Aussie festivals for the new year

JENNIFER ENNION
Last updated 05:00 09/01/2014

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We've all heard of Australia's top food, comedy and music festivals, but there are plenty of smaller events that offer travellers something a little different.

We take a look at Australian festivals you may not have heard of.

TAMAR VALLEY BEER FESTIVAL, TASMANIA

The date: January 17-18

The place: Launceston

The details: With more than 100 craft beers and ciders from Australia and around the world, plus local wines and cocktails, there's something at the Tamar Valley Beer Festival for every thirsty traveller.

THREDBO BLUES FESTIVAL, NEW SOUTH WALES

The date: January 17-19

The place: Thredbo

The details: This year, the Snowy Mountains' village of Thredbo is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its blues festival. There'll be 22 Aussie artists performing, including Wendy Matthews, Jeff Lang and Ray Beadle.

CELLAR DOOR FESTIVAL, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The Date: February 14-16

The place: Adelaide

The details: More than 100 wineries from South Australia participate in this festival, so there is plenty of opportunity to find that perfect drop, or two. There'll be wine tastings, classes, a farmers' market, special lunches and music.

WHITE NIGHT MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

The date: February 22

The place: Melbourne city

The details: Nurture your inner night owl by joining in the frivolity of this festival, which kicks off at 7pm and runs until 7am. During the night, Melbourne's streets and landmarks are consumed by exhibitions, performances, film screenings and concerts.

THE JULIA CREEK DIRT AND DUST FESTIVAL, QUEENSLAND

The date: April 11-13

The place: Julia Creek, north-west Queensland

The details: This festival is about showcasing the small town of Julia Creek and the Aussie outback. Marvel at the locals and guests who battle the heat in a triathlon, watch horse races and bull riding, and enjoy outdoor concerts. This year's full program will be released on January 15.

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NATIONAL FOLK FESTIVAL, ACT

The date: April 17-21

The place: Exhibition Park in Canberra

The details: Drawing crowds of more than 50,000 people, this Canberra festival represents a different state every year, and Western Australia has been chosen for 2014. Confirmed acts include Barleyshakes, the Davidson Brothers, and The Pepperjacks ().

EASTERFEST, QUEENSLAND

The date: April 18-20

The place: Toowoomba

The details: There is a bit of everything at Easterfest, with dancing, rides, BMX, skateboarding, debating, artist signings and religious worship. There is plenty of variety with the music too - gospel, jazz, heavy metal, indie, blues and so on .

NINGALOO WHALESHARK FESTIVAL, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The date: May 23-25

The place: Exmouth

The details: Celebrate the whale shark's annual visit to the waters of Ningaloo by dropping into Exmouth for this festival. Activities include a fun run, while there are also market and food stalls.

WORDSTORM, NORTHERN TERRITORY

The date: May 29 to June 1

The place: Various venues across Darwin

The details: WordStorm is a biannual writers' festival featuring 40 writers from the Northern Territory and 30 from interstate, with a mix of presentations and workshops centred on "seven deadly themes".

HERVEY BAY WHALE FESTIVAL, QUEENSLAND

The date: Still to be confirmed but around July-August

The place: Across Hervey Bay

The details: The town of Hervey Bay comes alive every whale season, as locals launch the annual whale festival. This is a real family affair, with the blessing of the whale-watching fleet, a teddy bear picnic, storytelling, fireworks and live music.

- AAP

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