Australia agenda: Australian Grand Prix

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The Independent Travel

Twelve teams will be revving their engines at this year's Formula One Australian Grand Prix. There are new rules, new tires and lots of action on the semi-street Albert Park racetrack in Melbourne.

Australian Grand Prix
March 24-27
Albert Park, Melbourne
Victoria, Australia

The racing season gets underway in Melbourne this year, after the cancellation of Bahrain's opener earlier in the month. This year will see the reintroduction of Pirelli as a tire supplier (potentially changing pit stop strategy) and the use of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) boosters, bringing hybrid power to several teams' cars for the first time.
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25th Melbourne International Comedy Festival
March 30 - April 24
Various venues in Melbourne
Victoria, Australia

Alongside the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August 5-29) and Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival (July), the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the three largest comedy festivals in the world. The event regularly attracts crowds of more than 500,000 spectators who come to see free and paid events from the festival's vivid program of stand-up comedy, cabaret, theater, street performance, film, television, radio and visual arts. The Sydney Comedy Festival will take place a few weeks later (April 11 - May 8).
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20th Targa Tasmania rally
April 5-10
Various courses from Launceston to Hobart
Tasmania, Australia

Unlike the majority of rallies, the public is invited to the Targa Tasmania to come and watch the almost 400 sports cars, Grand Touring Cars and sporting automobiles from the 1900s to the present race around Tasmania's roads. More than 200,000 spectators turn out to watch the Targa Tasmania each year, bringing an estimated $10 million dollars into the Tasmanian economy. German World Rally Champion Walter Rohrl and his Porsche 911 SC will be one of the star attractions at the event, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2011.

Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Prizes
April 16 - June 26
Art Gallery NSW, Sydney
NSW, Australia

The Archibald Prize is one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious art awards. Since its inception in 1921 the prize has been awarded to some of Australia's most important artists, including George Lambert, William Dobell and Brett Whiteley. Each year the Art Gallery of NSW holds an exhibition to showcase Archibald Prize entries. The Art Gallery of NSW also displays landscape paintings in oil or watercolor and figure sculptures submitted for The Wynne Prize plus genre paintings, subject paintings and mural projects in the running to win the Sir John Sulman Prize.
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50th Rip Curl Pro
April 19-30
Bells Beach, Torquay
Victoria, Australia

In 2011 the Rip Curl Pro is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The Australian event is the world's longest running and most prestigious professional surfing contest, rivaling surf-company-sponsored events like the Quiksilver Pro, Billabong Pro and the Roxy Pro. The major surfing event features the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) World Tour's best 34 male and best 17 female surfers.
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