Art & Design

What’s On In Regional NSW This May

By Yvonne Lam
3rd May 2018


Sydney, we love you. But sometimes we’ve got to go exploring beyond our metro confines, and soak up the best of what our inland sisters and brothers have got to offer. 

Across New South Wales, the entire month of May has heaps of things to do, eat, and see. Much cider to drink. Many pumpkins to eat. Lots of donkeys to pat. Over and out.

Hunter Valley Food And Wine Festival

Hunter Valley

If we can drink it, and we can eat it, we’re there. The Hunter Vaz, as we affectionately know it, hosts an epic two-month festival dedicated to the best of the region’s wining and dining. There’s a lot on, but we’ve got our eye on the traditional Burning of the Barrel bonfire, the “Food Fight” in which four chefs (including ACME’s Mitch Orr) presenting modern twists on four classic dishes (diners vote for their favourite), and the cheese & wine matching experience presented by Two Fat Blokes. It’s only two hours from Sydney, yo, so get drivin’. 

When: May–June
Where: Hunter Valley, various locations
Cost: Varies depending on event
More details here

ABBA Festival


Repeat, IT’S AN ABBA FESTIVAL. Why are you even still reading this in your $390 a week, under-the-flight-path inner Sydney apartment? You should be fanging down the Great Western Highway to Trundle (north-west of Parkes), to join other ABBA devotees at the country’s only festival dedicated to the Swedish pop group. Come on, you can renew your wedding vows to the strains of I Do, I Do, I Do, take part in a world record attempt for the most number of people dancing to Dancing Queen, and catch the premier ABBA-tribute band Björn Again. No word on whether your Arrival must be by helicopter. BYO flared pants (and probably BYO mum and dad).

When: 4–5 May
Where: Berryman Oval, Trundle
Cost: $44–88
More details here

Pumpkin Festival


This is the fifteenth festival of the pumpkin at Collector, a town sandwiched between Canberra and Goulburn with a population of 313 people. But you know what they say: small town, BIG PUMPKINS! There are some sick competitions to check out—giant-est pumpkin, heaviest pumpkin, best carved pumpkin, best pumpkin-headed scarecrow, best pumpkin scones, pies, cakes, quiches…We’re pump(kin)-ed. 

When: Sunday 6 May, 10am–4pm
Where: Bourke St, Collector
Cost: $10 adults, $5 seniors, free for kids under 15. Tickets available at entry gates (cash only). 
More details here 

Potato Festival


Do you love carbs? Do you love Costa? (If you don’t know Costa Georgiadis from Gardening Australia, ask your nan.) Why not combine your love of both at Crookwell’s very own potato festival? Crookwell is home to the state’s potato growing industry, and this festival pays homage to the humble spud and the community’s good vibes. There’s a potato auction, a decorate-a-potato competition, cooking demonstrations (presumably with potatoes), as well as music, art exhibitions, and activities for the kiddies. Tell me about it, spud. 

When: Saturday 12 May
Where: Crookwell Showground and various sites around Crookwell
Cost: $5 entry to the Showground
More details here

An Immersive Performance By Senior Citizens


Heads Up combines performance, videos and music that explores the power of deep and non-judgemental listening. There are some beautiful layers of this work, from taking inspiration from the trees of the Shoalhaven area, to the performances from The Performance Ensemble, a collective of artists aged 60 years and up. To dive deep into the making of the work, there’s also a Q&A after the 2pm performance. 

When: Saturday 12 May, 2pm and 6.30pm
Where: Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, Nowra
Cost: Free, but bookings are essential
More details here

River Of Art Festival

Eurobodalla region

Every year, the far South Coast of NSW turns into a vibrant showcase of local and visiting artists. There’s an open studio trail, where you can get a behind-the-scenes peak of artists in action, or check out the Art on Parade, where artists exhibit their work at local businesses and shopfronts (our favourites are Julie Mia Holmes’ dreamy prints at Moruya Books, and works from the Disability Trust Arts Group in Narooma). We all love a good market, and there’s browsing to be had at the Creators’ Bazaar on 19 May. The festival extends from Durras, all the way to Tilba down south—there’s heaps on, so trawl through it!

When: 17–20 May (art trail open 17–26 May)
Where: Various
Cost: Free (except workshops)
More details here

Australian International Animation Festival

Wagga Wagga

Grab the popcorn—the Australian International Animation Fest features over 120 animated shorts from Australia and around the world. There’s an eclectic mix of animation styles and genres, including a morning kids’ program, and a guaranteed whacky line-up at Saturday’s Late Night Bazaar. It’s the fifteenth year of the festival at Wagga, so you know they’re onto a good thing here. 

When: 18–20 May
Where: Forum 6 Cinemas, 77 Trail St, Wagga Wagga
Cost: $50 for full festival pass, or $13 for a single session. 
More details here

Batlow Cider Fest


You recognise the name from those apple stickers. Batlow is the Snowy Mountains home of the apples and even better, home of the annual Batlow cider festival. The festival is a celebration of the end of harvest for apple growers by way of a street party with tunes, food and more than eleven cider brands on offer. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and we’re quite convinced that a cider does the same. 

When: Saturday 19 May, 10am–4.30pm
Where: Pioneer St, Batlow
Cost: $5, tickets available at the gate
More details here

Antiques And Collectables Fair

Wagga Wagga

Don’t lie. On a late Saturday afternoon while channel-surfing on free-to-air, you’ve caught the middle of Antiques Roadshow… and kept watching. There’s some serious tension when a country townsperson proffers up a hideous glass sculpture of a half-rabbit half-human, and for it to be valued at £3000+ because it came from the Tudor period or something. Anyway, we’re into antiques browsing—it’s like high-end op-shopping. Wagga’s own antiques fair features jewellery, furniture, and silver-y and porcelain-y trinkets that are good for ooh-ing and aah-ing over, or even taking home. 

When: 26–27 May
Where: Wagga Wagga Showground, Bourke St, Wagga Wagga
Cost: $10 entry (kids enter for free)
More details here

Pat Some Donkeys


Yes, really. You can hang out with some cute AF donkeys for one-and-a-half hours. There are regular donkeys, miniature donkeys, and baby donkeys. Apparently, donkeys love to follow us humans around, and are 100% up for pats, 100% of the time. Clear the calendar. 

When: Sunday 27 May, 10–11.30am
Where: Alpaca Magic, 2771 Sutton Road, Sutton
Cost: $40
More details here

Or perhaps you wanna do stuff for free in Sydney instead?

Image credit: Dmitriy Serafin via Unsplash

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