• Written by Marsha Rodrom

Make the most of the last official long weekend before Christmas, the October Long Weekend, and book tickets now to one of NSW's stellar food and wine, music and arts, or family-friendly festivals taking place only over the long weekend.

According to Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase, “There is no better time to get out and about in NSW than this October Long Weekend with the state hosting to a line-up of top class events.”

“Events are a great way for visitors to celebrate local communities, taste NSW's award winning produce and get involved in unique experiences. Regional NSW events encourage people to holiday in NSW and positively contribute to visitor expenditure in the region,” Chipchase said.

“This October Long Weekend in NSW visitors can celebrate the mateship and culture of regional Australia at the iconic Deni Ute Muster, taste the best of NSW produce at Taste Riverina and Murrumbateman Moving Feast, or be inspired by the innovative mix of music, art and technology at Blender in Wollongong,” Ms Chipchase said.

Here are just seven of the top events taking place in NSW this October Long Weekend:

1. Taste Riverina, 1-31 October – This October Long Weekend marks the start of the Riverina's month-long celebration of its produce and diverse food and wine experiences. Not to be missed over the October Long Weekend is the Barellan Beer 2014 Harvest Release, the Wollundry Cycle Challenge and Craft Beer and Cider Festival, and Wagga Twilight Food Festival.

2. Blender, 1-4 October – A must for creative minds, this inaugural festival celebrates the convergence of music, arts and technology. Not your usual festival, Blender brings creative minds and performers together to collaborate and share.  Top picks for the weekend include the Yours and Owls Music Festival, Wonderwalls Street Arts Festival and Mind Shift which will see industry experts in technology, music and the arts share and discuss their ideas in series of panel sessions

3. Deni Ute Muster, 2-3 October – Thousands will flock to Deni in their Utes to celebrate rural Australia and be entertained by solid line-up of rock'n'roll and country music acts, a rodeo, and, of course, Ute displays. Promising to be bigger and better than ever, this year Deni Ute Muster features headline act Cold Chisel. This is one festival every Aussie needs to experience.

4. StarFest and Siding Springs Observatory Open Day, 2-4 October – Open only one day annually is the impressive Siding Springs telescope in the Warrumbungles National Park at Coonabarabran. Visitors get the chance to take a closer look at Australia's largest optical telescope, hear talks by famous astronomers and take part in solar observing. Star Fest also includes Science in the Pub, a panel discussion on the mystery of the universe.

5. Pooncarie Cup Race Meeting, 3 October – The small village of Pooncarie, on the Darling River in Outback NSW will explode as hundreds of race-goers merge on the town for this once a year event. Join in an pitch a tent in the campground nearby, dress in race attire and meet locals from near and far at what promises to be a true Outback horse race experience.

6. Murrumbateman Moving Feast, 3-4 October – Celebrating the wines and produce grown in the Canberra Wine District, this feast is a roving degustation of locals wines matched with delicious tasting plates. Each winery in the Murrumbateman will offer a tasting plate signature dish matched with one of their wines in a souvenir engraved glass.

7. Old Bar Beach Festival, 3-4 October – More than 17,000 Kombi owners and lovers will make the annual pilgrimage to Old Bar on the Mid North Coast to celebrate this iconic vehicle with music, food and car displays. Highlights include performances by local indie bands, Beetle and Kombi displays and parades, mega markets and a fireworks spectacular.

Share your favourite NSW experiences with Destination NSW #ILoveSydney and #NewSouthWales.

For ideas on what to do in NSW this October Long Weekend go to visitnsw.com

MV - Another article published in collaboration with MultiViw

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