A Time and Place For The Senses
This intriguing new Australian festival in the Blue Mountains celebrates the Autumn equinox, tickles our senses in the dark and intimately connects us with an ancient landscape.
The Autumn equinox comes and goes in Australia each year without much thought or fanfare from your average punter. Despite its celestial, seasonal and scientific significance, it actually holds a much deeper and mysterious meaning in other parts of the world.
In the northern hemisphere, for example, revellers hold torches as they march through the city of Soria, a city in northern Spain to mark the changing of seasons. Other worshippers in Vilnius, Lithuania light candles along the Neris River just after sunset.
At last, there’s finally a festival on our doorstep to similarly mark the special occasion in one of our favourite spots in the country. Created and managed by Blue Mountains Tourism the inaugural ‘Autumn Celebration of the Senses’ kicks off this weekend.
Highlighting all that is great, hidden and mesmerising about the Blue Mountains (just a short one-hour drive from the centre of Sydney) the new festival spans three weekends in which visitors will be treated to a range of both free and ticketed events amidst the backdrop of one of the most ancient and revered natural landscapes in Australia.
The events and activities at this festival are all focused around the four main sensory themes of Taste, Hear, See and Feel. No matter the time of day, guests are assured epicurean treats, craft beverages from local producers, live music, free yoga, light installations and art workshops.
Here’s a rundown of the hidden treasures, the flavours, aromas and entertainment you can expect around every alluring sandstone corner:
A WEEKEND OF TASTINGS: 25th to 27th March
Hosted at the famous Hydro Majestic Hotel with its commanding views over the Megalong Valley, ‘Feast’ is our kind of headliner. The hotel’s ballroom will be transformed into an exotic and sensual banquet hall, hosting a culinary adventure for adventurous guests. For something a bit more refined (or even as part of your recovery) jump in your hire car and pop into the farm gates for some fresh produce along the Bells Line of Road.
A WEEKEND OF LIGHT AND SIGHT: 1st to 3rd April
Be mesmerised by master card handler, trickster and pickpocket Harrison Milas in his Unfair Advantage show at Pigeon Lane in the iconic mountain town of Katoomba. While in town, the Great Art Deco Ball at the Carrington Hotel is not to be missed. But the real magic during the equinox season is when the sun goes down over the mountains. Visit Katoomba Falls Reserve Night-Lit Walk which takes you past the Three Sisters or sip and stargaze over the weekend at Dryridge Estate.
A WEEKEND OF ALL THE FEELS: 8th to 10th April
The Blue Mountains is a dense, rugged and ancient landscape with more than one-million square metres of dense bushland. But there’s something about the feel of the sandstone under your fingertips and the dewiness of the eucalyptus air that makes the nature experiences in this part of the world all the more special. Treat yourself to sunrise or sunset yoga over the Jamison Valley from the lookout at Echo Point. Mountain bike on world-class trails or test your nerve with Blue Mountains Climbing School, the choice (and all the feels) are yours. Visit visitbluemountains.com.au/equinox for tickets, accommodation and more details.
Words Jeremy Drake
Tags: australia, Blue Mountains, Equinox