8 February 2024

Nine things to do in the Illawarra this week (9 - 15 February)

| Dione David
Start the conversation
Lion dance

Lion dance during Chinese New Year celebration. Photo: Envato/korneevamaha.

It’s a week of occasions and opportunities, a week of Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day and Chinese New Year.

Or it could be a week of beer launches and open-air raves, of theatre, poetry or writing.

The Illawarra invites you to choose your own adventure this week with an eclectic offering on the social calendar.

Here are our top nine picks for the week.

Multiple Days

Nan Tien Temple Lunar New Year Twilight Festival

When: Friday 9 February, 9 am to 1 am, Saturday and Sunday 10 and 11 February, 8 am to 6 pm, Monday 12 February 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Nan Tien Temple, 180 Berkeley Road, Berkeley
Cost: Free entry.

The community is invited to converge at Nan Tien Temple to welcome the Year of the Dragon. From Friday to Monday is a program of chanting and blessings, incense offerings and multicultural vegetarian and vegan food. Visitors are welcome to toll the bell of peace to mark the Lunar New Year.

Actress playing vaudeville star Nellie Small

Powerhouse performer Elenoa Rokobaro is electric as cabaret legend Nellie Small. Photo: Supplied.

Send For Nellie

When: Wednesday 14 February, 7:30 pm, Thursday 15 February, 6:30 pm, Friday 16 February, 7:30 pm, Saturday 17 February, 1:30 and 7:30 pm
Where: Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, 32 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Cost: Adult $55, pensioner, student, under 30 and groups 8+ $45, book here.

Alana Valentine’s much-anticipated ode to West Indian-Australian singer and vaudeville legend Nellie Small is here. Recreating in story, song and Nellie’s own words (drawn from the archives), the incredible tale of the most impressive career in Australian theatre you’ve likely never heard of comes to life on stage.

Young writer Sky Carrall

Sky Carrall went from mentee to mentor at the South Coast Writers Centre. Photo: South Coast Writers Centre.

SCWC Young Writers Groups

When: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6 February to 4 April, 4 to 6 pm
Where: Various locations in-person and online
Cost: $30 to $300, book here.

Calling all young people aged 10 to 18 with a thing for the written word. Built on active, workshop-based learning and practice, this is both a class and community, where young writers can develop their craft and create work they are proud of in a relaxed, inclusive and supportive space. Classes kicked off this week, but late enrolments are welcome, with Young Writers Groups (ages 10 to 13) in person on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and an online Senior Young Writers Group (ages 14 to 18) on Thursdays.


Banner for Stoic Brewing's launch of a new New Zealand Pilsner

A new beer is born against the backdrop of live music and a meet and greet with the brewer. Image: Stoic Brewing.

NZ Pilsner Launch Party

Where: Friday 9 February, 4 to 8 pm
Where: Stoic Brewing, 6/45 Rowlins Road, Gerringong
Cost: Free entry.

The secret’s out – join the crew at Stoic Brewing for the launch of its new New Zealand pilsner, brewed by Stoic’s head brewer Brent. He’ll be there to meet, greet and answer questions. Live music from 5 to 8 pm comes courtesy of Loki Hines, and the pilsner in question will be flowing on tap and in tins all night.


Banner for Brazilian Carnival at Seeker Brewing featuring tropical birds and foliage

Celebrate the richness of Brazilian culture at Seeker Brewing. Image: Seeker Brewing.

Brazilian Carnival – Seeker Brewing

When: Saturday 10 February, 3 to 10 pm
Where: Seeker Brewing, 4/1 Industrial Road, Unanderra
Cost: $25, book here.

Seeker Brewing presents Wollongong’s very first Brazilian Carnival celebrating the history, culture, and traditions of the people of Brazil. Witness the pinnacle of Samba, Choro, Forro and Musica Popular Brasileira (MPB) from various artists including Marcelino Junior, Sydney Choro Club, Forall Band, Douglas Aguiar, Estevao Lobos and Junior Dias.

Traditional Churrasco barbecue food by Churras & Co Catering will be available all day.

Flyer for Open Air Rave at UniBar

Get ready to hit the dance floor in a big way. Image: Movements Wollongong.

Open Air Rave w/ Ben Hemsley (UK)

When: Saturday 10 February, 2 to 11 pm
Where: Building 12, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong
Cost: $58.98, book here.

Following a sold-out Halloween rave, Movements Presents an Open Air Rave with a formidable line-up of international and national talent, including Ben Hemsley (UK), Pegassi (Belgium) and Bella Claxton (Melbourne) and local tastemakers including Sekta, Proc, Bourke, Cal Burns and Liza. Get ready to hit the dance floor in a big way.

Banner for Chinese New Year celebration at The Shellharbour Club featuring a stylised dragon illustration

Ring in the Year of the Dragon with a bang. Image: The Shellharbour Club.

Chinese New Year

When: Friday 10 February, from 5 pm
Where: The Shellharbour Club, Wattle Road, Shellharbour
Cost: Free entry (membership required for those living within a 5-km radius of the club).

Experience the sights, sounds and flavours of the Far East as The Shellharbour Club welcomes the luck and prosperity of the Year of the Dragon. At this one-day celebration, visitors get a free fortune cookie with every purchase (while stocks last), enjoy live entertainment from A & J Duo and Brazen Lyres Band at the Lounge from 6 pm and the main event from 7 pm at the Venue and Lounge – the traditional Lion Dance including blessings and ceremonies.

People in colourful costumes for Chinese Lunar new Year at Crown Street Mall

The Lunar New Year goes off on Crown Street Mall. Image: Wollongong CBD.

Lunar New Year Celebrations and Night Markets

When: Thursday 15 February, 5 to 9 pm
Where: Crown Street Mall, Wollongong
Cost: Free entry.

Mark the Lunar New Year at Crown Street Mall with free entertainment and your favourite street foods. Watch live performances throughout the evening to bring good luck, drive away evil spirits, and welcome the Year of the Dragon, including the traditional Lion Dance performances, a live percussion band and live DJ tunes.

Banner for Learn To Sing with Wollongong Harmony Chorus

Time to take those pipes out of the shower. Image: Wollongong Harmony Chorus.

Learn to Sing Six-Week Course

When: Thursdays from 15 February to 21 March 21, 7:30 to 9 pm
Where: Ribbonwood Centre, 93-109 Princes Highway, Dapto
Cost: $60, book here.

For anyone who loves to sing but needs a confidence boost, this learn-to-sing course running on Thursday nights for six weeks is perfect. Learn the Beatles’ Good Day Sunshine to sing at a low-key Family and Friends concert on 21 March at the conclusion of the course. You’ll be singing along with four-part female a cappella chorus Wollongong Harmony Chorus.

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.