If you're chasing a holiday before winter sets in, why not get into the seasonal spirit with one of Australia's autumn festivals? Celebrate the change of the seasons while soaking up the lingering summer sun with a range of festive activities for you and your loved ones to enjoy. With the respite from the Australian sun, autumn also brings with it the chance to experience some of Australia's unique sights without the summer crowds. We take at look at some of autumn festivals taking place around the country for the turning of the leaves.
Western Australia – Perth's Autumn Festival
They really know how to celebrate the season in Perth. The Autumn Festival runs throughout the months of March to May, with activities every weekend. Journey across the beautiful Swan River and Valley and over Perth's rolling hills as Western Australia heralds in the relief of cooler weather after the blistering summer heat.
The festival takes place across the region's parks and vineyards with everything from farmers markets to live music, cycling events and a classic car show, as well as plenty to keep little ones occupied.
Victoria – Bright Autumn Festival
This ten day celebration, which runs from April 24 to May 3, is a free event taking place in the picturesque setting of Bright in Victoria's High Country. Take in the fresh air away from the bustle of the city and see the colours of autumn in their full glory along the avenues lined with oaks, poplars and maple trees.
With markets and entertainment running throughout the festival, the Gala Day weekend tops it all off with a parade through Bright on May 2. Don't forget to grab lunch from one of the stalls and sample some of the region's amazing produce before the parade kicks off.
If you're visiting Melbourne, make sure you don't miss out on this gem of a festival.
New South Wales – Armidale Autumn Festival
If you're looking to ring in the season in New South Wales, Armidale celebrates their autumn festival from March 13 to March 15 with a colourful range of events.
Get involved in the Armidale community spirit with stalls down in the Creeklands, night markets, a light show and food and music throughout this free weekend festival.
The crowning jewel in this autumn celebration is surely the grand parade, with this year's theme honouring 100 years since WWI and the ANZAC legacy. Take a step back and unwind in this special city, under a 90 minute drive from Tamworth, or under 3 hours' drive from Port Macquarie or Coffs Harbour.
Australian Capital Territory – Canberra Balloon Spectacular
Not a event to be missed, the Balloon Spectacular is a highlight in the Canberra year and also one of the most breathtaking ballooning events in the world. You'll have to be up with the sparrows to catch the action though, as the balloons are launched at 6:30 a.m. each day, weather permitting.
Bring your camera and a blanket and settle in for a magical morning as you watch the balloons inflate on the lawns of Old Parliament House before they glide across the rosy morning sky. There's no better way to welcome in autumn than with a hot breakfast while you watch, courtesy of the Belconnen Lions Club.
If you want to experience the thrill of a balloon flight first hand, you can book a flight with Balloon Aloft or Dawn Drifters for a morning you will never forget. The lawn is located on King George terrace across the bridge from the town centre, and is accessible by public transport, although parking will be restricted in surrounding areas during the event.