As we edge closer to longer days there’s no better time for Canberrans to give in to the ever-beckoning regions that surround us.
From the last of the truffle hunts to the final winter festivals, country calendars are peppered with ways to bid adieu to winter 2022.
Whether it’s live music, food, art, motoring, cultural events or science, the regions have you covered – and we’ve mapped out the month’s best.
When: Until August 31, various times
Where: Various Sapphire Coast locations
Cost: Only some events ticketed, access program here
No doubt Canberra offers world-class art but if you’re looking to venture beyond that bubble, the Sapphire Coast is currently strutting its stuff. Showcasing the talents of its vibrant and artistic communities, visitors can find out where cosplay meets climate action in the “Princess of Planting” project or check out any of the weekend art trails, gallery crawls, open studios, music, performances, workshops, talks and more.
When: 12 August, 6:30 pm – 10 pm
Where: The George Bar & Dining, 20 Gibraltar St, Bungendore
Cost: $199, book here
Touted as the final truffle event of the season, they just may have saved the best for last. Taste wine with Lark Hill winemaker Chris Carpenter, talk truffles with Turalla Truffles’ Damian Robinson and enjoy a new seven-course degustation paired with seven wines.
When: 12 August, 10 am and 1 pm, and 13 August, 10 am
Where: Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre, Burns Way off Tarcutta St, Wagga Wagga
Cost: Subscriber $25, group 4+ $22, school group $20, book here
Professor Lexi Con (the Word Nerd) has curated a curious collection of her favourite words – one for every letter of the alphabet. Each will provide Professor Noel Edge (the Science Freak) a jumping off point for one of 26 quirky scientific demonstrations that squish, squirt, float, fly, erupt and explode. Audiences will decide the order in which the letters are explored as the plucky professors race through this scientific voyage that will be equal parts explosive, messy, spectacular, hilarious, fascinating and gross – all in 52 minutes. Can they do it? There’s only one way to find out…
More than 40,000 whales swim along the NSW coast from May to November each year and the NSW Far South Coast is a spectacular place to bear witness. New cultural event “Walawaani Muriyira-Waraga”, which means “safe journey whale – many” in the Dhurga language, kicks off at 10 am next to the Bermagui Surf Club with a Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony, dance performance and talks about Yuin cultural connections to whales. The community is then invited to register to paddle out into Horseshoe Bay at 11 am and welcome the whales as they pass Bermagui on their annual journey south to the Antarctic. Special talks and presentations by local whale experts and historians will follow, along with ticketed whale watching tours.
When: 13 August, drivers gather from 8 am, event starts 10 am
Where: Surf Side Oval, North Batemans Bay (starting point) and cnr The Ridge and Dog Trap rds (spectator point)
Cost: Free for spectators
Billed as the “rally event of the year in Batemans Bay” the North Shore Sporting Car Club (NSSCC) brings together competitors from the NSW State Championships, the East Coast Classic 2WD and 4WD Rally Series, the Clubman Rally Series and the Hyundai Rally Series – each of which will have their own results and awards. Two events will run concurrently on the day– the Bay Stages and the Bay Ramble. Both will offer ample excitement for motoring enthusiasts, with the spectator point on the corner of The Ridge and Dog Trap roads used twice.
When: 13 – 20 August, various times
Where: Various Sapphire Coast locations
Cost: Most events free, some require registration, access program here
Science at the pub with a lighthouse keeper, bringing life to man-made marine structures and the power of citizen science… this is one diverse series of online sessions, field trips and in-person events. The Sapphire Coast has science buffs and nature lovers covered as they get set to celebrate Science Week.
When: 13 to 28 August, see ice skating session times
Where: Family Funland, Watkins Ave and Kidman Way, Griffith
Cost: Adults $15, under 18s $10, book in-store or over the phone on 6964 3102
For two weeks Griffith’s most epic family entertainment facility will host a synthetic ice skating ring – book your sessions ahead of time to avoid disappointment. On Sunday 21 August the ice queen herself will make an appearance from 10:30 am to 11:30 am. In between, families can expect all the usual Family Funland entertainment from the Yukids Soft Play arena to bouldering, laser tag and the XD Dark Ride multi-sensory interactive attraction.
When: 14 and 21 August, departs 8:45 am
Where: Large maps at Valley Terminal, Friday Dr, Thredbo
Cost: $199 (Introduction to Backcountry) and $309 (Beyond the Boundaries), book here
These two events over two days in Thredbo are designed to teach women about the backcountry in a safe, fun and supportive all-female environment. The six-hour “Introduction to Backcountry” is a prerequisite to the second event, should participants have no prior backcountry experience. Your guide will introduce you to the specialist equipment, safety aspects and skills required to negotiate simple backcountry terrain. Then over seven hours, “Beyond the Boundaries” will take participants out of the resort boundaries and into the vast and stunning Australian Main Range. From Bogong to Mt Kosciuszko, the mission is to find the perfect line and score fresh snow. Rider levels should be strong intermediate to advanced for both events.
When: 19 to 21 August in person or 20 to 31 August online
Where: The Picture Show Man Cinema, 80 Main St, Merimbula (Saturday film screenings only) and The Twyford, 16 Market St, Merimbula or online
Cost: Various, book in-person events here or online here
This festival gathers works made by regional filmmakers from all over Australia that reflect the people, environment and issues that matter to regional people. COVID forced the 2020 and 2021 events strictly online but this year, Merimbula hosts the in-person event during its spectacular whale watching season. And if you can’t make it, catch all the unique, beautiful, scary and moving stories from regional filmmakers online from 20 to 31 August.
When: 20 August, 7:30 pm – 10 pm
Where: Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre, Burns Way, Wagga Wagga
Cost: VIP experience $179, adult $69 and concession, group 10+, family (two adults, two children) $64, book here
Emmy-winning and multi-Grammy nominated legend Toni Childs is bringing her retrospective tour to Wagga. Expect hits and fan faves including Don’t Walk Away, Stop Your Fussin’, Many Rivers to Cross, I’ve Got to Go Now and Because You’re Beautiful for the first hour and new music from her albums It’s All a Beautiful Noise and Citizens of the Planet in the second.
When: 20 August, 10 am – 2 pm
Where: Zac’s Place, 15 Pritchett Street, Yass
Cost: Free entry
Not just for motor enthusiasts with an appreciation for the classics – all of Yass is invited to this family-friendly event. Zac’s Place Inc Australia bills its classic car show as a great day out with activities, food and drinks available.
When: 20 August, 3 pm – 7:30 pm
Where: Thredbo Alpine Resort, Friday Dr, Thredbo
Cost: Free (strictly 18+)
This is the second in the “First Base” series of three après ski parties billed as the highlight of the Thredbo social calendar. Hosted by lovers of music and alpine life Harvey M, Tom Tilley and Hugo Gruzman, it promises everything you need after a big day on the slopes. Rock up in your vintage après ensembles and retro sweaters to a fire burning and throwback tunes followed by some of the hottest live artists in the country.
When: 20 August, 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Where: Lake George Winery, Federal Hwy, Lake George (bus departs Tradies Dickson at 4:45 pm)
Cost: $94 (three courses), $150 (three courses, matching wines and return bus ride – strictly limited), phone 4848 0182 or email email@example.com to book
Did you know “Weereewaa” is the Aboriginal name for Lake George? Or that the first convict sighting of the lake was on 19 August, 1820 by Joseph Wild? Tales of Lake George celebrates the lake’s history and the mysteries surrounding it. Presented by Tim the Yowie Man and special guest Ngambri elder Shane Mortimer, Westering’s chef has designed a three-course menu inspired by the lake.
When: 20 August to 4 September, all day
Where: Merimbula Old School Museum, 85 Main Street, Merimbula
Cost: Museum entry by donation payable at door
The Merimbula-Imlay Historical Society is staging the Merimbula Festival and Yarn Bombing project. First staged in 2019 this community project will culminate in a two-week dressing of the museum grounds and street furniture in colourful and imaginative crocheted, knitted or woven artworks. Street art will brighten up Main, Market and Beach streets in Merimbula and special events will be held at the Old School Museum. It starts on Saturday 20 August with much fanfare including music, food, stalls, crafts and special displays in the museum celebrating the area’s history, all under the theme of “know your community”.
When: 20 August, 6 pm – 11:30 pm
Where: The Bend and Sip Bar, 98A Campbell Street, Narooma
Cost: $11.64, book here
All are welcome to this one-night-only celebration of women in the arts. Featuring south east soul singer Kara Coen plus Phoebe Jane and Jacqui Holmes, there will also be delicious food and drinks available. Music starts 7 pm and Dj lil 9″ takes over from 10 pm. Guests will also have the chance to see and purchase works from local female artists including painter Kyla Stone, jeweller Natalie Ashkenazi and many more in the Taste of Femme Gallery.
When: 21 August, from 8 am – 7 pm
Where: Weethalle Showground, cnr Cow St and Teamster Dr, Weethalle
Cost: Adults $12, pensioners and children under 18 $6, payable at gate
The Annual Weethalle Show has all the trappings of a proper country show – and we mean all. Featuring horse events, poultry, sheep and wool and pavilion displays of farm produce, flowers, photography, arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations and competitions, show rides, show bags, sheering exhibitions, card readings, dog jumpings, big rig truck competitions, sideshows, food vans, tractor pulls and endless entertainment. You get the idea – a bonanza of regional charm packed onto one showground for one day.
When: 22 – 28 August, various times
Where: Various Griffith locations
Cost: Various, see program
Griffith brings us this fantastico week-long celebration of everything Italiano. Local businesses have come together in a culmination of food and wine events, music, live entertainment, retail therapy and experiences. Ciao bella!
When: 25 and 26 August, 8 am to 5 pm and 27 and 28 August, 8 am -1 pm
Where: Register at Tattersall’s Hotel, 185 High St, Hillston
Cost: Entry $30
After two years of COVID-induced cancellations, Hook, Line & Sinker is back. Fishing enthusiasts, grab your poles and register at Tattersall’s Hotel before heading down to the river for a relaxed day of friendly competition. Wrapping up on Sunday with presentations after midday, there will be a free barbecue and every child will get a prize.
This nine-stage 100 km foot race caters to all experience levels and takes in spectacular scenery from Canberra to the NSW South Coast. Runners can participate as solo runners, completing all nine stages, or as members of relay teams of up to four runners. Stages range between about 8 km and 15 km in length including a range of elevation and terrain and comprising a mix of fire trails, dirt roads and single tracks.
When: 26 to 28 August, for timing see event overview
Where: Belmore Park, 173 Auburn St and Montague St, Goulburn
Cost: (For ice skating only) adult $15, children (six to 14 years) $10, toddler (three to four years with kanga skating aid) $12, family (two adults, two children) $45, family (one adult, three children) $40, kanga skating aid $8
Known for its frosty mornings, Goulburn marks the end of winter with this vibrant new experience for the whole family. Rug up for the last weekend of winter and watch Belmore Park and Montague Street come alive with winter-themed activities. Expect an ice-skating rink, Foodie Lane, live music, roving entertainment, a fire show, hot chocolates, mulled wine at the Frostival Bar and more.
When: 27 August, 3 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Lake Centenary, 420 Goldfields Way, Temora
Cost: Free, book here
Temora Business Enterprise Group is bringing a warm glow to winter in rural NSW. Showcasing live local music, food vendors, fire twirlers, fireworks, fire pits and floating lanterns, you can see where the festival gets its name. Bring the family down to the banks of Temora’s Lake Centenary to bid a “warm” farewell to winter.
When: 27 August, from 12 pm
Where: Batlow Showground, Memorial Avenue, Batlow
Cost: $55 + booking fee, under 18s free but require entry ticket, book here
Set amongst lush green pastures, panoramic vistas of orchards and grazing country, Batlow is the final stop on the Winter Bites Festival event trail. The township beckons visitors to celebrate the best of its region’s produce, beverages and goodies from the likes of Courabyra Wines, Crafty Cider, Junee Licorice & Chocolate, Ladbroken Distilling Co, OMG Decadent Donuts Gundagai, Pimientoas Paella, Riverina Gin, The Apple Thief, The Smoking Butcher, Tumut River Brewing Company, Woodfire Desire Pizza and MKS Café. The backdrop of a fantastic music line-up will be headlined by Australian rock royalty You Am I.
When: 27 August, 10 am to 4:30 pm and 28 August, various times
Where: Cobargo School of Arts Hall, 20 Cobargo Bermagui Rd, Cobargo (Saturday) and Bega Valley Regional Learning Centre, 14 Cabarita Pl, Merimbula (Sunday)
Cost: Various, access program here
This weekend culminates in two events for all budding writers, crime fiction aficionados and book worms. On the Saturday, join lead investigator Melissa Pouliot and a fantastic line-up of women crime writers including Candice Fox, Vikki Petraitis, Sulari Gentill, Fleur Ferris, Ilsa Evans, Dorothy Johnston, Caroline de Costa and Kay Schubach for a day of panels, conversations and book signings and sales as Sisters in Crime returns to Cobargo. Then on Sunday, the “sisters” head to Merimbula for an exciting series of workshops. Topics include story design, writing life stories and telling true crime as well as 30-minute “access all areas” sessions with one of Australia’s most popular and successful female crime writers, Candice Fox.