6 June 2023

Nine things to do in the Illawarra this week (2 - 8 June)

| Dione David
Start the conversation
circus performer

The Spiegeltent will feature stars of Cirque Du Soleil, The Illusionist, La Clique, and an international Got Talent winner. Photo: Vanessa Van Dalsen.

Winter has officially hit, but with many of its social calendar highlights outdoors, it seems the Illawarra missed the memo!

All this weekend, be lured to the northern suburbs as the Thirroul Seaside and Arts Festival bounces back from its COVID-19 hangover with a full program of culture and family fun.

Other events centre around retail therapy including Dress for Success Sydney’s iconic Bubbles & Bargains popping up in the Illawarra.

Towards the end of the week The Spiegeltent Wollongong brings us almost three weeks of amazing events – everything from the family-friendly to the adults-only.

In between, you can explore the great outdoors via Wollongong’s premier running event or the great indoors with one of the region’s many creative workshops. We’ve picked nine of our favourite things to do in our stunning region this week.

All Weekend

Thirroul Seaside and Arts Festival

When: Friday 2 to Sunday 4 June, various times
Where: Various Thirroul locations, see program here
Cost: Opening night $20 payable upon entry, otherwise free entry.

It was scaled back for COVID-19, but this year the Thirroul Seaside and Arts Festival returns to its glory days. The beloved weekend-long family event kicks off on the Friday with the opening of the official exhibition at Thirroul District Community Centre where guests can mingle, enjoy refreshments, witness the winner presentations and purchase works from some of the region’s most talented artists. The exhibition is open all weekend.

On the Saturday, the Thirroul township will be peppered with great food, boutique shopping and art items displayed in local shops. And on Sunday, Thirroul Beach Reserve comes to life with an array of activations including dozens of market stalls, food vans, carnival rides, show bags and live entertainment.


Flyer for Luv the Lake Coastal Clean-up event in Shellharbour

Environmentalists present and future are invited to this community event focused on caring for our precious waterways. Image: Shellharbour City Council.

Luv the Lake Coastal Clean-up

When: Saturday 3 June, 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Reddall Reserve, 1 Reddall Parade, Lake Illawarra
Cost: Free, book here.

Grab your little environment warriors and head to Lake Illawarra’s Reddall Reserve, where coastal clean-up efforts combine with community fun to mark World Oceans Month. As a part of the Luv the Lake litter reduction program, Shellharbour and Wollongong City Councils are hosting this coastal clean-up. Participants will receive all the tools needed to conduct a litter clean-up around the foreshore. The day will feature engaging stallholders who are passionate about protecting and conserving the environment, offering educational materials and fun activities for all ages. Kids can get their faces painted with ocean-themed designs, and there will be live music and food and coffee available for purchase. Don’t forget to wear enclosed shoes, comfortable clothing, a hat and sunscreen.

Flowers in tribute to victims of the Lindt Cafe Seige

Australian playwright Alana Valentine has crafted a tender and highly moving play about the impacts of the Lindt Cafe siege. Photo: Merrigong Theatre Company.

A Beautiful Man – Development Showing

When: Saturday 3 June, from 11 am
Where: Merrigong Theatre Company, 32 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Pay what you feel, book here.

In April 2014, six-year-old Wollongong resident Henry Hinchcliff travelled to the Lindt Cafe with his family and friends. Living with eosinophilic esophagitis meant Henry could only eat 50 types of food, including chocolate – but it had to be Lindt 85 per cent cocoa and they didn’t make an Easter egg out of it. In an act of kindness, the Lindt Cafe manager Tori Johnson offered to make Henry his very own, first-ever Easter egg. Eight months later, after a 16-hour standoff during which 18 people were taken hostage in the Lindt Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place, Tori was one of two hostages killed.

Australian playwright Alana Valentine (Letters to Lindy, Dead Man Break) crafts this tender, moving play in tribute.

Watercolour protea

This beginner-friendly class hosted by local artist Kylie Morrison will take you through all you need to create your own watercolour protea or waratah. Photo: iStock/Yuliya Derbisheva.

Art After Hours: Watercolour Natives

When: Saturday 3 June, 11 am to 1 pm
Where: Shellharbour Civic Centre – City Library, 76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: $20, book here.

In celebration of World Environment Day, join local artist Kylie Morrison as she guides you through the process of painting your own watercolour protea or waratah. All materials are provided for this two-hour course, which takes you through basic techniques of watercolour painting as you put them to the test and create your piece. This beginner-friendly class is best suited to people aged 16 and over.


People at the starting line for the Wollongong Running Festival

From the 2 km Kids Fun Run to a half marathon, there are opportunities for all fitness levels at Wollongong’s premier running event. Photo: Wollongong Running Festival.

McGrath Wollongong Running Festival

When: Sunday 4 June, from 7 am
Where: Stuart Park, George Hanley Drive, North Wollongong
Cost: $25 to $160, book here.

Wollongong’s premier running event offers a range of runs for all ages and fitness levels. The 2 km Kids Fun Run is a crowd favourite, the Mark Scott 5K is a local loop out to Squires Way and back through Puckeys Reserve, the 10 km is a relatively flat course but offers a step up for the relatively fit and the 21 km is a fantastic two-loop course for those looking to take on a half marathon.

Flyer for grand opening Hot Mess Body and Sweet As Sugar

Albion Park Rail stores Hot Mess Body and Sweet As Sugar Jewellery have big plans for their grand opening. Image: Facebook.

Grand Opening – Hot Mess Body and Sweet As Sugar Jewellery

When: Sunday 4 June, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: 3/30 Shaban Street, Albion Park Rail
Cost: Free entry.

If retail therapy on a winter’s day isn’t enough incentive to leave the house, Hot Mess Body and Sweet As Sugar Jewellery are turning their grand opening into the perfect way to spend your Sunday with activities, shopping, food and crafts. There will be free face painting courtesy of a glittery fairy from 10 am to 2 pm, free neck and shoulder massages from 11 am to 2 pm, $500 worth of lucky door prizes to give away, beading and bath soak workshops, delicious food, beverages and sweet treats, plus 25 per cent off all products for the day.

Clothes on racks at Dress for Success pop up retail event

Dress for Success Sydney’s iconic Bubbles & Bargains event is popping up in the Illawarra. Photo: Dress for Success Sydney.

2023 Bubbles & Bargains Illawarra

When: Sunday 4 June, 11 am to 4 pm
Where: The Fraternity Club, 11 Bourke St, Fairy Meadow
Cost: VIP (11 am to 1 pm) $50, early bird (1 pm to 2:30 pm) $20, general (2:30 pm to 4 pm) free.

Dress for Success Sydney’s iconic Bubbles & Bargains event is popping up in the Illawarra with an incredible range of preloved and new clothing, shoes and accessories from well known brands such as Armani, Camilla, Carla Zampatti, Coach, Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs, Stuart Weitzman, Scanlan Theodore and Sass & Bide. Expect bargain prices across all three sessions of this curated sale with a range covering all sizes and styles. Every dollar you spend goes towards helping change a woman’s life. Please note this is a child-free event.


Flyer for The Spiegeltent Wollongong

From circus to comedy, cabaret to music and more, there’s something for everyone at Spiegeltent Wollongong. Image: The Spiegeltent Wollongong.

The Spiegeltent Wollongong

When: Wednesday 7 June to Sunday 25 June, various times, see program here
Where: The Arts Precinct, 32 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Various costs, book here.

Whether you’re after family-friendly fun, the ultimate adults-only nights out or something in between, from this Wednesday the Spiegeltent has you covered. Since the late 19th century this extravagant big top tent, with its mirrors, stained glass, velvet, brocade and overall glamorous old-world feel, has travelled around offering live experiences like no other. From circus to comedy, cabaret to music and more, this is a highlight on the Wollongong winter calendar.


Flyer for Wander-ful exhibition by artist Karen Heffernan

In this two-week exhibition, artists Karen Heffernan and Jane Comensoli share their interpretations of their journeys. Image: Karen Heffernan.

Wander-ful exhibition opening

When: 8 to 21 June, Wednesdays to Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Red Point Gallery, 100 Wentworth Street, Port Kembla
Cost: Free entry.

“To wander is to seek and find the magic moments that are all around us. Capturing these moments through colour, form and light is our intention.”

This exhibition by Karen Heffernan and Jane Comensoli shows the artists’ differing interpretations of their journeys immersed in their beautiful environments. Through it, the artists seek to show that the joy of art is that they see and represent the world through their own eyes.

Red Point Gallery in Port Kembla is a member-run arts co-op where all types of artists, artisans and students come together to socialise, share ideas, run workshops and show their arts and crafts.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Illawarra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Illawarra stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.