22 December 2023

10 things to do in the regions this week (22 - 28 December)

| Claire Sams
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The travelling show Bell’s Carnival is just one of the things happening this week as we approach the end of the year. Photo: Bell’s Carnival Batehaven.

As we approach the end of December (and the end of 2023), here are 10 events you can enjoy with friends and family.

In keeping with the festival spirit, a multi-day festival of Christmas trees in Queanbeyan will end with some carols, Yass Valley Anglican Church will host a Christmas lunch for anyone and everyone and a Moruya hotel will see several musicians taking to the stage on Boxing Day. And if you need to do some last-minute Christmas shopping (no shame, we’ve all been there), Goulburn Farmers Market and Murrumbateman Village Market will be held with plenty of stalls to browse.

But that’s not all! Bell’s Carnival is returning to the South Coast, a fishing competition set to last all summer is kicking off in Sussex Inlet and Cupitt’s Estate will be the place to be for an after-work drink. Meanwhile, an annual race day will return to Tathra and a rodeo will be held in Jindabyne.

Multiple days

A flyer for the event

Get into the festive spirit with some beautifully decorated trees – and then some caroling. Photo: Queanbeyan Presbyterian Church/Facebook.

Queanbeyan Christmas Tree Festival 2023

When: 18 to 22 December, 6 to 8:30 pm; 23 December (carols)
Where: Queanbeyan Presbyterian Church, 2 Morisset Street, Queanbeyan
Cost: Free entry.

Get into the Christmas spirit as this tree festival enters its final days. A range of trees have been set up, each decorated with a different part of the Christmas story.

A carol service will follow on Saturday featuring performances of traditional Christmas carols. Performers will be accompanied by the Queanbeyan Junior Brass Band and the addition of the newly installed festoon lights will make sure everything shines! The public are asked to bring their own seating.

A flyer for the event

The annual carnival is making a return to the South Coast for another summer season. Photo: Bells Amusements/Facebook.

Bell’s Carnival

When: 26 December to 27 January 2024, 7 to 10 pm (weather permitting)
Where: Corrigans Beach Reserve, Beach Road, Batehaven
Cost: Entry costs $50 and wristbands are available at the gate.

Bell’s Carnival is known across the South Coast as one of the must-attend summer events, and it’s coming back for another year! The family-friendly carnival will be at Corrigans Beach Reserve for a month (weather permitting), promising fun for everyone.


A poster for the event with entry rules

Reel in the biggest fish and take home a prize in this competition – and maybe bragging rights. Photo: Sussex Inlet Bowling Club Fishing club/Facebook.

Sussex Inlet Kids Christmas Holiday Fishing Competition

When: 22 December to 25 January, all day
Where: Various locations in Sussex Inlet
Cost: Free entry, though registration is necessary and can be done by emailing [email protected].

Whether your kids are frequent fishers or not, this is a chance for them to sharpen their skills. Competitors will go head-to-head casting their lines for flathead and bream. It will all come to a close on 27 January 2024 as the winners are announced, so get out and start fishing!

Two people looking over a vineyard

Wine, music and beautiful surroundings – what more could you ask for? Photo: Cupitt’s Estate/Facebook.

Friday Summer Sessions

When: 22 December (and other Fridays in summer), 5 to 8 pm
Where: Cupitt’s Estate, 58 Washburton Road, Ulladulla
Cost: Free entry, though bookings are recommended and can be made online.

Looking for somewhere to relax after you finish work for the year? Throughout summer, Cupitt’s Estate is hosting an event each Friday with music, wines and good company. This week, Sean Harlor and Erin Badman will take to the stage as you celebrate your wins from 2023.


People standing around at tables and looking at plants

Goulburn Farmers Market has attracted a strong showing since it launched earlier this year. Photo: John Thistleton.

Goulburn Farmers Market’s Christmas Market

When: 23 December, 8 to 11 am
Where: Peden Pavilion, Gate 6, Goulburn Showground, 3 Braidwood Road, Goulburn
Cost: Free entry.

At this farmers market full of flowers, fruit and veg, honey, breads, truffles, wines, eggs, jams and much more from local growers and producers, you’re sure to find something special to make Christmas lunch and dinner taste delicious. This monthly market is returning for a Christmas market on Saturday, just in time to grab something special!

A flyer for the event

After a last-minute gift or something for yourself? Photo: Murrumbateman Village Market/Facebook.

Murrumbateman Village Market

When: 23 December, 9 am to 1 pm
Where: Murrumbateman Recreation Grounds
Cost: Free entry.

The Murrumbateman Village Market is looking to finish up 2023 with a market just in time for Christmas! Attendees will be able to search the stalls selling plants, books, nuts, sandalwood, fruit and vegetables, meat and more, as musicians perform.


A poster for the event

This lunch has been organised so no one in Yass Valley needs to spend Christmas alone. Photo: Yass Valley Anglican Church/Facebook.

Yass Community Christmas Lunch

When: 25 December, noon to 2 pm
Where: Saint Clement’s Anglican Church Hall, 20 Church Street, Yass
Cost: Free entry, though attendees are asked to RSVP by calling 0403 060 368.

While some of us will be heading to friends and family to celebrate Christmas, not all of us are so lucky. Saint Clement’s Anglican Church Hall will host a lunch for anyone looking for some friendship and good food on Christmas Day. Attendees are asked to RSVP in advance for catering.


A flyer for the event

This summer soiree will have you dancing into the evening. Photo: Rumour Has It/Facebook.

Rumour Has It: Boxing Day

When: 26 December, from 7 pm to late
Where: Moruya Waterfront Hotel Motel, 1-5 Princes Highway, Moruya
Cost: Tickets cost from $20 to $25 and are available via Humanitix.

If you can move out of your food coma from Christmas Day lunch, head to Moruya Waterfront Hotel Motel for some music and dancing. The party will start outside as an outdoor summer soiree, before moving inside. Joshua Brian, You’re Welcome, The Usual Suspect DJs and Tennis Club DJs will provide the music – and you can bring the fun.


A woman holding a trophy at a racecourse

Who will win the racing this year? Photo: Sapphire Coast Turf Club/Facebook.

Tathra Cup Family Race Day

When: 27 December
Where: 1695 Sapphire Coast Drive, Kalaru
Cost: Tickets cost between $10 and $15 (under 18 years have free entry).

A Hawaiian spin has been put on the Tathra Cup as it returns for 2023. Sponsored by Tathra Beach Bowling Club, Tathra Bowlo and Tathra Little Bottler, this day at the races is sure to get you cheering for a winner!


A poster for the event

Horses are the focus of any rodeo, but that’s not all that’s on the schedule for this event. Photo: Jindabyne The Man from Snowy River Rodeo/Facebook.

Jindabyne, The Man from Snowy River, Rodeo

When: 28 December, from noon (gates open from 11:30 am)
Where: John Connors Oval, Park Road, Jindabyne
Cost: Entry is $10 child, $20 adult and $50 family (two adults, two kids) and tickets are available at the gate.

A rodeo is part of life in many a country town, and Thursday is Jindabyne’s turn. In addition to the horse and bull events, there will be food and sideshow attractions.

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