2024 Highland Games Guide: Must-See Events & Tips

2024 Highland Games Guide: Must-See Events & Tips

May 28, 2024

As Aussies, we take immense pride in our vibrant festivals and cultural gatherings, and one of the most anticipated events on our calendar is the Highland Games here in Hunter Valley.

This energising event doesn’t just provide a weekend of entertainment; it serves as a lively celebration of the deep-rooted Scottish heritage that has been a part of Australia for generations.

The annual gathering is brimming with traditional Scottish activities, music, dancing, and athletic contests that honour the rich customs brought to our shores long ago. Whether you’re clapping along to the triumphant skirl of the bagpipes or cheering on the athletes in traditional Highland games competitions like caber tossing and stones of strength, there’s an undeniable spirit of community and heritage that fills the air.

2024 Highland Games Guide


Tailored for both first-time visitors and returning enthusiasts, this year’s Highland Games promise an array of spectacular events and experiences. From awe-inspiring displays of strength and agility to the melodic performances of folk music, the games present an opportunity to immerse yourself in Scottish culture right here in Australia, all while making memories that last a lifetime.

Overview of the Highland Games: What to Expect in 2024

This year, we’re excited to bring you an even more vibrant and engaging Highland Games experience!

We’ve refined our schedule to ensure an unforgettable celebration of Scottish culture right here in Hunter Valley. You can expect a lively mix of traditional sports, such as caber tossing and stone put, alongside dancing, piped music, and more. These games aren’t just about strength; they’re a test of agility, skill, and technique, appreciated by enthusiasts of all ages. What’s more, we’re including cultural showcases that tell the stories of Scottish settlers who have contributed to our rich local heritage. We’ve planned for more tutorials and participatory events, so whether you’re here to spectate or participate, you’ll find plenty going on to keep you entertained.

Highlight Reel: The 9 Must-See Events at This Year’s Games

1. Opening Ceremony: Kickstart your experience with our grand opening, featuring a parade led by traditional bagpipers and highland dancers.

2. Caber Toss: Don’t miss this quintessential Highland game where competitors throw a heavy log as accurately as possible.

Caber Toss

3. Highland Dancing: Watch skilled dancers perform historic routines that are a cornerstone of Scottish culture.

4. Stones of Strength: See strength and skill in action as athletes lift five stones of increasing size and weight.

5. Tug O’ War: Cheer on your favourite team as they battle it out in this classic showdown of teamwork and strength.

6. Husafell Stone Carry: Watch as athletes carry a large stone as far as possible, showcasing pure determination and grit.

7. Pipe Bands: Enjoy continuous performances by various pipe bands, filling the event with the mesmerising sounds of Scotland.

Pipe Bands

8. Highland Cows: cute and adorable cows on display for all ages to get a taste of the Highland experience.

Children's Games

9. Cultural Tents: Explore various tents filled with crafts, history, and stories of the Scottish heritage that enriches our community.

Cultural Tents

We’ve tailored each event to create moments of joy and learning for all involved, ensuring that whether it’s your first time or your twentieth, you’ll find something new and exciting at this year’s games.

Practical Tips: How to Make the Most of Your Visit

When you join us for the Highland Games here in Hunter Valley, we want your experience to be as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. First off, dress for the outdoors and be prepared for any kind of weather. Our games go on, rain or shine! Wearing layers is advised so you can stay comfortable throughout the day. Don’t forget a hat and sunscreen to protect from the sun, and a little rain gear just in case. Parking can be busy, and we recommend arriving early to get a good spot and avoid any hurry. Once you’re here, consider picking up a programme at the entrance to help you plan your day around your must-see events. Food and refreshments are available from a variety of vendors, featuring both local and Scottish cuisine, so bring your appetite too!

Beyond the Games: Exploring Local Attractions and Scottish Heritage

While the Highland Games are an exhilarating drawcard, there’s much more to explore around Hunter Valley. Our area is rich in history and natural beauty, offering a perfect backdrop to extend your stay. Take a day to tour one of the local wineries or breweries where you can sample some of the finest spirits and ales, reminiscent of Scotland but with a distinctly local twist. For nature lovers, the breathtaking landscapes of the regional parks offer plenty of hiking trails that promise serene views and a peaceful day out in nature. By immersing yourself in our local culture and heritage, you enhance your Highland Games experience manifold.

Avoid Disappointment: Buy your tickets now

To wrap up, we hope this guide helps you navigate your visit to the Hunter Valley Highland Games, ensuring it’s packed full of fun, culture, and adventure. Whether you’re tossing cabers or simply soaking in the lively atmosphere, these games are a testament to the enduring spirit and rich Hunter Valley Scottish tradition in Australia.

So come along, bring the family, and join us for a celebration like no other. We can’t wait to share this experience with you at the Hunter Valley Highland Games.


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