September is nearly at a close, but my, what a month it has been! We have enjoyed top-class sporting events such as the ongoing National Rugby League season and the Sydney Running Festival, as well as glamorous cultural events such as the Melbourne Fringe Festival and Brisbane Festival. 

That's not to say that October is going to be any less of an entertaining month. In fact, the fun is simply revving up to new speeds in the lead up to the sunny Australian summer! Check out what's in store next month, shortlisting these events unfolding across the east coast of the nation. Hire a car and head to several events on a road trip of epic proportions! 

Lead up to the Melbourne Cup: Turnbull Stakes Day (October 4) and AAMI Victoria Derby Day (October 31)

While it's true that the Melbourne Cup itself in November is the crowning jewel of the racing season, there are a plethora of diamond-standard events in the lead up to the event. These include the Turnbull Stakes Day and the AAMI Victoria Derby Day, both worth visiting during your time in Melbourne. 

In many ways, the Turnbull Stakes Day is the epitome of spring. Bold, vibrant colours as guests dress in fashionable attire, outdoor escapades in the spring air at the James Boag's Premium Celebration Deck and West Lawn precinct, champagne and tasty treats eaten alfresco at the Yellowglen Terrace while listening to great beats wafting through the wind as the DJ thrills the crowd. (This is the second-longest sentence I have ever read, after Duncan's 53 word monster – yours is 51! Cut it up :-))

It may not be the Melbourne Cup, but this race is by no means short change – there's over AU$502,500 million in prize money up for grabs! 

The AAMI Victoria Derby Day may be held on Halloween but your heartrate won't be increasing due to fear. Instead, you will be excited and thrilled by black type races and the action from high racing stakes with four races at the elite Group 1 level. 

Traditionally, fashion at the AAMI Victoria Derby Day celebrates monochrome with black and white clothing all the rage for women, while the gents dress in morning suits, peacock vests and pin-stripe pants. Enjoy some sophistication, style and sensational moments this October at these events by hiring a car in Melbourne

Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney: October 22 to November 8 

Ahoy, art lovers! The fantastic Sculpture by the Sea event is once again calling the sands of Bondi Beach its home. Dotted along the 2 kilometre Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk in Sydney, Sculpture by the Sea is one of the world's largest free-to-the-public events.

Adding to the international flair is the fact that the artists come from all over the world, bringing their sculptures to the land Down Under. Because of this, it's a global exhibition representing 41 countries and 6 territories. It's an event not to be missed on any art aficionados' calendar! 

As is often the case with contemporary artworks, our understanding of them will be enhanced greatly by listening to the artists themselves explain the ideas and meaning of the sculptures.

If you're interested in listening to this information first-hand, rent a car in Sydney and head to the free Macquarie Artist Talks series hosted in Marks Park and Tamarama every weekend during the exhibition, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Sweeten the deal even more because October is also The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Month, meaning there's scrumptious delights to enjoy in Sydney all month long.

A photo posted by @gfinn1 on

Nov 6, 2013 at 3:56am PST

Yarra Valley Balloon Festival: October 24-25 

Impress your friends and family by attending the first ever Yarra Valley Balloon Festival, organised to coincide with their annual Cox Plate Race Day.

Hot air ballooning is one of the top tourist activities in the picturesque Yarra Valley, so it makes sense that they will now be front and centre as the feature of a festival. More than 12 large hot air balloons will be gracing the skies above the race course, and at 9 p.m., they will all be lit up. The view is sure to be one of those spectacular pinch-me-am-I-dreaming-right-now moments.

To make the memory even more special, a 10 minute long fireworks display will follow the glowing balloons. Even during the daytime hours, you can enjoy seeing the bright pops of colour bounce in the skies from the racecourse or hop onboard for a commercial flight. Looking down upon the emerald green rows of vineyards of Yarra Valley is a truly mesmerising experience. 

Alternatively, there's the option to enjoy a shorter ascension onboard a balloon tethered to the racecourse for a gold coin donation. 

Brisbane International Garden Show, October 8-11

Finally, people heading to Brisbane – don't think for a second there aren't any engaging events on for your perusal. This event showcases blooms from over 40 nurseries so you can stop to smell the roses on a relaxing holiday.

Not to mention, all year round there are a plethora of top-notch things to do at Brisbane's South Bank. Picnics in the Parklands, swimming in the the safe manmade Streets Beach, getting a spin on the Brisbane Wheel – these are all awaiting you in blissful Brisbane.