Australia’s east coast has much more to offer during February than just scorching summer days. A number of eclectic music festivals showcasing talented local and international acts attract musos from far and wide.

Hire a car in Brisbane and take a road trip all the way to Sydney, experiencing a few of Australia’s best summer music festivals along the way.

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival 

After renting a car in Brisbane, head to St Jerome’s Laneway Festival at the Brisbane Showgrounds on February 10 for a dose of fresh, modern music. The Laneway Festivals have become an institution for music lovers all over Australia since their inception in 2004. They got their start down a rat-infested lane in Melbourne’s central business district when festival founder, Jerome Borazio, discovered a potential venue in the shape of a rundown former meatball shop.

Mr Borazio converted the old deli into the perfect place for his mates and other like-minded locals to gather for a cheap drink. There was even a cramped deck out the back, which turned out to be an ideal place for undiscovered bands to showcase their tunes. Things progressed quickly from there, and eventually a full-on, yet relatively disorganised festival was taking shape.

That disorganisation, however, was part of the newborn festival’s gritty charm, and its unpretentious vibe attracted genuine people who just wanted to enjoy the music. After the first few events in Melbourne, St Jerome’s Laneway Festival took off in Sydney, and eventually in locations throughout Australia and the world.

This year’s Brisbane lineup promises something for everyone and features both established and new acts including TOKiMONSTA, Mac DeMarco, and Aldous Harding. A Laneway festival is never solely about the music though; there’s also a plethora of food, drinks and a pulsating, vibrant ambience that’s impossible to find elsewhere. Be sure to get in quickly, as tickets for the Brisbane festival tend to sell out.

Beats and beaches

After discovering your new favourite band in Brisbane, jump in the rental car, turn up the music and get your Aussie road trip rolling along the scenic 850 km route from Brisbane to Kariong in New South Wales, where another unmissable music festival awaits.

To break up the drive, stop off at Surfers Paradise and head to the Q1 building’s observation deck for panoramic views of the Gold Coast, then ground yourself in the golden sands of Surfers Paradise Beach and wet your toes in the waves. The beach town of Byron Bay is another locale well worth a visit, with its unspoiled beaches, temperate climate, and relaxed vibe. From Byron Bay continue to Port Macquarie, just north of Sydney – here, you can revel in the wildlife, playing with baby koalas at the Billabong Zoo or watching dolphins frolic in the waves.


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Jan 15, 2018 at 12:40pm PST

A mountain of sound

Approximately three hours from Port Macquarie, the Mountain Sounds Festival will be held in Kariong’s scenic Mount Penang Event Park from February 15-18. The festival began in 2014 and has sold out every year since. Roll up to this immersive, eco-conscious festival with four or more friends in your car and parking is free.

Roll up to the immersive, eco-conscious festival with four or more friends in your car and parking is free.

This year, the festival is headlined by the ARIA award-winning electronic duo, Peking Duk, and will also showcase some of the best local and national acts Australia has to offer, including Hot Dub Time Machine, indie punk-rockers Los Scallywaggs and Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Ali Barter.

Hectares of tree-lined avenues, vast grass-covered fields and bushland provide a cool venue and gorgeous natural setting for those wanting to lose themselves in all the festival has to offer.

Music Has No Limits

Not more than an hour from Mount Penang Event Park and just a few minutes drive from Sydney’s central business district, another lush green space is set to host the first-ever Sydney City Limits. This huge music festival will be held in Centennial Park on Saturday, February 24 and will showcase a diverse line-up featuring the likes of Justice, Grace Jones and Beck.

The expansive 189-hectare park alone is a must-see in Sydney and is frequented by locals and tourists alike. Four stages, 27 bands, an open-air gallery space, gourmet food stalls and a market where local craftspeople can sell their wares will provide visitors with a whole lot of entertainment. There’s even Sydney Kiddie Limits – a space for the young and the restless to get their groove on, while a baby change area and a relaxing lounge provide parents with some room to breathe.

Music may have no limits, but after three intense festivals, you might have discovered yours. Wind down with a relaxing drive to Kangaroo Valley, approximately two hours south of Sydney. Here, peaceful rivers await your kayak, wines wait to be tasted, and the sound of nature might just rival that new song you’ve got stuck in your head.

Discover which style of car will best suit your epic Aussie road trip.