From jousting, archery and combat to crafts, cooking and games, Winterfest offers entertainment to watch and activities to try. You can also browse the offerings of our carefully selected merchants. There’s something for all ages. Click the headings below to find out more.
+ Scheduled entertainment
10.00am – Winterfest opens
10.30am – Official Welcome and Opening
11.00am – The Winterfest mounted Skill-at-Arms display – Watch the Knights and Ladies demonstrate their skills on horseback, and see who has precision and skill to work with their horses, in sword, spear, lance and more.
11.30am-12.20pm – Field & Fight displays – Enjoy the spectacle of historic groups and displays of skill in the combat lists, in fighting with arms & armour, or showing skills with swords, fight skills and drills.
12.00 noon – ‘Medieval Kitchen Rules’ – Come and see some of the skills of a cook in ages past, where you’ll see demonstration and preparation of meals, use of herbs and the skills needed to prepare a medieval foods or feasts.
12 noon (start between 12-12.15) – Historical Equestrian Games Australia will be displaying some of the training both horse and rider go through in gaining the skills used on horseback, with sword, spear, lance and mounted archery.
12.30pm – ‘Fairy Marie – Stories and Tales’ – Come and meet Fairy Marie, a magical regular at Winterfest, who is looking forward to entertaining children with tales and stories.
1.00pm -2.15pm – Field & Fight displays – Enjoy the spectacle of historic groups and displays of skill in the combat lists, in fighting with arms & armour, or showing skills with swords, fight skills and drills.
2.15pm-3.00pm – Birds of Prey – Full Flight Conservation Centre will enchant guests with the free flying birds of prey flight display, demonstrating the skills of a Master Falconer.
3.00pm – Costume & Cosplay competitions – YOU are invited to come in costume and display your medieval finery, and maybe even win a prize! You can also meet some of Australia’s best cosplayers who will be judging our costume and cosplay, all with a medieval theme!
3.30pm – The Winterfest Joust – Cheer for your favourite knight and their horses , with some of the best jousters in Australia as they cross lances in the spectacular Winterfest Joust!
4.15pm – The Grand Melee – The final battle of battles! Clubs together to test metal and clash in teams and vie to be the best.
5.00pm – Winterfest Close
+ Entertainment throughout the day
Feldergast the Fool. Winterfest’s resident juggler, trickster, magician and all round festive Jester will be roaming the crowd and entertaining.
Medieval Archery. Visit the target field and try your hand at archery, with guidance from our traditional archers. (small fee.)
Kids’ Corner. Visit our child friendly area, where youngsters can join in with Winterfest’s colouring-in competition, or meet Queen Fairy Jen and experience her artistic talents for face-painting.
Knights School. Ever want to learn to wield a sword & shield? Join in the Knights’ School and have at your friends and foes! (small fee.)
Merchants’ Row. Browse and enjoy faire from all sorts of quality vendors with a wonderful array of goods, try exotic foods, or maybe enjoy a bit of lunch from our food providores.
‘The Mews’ animal display. The place to meet the animals of Winterfest. You can meet the Birds of Prey, have a pony ride (small fee), visit the ‘olde friendship farm’ or come and get your picture taken with the Winterfest Unicorns!
Medieval history shows. Crime and Punishment, or Medieval Medicine: join us for a peek into the past with shows both gross and educational!
Artisan Alley. Discover traditional crafts and skills. See how the artisans make their wares, and find something to take home for yourself.
+ Hands-on activities
One of the things that people love about Winterfest is how interactive it is.
For children and for adults, Winterfest offers many opportunities for interaction, whether in conversation with performers, craftspeople and reenactors, or in having a go yourself.
Many people enjoy trying out armour, helmets, and weapons brought by the reenacting groups.
Organised activities include archery, Celtic drumming workshops, and learning to use a rapier. Children (and adults) love to try on helmets and armour and to hold shields, axes and swords. Children have the opportunity to practice their skill with a (safe) sword, to get creative in colouring medieval themed drawings, to sand and decorate swords and shields and other medieval crafts.
Costumes are a feature, and Winterfest is a perfect place to wear something a bit different from the usual. Most people wear some kind of medieval or medieval-inspired outfits, but we welcome all periods, cultures, and styles, including fantasy and interpretative clothing choices. Winterfest also features costume competitions. Cosplay is one category, with other costumes in a different category.
Spontaneous activities can often be seen, when children play with their newly bought toy swords, or follow a performer (who is perhaps on stilts).
+ Winterfest Costume and Cosplay competitions
Winterfest hosts annual cosplay and costume competitions. We hope that we will see more people joining us in costume or character to enjoy the medieval revelry. There are prizes, so come in your best costume and enjoy the weekend.
Cosplay competition – Medieval theme
Whether it be inspired by Game Of Thrones, Lord Of The Rings, or stories from fantasy or history, the cosplay movement is becoming ever more popular for self-expression and design. Cosplay is more than just dressing up: it usually involves taking on a role to pay homage to a specific character or ideal from popular culture. The Cosplay Competition at Winterfest draws the eye with the creative and high quality designs representing a wonderful array of characters.
To enter, all you have to do is to turn up. Entry to the competition is free. Competition entrants will be invited to parade for our visitors and guests. Cosplayers will assemble just before 3pm, after the Birds of Prey show and before the joust. There will be announcements about the competition during the day.
Ideas for Winterfest Cosplay:
Game of Thrones; Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit; Dragon Age; Forgotten Realms; DanMachi; Sword Art Online; Tudors; Dragonlance; Monty Python and the Holy Grail; Skyrim; Vikings; King Arthur…
Sponsors to be announced.
We at Winterfest want to encourage people to come in costume, and have a great time. Coming to the event dressed up can enhance the experience of our guests, by making their visit more immersive and interactive.
The costume competition is for any member of the public who has come to Winterfest dressed up in costume. You don’t need to do anything special. At random times during the day, people who stand out due to their costuming efforts will be given vouchers. It could happen any time, anywhere!
Sponsors to be announced.