12 venues to raise a stein to Oktoberfest

"O'zapft is!" For the uninitiated, that means "Oktoberfest has started!", continuing the annual festival tradition that owes its beginnings to the royal wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese in 1810.

Were the royal couple still alive today, they'd no doubt be in awe of the proliferation of their shindig. Today, Oktoberfest is the largest festival in the world, with some six million visitors, including many Australians, converging on Munich each year.

For those who will not be making the pilgrimage, there's no need to go without your annual fix of bier, pork knuckles and cheer, with the event now celebrated even more widely in Australia.

A German theme bar is a great place to start, and you won't be short of options. There are now 10 Bavarian Bier Cafes in the eastern states, which like their sister venues Lowenbrau Keller (Sydney) and Munich Brauhaus (Melbourne), will embrace the Oktoberfest spirit for a full six weeks until the end of October.

If authenticity counts, perhaps you'd rather experience Oktoberfest at one of the many German clubs around the country. Conceived by Germans to foster their language and culture in Australia, these clubs are very welcoming to Australians, and most will be staging an authentic, family-friendly Oktoberfest function.

Or if a big-ticket event is more your style, there's likely an Oktoberfest festival event happening in your capital city. You're spoilt for choice, and we've made it easier for you with this guide to some of the hottest places to enjoy Oktoberfest this year.

Bavarian Bier Café & Rooftop Bar - Miranda, NSW

There are 10 Bavarian Bier Cafes in the eastern states, all of which will be embracing the Oktoberfest spirit. The Miranda venue is the newest in the portfolio and has a stunning view of Sydney from its terrace, which is designed to look like a traditional German biergarten. (Picture by Jane Kelly)

Visit: www.bavarianbiercafe.com/venue/miranda/

Bavarian Bier Cafe - Eagle Street Pier, Brisbane, Queensland

The Brisbane venue features a wrap-around balcony on which to enjoy a bier and the Oktoberfest celebrations, with uninterrupted views of Story Bridge and Brisbane River.

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Visit: www.bavarianbiercafe.com/venue/eagle-street-pier/

Munich Brauhaus - Melbourne, Victoria

This jumbo waterfront venue promises to bring to life the spirit of Oktoberfest 365 days a year, so you can be sure they make a special effort during the festival season. An experience just like that of the bier halls and tents of Munich.

Visit: www.munichbrauhaus.com/

Ormond Hall - Melbourne, Victoria

The iconic entertainment venue will be transformed into a traditional Bavarian beer hall on Friday, October 16 for its popular Oktoberfest party, now in its third year.

Visit: www.villagemelbourne.com.au/whats-on

Immigration Museum - Melbourne

The museum will explore 200 years of Oktoberfest tradition with a German Bier Workshop on Sunday, October 4. Hosted by German bier expert Geert Hendrix, six different beer varieties will be on show together with German music and snacks. (Image credit Oktoberfest by 46137 / CC BY 2.0)

Visit: museumvictoria.com.au/immigrationmuseum/whatson/event/?event=563865

The German Club - Adelaide

The Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Martin Haese, will be tapping the keg on the opening night of the city's biggest Oktoberfest celebration, on October 9, 16, 23 and 30. Expect oompah bands and other entertainment, traditional food and competitions and a 'Beer of the Night' special for $8 per stein.

Visit: www.thegermanclub.com.au/events/oktoberfest.php

Oktoberfest Brisbane

The long-running Oktoberfest Brisbane was named one of the Top 10 Oktoberfests outside of Germany by National Geographic magazine. It runs over the weekends of 9-11 and 16-18 October at Brisbane Showgrounds.

Visit: www.oktoberfestbrisbane.com.au/

Oktoberfest Launceston - Aspect Tamar Valley Resort, Grindelwald, Tasmania

The resort in the Swiss-themed village has launched what is sure to be one of Tasmania's biggest Oktoberfest events, to be held on October 9 and 10. You can bank on German food, imported and local beers, and lots of entertainment.

Visit: tamarvalleyresort.com.au/p/events/oktoberfest

Oktoberfest Canberra - Exhibition Park, Canberra

The Harmonie German Club has hosted the annual event in the ACT for close to 30 years. This year the proud tradition will continue at Exhibition Park In Canberra (EPIC) on the weekend of October 30, 31 and November 1.

Visit: www.harmonieclub.com.au/index.php?pid=6

Oktoberfest in the Gardens - Perth, Melbourne, Sydney

In its fifth year, Oktoberfest in the Gardens hits Perth (Saturday, October 10), Melbourne (October 23 and 24) and Sydney (October 31), cementing its place as Australia's biggest Oktoberfest celebration with an expected attendance in excess of 40,000.

Visit: www.oktoberfestinthegardens.com.au/