Five months of extraordinary Queensland events

Jab rates are up, and border restrictions are down. If that’s not enough reason to spend days like this in Queensland, then check out our favourite 20 events and festivities primed to fill the first half of the 2022 calendar year.

February – art and music

The month of love is also Queensland’s month of music events. Kickstart the event beats at Cairns Summer Sounds with a two-night performance by Ocean Alley (4-5 February), the Aussie band that slammed into Triple J’s Top 100 by taking out both the number one and the number 100 spot in 2019. Stay in Cairns for one more week to see Vera Blue (11 Feb), the muse whose haunting voice turned all four judges on The Voice in 2013. Nine years later, Celia Pavey – as she was then known – is now a proven electric pop performer.

Further south, but still on the Great Barrier Reef, the Agnes Blues Roots & Rock Festival (18-20 Feb) returns for the eighth time to electrify audiences with three days of toe-tapping tunes in one of the prettiest beach backdrops on the east coast of Australia. Talking of blues, the best remedy for this omi-crumminess has got to be the kitschy joy of Eurovision. Those who can’t travel to Turin to watch the festivities on the big stage this year, can book a weekend at the Gold Coast to see the next best thing, Eurovision – Australia Decides (26-27 Feb). Enjoy two days of colour, drama and glitter across all musical spectrums and help vote for the artist who will go on to represent Australia at the world’s merriest eisteddfod.

Read: Drive North Queensland website launched

If ever there was a need to experience joy through art, it’s now. The 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art – APT10 (running until 25 April 2022) brings to Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) both new and blockbuster art works from 150 individuals across 30 countries. Away from the walls, wishful travellers should make a beeline for Under the Radar, a curation of unseen cinema showcasing the cultures of lesser-known destinations such as Nepal, Bhutan, and Kyrgyzstan, some featuring first-time and untrained actors. Families will also enjoy APT10 Kids where large-scale installations and displays promote the theme of inclusivity and diversity.

March – sport meets science
Are you a jock or a nerd? This March, choose which team you are on when Brisbane morphs into the City of Science over five days of free and ticketed events at the World Science Festival (9-13 March). It wouldn’t be the annual event without Curiocity (9-20 March), Brisbane’s own future-facing festival that brings a multitude of temporary outdoor installations, some huge, to blow the mind.

Meanwhile, sporty types will love the line-up of action in March. Celebrate the joys of surfing and SUPing at the Noosa Festival of Surfing (5-13 March) and watch on as ocean lovers take pre-1985 twin fin boards to conquer the Noosa swells. Stick around on the Sunshine Coast for another week and join in or watch on as thousands of triathletes descend on the popular beach town of Mooloolaba for the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival (11-13 March). Back in Brisbane, March wheels in the next instalment of the Brisbane Cycling Festival (24 March to 14 April). There are professional, amateur and mass participation events at the celebrated Anna Meares Velodrome and other venues. Keen eyes will be on the 2022 Oceania Championships (BMX, Mountain Bike, Road, and track) Auscycling Track National Championships.

April – ocean racing and outback season
Balmy 25-degree Celsius sea temperatures provide the perfect conditions for two major events on the Gold Coast in April: the Gold Coast Triathlon: Luke Harrop Memorial (3 April) and the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships (2-10 April). The latter welcomes more than 6000 competitors from 314 surf clubs for a tournament of guts and glory played out on the nation’s favourite beach destination.

Autumn also signals the end of the heat and the start of the six-month winter odyssey. It’s a time when a convoy of caravanners head out to the outback for nature, adventure and endless legends around wood-fired pits. Fittingly, the Birdsville Races (10-11 April), the infamous Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Festival (April 2022) and Roma’s Easter in the Country (14-18 April) are firing up to welcome west-leaning revellers.

Read: Are the Birdsville races the only reason to visit outback Queensland?

May – football fever
If there’s one sport Queenslanders are passionate about, it’s rugby league. Every May, 16 teams from across the NRL descend on Suncorp Stadium as the nation’s mightiest players battle it out over three-days for the NRL Magic Round Brisbane (13-15 May). Off field, it’s a time when whole streets are closed and the city comes out to play. Alternatively, for a different crusade, escape north for the Port Douglas Carnivale (20-22 May) where the only sport on show are long lunches, live music, monster kite displays and hot and steamy parties.

June – culture of the new and the north
Love a bit of pop culture? Cooly Rocks On (8-12 June) brings polka-dot flounce alongside vintage vibes to the southern end of the Gold Coast while the 2022 TV Week Logies sees the nation’s A-Listers lob in for red carpet fun around Broadbeach. Further north, there’s a month-long arts festival happening in Townsville, thanks to the North Australian Festival of Arts (10 June to 10 July). Expect to see punk, cabaret, comedy, dance, theatre and plenty more acts that will bring the community together and lift the soul.

July – Poppin into history

Magic is bound to happen at the Mary Poppins Festival (3 July). Held in the glorious heritage streets of Maryborough, Disney aficionados can embrace their inner nanny and join in belly laughing events, including the great Nanny Challenge and the Chimney Sweep Dash. The event is part of Maryborough’s celebration of PL Travers, the author who was inspired by her birth town to conjure up the world’s most famous governess and the story of Mary Poppins.

Read: Unexpected rainforest experiences in North Queensland

So there you have it. Five months of fabulous fun as well as tournaments of guts and glory, and all served up in Queensland. For more information, visit Queensland.com/events.

Are you heading to Queensland this year? Are any of these events on your calendar? Why not let us know in the comments section below?

Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

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Written by Shelley Winkel

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