Arts, Culture & Heritage

On the NSW South Coast, discover historical treasures, admire impressive local crafts and visit regional galleries displaying famous Australian artists’ work. Begin your arts, culture and heritage journey on the Grand Pacific Drive at Stanwell Park, where aeronautical pioneer Lawrence Hargrave first flew in 1894.

Just south is Bulli Black Diamond Museum, where you can learn about the area’s coalmining history. In Wollongong, admire works by famous artists such as John Olsen and a fine indigenous collection at the Wollongong Art Gallery. Check out the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre and an exciting regional events calendar.

Illawarra Light Railway Museum - Albion Park

Ride a steam train at the Illawarra Light Railway Museum in Albion Park. Nearby is the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society Aviation Museum, which houses vintage aircraft and the Qantas 747-438 that first flew nonstop from London to Sydney. Each May the town also hosts the incredible Wings Over Illawarra airshow.

In Kiama, browse National Trust-classified historic terrace houses that have become stores. Just south is Gerroa, where aviator Charles Kingsford Smith made history in 1933. A delightful drive west is Kangaroo Valley and the Pioneer Village Museum, located next to Australia’s last surviving wooden suspension bridge.

Aircraft performing aerobatic displays for crowds at the 2018 Wings Over Illawarra Event, Illawarra Regional Airport.

On the banks of the Shoalhaven River is the heritage-listed Bundanon Homestead, the former home of great artist Arthur Boyd, who donated it to the public in 1993. You can visit on Sundays. For naval aviation history, the Fleet Air Arm Museum is in Nowra, which is not far from the white sands and dolphins of Jervis Bay.

The Jervis Bay Maritime Museum houses many interesting artefacts relating to the heritage of Jervis Bay, scientific instruments and historic vessels, including the Lady Denman, a Sydney Harbour ferry built in Huskisson. Farther south is the Eurobodalla region and the award-winning Original Gold Rush Colony in Mogo, where gold fever struck in 1857.

Ocean views overlooking the Killer Whale Museum in Eden

Discover the heritage villages of Tilba Tilba and Central Tilba in the foothills of Mount Gulaga, a sacred mountain for the Yuin Aboriginal people. Join Ngaran Ngaran Cultural Awareness for an immersive tour. The Sapphire Coast, one of Australia’s best locations for whale watching, is home to the iconic Tathra Wharf and the fascinating Eden Killer Whale Museum

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