Winter is a magical time of year, and it seems as if all of Victoria is celebrating this joyful season. Instead of turning off at sunset, regional Victoria is lighting up at night with some fabulous winter festivals. Sip on wine, enjoy feasts by the fire, listen to live music and feel dazzled by stunning light projections, from Apollo Bay to East Gippsland. Hop in the car and take a drive around Victoria for some of these heart-warming winter festivals. Which one are you looking forward to?
1. East Gippsland Winter Festival in East Gippsland
Escape to East Gippsland this winter for three and a half weeks of pop-up events, winter feasts, art installations and more. Taste local produce, warm up with wine and more over the winter nights, from Gippsland Lakes to the High Country.
East Gippsland Winter Festival will run from June 17 to July 10. Browse through the full program here.
2. Darker Days Festival in Bright
This three-day celebration at Bright Brewery is all about enjoying dark beer, high country flavours and live music. This festival will showcase over 50 craft beers, as well as gin, whisky, mulled cider, wine and coffee. There will also be special long table culinary events, and other tasty treats to try like BBQ meats, hotdogs, Mexican street food and donuts. For the kids, there will be glow in the dark fairy floss, a fire twirler, magician, balloon artist and more.Darker Days will run from June 17 to 19.
3. Ballarat Winter Festival in Ballarat
Discover some magical winter experiences at the Ballarat Winter Festival. Head to Sovereign Hill and see it light up under the glow of Winter Wonderlights, go ice-skating, see fiery knights at Kyral Castle and more. Ballarat Winter Festival will run from June 25 to July 17.Explore the program here.
2. WinterWild in Apollo Bay
Escape to the darkness of the Southern Otways, and enjoy a festival of live music, theatre, gourmet food, bonfires, performances, cemetery tours and much, much more. Surrounded by rainforest and ocean, this festival is all about embracing and celebrating the winter elements. It will take place across two weekends, from August 12 to 14 and August 26 to 28.Learn more here.
5. Winter Glow at Adventure Park in Geelong
Have fun at Adventure Park over the school holidays, and frolic in the snow, check out some new rides, marvel at fire twirling displays, see hundreds of glittering installations and more fun activities. After that, roast marshmallows over an open fire, and heat up with some lovely winter drinks. Winter Glow will run from June 17 to 19, then from June 23 to July 10.More info here.
6. Winter Sounds in Daylesford and surrounds
Stay cosy this winter with a series of intimate performances inside some truly unique and beautiful locations around Daylesford and the surrounding hills. Listen to live performances from artists like Emma Donovan & The Putbacks in gold-rush era buildings, village halls, historic churches and art deco theatres over one weekend.Winter Sounds will run from July 15 to 17.
While you’re there, why don’t you head towards Lake Daylesford and see the wonders of aurora borealis?
7. Fireside in Yarra Valley
Discover the best winter culinary experiences around the Yarra Valley at Fireside. Over 16 days, there will be heaps of decadent and flavoursome events to warm up your palate, including fireside brunches, long lunches, wine tasting and more.
Fireside will run from July 9 to 24. Browse the full range of events here.
8. White Night in Shepparton
For the first time, White Night is taking over Shepparton. This after-dark event will celebrate art, culture, and Shepparton’s history, with dazzling installations, projections, music and more. White Night will run on Saturday June 25, from 6pm to midnight.
After that, White Night will take over two more cities in the spring. Head to Bendigo on September 3, and Geelong on October 8. More info here.
9. Glow: Bendigo After Dark in Bendigo
In this winter lights festival, Rosalind Park will light up with the radiant glow of installations and projections. There’s 11 installations to discover, and each of them represent and showcase stories from Bendigo. Wander through 600 colourful lanterns, see gorgeous projections and more.
GLOW will light up the night from June 25 to July 17. Learn more here.
10. Moama Lights in Echuca-Moama
Art, technology and nature will combine into an immersive light and sound trail at Moama Lights. Journey along the boardwalk, past towering trees and towards the Murray River, and discover fleeting images, colourful effects, theatrical fog and more.
Moama Lights will run from July 31 to August 21. More info here.