3 November 2023

UPDATED: Nine things to do in the Illawarra this week (3 - 9 November)

| Dione David
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Indian dancers

The Illawarra’s first major Indian festival is set to light up Kiama Harbour. Photo: Kiamasala.

UPDATED 9:30AM: The Kiamasala Festival has been postponed due to the weather. Organisers say a new date will be announced in the next few weeks.

Ahoy, matey – the Illawarra is sailing into another fun week as the globally unique marvel known as the ship Notorious pulls into Shellharbour and invites landlubbers of all ages aboard.

On Sunday, the Illawarra’s first major Indian festival will light up Kiama Harbour with traditional dance, music, food and cultural experiences, and the Lord Mayor is hosting a picnic to help 2024 school starters and their families along on their new adventure.

In between there are author talks, creative workshops, a gem and jewellery festival, music, games and more. Here are our top nine picks for the week.

All Weekend

Notorious Ship in a harbour

Notorious is a globally unique marvel headed to Shellharbour Marina. Photo: Notorious Ship Facebook.

Notorious Ship

When: Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 November, 9 am to 3 pm
Where: Shellharbour Marina, Marina Drive, Shell Cove
Cost: Adults (15+) $6, children (two to 14) $4, payable upon entry.

Notorious – an active, fully wooden constructed recreation of a 1480s Portuguese or Spanish caravel sailing ship – is headed to the Illawarra. Researched, designed and constructed single-handedly by amateur boatbuilder Graeme Wylie from salvaged timber, this unique marvel has opened for public inspection at over 40 ports along the Eastern Australian Seaboard. Exploring it is a terrific experience for adults and little pirates alike.

poster for creative art weekend

This weekend of creativity promises rejuvenation and transformation. Image: Expressive Art Experience Facebook.

Inspire & Flourish: Creative Art Weekend

When: Saturday 4 November, 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday 5 November, 9 am to 4 pm
Where: Havenwood Farm, 261 Jamberoo Mountain Road, Jamberoo
Cost: From $445, book online.

A weekend to escape the daily grind and embark on a journey of inspiration and self-discovery. Over two days in the natural beauty of Jamberoo, you’ll explore, create, reconnect and unleash your creativity. With your experienced guides, you’ll be invited to paint, draw, write, forage, meditate and more.

Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and all your art materials are included and no experience is required. Simply wear comfortable, paint-friendly clothing and any old photos or magazines you may like to use in your artwork.

poster for jewellery gems and minerals festival

All things lapidary, plus food, prizes and kids’ games make this a great event for the whole family. Image: The Illawarra Lapidary Club Inc.

Jewellery Gems and Minerals Festival

When: Saturday 4 November 9 am to 4 pm and Sunday 5 November 9 am to 3 pm
Where: Dapto Ribbonwood Centre, 109 Princes Highway, Dapto
Cost: $5, children under 12 free, book online.

For the lapidary enthusiast or admirers of pretty things, the Illawarra Lapidary Club presents this weekend-long event. There will be fossicking information, jewellery valuations, gemstone faceting demonstrations, mineral group displays, silver crafts, kids’ games, guessing competitions, lapidary supplies, jewellery, minerals, fossils, beads, opals and crystals to explore.

With refreshments available, a lucky door prize, a raffle and kids’ games, this is a great event for the whole family.


Richard Glover

In his latest book, Richard Glover is on a mission to make the world a better, less annoying place, one wish at a time. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Author Talk with Richard Glover

When: Friday 3 November, 6 pm to 7 pm
Where: Wollongong Library, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, book online.

Join celebrated Australian talk radio presenter, journalist and author Richard Glover as he convinces you that we all need to get back our sense of humour. Glover will discuss his latest book, Best Wishes – a documented mission to make the world a better, less annoying place, one wish at a time.

Places are limited, book now to avoid disappointment.


Settle in and enjoy hearing musicians from the Conservatorium of Music and other ensembles from across the region play some mellow tunes. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Music in the Library

When: Friday 4 November, 11 am to 12 pm
Where: Thirroul Library, 325-358 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul
Cost: Free, no bookings required.

An excellent opportunity to hear live music from Conservatorium of Music musicians and other ensembles from across the region, this series of free sessions will take place on the first Saturday of every month until further notice.

No bookings are required – simply turn up, settle in and enjoy.


Flyer for Kiamasala Indian festival

Grab your friends and family and get immersed in all things Indian against the beautiful Kiama Harbour backdrop. Photo: Kiamasala Facebook.

Kiamasala Festival of India

When: Sunday 5 November, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Black Beach, Kiama
Cost: Free entry.

Kiamasala – the region’s first major Indian festival – brings a jam-packed program celebrating all things Indian. Kicking off with sunrise yoga, expect Indian regional street food stalls, live and DJ music, Bollywood and classical dance, a spice market and henna artists just to name a few of the highlights.

This is a family-friendly event, so grab the little ones and get immersed in this rich culture against the beautiful backdrop of Kiama Harbour.

The Lord Mayor’s Picnic is a not-to-be-missed event for 2024 school starters and their families. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Lord Mayor’s Picnic in the Park for School Starters

When: Sunday 5 November, 10 am to 12 pm
Where: MacCabe Park, corner of Church Street and Ellen Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, for bookings contact John on (02) 4283 9943 or Tracey on (02) 4227 7111 or email council at [email protected].

This special event at MacCabe Park will be an absolute blast for any 2024 school starters and their families. There will be free entertainment and great giveaways as well as useful information to help school starters on their new adventure.

Highlights include storytime with the Lord Mayor, Aboriginal weaving, arts and crafts, obstacle courses, robotics, a barbecue and sensory activities, as well as special guests from the St George Illawarra Dragons, the SES truck and crew and AusCycling, who will run their AusBike Program. School starters will also receive a free backpack with information and goodies.


Flyer for National Novel Writing Month Workshops at Gerringong and Kiama Libraries

The middle of a novel is said to be the most challenging part to write. Get tips from a pro. Image: Kiama Library.

A.L Tait: Writing through the messy middle

When: Tuesday 7 November, 4 pm to 5 pm
Where: Gerringong Library, 8 Blackwood Street, Gerringong
Cost: General admission $25, concession $29, book online.

This is the first in a weekly series of workshops at Kiama and Gerringong Libraries, designed to inspire and motivate your writing journey. It’s based on the premise that the first 10-15,000 words of a novel usually come together through sheer adrenaline, whereas the middle part… not so much. Join bestselling author Allison Tait (A.L. Tait) as she shares her experience and tips for getting through the middle of the story – even when there’s no end in sight.


Discover a world where the possibilities are limited only by your imagination – and the roll of a dice. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Let’s Try… Dungeons and Dragons

When: Wednesday 8 November, 6 pm to 9 pm
Where: Wollongong Library, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free, book online.

Ever wanted to try your hand at the tabletop phenomenon Dungeons and Dragons, but don’t know where to start? In this beginners’ workshop, you will learn the basic rules of DND, create a character and take part in a campaign with experienced Dungeon Master Josh.

Beginners are encouraged to attend and try out DND for the first time, but note that this event is suitable for adults aged 18 and over. Bookings are essential.

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