The ultimate guide to Big Skies Festival

Name another festival with a heritage-listed French colonial home as your backdrop that serves up a five-course luncheon and is only three hours’ drive from Brisbane? We’ll wait.

Put Big Skies Festival in the Western Downs on your festival list and get ready to dance up a storm on the grounds of a cattle-station that dates back to 1842.

Get to know what to expect at Big Skies Festival with this ultimate Big Skies guide.

How to get there

Image by: Susan Jacobs Photography

Pack the car or caravan, select your Spotify playlist, and put Jimbour – 235 kilometres west of Brisbane – into your GPS.

Stop to stretch the legs in Dalby, top up the caffeine levels and grab a bite to eat before you hit the festival scene.

As the gateway to the Western Downs from the east, Dalby is packed with things to see and do – from heritage and history tours to art and culture experiences.

Where to sleep

Image by: Susan Jacobs Photography

Whether you prefer to pitch a tent, BYO accommodation on wheels, or stay within driving distance – Big Skies Festival has you covered.

If you’re towing your accommodation, put down the campervan legs on the grounds of Jimbour Station in the camping zone.

Prefer a soft-top to your overnight digs? Secure the pegs into the ground or book Tent City and let the Big Skies team do the hardyards for you (read: no setup or pack down).

For accommodation with four walls, book a hotel, motel, or pub room in Dalby, Jandowae, Bell or Kaimbillenbun to be less than 30 minutes’ drive from all the festival action.

For a change of scenery, head 40 minutes north-east of Jimbour and pitch your tent at the Bunya Mountains National Park. The Bunya Mountains also has guest houses and cabins available for those who prefer to sleep indoors.

What to see and do

Image by: Susan Jacobs Photography

While Big Skies Festival sees Australian music greats, like Kasey Chambers and Killing Heidi take to the main stage every night, there’s plenty to see and do from the moment the suns up.

From a camp kitchen breakfast to a tour of Jimbour House and Happy Hour in the Hangar – Big Skies Festival will keep you entertained from sunrise to sunset.

No need to spend every festival hour on the grounds of Jimbour House either. Join one of the regional tours or farm tours to learn more about the Western Downs region in-between headline acts.

What to eat

Image by: Susan Jacobs Photography

Whoever said camping can’t include a five-course gourmet luncheon has never been to Big Skies festival.
Book a seat at ‘The Chef’s Table’ for an afternoon of fresh Western Downs produce coupled with matching wines.

For an authentic country spread, don’t miss the Camp Kitchen Experience, for a two-course meal with home-grown Jimbour beef and lamb.

Prefer something more low key? You’ll find food trucks serving cuisines from around the world.

What to wear

Image by: Susan Jacobs Photography

“The Western Downs doesn’t get cold, right?” said every first-time Big Skies Festival-goer.

Held over the May long weekend, expect to enjoy warm autumn days and cool evenings.

With the Western Downs region experiencing on average 255 sunshine days each year – you’ll want to make sure you pack sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself during the day as well as a jacket to keep you warm at night.

What else to do in region when visiting

Image by: Susan Jacobs Photography

Whether you’re an art critic, nature lover or history buff – the Western Downs is packed with things to explore during your stay.

See signatures of WWI diggers at the Bun Pub in Kaimillenbun, walk through the one-of-a-kind biblical garden in Bell, or check out the two-metre-high Dingo Statue outside of Jandowae – all within 30 minutes of Jimbour Station.

Set your alarm early and head to the Bunya Mountains (one hour’s drive each way) to step it out along a nature trail and catch the sunrise over the surrounding region from one of the lookouts.

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