Australia agenda: Sydney to Hobart Yacht race, Christmas on the beach

The weather is heating up and Australians are getting ready for the busy Christmas period. The famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht race will start on December 26, the day after Christmas.

Christmas, Boxing Day
December 25 and 26
Australia-wide

Unlike in Europe and America where Christmas is characterized by snow and steaming-hot turkey, Australians are known to celebrate Christmas day with a barbecue and a swim at the beach due to the scorching-hot weather normally experienced around the country during that time. One Australian Christmas tradition sees around 40,000 people head to Sydney's Bondi Beach on Christmas Day each year. Australians also celebrate Boxing Day on December 26 (except in South Australia where the public holiday is known as Proclamation Day).


65th Sydney to Hobart Yacht race
December 26-31
Tasman Sea, Australia

99 Yachts will partake in the 65th edition of Australia's iconic Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. The event is  one of the world's greatest blue-water classic races, and sits alongside major overseas racing events such as the Admiral's Cup, Kenwood Cup, One Ton Cup, the Fastnet Race and the America's Cup.
http://rolexsydneyhobart.com/


22nd Tasmania Taste Festival
December 28-January 3
Sullivans Cove, Hobart
Tasmania, Australia

The Tasmania Taste Festival is Tasmania's largest annual event. The waterfront event showcases a selection of Tasmania's premium food and beverages. Festival participants are entertained with performances and music as they learn about the produce's journey from paddock to plate. Approximately 250,000 people attend the Taste Festival each year. Melbourne will host a similar festival, called the Taste of Melbourne, in August 2011.
http://www.tastefestival.com.au/


35th Sydney Festival 2011
January 8-30
Various locations
Sydney, Australia

The Sydney Festival is Australia's largest summer festival. With its more than one million visitors it outshines Australia's other arts festivals including the Perth International Arts Festival, the Brisbane Festival and the Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts. It has been running since 1977 and aims to showcase local and international talent while at the same time celebrating Australian culture. More than 1,500 artists in the fields of dance, theater, music, visual arts, and cross media platforms will be involved in the 2011 Sydney Festival. Most events are free to the public.
http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/

20th Big Day Out Festival

January 21-February 6
Various cities in Australia and New Zealand

Founded in 1992 in Sydney, Big Day Out is a touring musical event that opens in Auckland on January 21 with headliner Tool. The show travels to Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth in the subsequent days. The event, which expanded its Sydney show to two days and expects to draw more than 250,000 people, features seven or eight stages (depending on the venue) with rock, electronic music, international, and local acts performing. 2011 features M.I.A. and Iggy and the Stooges. Gold Coast, Melbourne, and one of the Sydney shows are sold out but you can register online to be entered into a drawing for a chance at a ticket. Tickets are priced between $150 AUD and $155 AUD (€111-€115), depending on the city, and there are no camping options.
http://www.bigdayout.com


Australia Day
January 26
Australia-wide

Australia Day is the national day of Australia, a day that commemorates the arrival of England's First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788. Australia Day is a national holiday and friends and family usually get together to celebrate at outdoor concerts, fireworks displays, barbecues and and festivals. Some of the best places to be on the day include Sydney's Darling Harbour, the Perth Skyworks, and the People's March in Melbourne.  
http://www.australiaday.org.au/

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