15 December 2023

Nine things to do in the regions this week (15 - 21 December)

| Claire Sams
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Caravelle Notorious

The replica 15th century caravelle Notorious is sailing around the NSW South Coast. Photo: Supplied.

We know it’s closing in on holiday time – when else do you get a stage production, a classic film, riverside music (and fireworks) and an art market, all in the same week?

You’ll have multiple days to take in The National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023 exhibition, which is opening its latest tour stop in Cowra, while there will be plenty of fun at Cooma Fun Fair when it returns for two more days. But if you’re after a sea-themed attraction, head to Batemans Bay for a visit from a replica 15th century ship or take your seats to see a production of The Little Mermaid.

The library will be the place to be on Saturday for film fans, with a local library putting on a classic western comedy. If you’re keen on getting a head start on Christmas celebrations, stop by Wagga Wagga for performances of Christmas music of all kinds from more than 100 professional and aspiring musicians or check out the Murrumbateman Community Carols and Twilight Market. Meanwhile, Sunday will see a Christmas-themed market in the Southern Tablelands, as well as a sustainability focused market showcasing the best of Eurobodalla’s art scene.

Multiple days

A poster advertising the venue

You won’t have to bargain with a sea witch to see this adaption of the fairy tale from Hans Christian Andersen. Photo: The Q – Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre/Facebook.

The Little Mermaid

When: 19 and 20 December, various times
Where: Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, 253 Crawford Street, Queanbeyan
Cost: Tickets cost from $40 to $55, and are available via the arts centre’s website.

Most of us have seen the animated film or the live-action film version – but have you seen The Little Mermaid on stage? Dance and music will take you through the story of Ariel, a young mermaid who dreams of becoming human and leaving the sea behind for a life on land. To achieve her goal, she disobeys her father and strikes a deal with a witch called Ursula.

15th century Portugese caravelle replica

You won’t need to time travel to see this replica 15th century ship as it pulls into Batemans Bay! Photo: Supplied.

Notorious visit

When: 16 to 19 December, 9 am to 3 pm
Where: The public T-jetty, Batemans Bay
Cost: Tickets cost $6 for adults and $4 for children.

While boats are a common sight on the Clyde River, Notorious provides one with a difference – it is a replica of a 15th-century full-sized wooden caravel. Amateur boatbuilder Graeme Wylie single-handedly built the boat, which is like the Portuguese caravels that sailed the Australian eastern and southern coasts in the early 1500s with the Map of Dieppe (a collection of charts). You won’t be able to make the same trip in Notorious, but you can see the ship up close this weekend!

A poster for the event

After showings elsewhere in the country, this exhibition is coming to Cowra. Photo: Cowra Regional Art Gallery/Facebook.

The National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023 touring exhibition

When: 16 December to 4 February
Where: Cowra Regional Art Gallery, 77 Darling Street, Cowra
Cost: Free entry.

The National Photographic Portrait Prize is known across Australia for celebrating the best of Australian portrait photography – and now the touring exhibition is coming to Cowra. The gallery will host the 47 works from finalists of people near and dear to the photographers and some they didn’t know so well, which were selected from almost 2400 entries. The exhibition is supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program.

A poster for the event

Experience a carnival this weekend as it returns for two more days. Photo: The Fun Fair/Facebook.

Cooma Fun Fair

When: 16 December (2 to 5 pm or 6 to 9 pm); 17 December (10 am to 1 pm or 2 to 5 pm)
Where: Cooma Showgrounds, Cooma
Cost: Tickets cost from $5 to $30 (plus booking fee) and are available via Ticketebo for the Saturday or Sunday session of your choice.

Ever experienced a full carnival? Food trucks, showbags, rides, a craft station and food stalls will be on offer, as well as a visit from Santa. The attractions on offer include dodgem cars, teacups, ladybugs and trampolines, while food trucks will be there so no one goes hungry.


A poster for the event

Community organisations have come together to organise this evening of fun. Photo: Murrumbateman/Facebook.

Murrumbateman Community Carols and Twilight Market

When: 16 December, 4 to 8 pm
Where: Murrumbateman Recreation Grounds, 19 East Street, Murrumbateman
Cost: Free entry.

The Murrumbateman Community Association and Murrumbateman Village Markets have come together for another year of community fun in Capital country. People from far and wide are invited to enjoy the program, which will include performances from local musicians and dancers, market stalls with food and potential gifts for family and friends – and a visit from Old Saint Nick, if you’ve been good! This event is sponsored by Murrumbateman Lions Club and Murrumbateman Rural Fire Brigade.

A landscape poster for the event

Music by the river is just what Saint Nick would want for us. Photo: Riverina Conservatorium of Music/Facebook.

Christmas with the Con

When: 16 December, from 7 pm
Where: Riverside Precinct, Wagga Beach, 9 Sturt Street, Wagga
Cost: Free entry.

Where else can you hear performances of classical, traditional, and contemporary Christmas music on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River? The Riverina Youth Orchestra, instrumental ensembles, choirs, and featured soloists from the Riverina Conservatorium of Music will all take to the stage to welcome Christmas to Wagga, in this event presented by the Riverina Conservatorium of Music. As if the combined performances by more than 100 professional and aspiring musicians isn’t enough of a treat, the night will come to a close with a six-minute fireworks display.

Hands and box of popcorn

Settle in for a fun film. Photo: iStock/andresr.

Classic flicks movie screening

When: 16 December, 1 to 3 pm (attendees asked to arrive 10 minutes early)
Where: Batemans Bay Library, Hanging Rock Place, Batemans Bay
Cost: Free entry, though registration via eventbrite is essential.

We’ll give you three clues for this film: it’s a western, it’s a musical and among its stars are Doris Day, Howard Keel and Philip Carey. In the Dakota Territory, sharpshooter Calamity Jane (Day) has fallen for Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin (Philip Carey) – but things go awry when a plot to bring famous singer Adelaide Adams to town sees her maid arrive instead. Take your seats for this tale of heartbreak and desire in what is the last classic film showing of 2023!


A vertical poster for the event

This monthly market is returning with a festive theme this Sunday. Photo: Windellama Country Markets/Facebook.

Windellama Christmas Markets

When: 17 December, 9 am to 1 pm
Where: Windellama Hall, 3444 Oallen Ford Road
Cost: Free entry.

A monthly market is returning, just in time to bring some festive cheer. In a special Christmas-themed outing, stalls will have homemade jams and preserves, preloved toys and tools, locally produced honey, bric-a-brac, various plants, gourmet foods, wooden toys, skincare products and supplies for sewers. But if you get a bit peckish while browsing, there will also be hot food and other refreshments (such as cupcakes and sweet slices for those with a sweet tooth) to make sure you can make it through.

People crouching or standing behind two signs advertising the event

Art and sustainability are set to be the focus of this event. Photo: Eurobodalla Shire Council/Facebook.

Art on the Path – Broulee

When: 17 December, 8 am to 1 pm
Where: The grassy area at the southern end of Coronation Drive, Broulee
Cost: Free entry.

The South Coast is known for its arts scene, and a sustainable market highlighting the Eurobodalla is coming to Broulee. Local artists and artisans will be on hand with their creative works, just in time for you to buy a last-minute Christmas gift (or maybe something for yourself for making it through another long year)! Some of the items on display will be handcrafted wares, pottery, natural skin care products, handmade soaps, art, clothes, apparel, jewellery, candles, treasures and coffee. The market has a strong focus on being environmentally friendly, so there will be little to no waste, and community groups and council’s sustainability team will be on hand for a chat.

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