I,Discover our thriving art & culture scene in our many towns and villages. Movers and shakers in the national art scene have been honing their craft here for generations in this beautiful landscape. Our plentiful museums and galleries offer glimpses into both past and contemporary culture. With many special events scattered all year-round, we guarantee that you’ll find something to indulge your creative spirit. Download your very own Art & Culture Guide to make your holiday planning a breeze.
Galleries & Studios
Iconic Australian painter, Arthur Boyd was so captivated by the Shoalhaven landscape, that he donated his famous homestead and studio, Bundanon Trust, to the Australian people. Visit on a Sunday for an excellent day trip. You can be treated to a guided tour of the property and grounds, beautifully nestled alongside the Shoalhaven River. An assortment of works by the Boyd family are displayed here in addition to pieces from many other well-known Australian artists such as Sir Sidney Nolan, John Perceval and Brett Whiteley.
For some of our best touring collections, make sure to check out our artistic hub, the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery in Nowra. Also head to some of our more quaint and intimate gallery spaces such as The Studio Gallery in Callala.
We have a very rich Indigenous history in our region. Visitors can learn all about this heritage through our beautiful Aboriginal art. Striking artworks are displayed at Giriwa Garuwanga Art Gallery in Ulladulla.
Events & Festivals
Colourful festivals and markets are some of the best ways to connect with local artists and the community. Catch an event and stay for a culture-filled long weekend. We’ve got amazing things happening all year-round! Our winter festival line up is filled with epic events such as Culburra Beach’s Burradise.
Live music and a wonderful arts program lights up this seaside hamlet. Milton-Ulladulla’s, StoryFest celebrates literature, film and all things storytelling.
When the weather warms up in Spring, plan a visit to coincide with the glorious Shoalhaven River Festival. A party by the water where the surrounds of Nowra Bridge transform with tonnes of food and music alongside some very fun water sports.
Usher in the beginning of Summer at Fairgrounds. Berry Showgrounds becomes an awesome 2-day music festival that oozes 1970s vibes. There’s gourmet eats, vintage markets, a fantastic line-up of indie and rock bands as well as workshops galore for both kids and parents.
Ulladulla’s Blessing of the Fleet Festival is a must see during the Easter school holidays. The colourful street parade will absolutely captivate the little ones. Check out our year-long events calendar for more information.
Immerse yourself in incredible artworks amongst the glory of Mother Nature. A day of exploring art and culture doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay indoors! Pop on your walking shoes and make your way around the streets of Nowra. Many of the CBD’s buildings showcase amazing street art murals painted by world-renowned graffiti artists such as Adnate and Smug.
You might also notice that a number of our public amenities feature paintings and murals from local artists. We think that you’ll love our tongue in cheek “Toilet Mural Trail”. It has brightened up our local parks and reserves with new creative life.
Our towns have eye candy everywhere! If you look down during a stroll through Milton’s town centre, you’ll find five wonderful mosaics that are part of a local community project.
Seaside artworks include the beautiful Aboriginal Carved Poles by Jerrinja Elder, Uncle Noel Wellington, around Callala and Culburra Beaches. The One Track for All and Coomee Nulunga cultural walks also highlight Indigenous culture with illustrated stories and more carved sculptures by local elders.
Our lovely gardens will also appeal to all the green thumbs. Amazing topiaries at Merribee Historic Garden Estate and the stunning Sculpture at Petana show, during Milton-Ulladulla’s annual Escape ARTFest every October will be a delight.
We’ve got an array of interesting museums for you to learn something new and revel in the past. Australia’s Naval Aviation history is brilliantly showcased at the Fleet Air Arm Museum at HMAS Albatross. Located inside a very cool hangar-style building, it’s even equipped with its very own flight simulator. A must try during your visit!
Along the shores of sparkling Jervis Bay, the Maritime Museum exhibits a rich local Aboriginal history, captivating shipwrecks and maritime battles. You’ll also find the iconic Lady Denman Ferry here. It was built in Huskisson way back in 1911 and has retired in the bay.
A great place for children to learn more about our colonial history is at the Kangaroo Valley Pioneer Village Musuem. The 150-year-old farm’s buildings and grounds will transport you back to a simpler time.
Craft & Artisan
Come and celebrate the hands of the local artisan and pick up a unique souvenir. Our community of makers are producing refreshingly modern works in addition to the traditionally cute and kitsch pieces that ooze retro nanna charm.
By the water in Greenwell Point, you’ll find the lovely Point Gallery and Craft. Picturesquely located right near the oyster farms of beautiful Crookhaven River. You can shop a collection of unique ceramics, leatherwork and mosaics here. For those who’d like to get the chance to actually meet our local makers, pay a visit to Kangaroo Valley Woodcrafts and Kangaroo Valley Leadlights stores. You might even catch a glimpse of some talented creatives at work.
Explore our country towns filled with old-world charm, history and architecture. Our region displays a combination of rich Aboriginal culture, dating back tens of thousands of years. In addition, you’ll also find an assortment of colonial buildings that display our European past.
Some of the oldest buildings can be found at Jindyandy Mill and Coolangatta Estate, where Alexander Berry first settled in 1822. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Shoalhaven history is by embarking upon a town heritage walk in Berry, Kangaroo Valley, Nowra or Milton.
You’ll wander through streets that boast architecture dating back to the 1800s. Some highlights include the School of Arts in both Berry and Nowra. As you meander through our villages, you’ll pass showgrounds with gorgeous grandstands, courthouses, and heritage homes like Meroogal.
Out towards the coast, our seaside hamlets feature quintessential Australian beach cottages in all their fibro glory. Photographer Max Dupain’s famous ‘Sunbaker’ image was actually shot right here at Culburra Beach in the 1930s.
Music & Performing Arts
Add some entertainment to your trip with live music and performances from local and international acts. Our largest and busiest venue, the state-of-the-art Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre hosts a myriad of Australian and international shows and performances. Cclick here to find out more about all their current events.
If you’re a fan of musicals then we highly recommend catching a show by our local theatre troupes. The Nowra Players and Albatross Musical Theatre Co are always creating new and amazing spectacles. You can watch their performances at the Entertainment Centre and Nowra Players Theatre in Bomaderry. These performances are always a fun night out filled with plentiful songs, dances and frequent belly laughs!
If live music is more your jam, then head to the historic Milton Theatre. Built in the 1920s, it is a gorgeous venue. It oozes tonnes of old-school charm and is located right in the middle of town. A favourite pit stop for many well known artists, make sure to check their events schedule to find out what’s currently on. Our local dining venues also host a bunch of local musicians. These include Mountain Ridge Wines at Coolangatta, Jervis Bay Brewing Co. in Woollamia and Cupitt’s Winery at Milton.
Workshops & Talks
Channel your creative self and delve into a new artistic pursuit while relaxing in the Shoalhaven. Ever heard of kokodama? It is the Japanese art of displaying potted ornamental plants in a unique ball of soil covered in moss. This wonderful idea is just one of the many workshops you can partake in at The Mud Shed in Bomaderry.
For an incredible cultural experience, the lovely Deidre of Bugiya Naway Buradja offers a traditional basket weaving class in Jervis Bay. And anyone who’d like to satisfy their sweet tooth can head to The Chocolate Cottages in Milton. Or try the Treat Factory in Berry for a delicious chocolate making masterclass.
Check out the amazing array of local creative workshops also on offer. Treat yourself to some ‘me time’ or do something fun with your friends and family. From ring making to circus performing there is something for everyone!