The eagerly awaited Whitsunday Reef Festival is almost here and boy, is there a lot to look forward to.
Over the course of 10 days, entertainment will be pouring out of Airlie Beach and there’s plenty of different events to attend. Check out our guide to what’s on so you don’t miss a thing.
During the Reef festival, there will be road closures. Visit our story to find out which roads will be affected.
Whitsunday Reef Festival opening night
The Whitsunday Reef Festival will kick off with a bang on Friday night getting everyone ready for the day 10-day entertainment extravaganza. From markets and carnival rides to fireworks on the foreshore and live bands on the Main Stage, your adrenaline will be pumping with the high levels of excitement. Local boys The Bandy Project, whip cracking world record holder Nathan “Whippy” Griggs, Will Anderson, DJ Sugarlips and Sydney’s DJ Truman will all be there to entertain us.
Revvin’ the Reef Car Show and Miss Pin-Up Competition
Rev machines from as far afield as Townsville and Rockhampton will roll into town for one of the biggest car shows this side of Brisbane, the Revvin’ the Reef Car Show, on Saturday. Everything from Hot Rods and muscle cars to classic models will be on show. The Miss Pin-Up Competition run in conjunction with this event will showcase gorgeous girls in their best ’50s or ’60s attire.
Rotary Street Parade
This year’s Rotary Street Parade’s theme is Finding the Reef and those involved have taken the theme into full swing. The parade is a great excuse to dress up and have some fun with your friends and colleagues and promote your business, school or community group.
Rockin’ the Reef Street Party
Some of Australia’s hottest bands will hit the Beach Music Main Stage on Saturday night including Electrik Lemonade and King Social. The festival pop-up bar in the lagoon carpark will also be open from 5pm and there will be a ‘Reef Fest After Party’ at Beaches. Make sure you bring your dancing shoes because the music will be pumping.
Telstra Family Fun Day
Sunday’s Telstra Family Fun Day is the perfect family event with a huge variety of free activities on offer. Visitors can enjoy the more traditional face painting and circus play or try out the more modern texting and selfie competitions. The ‘Wacky Races’ are back again with games such as the egg-and-spoon race, the sack race and three-legged race on beautiful Airlie Point.
Bait to plate celebration of food
Local seafood restaurant Fish D’Vine will take Reef Festival visitors on a “culinary journey” on Sunday as diners experience an “up close and personal” dining experience. Visitors will learn how the fish are caught, how to handle, prepare and cook them and at the same time, will be treated to a seven-course lunch with matching wines.
For the first time, the Reef Festival will include a marquee to mark the centre of all the action. The marquee will host some of the festival’s major events including the Cocktails Party and Comedy Gala and will even feature live music from Electrik Lemonade.
This year’s comedy gala will feature two popular comedians- Michael Bennett and Fiona McGary. Drinks and food will be available at the event and organisers want as many people as possible to join them for a night of laughter.
Wearable Art Parade
What better way to show off your creative side than taking part in the Wearable Art Competition on Saturday, August 13. Everything from metal and recycled objects to silk and rubber will be cleverly put together to creative dramatic outfits. Make sure you check out the unique creations.
A ragged bunch of creative people will be paddling around the Airlie Beach Lagoon on Sunday, August 14, taking part in the Recyclable Regatta and this year’s theme is Finding the Reef. Entrants can use a range of recycled items to create their crafts including drink bottles, plastic drums, pipes and sheeting bamboo poles.