22 September 2023

Nine things to do in the Illawarra this week (22 - 28 September)

| Dione David
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The finishing line of a waterslide at Jamberoo Action Park

Jamberoo Action Park’s new season opens this weekend. Photo: Jamberoo Action Park/Facebook.

The Illawarra takes a running leap into spring with a jam-packed social calendar this week.

Something spooky is happening at the Illawarra Fly and a free festival of cycling brings a wheely good time to the Gong.

Jamberoo Action Park is reopening, and Pound Paws are bringing one of their Dog Days to North Wollongong.

Oktoberfest is coming a little early to Five Barrel Brewing and over at Seeker there’s a World Music Festival.

In between there’s sports, STEM and plenty of live music – here are our top nine picks.

All week

Flyer for Halloween event at Illawarra Fly featuring ghosts and a young girl who looks spooked

Something is haunting the Illawarra Fly. Image: Illawarra Fly.

Hallows Eve at Illawarra Fly

When: Saturday 23 September – Sunday 8 October, 10 am – 5 pm
Where: Illawarra Fly, 182 Knights Hill Road, Knights Hill
Cost: Adult $24.75, child (3 – 15) $13.50, family (two adults, two children)) $67.50, senior, student and concession $22, book here.

The Illawarra Fly has organised a faBOOlous Halloween event. Over the school holidays, you’ll get a bit more than you bargained for with your tree top walk admission, for the once enchanted forest is now overrun with ghostly figures lurking around every tree.

Keep your cool as ghostly wails emanate from the rainforest, ascend “Frights” Tower and come face to face with the veil itself. From Friday – Monday at 11:30 am, meet at the Visitors Centre to take part in the “Capture The Ghost Game” – will you be able to tag the elusive ghost that’s running about the rainforest?

There will be some spooktacular photo ops, so come dressed as your favourite Halloween character and capture some memories – if you dare.

All weekend

Montage of folk musicians

Don’t miss this stunning lineup of folk, world, Celtic, bluegrass and gypsy music. Image: Folk By the Sea/Facebook.

Folk by the Sea

When: Friday 22 September, 5 – 11 pm, Saturday 23 September, 9 am – 11 pm and Sunday 24 September, 9 am – 4 pm
Where: Kiama Showground, Bong Bong Street, Kiama
Cost: Friday youth (12-17) $5, Friday adult $40, Saturday youth (12-17) $25, Saturday adult $75, Sunday youth (12-17) $20, Sunday adult $60, three-day under 12s free, three-day youth (12-17) $35, three-day adult $115, book here.

Set against the backdrop of Kiama’s crashing waves comes a beautiful lineup of folk, world, roots, Celtic, bluegrass and gypsy music. An intimate folk festival and family-friendly event brings 35 artists from around Australia together. There will be some other activations to round it off into a lovely community event, including dancing sessions and a poets’ breakfast.

Ride Wollongong

When: Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September, 8 am – 5 pm
Where: Lang Park, 1 Marine Drive, Wollongong
Cost: Free (except for competitive road races), book a road race here, book community or family ride here, book an all-abilities ride here.

You’re invited to this celebration of life on wheels, featuring a collection of free riding events including a community ride, family ride and all abilities ride as well as competitive road races (costs involved).

Combining a focus on cycling, inclusivity and community, this cycling event has been developed to offer something for everyone, including a community expo, food stalls, entertainment, all-abilities exhibitors, bike workshops and more.


Jamberoo Action Park reopening

When: Saturday 23 September, 10 am – 5 pm
Where: Jamberoo Action Park, 1215 Jamberoo Road, Curramore
Cost: General (13 – 59) $69, child (4 – 12) $59, child (3 and under) free, book here.

Jamberoo Action Park is all set to reopen for a new season. The state’s largest family-owned and operated water theme park offers world-class rides and attractions in an impeccably maintained, natural setting between the mountains and the sea.

Among the many rides ranging from chilled out to thrilling, the newest ride is The Stinger, billed as a “truly hair-raising experience”. Stinger Bump kicks off with the floor literally dropping out from under you, sending you into free fall and the “ride of your life”.

There are barbecue and picnic facilities but also food and drink options, so you can refuel between the thrills and spills.

Flyer for Pound Paws Dog day featuring a pooch wearing sunglasses and T-shirt

Local dog lovers would be barking mad to miss this dog day. Image: Pound Paws.

Pound Paws Dog Day at North Gong Hotel

When: Saturday 23 September, noon – 4 pm
Where: North Gong Hotel, 3 Flinders Street, North Wollongong
Cost: Free entry, best dog trick entry $6.61, best dog costume entry $6.61, book here.

Guaranteeing a fantastic lineup of activities that will keep tails wagging non-stop, you’ll find live entertainment and music, rescue dog stalls where you can meet a delightful array of adorable dogs available for adoption, and a puppy ball pit where your furry friends can dive into a playful ball pit adventure.

Browse a variety of pet-related products and services at the pet market stalls, unleash your dog’s inner artist with a creative painting experience at the “Puppy Paw-casso” art table, compete in the best trick competition or throw your dog’s hat in for the title of best-dressed.

To make it more pawfect, it’s for a good cause – Pound Paws Dog Days support local canine rescue organisations and charities.

Flyer for Oktoberfest at Five Barrel Brewing

Pork knuckles with all the trimmings, folk music and of course, craft beers – Oktoberfest has arrived at Five Barrel Brewing. Image: Five Barrel Brewing.

Oktoberfest at Five Barrel Brewing

When: Saturday 23 September, noon to 8:30 pm
Where: Five Barrel Brewing, 318 Keira Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free entry.

Oktoberfest is coming just a touch early to Five Barrel Brewing. Get set to raise your flagon with live music and mouthwatering German treats. The music will range from folk tunes to modern sounds aimed to ignite the Oktoberfest spirit. On this day, you can indulge in delicious pork knuckle platters served with sweet potato fries, zesty coleslaw, and tangy pickled red cabbage. And of course, an exquisite selection of craft beers will help you wash it all down.

Flyer for World Music Day at Seeker Brewing

This global carnival hosted by Seeker Brewing showcases talents from all around the globe. Image: Seeker Brewing/Facebook.

Seeker Global – World Music Festival

When: Saturday 23 September, noon – 10:30 pm
Where: Seeker Brewing, 1 Industrial Road, Unanderra
Cost: $40, book here.

Sip spring-inspired craft beers, a selection of wines and non-alcoholic beverages, enjoy Seeker’s signature pizzas and most of all, get set to soak in some seriously good vibes. Music will come courtesy of The Strides (Jamaican-Australian), Moussa Diakite (Mali), Forall band (Brazil), Coucou Zazous (French/Gypsy) and Cha Cha Del Ma (Latin folk).


Two young boys covered in colourful paint stand back to back at a Motivate8sports event

Spring school holidays go off at Motiv8sports camps. Image: Motiv8sports Australia/Facebook.

Motiv8sports Big Battle School Holiday Camp

When: (Shellharbour) Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 September and (Wollongong) Thursday 28 and Friday 29 September, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Where: Flinders Public School, Adam Murray Way, Shellharbour and University of Wollongong Northfields Ave Wollongong
Cost: $129, book here for Shellharbour and book here for Wollongong.

Big battles are brewing in Shellharbour and Wollongong. Designed for kids from Kindergarten to Year 6 children, Motiv8sports turns traditional sports upside down. Campers will feel like they have entered a TV game show, representing one of two amazing tribes called the Bravehearts and the Goliaths.

Over two days and nine sessions, these tribes will go head-to-head in 16 incredible sports challenges including Super Soccer, Vortex Gridiron, Sector-8, Flagball, Big Dog Cricket, Ultimate League, Ruckus, Street Hockey, Ballers, The Grid, Raiders and Courage Under Fire. The optional finale dubbed “Battle Grounds” is great for kids who love to get messy. It includes slime slides, coloured powder, water bombs and never-before-seen challenges.


Two young women interact with robotics project

This event aims to ignite a passion for STEM subjects for females in Years 9, 10 and 11. Photo: Envato/rimufilms.

EmpowerHER STEM Summit

When: Tuesday 26 September and Wednesday 27 September, 9 am – 3:30 pm
Where: University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong
Cost: $150, express your interest here.

This hands-on, two-day event is exclusively designed for fierce female students in Years 9, 10 and 11 and is designed to ignite their passion for science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). You’ll be accompanied by faculty, current students, and industry professionals on a journey through UOW’s vibrant Wollongong Campus and the awe-inspiring Innovation Campus for a collaborative experience.

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