May is a big month for festivals and events across beautiful Queensland. Here are a few of the highlights and why these events should be on your radar if you’re planning a visit to the Sunshine State this month.

1. Celebrate eco-culture at The Planting (Woodford) – 3 to 5 May

Release your inner tree hugger at The Planting – a popular cultural event held at Woodfordia (Woodford), just under an hour’s drive north of Brisbane. This three-day festival celebrates the growing global environmental consciousness. There’s a diverse program on offer, including musical performances, workshops, talks and yes, you guessed it, tree plantings. Workshops cover creating art, writing books, growing veggies and recycling/upcycling clothes, while kids are well catered for with dance lessons, magic shows and art classes. Festival goers can choose to be a day visitor or camp on-site. Check the website for details of the various ticket packages on offer. Book your accommodation at one of Sunshine Coast’s gorgeous beachfront hotels, Breeze Mooloolaba, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member. Or pick to stay in Comfort Inn North Brisbane, located closer to the city. There are several Choice Hotels to choose from in Queensland.

2. Enjoy world beats at Wintermoon (Mackay) – 3 to 6 May

Wintermoon may be a reasonably small festival but it has a big heart. This family-friendly celebration of world music is held on a rural property at Cameron’s Pocket – the mid-way point between Mackay and Proserpine. St Helens Creek borders the property and is the perfect place to cool off between musical performances. There are three stages that offer a diverse line-up of acts, with a variety of workshops, food vans and arts and crafts stalls to fill in any gaps. The festival does sell out, so check for available tickets before planning your visit. Check out these fun things to do in Mackay and pick your stay at one of these hotels.

Related: School Holidays QLD (Term Dates & Holiday Planner)

3. Hang ten at the Gold Coast Open – 7 to 12 May

The surf’s always up along the Queensland coast, but all eyes will be on Burleigh Heads in May for the Gold Coast Open. This World Surf League event will attract some of the country’s, and indeed the world’s best surfers. Running over six full days, participants vie for prize money and the chance to score points to participate in other pro surfing events around the globe. In between breaks, spectators get to enjoy live bands, skateboarding displays and much more.

Festivals in QLD
Surfers will descend on Burleigh Heads for the Gold Coast Open. Image – Bigstock

4. Wine and dine at the Noosa Food and Wine Festival (Sunshine Coast) – 16 to 20 May

Spread over five days, the Noosa Food and Wine Festival is a tasty celebration of the Sunshine Coast’s culinary scene. There are 100+ events to choose from (many of which sell out months before the actual festival), and the pressure on festival goers is to ponder what NOT to do. Hit the Hinterland Farm Trail, attend a beachfront brunch, or do a mini-masterclass with a celebrity chef. The festival’s two epicentres of Noosa Junction and Hastings Street offer a variety of immersive activities for all ages, while local restaurants go out of their way to create bespoke experiences for discerning diners. It all adds up to some seriously delicious fun. Breeze Mooloolaba, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member in Mooloolaba is the perfect place to stay if you’re headed to this festival.

Festivals in QLD
Learn from the best at the Noosa Food and Wine Festival. Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland

5. Raise a Straddie Salute (Stradbroke Island) – 18 May

No excuse is needed to pay a visit to the coastal playground that is North Stradbroke Island, but the awesome Straddie Salute in May gives you one anyway. A nod to the migrating humpback whales that pass by the island’s stunning beaches in search of warmer climates up north, the Straddie Salute Triathlon Festival is now in its 10th year and it just gets bigger and better. There’s a range of events for varying levels and abilities in this multi-sport spectacular. They include a road triathlon, off-road triathlon, beginners’ triathlon, kids’ duathlon (open to 7 to 12-year-olds), and a fun run. The island teems with wildlife and marine life (dolphins literally come right in to the shore line) and is easily accessed by car ferry or water taxi ride from the Brisbane bayside suburb of Cleveland. Stay at the Comfort Hotel Pacific Resort where you’re sure to get a great night’s rest.

Festivals in QLD
Head to Stradbroke Island for the Straddie Salute. Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland

6. Get to a festival in Brisbane

Brisbane also offers plenty to keep festival fans entertained during the month of May. Brisbane Art Design Festival (BAD) is a showcase of visual art and design that will animate a network of parks, laneways, galleries, artists’ spaces and studios across the city from May 10 to 26. Brisbane Street Art Festival will be celebrating the River City’s vibrant street art scene from May 4 to 19, kicking off with a launch party at Felons Brewing Co at the new Howard Smith Wharves beneath the Story Bridge. For a change of pace, head for the Paniyiri Greek Festival at Musgrave Park on the weekend of May 18 and 19. With over 30 stalls selling Greek treats like honey puffs, baklava, souvlaki and fried halloumi, this event is one not to miss! Choose from one of these several hotel options located in Brisbane.

Festivals in QLD
Image courtesy of Paniyiri Greek Festival

About the writer

Jennifer Johnston is a Brisbane-based freelance writer and blogger inspired by travel, people, health and wellbeing. When Jennifer’s not writing, you may find her hiking in some scenic part of the world or at the beach. She’s not the type to sit still – preferring adventure over relaxation and conversation over contemplation.

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