What is the Moomba Festival and how can international students celebrate it?

Sarah Matthews Follow

05 February, 2024

What is the Moomba Festival and how can international students celebrate it?

When you stay in Melbourne, the city is always lit up by festivals and events. The Moomba festival is very dear to the Mulberians and plays a cultural role in the lives of the people. Even among tourists, it is a loved festival as it showcases the royalties of Moomba.

For those of you studying in Melbourne, then you get to witness one of the best festivals in Melbourne. It is no ordinary festival like the ones you’ve seen so far! The city of Melbourne is known for more than just its universities, low cost of living, good food, and entertainment scene, but the festivals are on another level in Melbourne.

We are not going to keep you waiting for the details on the Moomba festival, let’s get into details and find out how you can get to the festival. 

What exactly is the Moomba Festival?

It is believed that this is an Aboriginal word meaning “ let's get together and have fun!” And, that's actually what it represents, it's a community getting together to celebrate, enjoy, and thrive for a better world.

This community festival has been culturally important since its inception in the 1950s and yet remains to hold on to its roots today. It’s never changed and it’s a good way for future generations to understand the culture and the traditions of Australia. The festival goes on for 4 days along with Labor Day during the weekend. That is from 10 April to 13 April 2024.

If your student accommodation in Melbourne is close by, you should not miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

How can international students witness the festival?

The festival is free so you can go witness it at River Yarra. Many students, tourists, and locals come to witness this cultural festival hosted by the council. There will be fireworks, light displays, music, and food stalls and the parades are just amazing and breathtaking. Among all of them, the Birdman rally is one of the people’s favorites. 

Because of the fact that the event takes place around the river, the events held at this place involve many water activities. You can go water-skiing, boat ride, or even be amused at people throwing themselves in the water. And, if you think that is not enough, then there are more activities to engage in like games, entertainment rides, scrumptious food, and drinks. 

Traditions and events to witness at the  Moomba Festival

To be part of something so auspicious, fun and a feeling of togetherness should be a student experience while staying abroad. 

The fireworks are not to be missed at all What's a festival without fireworks right? The Moomba festival will not disappoint with its crackers! When the sun goes down, the sky is lit up with colorful light highlighting the bits and pieces of Malenourne’s skyline. It doesn't matter what day of the event you attend, the fireworks are always lit up every night. 

Crowning ceremony of the Monarchs

It’s this time of the year that the Kings and Queens of Moomba are chosen. So, they are well-informed before the event. The crowing of the Monarchs takes place during the weekend. So this is an auspicious event to witness! When do you get a chance to see such a royal crown for free? This is worth the experience. 

Boating Championship

There will be over 16 countries participating in this event where the skiers will flock and showcase their skills at the Yarra river. It’s a fierce competition, exciting, and attracts such a huge crowd who cheers for the participants. They will battle to win for five days and the winner takes home the championship. 


The carnival will give you a chance to socialize, get together, eat, play games, etc. There will be a Ferris wheel where you can watch from sky high the city of Melbourne. 

Birdman rally

This is one of the best street parades that happens at the Swan Street Bridge. The performances and shows are funny and outrageous. One of the most stand-out performances is the costume wear. They attach the wings to the costume, cut them off, and fly from a four-meter platform in the middle of the river. It’s such a sight to see that will leave you in awe!

Here's what you need to know

  • For those of you whose student housing in Melbourne is close to Gowrie, it's only 16 min away!

  • You do not need tickets to attend the festival and activities

  • If you want to fit in and be part of the festival, you can gear up in something navy or black

If you want more detailed information check out their official websites for the parade day, time, safety, rules, and regulations of the festival.