Australians reveal their ‘Top Ten’ events of the year

Clipsal 500, Jessica Watson's homecoming, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, the Club Marine Southern 80 Ski Race and the Million Paws Walk are just some making the list of Australia's Top Ten Favourite Events

Clipsal 500, Jessica Watson’s homecoming, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, the Club Marine Southern 80 Ski Race and the Million Paws Walk are just some making the list of Australia’s Top Ten Favourite Events, with over 40,000 people around Australia voting in a new online competition.

With Australians spending billions of dollars travelling and buying tickets to events each year, the list of Top Ten Favourite Events launched by the Australian Event Awards provides an opportunity for people to support their most loved events and learn about all the other great festivals, marathons, charity fundraisers and more happening around Australia each year.

Adelaide’s Clipsal 500 has made the top 10, but will it be awarded Australia’s Favourite Event?

The Top 10 Includes:

2009 Sydney New Year’s Eve
Sydney NSW, December 2009-January 2010
Sydney New Year’s Eve (SNYE) is one of the most visually exciting events in the world; it gains international attention for its spectacular Midnight Fireworks display which are set on Sydney Harbour and features the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. SNYE attracts bigger crowds than London, New York, Paris or Berlin. More than 1.5 million people enjoy the spectacular SNYE celebrations around our Harbour and 1 billion more watch via television internationally. The City of Sydney has successfully produced SNYE since 1996 with a fresh creative theme each year. The 2009 theme was “Awaken the Spirit” celebrating the new year as a time of excitement, optimism and new beginnings.

2010 Clipsal 500 Adelaide
Adelaide SA, March 2010
The Clipsal 500 Adelaide, South Australia’s largest annual sporting event, is one of 15 events within the V8 Supercars Championship Series, which incorporates every State of Australia, the Northern Territory and three overseas rounds. Held on Adelaide’s world-renowned 3.2km city street and parkland circuit since 1999, the Clipsal 500 Adelaide is the nation’s largest motorsport festival and features a feast of motor racing, coupled with on-circuit concerts, a fireworks extravaganza, fashion parades, a spectacular air show and exotic vehicle displays. The four-day Clipsal 500 Adelaide creates an enormous carnival around the opening Australian round of the Championship Series, providing vibrant mix of attractions designed to appeal to a diverse audience of public and corporate patrons. In 2010, the event celebrated its twelfth event and attracted 277,800 people.

2010 Club Marine Southern 80 Ski Race
Echuca VIC, February 2010
The southern 80 water ski race is a race along 80 Km of the Murray River between Torrumbarry Boat ramp and Vic Park Boat Ramp with over 120 bends and at speeds in excess of 200km an hour with 2 skiers on long ropes behind the boat. This is water ski racing at the extreme and over 600 entries participated in the 2010 Race.

2010 Santos Tour Down Under
Adelaide SA, January 2010
The first stop on the world cycling calendar, the Santos Tour Down Under attracts thousands of fans from across Australia and around the world to Adelaide each January. The week-long event brings the world’s top cyclists including Lance Armstrong and Cadel Evans to South Australia to compete in the elite ProTour race. The Tour races through South Australia’s regions attracting over 770,500 spectators and beaming images of the State’s landscapes and attractions to millions of viewers worldwide. Not just a bike race, it is a festival of cycling with great associated events that create a party atmosphere across the State.

The Santos Tour Down Under has made the favourite list, but is it your favourite event?

Gold Coast Airport Marathon
Gold Coast QLD, July 2009
Held annually on the first weekend in July, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon motivates and challenges over 23,000 people of all ages and abilities. Events include a Marathon, a Half Marathon, a 10km Run, a 5km Challenge and Junior Dash races over 4km and 2 km for the kids. Runners flourish in the magnificent running conditions on the Gold Coast in winter and cherish the flat, fast and beautiful course that runs alongside the Pacific Ocean surf beaches and broadwater. Thousands of spectators cheer the runners home while roving musicians and entertainers create an amazing atmosphere.

Jessica Watson Homecoming
Sydney NSW, May 2010
Jessica Watson set sail from Sydney, in her yacht Ella’s Pink Lady, on Sunday, 18 October 2009, leaving many sceptics behind. Her goal was to achieve her dream and become the youngest ever to solo circumnavigate the world. She sailed back into Sydney Harbour on 15 May, 2010, returning to a hero’s welcome along the Sydney Harbour foreshore and at the Sydney Opera House, welcomed by over 75,000 people on the ground and watched by millions of TV viewers around the country – all whom she had inspired. Jessica Watson’s Homecoming was truly an event that stopped the nation.

Million Paws Walk
NSW, ACT, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA May 2010
The Million Paws Walk is Australia’s premier pet event and the RSPCA’s major national fundraiser. The event started in Queensland in 1994 and in 2010 over 80,000 people and 45,000 dogs hit the pavement to raise much needed funds for the RSPCA. It’s a fun day out for the whole family and helps the RSPCA extend a helping paw to animals in need. Held on the third Sunday of May each year, there are over 80 walks around Australia and one in every capital city and attendance and support continues to grow. Walks are generally between 2km and 5km and as well as the walk, there is entertainment, displays, stalls, vet checks and a host of other activities. The event has a festival like atmosphere and is a day not just for dog owners but for all animals lovers. Million Paws Walk is primarily a fundraising event that also provides an opportunity to promote the RSPCA’s responsible pet ownership messages and connect with the RSPCA’s supporter base of hundreds of thousands of animal lovers.

Held nationally, the RSPCA’a Million Paws Walk is the organisation’s largest fundraising event.

The Mothers Day Classic
NSW, ACT, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA May 2010
The Mother’s Day Classic – walk/run for breast cancer research – was established in 1998 by Women in Super, a national network of women who work in the superannuation and finance industries. Its purpose is to raise money for breast cancer research, to increase awareness of breast cancer within the community and to support and remember those affected by breast cancer. From modest beginnings in 1998, the Mother’s Day Classic has grown into one of Australia’s largest national charity events and has become an integral part of Mother’s Day for thousands of Australians. In 2010, a record 100,000 people took part and raised $2.1 million for breast cancer research. the Mother’s Day Classic has become an important part of Mother’s Day for many Australians who are taking steps to help improve the lives of those affected by breast cancer. Every year, thousands of Mother’s Day Classic participants choose
to wear tribute cards dedicated to loved ones affected by breast cancer – a powerful reminder that breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in Australian women, with one in nine expected to be diagnosed by the age of 85.

Sydney Royal Easter Show
Sydney NSW, April 2010
Bringing the country to the city each year, the Sydney Royal Easter Show features thousands of animals on display, world famous woodchopping competitions, the country’s biggest carnival, agricultural and arts displays, contemporary music, food stalls around every corner, extreme sports action shows, 100’s of hours of free entertainment, fabulous fireworks, Australian wool fashion parades, numerous shopping experiences, and much, much more.

The Sun-Herald City2Surf
Sydney NSW, August 2009
The Sun-Herald City2Surf is not just Sydney’s favourite sporting event, it is the world’s largest run, with 76,259 registered participants in 2009 – a greater number than in the London and New York Marathons combined. Since 1971 Sydneysiders have been joined by participants from all over the world, elite athletes rubbing shoulders with locals to run, walk or watch the 14km race from Hyde Park in Sydney’s CBD on to the finish at spectacular Bondi Beach. In 2009 a record 75,000 entrants raised more than $2.2 million for charity and we have set the target of raising more than $10 million for more than 500 charities over the next four years. Find out more at

Always a crowd-pleaser, the Sydney NYE spectacular attracts international attention, but will it win top honors?

While each of these ten famous Australian events have touched millions of Australians in the past year, only one event can be named Australia’s Favourite Event with the public now able to vote for their number one event until 9PM, Thursday 7 October. The event that proves most popular will be announced that evening at the 2010 Australian Event Awards, where dozens of events across Australia are also competing for well-deserved recognition judged by a panel of event industry leaders.

“From major sporting events like the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under that attracts some of the worlds most talented athletes, to events that bring families and whole communities together like Sydney’s much-loved Royal Easter Show or New Years Eve festivities, the Top Ten list is celebration of the high-quality and incredible diversity of events enjoyed in Australia each year,” said Sandy Hollway, former CEO of SOCOG and co-chair of the judges in the Australian Event Awards.

“While events of incredible national significance like Jessica Watson’s homecoming have proved extremely popular with the public, we are also seeing a strong representation of events from all across Australia, from Adelaide to Echuca in Victoria, from the Gold Coast to Bondi Beach. Two events in the Top Ten, the Mothers Day Classic and the Million Paws Walk, are held nationally each year with satellite events in every state.”

“On the eve of the 10th Anniversary of one of Australia’s all-time favourite events, the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, the people of Australia are being asked to look at this Top Ten list and vote on which event they have loved the most in the past year – the one event that engages them and gains their support above all others.”

Over 40,000 people voted for the list of Top Ten Favourite Events. Entries for Australia’s Favourite Event have been open to any event staged between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2010

Voting will remain open until 9PM, 7 October 2010.  To vote for your favourite event click here.

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required


Sign up now

Join our mailing list to keep up to date with the latest event industry news direct to your inbox

The A-Z guide for organising events