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Here’s our checklist of things to do this spring

guides Aug 29, 2017
Photo credits: Experience Oz; Tesselaar Tulip Festival; Scupture by the Sea

It’s time to come out of hibernation — spring is here! The time of year when days grow longer and the weather warms up. When you can bank on good weather for the outdoor BBQ without a swarm of mozzies eating you alive. When there’s fun to be had around every corner. There’s a reason we love spring, and we’ve put together a list of things to do to make the most of this glorious season.

1. Get a front row seat to our spectacular wildlife

Spring is the ideal time to go on a wildlife-watching day cruise, as baby animals are aplenty, and, our lucky nation being surrounded by the coast on all sides, there’s a plethora of options. The annual southern migration of whales is a must-see, with whale watching cruises departing from Perth — with the area between Perth/Fremantle and Rottnest Island dubbed the ‘Humpback Highway’, due to the sheer number of whales — Sydney and Brisbane. Those visiting the Apple Isle can take part in the Bruny Island wilderness eco tour and get up close to the marine life and stunning landscapes. For the more adventurous, there’s the option to swim with dolphins in Sorrento, less than two hours south of Melbourne.

2. Smell the roses at a flower festival

Nothing that shouts spring as much as a field of blooming flowers and Australia’s biggest floral festival, Floriade in Canberra, with over a million blooms, won’t disappoint. Further north, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is in its 68th year and features food, wine and music (and flowers, of course), while the Tesselaar Tulip Festival is just an hour’s drive from Melbourne. On the west coast, wildflowers steal the show at the month-long Kings Park Festival in Perth.

3. Dress up for the races

Come November, the country will be gearing up for the race that stops the nation but there’s no reason not to celebrate early, with Spring Racing Carnival events starting in September. Not in Melbourne on race day? Book a table near a big screen, don your finest attire and see if you can nab a Best Dressed award.

4. Explore your city on foot

Sculpture by the Sea returns to Sydney in October, for two weeks. It’s the perfect way for visitors and locals alike to enjoy some stunning artworks against the backdrop of the famous Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk. For those in Melbourne, spring is the ideal season to venture out and explore the city’s street art in a self-guided tour. Night owls can book an evening of thrills, chills and storytelling with a walking ghost tour in Sydney or Melbourne.

5. See a show

The Sydney Fringe Festival takes over the the city come September, showcasing diverse and independent artists and their works. Further south, Melburnians have their choice of the hottest musicals in town, with Aladdin, The Book of Mormon and The Bodyguard all playing to critical acclaim. Opera lovers can take advantage of the stunning weather with an outdoor operatic performance, such as Opera in the Vineyards in the Hunter Valley or Aida on the Beach on the Gold Coast.

6. Get active outdoors

What better time to renew those fitness goals than when you’ve got more daylight hours at your disposal, in weather that won’t freeze your fingers off? And sure, you could lace up your sneakers or do a few laps at the local pool, but for something more visceral, why not try a zombie walk (in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne), which is free and raises money for charity? Or, to truly celebrate the spring awakening, be part of the ‘original happiest 5k on the planet’ and sign up for The Color Run.

Catherine Mah

Catherine likes to run, eat and read but not simultaneously. If you can't find her doing these things, she's most likely sleeping.