22 June 2023

Nine things to do in the Illawarra (23 - 29 June)

| Dione David
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OpenField is a new four-day, multidisciplinary arts festival in Berry. Photo: Ainslie McNamara.

This week’s top picks take us as far afield as Berry, where the inaugural OpenField arts festival showcases contemporary art in highly accessible venues.

Between Albion Park’s Illawarra Light Railway Museum, Wollongong’s Arts Precinct and Shellharbour City Library there’s also plenty of fun in store for the littlies with art workshops, diesel and miniature train rides, and a musical show for kids.

GreenValleys Mountain Bike Park has kicked off its social gravity days for biking enthusiasts and Woofstock hits Shell Cove for dog lovers.

We’ve got it all wrapped up here.

All Weekend

Portrait of artist Jaz Corr in front of a tar and rust painting

Kiama-based Aboriginal artist Jaz Corr created two-panel painting Two Truths for OpenField. Photo: Photos: Ainslie Co Photography.

OpenField Arts Festival

When: Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 June, various times (see program)
Where: Various Berry locations (see program)
Cost: Mostly free, ticketed events range from $10 to $48, book here.

Berry’s new four-day multidisciplinary arts festival will make art highly accessible to the community. It showcases contemporary art in and around the town in non-museum venues such as halls, community spaces and nature reserves. Most events are free, with ticketed events such as panels, workshops and a music concert costing between $10 and $48.

Woody – The Ukelele Kids Show

When: Saturday 24 June at 10:30 am and Sunday 25 June, 11 am and 1 pm
Where: Arts Precinct, 32 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: $25, book here.

This interactive and joyous show demonstrates to children that with the right guidance, the language of music is universal and can be accessed by everyone. With a ukulele for everyone, kids and parents share a musical journey as they follow the story of Jasmina, a shy young schoolgirl who needs a bit of confidence to unlock her musical potential.


Bike trail at GreenValleys

The Bigfoot trail at GreenValleys is ever-popular. Photo: GreenValleys.

GreenValleys Mountain Bike Path Social Gravity Days

When: Saturday 24 June, 9 am to 4 pm
Where: GreenValleys Mountain Bike Park, 2926 Illawarra Highway, Tongarra
Cost: Member $77, non-member $99, book here.

GreenValleys’ social gravity days are the most popular way to access their trail network. Follow the easy sealed access road to the trailhead to reach the premium custom-built Spotx Trailers and ensure a smooth and quick shuttle ride up to the trailhead for both you and your bike – a great way to meet fellow enthusiasts and conserve energy for tackling the technical terrain on the way down.

Full-face helmets are mandatory for under-16s and jump skills clinics are highly recommended when riding the black and double black trails. All riders under 16 must have a guardian on site.

Ivanhoe train at Illawarra Light Railway Museum

This weekend the Illawarra Light Railway Museum will trot out one of its diesel engines for the public to ride. Photo: Illawarra Light Railway Museum.

The Diesel Train at the Illawarra Light Railway Museum

When: Saturday 24 June, 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Illawarra Light Railway Museum, 48A Tongarra Road, Albion Park Rail
Cost: Family of five $55, adult $15, child/concession $10, payable upon entry.

The Illawarra Light Railway Museum opens again this weekend, offering Diesel Main Train and the Diesel Mini Train rides. In between, you can check out the museum building for historic train paraphernalia, take a shed tour to meet the other locos and view the restoration works, enjoy a bite from the Tramway Dining Car or picnic by the playground under the gums.

Flyer for Disco Revolution event at The Oaks Hotel in Albion Park

Listen to all the classic disco anthems and just try and stay away from the dance floor. Image: The Oaks Hotel.

Disco Revolution

When: Saturday 24 June, from 7:30 pm
Where: The Oaks Hotel, 249 Princes Highway, Albion Park Rail
Cost: $30.60, book here.

Calling disco and dance lovers of all ages – time to don your finest retro threads and head over to the Oaks Hotel. Disco Revolution is bringing their high-energy show to Albion Park Rail in two huge sets. You’ll take a step back in time to enjoy all the disco anthems from the like of Tina Turner, Donna Summer, The Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band, Gloria Gaynor, Hot Chocolate and The Village People in this DJ tribute to disco that’ll keep you on the dance floor.


Flyer for Bubs and Bubbles event at Utopia Cafe Bar

$30 gets you high tea treats and mimosas at this social event for mums and bubs. Photo: Utopia Cafe Bar.

Bubs & Bubbles – A Mum’s Social High Tea Event

When: Sunday 25 June, 3 pm to 5 pm
Where: Utopia Cafe Bar, 27b Stewart Street, Wollongong
Cost: $30, to book call 0413 330 630 or email [email protected].

This baby-friendly fun and relaxing afternoon with high-tea treats and mimosas is the perfect excuse to step out of the house with bub. Special guest Steph from the Practical Mumma will share her favourite tips and products from her online store – things chosen to assist you as you tackle the beautiful, challenging and yet fulfilling task that is parenthood. Bookings are essential for this event as spots are limited.

Flyer for Woofstock event featuring five dogs against a blue sky

Woofstock is an event for all dog lovers looking for ways to pamper their pooch. Image: Shellharbour City Council.


When: Sunday 25 June, 9 am to 1 pm
Where: Waterfront Shell Cove, Marina Drive, Shell Cove
Cost: Free entry.

Looking for a way to pamper your pooch? This is a morning of play, pampering and celebrating the furry and fabulous. Meet helpful and knowledgeable purveyors from several local pet-specific businesses, services and suppliers and discover new ways to care for your fur baby. There will be a chance for photos, prizes and plenty of fun for your pets as well.

Kids running on the beach for the Kiama Coastal Classic running festival

With 2 km, 12 km and 21 km events, this running festival caters for all ages and fitness levels on Kiama’s beautiful coast. Photo: Marathon Photos.

Kiama Coastal Classic Running Festival

When: Sunday 25 June, various times (see schedule)
Where: Kiama Surf Beach, Kiama
Cost: 2 km $18, 12 km $80, 21 km $127, book here (extra charges apply for registration on the day).

Held on the picturesque Kiama coast, this event gives runners of all ages and abilities the perfect lead-up to other major events and the chance to enjoy themselves with friends and family. This year the event includes the 2 km bolt, the 12 km Kiama One Way Classic and the main event – the 21 km Kiama Coastal Classic – to suit varying levels of fitness. The finish line for all four distances is at Kiama Surf Club where there will be an onsite expo and prize giveaways.

Registration for all events closes at 10 am on Sunday 25 June.


Black and white charcoal sketch of fruit

This kid’s art workshop focuses on techniques with charcoal. Image: Shellharbour City Library.

Little Artists – Charcoal Drawing

When: Thursday 29 June, 3:30 pm to 5 pm
Where: Shellharbour City Library, 76 Cygnet Avenue Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: $12, book here.

Each month Shellharbour City Libraries is exploring a different art style and focus artist in these workshops for budding young creatives. This month, drawing from Caravaggio and the still life movement, participants will learn charcoal drawing techniques. With expert guidance, they’ll draw their own still-life image from museum artefacts through the eyes of Caravaggio. No experience is required for this workshop, which is best suited to ages eight and above.

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