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New South Wales


Community, Business and Visitor Guide

Illawarra National Events

As one of Australia's most beautiful regions, Illawarra is renowned for its natural beauty, friendly locals, and vibrant culture. With so much to see and do, it's no wonder the region is home to a wealth of nationally and internationally recognised annual events that draw visitors from across the country and around the world.

Whether you're into music, food, sports or arts and culture, there's something for everyone in Illawarra. Here are just a few of the most popular annual events that you can experience in and around the region throughout the year:

The Illawarra Folk Festival

One of the biggest and most highly regarded folk festivals in Australia, the Illawarra Folk Festival draws thousands of visitors to the region each year. Held annually over four days in January, the festival features an incredible array of live music, dance, poetry, storytelling, crafts and herbal remedies, with more than 150 acts from across Australia and around the world. Whether you're into traditional folk, world music, blues, jazz, or more contemporary styles, there's something for everyone at this fantastic festival.

The Illawarra Festival of Motor Sport

Love anything mechanical? Then you won't want to miss the Illawarra Festival of Motor Sport! This annual event showcases a wide range of motorsports activities, including car and bike racing, classic car displays and exhibitions, as well as vintage and historic races. Held at the Wollongong Motor Sport Precinct, it's a must-see event for anyone who loves speed and adrenaline.

The Illawarra Jazz Festival

If you're a music lover, don't miss the Illawarra Jazz Festival. Held annually in March, this event brings together some of Australia's best jazz musicians for a weekend of outstanding music performances. With jazz bands, soloists, and duos from around Australia, there's something for everyone, from traditional New Orleans-style jazz to the more contemporary sounds of bebop and swing.

The Sydney International Boat Show

The Sydney International Boat Show is one of the biggest boat shows in the world, and it's just a short drive from Illawarra. Featuring more than 1,000 different boats, marine products, and services, the show is a must-visit event for anyone interested in boating, fishing or water sports. Visitors can explore the latest boating innovations, enjoy entertainment, watch boat-building competitions, and much more.

The Thirroul Seaside and Arts Festival

Celebrate the arts and the coastal lifestyle of Illawarra at the Thirroul Seaside and Arts Festival. This event, held annually in April, showcases the diverse arts and crafts of the region, such as painting, sculpture, ceramics, and jewelry. The festival also features live music, entertainment, workshops, and an array of food and wine from the local area.

The Illawarra Rhododendron Festival

Minnamurra Rainforest is home to the beautiful Rhododendron Festival, which sees a spectacular showcase of local arts and craft against a backdrop of the forest itself. The flowers themselves are beautiful, but the crafted wares are and the event is much more to spend the whole day in the forest. With live music, dance performances and displays of well made tea pots, there's bound to be something that appeals to everyone.

The Kiama Show

The Kiama Show is one of the country's oldest agricultural shows, and a must-visit for families. The event showcases local produce and farm animals, as well as arts and crafts, rides, and plenty of entertainment. With activities and events for all ages, this is a fantastic family day out.

Illawarra is a treasure trove of exciting annual events, showcasing the best of the region's vibrant culture, food, and wildlife. So what are you waiting for? Plan your visit around on of these events today and experience the best Illawarra has to offer.

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