocklea, for fresh food and produce on Saturdays and upcycled bargains and antiques on Sundays. 

Zico Albaiquni / When it Shook - The Earth stood Still (After Pirous) 2018 / Image courtesy: The artist and Yavuz Gallery
Art, Galleries

The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9)

icon-location-pin Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, South Bank

View the artistic creations of nations from Iraq to Hawaii at this five-month exhibition. More than 80 artists will have their work laid out, stitching together a story of how their contemporary art has impacted the Asia-Pacific region. Kids are brought into the fold with workshops and multimedia activities. QAGOMA, Brisbane, Nov 24-Apr 28.

While you’re there: Head along South Bank down to the Wheel of Brisbane, a ferris wheel offering panoramic city views from 60 metres up.

Woodford Folk Festival
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Woodford Folk Festival

icon-location-pin Woodfordia,

Woodford continues the festivities between Christmas and New Year and isn’t so much a festival as an entire village of arts, entertainment and all-round good vibes that welcomes around 2,000 artists and 100,000 revellers. Woodford done right involves camping on-site, but other accommodation options are available. Woodfordia, Dec 27-Jan 1.

While you're there: After the festival, replenish yourself with a hearty breakfast and the bucolic views at Birches Restaurant at Mount Mee, which is just a 20-minute drive from the festival site.  

People on Horse
Photograph: Supplied

The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival

The carnival is hinged on a yearling sale, but if you’re not in the market for a horse, get trackside and cheer one home instead. Festivities run for ten days with fast-paced action on and off the track including one of Australia’s richest race days to bring out the Gold Coast glitterati. Gold Coast, Jan 4-15.

While you're there: Make the most of the carnival by checking into the QT Gold Coast Hotel, where the sophisticated interior design channels the glitz of the GC. 

Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo
Photograph: Time Out

Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo

The equine action continues at the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo, a play-off between the world’s best polo players with the spectacular Gold Coast as the backdrop. The day includes three matches, including an appearance from Argentine polo star Nacho Figueras, a live concert and DJ, plus fashions on the field to provide reason to deck out in your finest. Gold Coast, Sun Jan 6.

While you're there: Celebrate your wins with an Aperol Spritz at Chico Bistro, or take in the million-dollar views 77 floors up from the SkyPoint Observation Deck

Australia v Pakistan
Photograph: Ryan Pierse

Brisbane Day-Night Test: Australia v Sri Lanka

The only day-night test this summer will be held in Brisbane when Australia takes on Sri Lanka. The event runs over Australia Day, creating the perfect excuse to get out and barrack for your countrymen. Brisbane, Jan 24-28.

While you're there: Explore the bars and fine dining at the nearby Gabba Village bar and restaurant precinct, including modern Australian restaurant Detour