It has to be said that Australians love their sport and will watch it at the ground, in a pub or as a couch potato at the drop of an Akubra hat. So if fair dinkum sport is your bag, there are events galore Down Under to seriously whet your whistle. Mind you some Australia events are super popular and getting a ticket may not be easy.
Then only a few weeks later the crowds descend on the Flemington racecourse, again in Melbourne, for the running of the Melbourne Cup. It's a horse race that stops a nation and is always held on the first Tuesday in November. Where else will you see a public holiday for a race meeting? Bring a hat.
You have to pay to enter both the above events but not the boat race from Sydney to Hobart. It starts on Boxing Day and is a fabulous spectacle as racing yachts of every shape, size and colour race out of Sydney Harbour heading for Tasmania. You can line the shores and be part of this annual event.
And if you fancy cars and racing of another kind, Queensland's Gold Coast in October is the place to be. The Indy 300 meet sees some of the world's fastest cars racing around the streets with hundreds of thousands of spectators loving every minute of the four-day event. The high-rise apartments are packed with spectators and some of the world's best surf beaches are only a short stroll away.
But enough of this sporting fixation because if you wish to swap the grandstand for the grand circle and catch a bit of culture, Australians do festivals in the arts with a large serving of style and variety. The Melbourne International Arts Festival is a two week extravaganza of all kind of music, drama, dance and arty activities for almost three weeks in October. Local and international performers are often so popular that latecomers are disappointed.
And speaking of festivals of the arts, head north to Queensland in September for the Brisbane Festival where you'll have the chance to enjoy music, theatre, dance, circus, comedy, cabaret, visual, films and talks. There are special family events and even free shows. It's a three week smorgasbord of the arts of every size, shape and sensation.
Now if you prefer your culture with a capital K then a trip to the Aussie Outback and to the tiny town of Birdsville in Queensland in September will see you at the world's most weird and wonderful race meeting. Thousands of tourists swamp the locals for a race meeting the like of which you'll never see anywhere else. Days of racing pale into insignificance alongside the uniquely Australian celebrations. The fancy attire at the Melbourne Cup is overpowered by the fashionistas at Birdsville. Be there or be square.
Australians are famous for their love of life, sporting heroes, beaches and barbecues. So it should come as no surprise that the Aussies hold festivals to celebrate everything from music, wines, culture, arts to horse and motor sport racing.
There is probably a festival on every weekend of the year, in a town somewhere in one of Australia 's states. Australians love to celebrate and almost any excuse will do. A lot of Australia 's festivals are fund raisers for non-profit organisations that put much needed funds back into projects to help the community.
So if you are looking for a taste of the Australian lifestyle visit one of the many festivals and enjoy the sense of camaraderie, fun, food and wine (or beer). The Australians work hard to wind down and certainly enjoy a good day out with family and friends. And if it means it helps to raise funds for the less fortunate in the community then the more the better.
Australians are friendly and warm hearted, and the festivals reflect the spirit of the people as well as its sportspeople and artists. If you are visiting Australia and looking for something to do, check if there are any festivals on in the area.
McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival
Spend some time in among the McLaren Vale Wineries in the picturesque Mr Lofty Ranges, add some jazz and blues and you have the perfect, relaxing day out.
Australian Grand Prix
Albert Park Lake , Albert Park, Victoria
The big V8s take to the streets around Albert Park Lake when they turn into a battleground for the World Grand Prix Racing circuit; in the heart of the city. For more information phone: (+61) 3 9258 7100
Ballarat Begonia Festival
Labour Day long weekend
This festival celebrates flowers, food and art with Australia 's biggest art exhibition held in Ballarat's Botanical Gardens on the foreshore of Lake Wendouree. For more information phone: (+61) 5320 5620
Bellingen Jazz and Blues Festival
Banks of the Bellinger River, New South Wales
For almost 20 years, thousands of people have gathered on the banks of the Bellinger River for three days of jazz and blues at the end of winter.
The Imparja Camel Cup
Blatherskite Park, Alice Springs, Northern Territory
The most entertaining racing you'll ever see – mix the unpredictable with the comical and the result is the Imparja Camel Cup run by the local Lions Club.
Castlemaine State Festival
Various locations in the area
Victoria 's best regional arts festival features dance, theatre, exhibitions and collaborations set in old farmhouses, mineshafts, galleries and vineyards.
Deniliquin Ute Muster
Play on the Plains Festival Site Conargo Road Deniliquin, New South Wales
The year 2008 saw the ute muster celebrate its 10th birthday and smash the world records with 7242 utes in attendance and 2702 people wearing blue singlets.
Mariner's Cove Fraser Coast Cultural Festival
Various venues along Fraser Coast, Queensland
This festival celebrates the diversity of cultural heritage in regional areas. The festival celebrates dance, theatre, international foods on the foreshore of Hervey Bay, street theatre and variety as a part of life.
Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival of Arts
Grenfel, New South Wales
This festival celebrates everything about Henry Lawson by promoting young Australians aspiring in the fields of verse, song, short story writing, art, photography and television.
Cygnet Folk Festival
Cygnet comes alive during its folk festival where it celebrates art and music with workshops, dancing, street theatre and concerts that attract Australian and internationals artists.
Lithgow Showgrounds, New South Wales
This is an arts festival with a metal twist. It brings artists, designers, performers and musicians together in a celebration of iron, steel and other metal materials. See jousting, military re-enactments at Ironfest.
L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival
Various venues in Melbourne
For a week of every year Melbourne is centre stage for Australian fashion and style and celebrates the talents of Australian fashion designers.
National Folk Festival
Exhibition Park , Flemington Road , Mitchell, ACT
A national celebration of folk culture and song, verse and dance that attracts more than 40,000 international and national visitors to Canberra each year.
National Multicultural Festival Canberra
Rudd Street, Canberra
This is a celebration of Australia 's multiculturalism with exhibitions, films, dance, theatre and music.
Oracles of the Bush
Tenterfield, New South Wales
Oracles of the Bush celebrates bush poetry, art and music in the magical surroundings of Tenterfield's autumn.
This is 10 day regional community arts festival featuring visual arts, film, literary workshops and performances.
St Kilda Film Festival
St Kilda, Victoria
This is a celebration of emerging Australian filmmakers with special events, film screenings and awards night.
Exhibition Park, Canberra , ACT
SummerNats is a great big street machine party - burnouts, airbrush art, show cars and everything else to do with the street machine culture.
Sydney, New South Wales
Three weeks of celebrating the arts - music, theatre, dance film, written and outdoor events.
Sydney Writers' Festival
10 Hickson Road, The Rocks, New South Wales
If you love all things literary then the Sydney Writer's Festival is the place to discover a smorgasbord of literary genres, take workshops and meet the authors.
Melbourne MOOMBA Festival
Yarra River, Melbourne , Victoria
Experience the magic of Melbourne 's Moomba Festival and celebrate the diversity of Melbourne 's culture. A must see is the traditional magnificent fireworks display on the banks of the Yarra River to close the festivities.