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Despite the challenges of the past two years, the Sapphire Coast continues to be a beloved holiday destination because of its stunning coastline, beautiful national parks and friendly locals. There is also an emerging arts and culture scene in the region for you to discover if your time is right on your trip. To help you decide when to explore this beautiful part of the world, we’ve selected eight cultural highlights happening in the region that will give you plenty of reasons to plan a trip sooner rather than later.
For an event in its first year, the Wanderer Festival has one hell of a lineup. From international acts like Curtis Harding and The Dandy Warhols to breakout Aussie stars like Confidence Man and Maple Glider, the festival features a diverse group of artists.
It’s not all about the music, though. This multi-day event will also feature comedy, cabaret and circus along with delicious local artisan produce in its idyllic location. There is also a strong focus on sustainability, with festival organizers implementing a ‘leave no trace’ policy to ensure there is minimal impact on the natural environment. Want to join? Everything happens from Friday, September 23 to Sunday, September 25.
Meaning ‘come to welcome’ in the local language of First Nations, Giiyong is a festival that showcases and celebrates First Nations culture across music, dance, comedy, film, workshops and the spoken word every April. .
Since starting in 2018, the festival has become a Regional Tourism Award-winning event hosting well-known names in the country such as Briggs and Baker Boy while continuing to connect with its community. There aren’t many arts festivals that include a local primary school dance group in its lineup, but performances like this are what make Giiyong such a memorable festival.
FAR SOUTH FILM FESTIVAL
The Far South Film Festival sheds light on regional and remote filmmakers from across Australia. For this year’s iteration, the festival uses a hybrid approach, meaning the films can be watched online or in theaters in Merimbula from August 19–31.
From music videos to short films and feature-length productions, highlights of the program include a recording of a dance performance billed as “a pirouette through the turmoil of life,” an oral analysis of the relationship with the woman’s family, and a documentary about the Snowy Hydro scheme.
MERIMBULA FESTIVAL AND YARN BOMBING
Yes, we seem to be recommending two completely unrelated events under one heading here. However, that is certainly not the case. The Merimbula Festival and Yarn Bombing is one of the most unusual but original attractions on the Sapphire Coast.
The two -week event will take place from Saturday, August 20 – Sunday, September 4. Organized by the Merimbula Historical Society, the festival will begin with a day of food, stalls and displays at the local museum. Then, over the next two weeks, the museum grounds and surrounding areas will be adorned with lots of crocheted, knitted and woven art. Everyone is encouraged to add a little color to the area to help wrap the town in wool for the winter.
COBARGO FOLK FESTIVAL
Celebrated its 25thika event earlier this year, the Cobargo Folk Festival is a long -established name in the folk and roots festival calendar. The event has been organized by the local Yuin Folk Club since 1996 and is fully staffed by volunteers. In fact, any money the festival earns will go back to the local community.
Folk musicians are known to sing at any time, so you’re likely to see the highest quality set in the middle of the campground as you’re on one of the main stages. You have little time to prepare for this must-do event-the next festival is scheduled to take place from Friday, March 3 to Sunday, March 5, 2023.
ART MONTH SAPPHIRE COAST
This Sapphire Coast festival kicks off with an art fair at the NIMO Motel on Friday, July 29, showcasing works from the best and most beautiful local artists. Following this, a full month of visual art, dance, theater and music discovery events will take place at various venues throughout the region. There are also partnerships with local eateries and accommodation providers, whose full month is dedicated to helping guests get the most out of what the Sapphire Coast has to offer.
Do you want to check it out? Book a trip to the Sapphire Coast from Friday, July 29 to Wednesday, August 31 to see it for yourself.
Sculpture is an art form that really encourages us to consider our environment. And when the surroundings are the beautiful views of the Sapphire Coast, it is nothing but a deal.
If you’re a fan of Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea, Sculpture Bermagui will be a welcome addition to your Sapphire Coast holiday itinerary. Browsing the gallery of previous years festivals reveals gorgeous scenery augmented by stunning artwork. You have little time to adjust your schedule to attend the event, the next one will start in March 2023.
MERIMBULA JAZZ FESTIVAL
Since 1981, the Merimbula Jazz Festival has delighted jazz lovers from the local region and more thanks to the list of talented artists and its fierce independent ethos. From the very beginning, the volunteer-run festival prides itself on providing equal opportunity for jazz musicians and avoiding paid advertising.
Alongside the festival’s incredible independent music events, you can expect market stalls and lakeside lantern walks and more. Do you want to come along? It takes place on the long weekend of the Queen’s birthday every June, so you have enough time to get ready for next year’s event.
Want to relax on the Sapphire Coast? Want to pair it with Wanderer Festival? To preview the full lineup and book tickets, visit the website.