30 May 2024

Nine things to do in the Illawarra this week (31 May - 6 June)

| Dione David
Join the conversation
Blurry carnival rides at night

The Illawarra Carnival returns this week. Photo: Marius Ramon.

From the quirky (speedcubing) to the fun (Illawarra carnival), the inspiring (Queerstories) to the exhilarating (Wollongong Running Festival), the Illawarra’s jam-packed social calendar has something for everyone this week.

You’re invited to try your hand at mushroom art (though you’ll have to find out for yourself exactly what that means) and up your collage game. Perhaps you prefer to settle in for a bit of community theatre or saddle up for a romping hoedown at the Plough & Ale.

It’s choose your own adventure, and we’ve chosen nine of the best ones here for you.

All weekend

Banner for Away presented by Roo Theatre featuring an umbrella and fold out chairs on a beach

Last chance to see Michael Gow’s classic tale come to life in Shellharbour. Image: Roo Theatre.

Roo Theatre Company Presents ‘Away’

When: Friday 31 May, 7:30 pm and Saturday 1 June, 2 and 7:30 pm
Where: Roo Theatre, corner of Addison and Wentworth streets, Shellharbour
Cost: Adults, $26, members $22, concession $24, book here.

Roo Theatre Company brings us this production of Michael Gow’s classic play, which follows three families as they embark on life-changing vacations in late-1960s Australia.

Gwen is determined to have a perfect holiday with her husband Jim and increasingly independent daughter Meg, driving them – and herself – crazy in the process. Harry and Vic want to share a happy memory with their son, Tom, who is dying of leukemia. Roy’s marriage is near to collapsing as his wife, Coral, struggles to recover from her son’s death in the Vietnam War. When a torrential storm brings them all to the same beach on the Gold Coast, they confront grief, loss and letting go.

Banner for Illawarra Carnival

Vibrant carnival vibes have landed in Warrawong. Photo: Joylands Amusements.

Illawarra Carnival

When: Thursdays to Sundays from Thursday 30 May to Sunday 16 June, Thursdays and Fridays 5 pm to late, Saturdays and Sundays 1 pm to late
Where: Kully Bay Oval, Northcliffe Drive, Warrawong
Cost: $2, payable upon entry.

Illawarra Carnival returns for three huge weekends in Warrawong. Expect all the usual carnival fun – rides and games, tasty carnival food, show bags and fireworks scheduled for Saturday 8 June around 9 pm.

Ride coupons are $2, 30 for $55, 60 for $100 or there are unlimited ride armbands available for Thursday nights for $40, all of which can be purchased online.

Montage of images for Thirroul Arts Festival

Thirroul’s beloved festival is back to celebrate everything that makes coastal living great. Image: Thirroul Arts Festival.

Thirroul Seaside & Arts Festival

When: Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 June, various times
Where: Thirroul Community Centre, 352-358 Lawrence Hargrave Drive and Thirroul Beach Reserve
Cost: Art exhibition opening night $25 (including drinks and canapes), art exhibition throughout the weekend by gold coin donation payable upon entry and Sunday festival entry free.

Thirroul’s weekend-long celebration of the arts and seaside activities launches with an art show opening at Thirroul Community Centre on Friday 31 May at 7 pm, offering a “visual feast of art, sculpture and photography”. The exhibition and sale continue on Saturday 1 June from 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday 2 June from 9 am to 3 pm. Then on Sunday 2 June from 9 am to 3 pm, Thirroul Beach Reserve comes to life with a full day of carnival rides, market stalls, food, coffee, live and free entertainment.

The Thirroul Seaside and Arts Festival is a not-for-profit project of the Austinmer/Thirroul Lions Club Inc. and all proceeds raised are donated back into the community.

Banner for Fungi Exhibition and Party at Number 99 Port Kembla

These events leave so mushroom for the imagination. Image: Number 99.

Fungi Weekend

When: Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June, various times
Where: Number 99, 99 Wentworth Street, Port Kembla
Cost: Various, book here.

Join local fungi enthusiast Marita Smith from Milton Mushrooms at Number 99’s ‘Fungi Weekend’. Across a range of events for adults and children, there will be opportunities to create mushroom art, learn about the fantastic world of fungi and the basics of mushroom identification and an exhibition party with a pop-up by the Lost Pizza truck at a range of events:


Banner for Friday Hoedown at The Plough and Ale

Coastal country comes to Calderwood this Friday. Image: The Plough & Ale.

Friday Hoedown at The Plough & Ale

When: Friday 31 May, 7 pm
Where: Plough & Ale, 10 Connection Rd, Calderwood
Cost: Free entry.

Calling all boot scootin’ babies – launching this Friday 31 May and running on the last Friday of each month thereafter, country is coming to the Plough & Ale. The inaugural Friday hoedown kicks off with live country music, line dancing, growler specials, tasty Texan-style barbecue ribs and a creative list of Wild Turkey bourbon cocktail specials to boot.

Taking to the stage is multi-instrumentalist musician and singer, Gerard Masters, with a set list of the greatest classic and contemporary country and western hits from the past 50 years, plus a few of his own recordings. Line dancing classes commence at 8:30 pm to show people of all ages and abilities how to grapevine, weave, scoot, brunch and kick.


Banner for Speedcubing at Kiama

Get ready to witness twisty puzzles getting solved like you’ve never seen before. Photo: Speedcubing Australia.

Speedcubing – Kiama Winter 2024

When: Saturday 1 June, 9 am to 5 pm
Where: The Pavilion Kiama, 2 Bong Bong Street, Kiama
Cost: Registration $28, spectators free, book here.

Ever heard of speedcubing? It’s one of the most exciting things you’ll ever see done with a twisty puzzle. Speedcubing Australia promises a day filled with thrilling puzzle-solving action and spectators are warmly welcomed to attend free of charge. From seasoned speedcubers to those intrigued by the art of quick puzzle-solving, and those who are simply looking to be mesmerised by lightning-fast hands, all are welcome.

In a crowd one person raises a rainbow flag

Queerstories celebrates the culture and creativity of the Shoalhaven LGBTQIA+ community one true story at a time. Photo: RYO Photography.

Queerstories at Bundanon

When: Saturday 1 June, 4 to 6 pm
Where: Boyd Education Centre, Bundanon, 170 Riversdale Road, Illaroo
Cost: $20, book here.

An institution around the country, Queerstories has played to crowds big and small all over the eastern states. Now, vulnerable and fierce, hilarious and heartbreaking stories are coming to the Illawarra. Queerstories celebrates the culture and creativity of the Shoalhaven LGBTQIA+ community one true story at a time. Each guest is invited to share the story they want to tell, but are never asked to – unexpected tales of pride, prejudice, resilience and resistance.


McGrath Wollongong Running Festival

When: Sunday 2 June, 7 am for 10 km, 7:20 am for Half Marathon wave 1, 7:25 am for Half Marathon wave 2, 8:45 am for 5 km, 9:30 am for 2 km
Where: Stuart Park, Grand Pacific Drive, Wollongong
Cost: Half Marathon $95, 10 km $65, Mark Scott 5 km $45, Kids 2 km Fun Run $30, book here.

With a kids 2 km fun run, 5 km, 10 km and 21.1 km events on the program, this running festival has something for people of all ages and fitness levels. What’s more, participation supports Lifeline South Coast. The start and finish line is Stuart Park; so lace up, grab your friends and family or go solo. Even if you come dead last, you’re a winner.


Banner for collage and Sip session at Number 99

Ready to up your collage game? Image: Number 99.

Collage & Sip

When: Thursday 6 June, 6 to 8:30 pm
Where: Number 99, 99 Wentworth Street, Port Kembla
Cost: $40, book here.

Part of Number 99’s ‘& sip’ evenings series, this workshop invites you to up your game in an art form long relegated to bumpy school art journals. In this guided session you’ll learn to make a landscape collage and experiment with combining paper and photography. Cut from diverse, fun collage materials, layer, paste and create: this is a low-pressure craft evening where you can relax and get creative.

There will be snacks but BYO drinks or pop a couple of doors up to get a treat from Yakka bottle-o and deli.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

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.