13 November 2023

Nine things to do in the Illawarra this week (10 - 16 November)

| Dione David
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children learning woodwork

Make sure you book your spot at the Wollongong Wood Workshops and Market’s many workshops. Photos: Illawarra Woodwork School.

This week the Illawarra’s social calendar has a diverse offering. It starts with Merrigong’s highly-anticipated Shakespeare in the Garden and ends with a special workshop for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

In between, there’s a woodworking festival, a massive music festival, a major wellness day at Nan Tien and some exciting shopping opportunities ahead of Christmas.

Here are our nine top picks.

Multiple days

Two actors in costume for Shakespeare in the Garden

Experience William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream like you’ve never seen before. Photo: Merrigong Theatre Company.

Shakespeare in the Garden – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

When: Various dates from Friday 10 November to Sunday 26 November, 7 pm
Where: Turpentine Lawn, Wollongong Botanic Garden, 40 Murphys Avenue, Keiraville
Cost: Friday and Saturday adult $59, under 30s $49, pension/student/group 8+ $54, family of four $196 and Sunday and Thursday adult $49, under 30s $39, pension/student/group 8+ $44, family of four $156, school groups 8+ $23, book online.

All the world is (quite literally) a stage, including the Wollongong Botanic Gardens, where you’re invited to experience William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as you’ve never seen it before. Adapted by Merrigong Theatre Company’s Danielle King and Leland Kean, one of the Bard’s more enigmatic works comes to life in this breathtaking outdoor production full of music, magic and mirth.

Pack your rug and picnic, gather your family or group of friends, and join the troop under the stars for a night of theatre and enchantment.

All weekend

Flyer for BioBlitz Croom

Calling all citizen scientists: BioBlitz needs your help to record and identify the species that call the Illawarra home. Image: BioBlitz.

Bio Blitz at Croom

When: Friday 10 and Saturday 11 November, 10 am to 9:30 pm
Where: Croom Reserve, Croome Road, Albion Park Rail
Cost: Free.

Calling all citizen scientists: you’re invited to join experts from Wollongong City Council, University of Wollongong, TAFE NSW, Lodge Environmental and Growing Illawarra Natives to record and identify all you see – and have great fun doing it. BioBlitz events are where scientists, naturalists and the community work together to explore an area and learn about the importance of protecting their local environment as they record as many species of the species that call it home as possible over a short time.

Participants simply download the iNaturalist and FrogID apps in advance and then sign up for an event. Participants must have a good level of fitness and agility. Children over the age of eight are welcome under full supervision of their guardian/s. Protective clothing and shoes are strongly recommended, as well as a water bottle. BYO binoculars, magnifying glasses, torches with a red filter for night sessions, or anything else you think will assist you with your IDing.

Flyer for Wollongong Wood Workshops and Market.

Wollongong Wood Workshops and Market was previously known as the Illawarra Festival of Wood. Image: Illawarra Woodwork School.

Wollongong Wood Workshops and Market

When: Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 November, 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Bulli Showground, Grevillea Park Road, Bulli
Cost: Entry by gold coin donation, book workshops online (costs apply).

This weekend of workshops, markets, music and more was designed to preserve the tradition of working with wood. Expects a range of exciting workshops for people of all skill levels, experience and interest from age eight onwards. There will also be an array of food and drink vendors, children’s activities and live music.

This is a pet-friendly event, so grab your friends, family, fur baby and picnic rug and make a day of it.


Flyer for LOBO: the Hunted and the Hunter" Graphic Novel Book Launch

Meet local comic book artist Daniel A Becker and get a signed copy of his latest graphic novel. Image: Daniel A Becker.

Graphic Novel Book Launch

When: Friday 10 November, 5 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Servo food truck bar, 6-8 Wentworth Street, Port Kembla
Cost: Free entry, book online.

Grab your copy of the newest graphic novel by local comic book artist Daniel A. BeckerLOBO: the Hunted and the Hunter. Based on true events, it follows a determined hunter who is forever changed by his encounter with a cunning wolf in the New Mexico territory of the US in 1893.

Read the graphic novel for yourself and enjoy an immersive audio-visual presentation of artwork from the book projected around the venue throughout the evening, accompanied by a presentation by the artist on the life and legacy of Ernest Thompson Seton and Lobo, making the graphic novel, storytelling, media and changing minds. The graphic novel will be available for purchase with an opportunity to get it signed by the artist.


Flyer for Clearly Music, Arts and Wellness Festival

The impressive lineup for Clearly headlines Xavier Rudd and Skeggs. Image: Clearly Music, Arts and Wellness Festival Facebook.

Clearly Music, Art and Wellness Festival

When: Saturday 11 November, 12 pm to 10 pm
Where: The Showgrounds, 2 Bong Bong Street, Kiama
Cost: From $71.87, book tickets online.

Bringing together community from all walks of life for a day, this annual event focuses on wellness and community inclusion. There will be live music on three stages, food trucks, amusement rides and market stalls. The impressive lineup headlines Xavier Rudd and Skeggs.

VIP tickets include a dedicated entry lane, transfers, an exclusive merchandise pack, a VIP viewing platform, bar and toilets, and exclusive artist meet and greet opportunities. Clearly merchandise will also be available for purchase on the day.

Flyer for Fashion Frenzy Illawarra

Do your part of the circular economy (and your wardrobe) at Fashion Frenzy Illawarra. Image: Dress for Success NSW and ACT.

Fashion Frenzy Illawarra

When: Saturday 11 November, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Senior Citizens Centre Port Kembla, corner Allan Street and Wentworth Lane, Port Kembla
Cost: Session one $20, session two $10, session three free, bookings for all sessions online.

Ahead of the festive season, uncover a treasure trove of pre-loved (and new!) fashion, from just $5 per item. This is guilt-free, sustainable shopping at its finest, with every purchase directly empowering vulnerable women on their journey towards financial independence. Refresh your wardrobe with a range of contemporary, unique and vintage accessories and clothing in sizes 6 to 40.

This is a ‘grab and go’ style sale (i.e. no change rooms), and you are asked to bring your own shopping bag. Please note the event is child-free – contact the organisers ahead for special consideration.

Flyer for Score a Christmas Gift! Stanwell Park Vinyl & Vintage Sale

Get in early with your Christmas shopping at the Stanwell Park Vinyl and Vintage Sale. Image: Allevents.

Score a Christmas Gift! Stanwell Park Vinyl and Vintage Sale

When: Saturday 11 November, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: CWA Hall Stanwell Park, 15 The Drive, Stanwell Park
Cost: Free entry.

A few Stannie locals are getting together to host this pre-Christmas garage sale-style vintage and vinyl sale. There will be thousands of preloved vinyl and vintage gems priced from $2, alongside collectables, secondhand clothes, small furniture, glassware, art and prints, figurines, linen and quirky stuff.

Expect a fun atmosphere with music and outside seating provided. EFTPOS will be available, but cash is preferred. Please note there are no ATMs nearby.


Banner for Nan Tien Wellness Day.

Give yourself a day of rejuvenation and spiritual connection at Nan Tien Temple Wellness Day. Image: Nan Tien Temple.

Nan Tien Wellness Day

When: Sunday 12 November, 9 am to 3:30 pm
Where: Nan Tien Temple, 180 Berkeley Road, Wollongong
Cost: Free except for workshops ($15 to $20), book online.

The Nan Tien Wellness Day is designed to help you transform your energy through music, movement and meditation. Dress in blue to celebrate and join this immersive experience into the world of holistic Buddhist health practices, designed for those seeking to connect with Buddhism, prioritise self-care, nurture mindfulness, break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, clear out what no longer serves them and unlock their inner creativity. You may find inner peace, gain new insights and leave with a renewed sense of purpose and wellbeing.

The program includes incense making, laughter yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, chanting and healing, a Medicine Buddha Ceremony, Dharma service., mindful floral arrangement, mindful doodling, tea meditation and mindful stitching. Please note: spaces are limited and early registration is encouraged.


Flyer for Kell Wood: The Art of Atmosphere and The Perfect First Page

Join historical fantasy writer Kell Woods in this workshop for writers. Image: Kiama Library.

Kell Wood: The Art of Atmosphere and The Perfect First Page

When: Tuesday 14 November, 4 pm to 5 pm
Where: Kiama Library, 7 Railway Parade, Kiama
Cost: General $25, concession $20, book here.

The second in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) workshops series will guide writers in exploring how to shape their all-important first page and imbibe their work with a heady atmosphere. You’ll be guided by Kell Woods, historical fantasy writer and author of After the Forest.

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