Shoalhaven Tourism has launched eight arts & cultural trails throughout the stunning coastal region, with each unique trail highlighting the charm of the South Coast.
“We are so lucky to have such a vibrant arts and culture scene in the Shoalhaven, with many talented makers as well as great places to see and engage with art. Art is an important part of any city and it reflects the diversity, creativity and history of this wonderful place we live in.” said Shoalhaven Mayor, Amanda Findley. Presented in a new 32-page Art and Culture Guide, the eight trails showcase a diverse range of the top 80 fun things to do across the region in the following categories:
Shoalhaven Art and Culture Guide
- Public Art
- Craft & Artisan
- Music & Performing Arts
- Events & Festivals
- Workshops & Talks
On-Trend, Shoalhaven is a cultural destination:
- Across Australia, international cultural tourists spend 24% more and stay 24% longer than international tourists generally. And domestic travellers staying overnight at a destination spend 56% more and stay 37% longer when they incorporate cultural activities into their visit.
- In 2015 NSW hosted over 11.4 million ‘cultural and heritage visitors’, both international and domestic, who spent an estimated $11.2 billion in the state, an increase of 15.4% on the previous year.
- In terms of overnight stays, cultural tourism is growing more quickly than tourism overall, increasing in 2015 by 15% for international visitors and 11% for domestic visitors, compared to 8% and 7% respectively for overall tourism. This trend is supported internationally.
- Cultural tourism comprises 37% of world travel and is growing at a rate of 15% year on year
Source: Arts NSW Cultural Tourism Tool Kit
Hidden gems in bespoke trails for visitors and locals alike will inspire new adventures or holidays away. 3.4 million visitors come to the Shoalhaven every year with many coming in school holidays, but off-season initiatives like this arts and culture guide help to attract visitors in autumn and winter when local Shoalhaven businesses need customers the most. Over the last three years, the off-season (April – October) has grown 43% with the focus on campaign and brand development for cooler season experiences. As a compliment Surfing and Foodie campaigns will also be launched this winter to stimulate the visitor economy.
Amongst the diverse, culturally rich eight trails, the Museum trail takes visitors on a journey to another world or another time. It ranges from exploring historical exhibitions of Aboriginal culture to maritime collections and antique machines, visiting a life from generations back.
The Galleries trail is for visitors interested in exhibits by local artists, mapping out a path to explore hidden gems of quality art, sculptures, and beautiful gardens. It can give visitors a chance to pick up something fresh for the home.
Enriched with a mix of Aboriginal culture and urban street art, the Public Art trail is a fabulous mix of sculptures and murals set amongst lush outdoor walks. Check out street art by world-renowned graffiti artists such as Adnate and Smug or stop and gaze at the Aboriginal Carved Poles by Jerrinja Elder, Uncle Noel Wellington.
The Heritage walk takes visitors back tens of thousands of years, visiting European-style architecture and some of the oldest buildings in Australia. Embark on this trail to explore the region’s quaint cottages, old terraces, heritage pubs and more.
Craft & Artisan showcases an eccentric mix of local makers peddling souvenirs that ooze a bit of retro, nanna charm or something sleek and modern. Pick up handcrafted wares and upcycled goods at Sol Sisters, beautifully glazed porcelain goods from Yatte Yattah Pottery, or get hands on at a creative workshop with The Artisan Collective.
The Music & Performing Arts trail adds live entertainment to the journey with stunning shows and performances, both from local and international acts. The fun ranges from quality Australian theatre and musical stages, to musicians gigging in historic buildings for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Connect with local artists and the community on the Events & Festivals trail which changes every season. In autumn, the Blessing of the Fleet Festival celebrates fishing and maritime culture over Easter, with family-friendly events, parades and fireworks.
Winter showcases recitals, concerts, and sculptures with the likes of Kangaroo Valley Arts Festival, Culburra Beach’s Burradise and the spectacular SeeChange Festival in Jervis Bay. Spring holds creative meetings with musicians, artists, films with Milton-Ulladulla’s Escape ARTfest and summer holds Fairgrounds, a two day music festival with only the best international and local acts.
The Workshops & Talks trail brings out the creative side of visitors with amazing workshops like hand-making kokodamas or succulent wreaths atThe Mud Shed, weaving traditional Aboriginal baskets at Bugiya Naway Buradja, and even some chocolate-making fun at The Chocolate Cottages.
Shoalhaven is bordered by the mountains, coastal plains and 109 magnificent beaches, and includes 49 towns and villages. From Sydney, it’s an easy two hours’ drive 160 kilometres south. And from Canberra, it’s a two and a half hour’s drive north of around 200 kilometres.
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