The Shoalhaven is an area rich in history. Our local communities are thriving with passionate artists and locals whose families have lived in the region for generations. Their stories are beautiful and fascinating and they are waiting to share them with you.
The paintings of iconic Australian artist Arthur Boyd often feature bush landscapes, and Bundanon, on the shores of the Shoalhaven River, was Arthur’s home and studio for twenty years. His philosophy that 'you can't own a landscape' and with the wish that others be inspired by this remarkable place, led he and his wife Yvonne to donate the family properties of over a thousand acres, to the people of Australia.
Open every Sunday, you can take a guided tour of Arthur Boyd's studio and the Bundanon homestead. The Bundanon Collection includes over 4000 including works by several members of the Boyd family, Sir Sidney Nolan, John Perceval and Brett Whiteley. The gardens feature enchanting sculptures and wildlife, there are bush and river walks, and you can bring a packed lunch and have a picnic on the lawn.
Bundanon also includes an educational centre and artist-in-residence complex utilised by talented creatives from all over the world.
Events, such as Siteworks held annually in spring, performances and exhibitions are held here regularly, check the events page for details.
Jervis Bay Maritime Museum
Discover the complex and engaging history of Jervis Bay - from Aboriginal occupation to shipwrecks, whaling, boat building and maritime battles. Home to the Lady Denman Ferry which was built in Huskisson in 1911 and carried passengers on Sydney Harbour for 67 years. You can also see significant maritime artefacts, navigational and surveying instruments. The shady bushland grounds on Currambene Creek feature a fish feeding pond, raised boardwalk through the mangroves, native gardens and boathouse. Bring a picnic or make use of the BBQ facilities.
The Laddie Timbery Aboriginal Arts & Crafts Gallery in the grounds has authentic art and artifacts for sale. Laddie is in his gallery most days and is always happy to demonstrate boomerang throwing or talk with you about the artwork, what the artefacts are used for and Aboriginal culture and history in the Shoalhaven.
The Museum and Culture Trail
The township of Berry is a great place to learn about early European settlement of the region, take a historic walking trail of the town or visit the Berry Historic Museum, the building is a 130 year old bank. The town has lots of galleries and artisan stores to explore.
Kangaroo Valley is only a half hour drive over the mountains and is another charming town to immerse yourself in art and culture. Visit the Pioneer Village Museum to see an original 150 year old farmhouse and walk through displays showing way of life for the early settlers. The township has several artisan and antique stores and the Galleria Aniela Fine Arts Gallery.
In Nowra stroll past some of the original 1890’s buildings on the Nowra historical walk. Along the way you can see the Nowra murals painted on the sides of buildings in the CBD, or stop in to the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery. Beautiful Meroogal houses displays showing the lives of four generations of women. Just south of Nowra at HMAS Albatross is the Fleet Air Arm Museum in a huge hanger style building with displays of all things naval aviation. Have a go on the flight simulator.
Jindyandy Mill east of Nowra, was built by convicts in 1830, and is now a quaint shopping precinct in picturesque pasturelands. For heritage and a glass of wine, pop in at Coolangatta Estate, home of the first European settlement in the area.
Milton, about a 45 minute drive from Nowra, is another historic village with a thriving artisan culture. Wander around the town's main street to see buildings dating back to 1870, or browse the many artisan shops and galleries.
Nowra Street Murals
Take a walk around town and check out the murals which are popping up on the walls of Nowra. Our favourite is on the rear wall of the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery - an Aboriginal child and yellow tailed black cockatoo honouring the Yuin nation - by Matt Adnate. Nearby, the face of a Greenwell Point fisherman mending his nets overlooks the Egan's Lane car park which was painted by Guido Van Helten. You can also see ARCY's cockatoo on the rear of Aquatique in Egans Lane. A sweet portrait of artist Arthur Boyd by Owen Dippie looks down on Schofields Lane from the rear of the newsagency, and Clair Foxton's portrayal of air-force veteran Narelle Hart high on the rear of the Holt Centre. Look out for various graffitti style works by local street artist Daniel Kelly - check out the Nowra side of the Jane Street overpass, the side of Sportscene along Kinghorne Street, O’Connell Lane, and Lawrence Avenue.
Booderee National Park is jointly managed by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community and Parks Australia. Some of the most beautiful beaches and bushwalks of the region fall within the boundaries of this park and are worth a visit. Booderee Botanic Gardens are the only Aboriginal-owned botanic gardens in Australia. Visitors can learn about bush tucker and medicinal uses of plants, or walk the picturesque trails and picnic on the lawns.
Galamban Extraordinary Experiences from the Wreck Bay community offer the a series of cultural activities based at Booderee National Park. Choose from campfire yarns, weaving, bushfoods, medicines and survival skills, a spotlight stroll among others.
The Laddie Timbery Aboriginal Arts & Crafts Gallery in the grounds of the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum in Huskisson, has authentic art and artifacts for sale. Laddie is in his gallery most days and is always happy to demonstrate boomerang throwing or talk with you about the artwork, what the artefacts are used for and Aboriginal culture and history in the Shoalhaven.
Bomaderry Creek Walk has special significance for the local Aboriginal people whcih is explained on signage at the picnic area off Narang Road. It is possible to hire a Discovery Ranger to take a guided tour through this beautiful regional park.
Shoalhaven is home and inspiration to many creative people, and one of the best ways to experience the wealth of local talent is to get involved in the various arts festivals held here over winter and spring!
Arts in the Valley is an intimate festival of music, sculpture and art in the picturesque rural setting of Kangaroo Valley. This three day event held biennially in May, features an exciting line up of talented musicians and exhibitions of diverse artworks.
See Change is a biennual festival held in the villages of Jervis Bay and St Georges Basin area, in late May and early June. Festival events are themed around visual and performing arts, and literature, including photography, film, painting, sculpture, story writing, poetry and music.
Escape ARTfest is a two-week celebration of all things artistic in the Milton Ulladulla District running annually in spring. A fun festival of visual arts, music, literature, film, performance and entertainment for creative kids, Escape ARTfest offers two packed weeks of creative delights for everyone.