All posts by Leigh-Anne Wrighter

The Cascades Walk and Jump Rock | Macquarie Pass National Park

Explore a natural adventure playground at Macquarie Pass National Park located just 30 minutes from Wollongong.

Providing an abundant rainforest you’ll see amazing plant life, birds and native wildlife together with breathtaking views.

Conveniently close to both Robertson and the coastal town of Kiama, this is easily a fantastic one day road trip or a chance to spend a few days away with friends and family.

The Cascades Walk

Location: Base of Macquarie Pass
Distance: 2km return
Time: Allow approx. 45 – 90mins
Pace: Leisurely/family friendly

With a mostly flat terrain we enjoyed the Cascades Walk at a leisurely pace with a 5 and 8 year old in tow.

If coming from Albion Park, you will find a carpark on the right hand side at the base of Macquarie Pass. Simply cross the grass area in front of the carpark where you will find the beginning of the path.

Please note there are steps along the path but nothing that caused complaint. The kids happily ran ahead more excited about what they could discover.

With the sunshine magically peeking through the rainforest canopy, we stopped many times along the way to enjoy the scenery, climb rocks, test our balance skills across a fallen log  and spot native animals including lizards and birds.

Your prize at the end of the track is the beautiful waterfall and natural pool, a photographers dream.  A perfect spot to just stop and take it all in.

Just a word of warning – be careful of slippery surfaces at the waterfall. I may or may not admit to taking a slip waist dip into the refreshing water. That’s a story for another day!


  • The track can include water and mud – don’t wear your best shoes.
  • Don’t forget your water, hat, sunscreen and snacks.
  • Take the insect repellent and some salt (leeches present).
  • Pack a picnic and take advantage of the Cascades picnic area.
  • Take your rubbish with you.

More Info

More info regarding the Cascades Walking Track can be found at


Jump Rock

Location: Track commences base of Macquarie Pass.
Distance: Approx. 3.5km return
Time: This would depend on your level of experience and who you are travelling with. We had young children and it took us 3 hours return. Experienced or fit walkers may take approx. 1.5 hours.

Located on the left hand side (if coming from Albion Park) at the base of Macquarie Pass, this was our unexpected adventure!

There are no signs but the path commences from the small carpark and is fairly obvious.

As you progress along the initially flat walkway, the path begins to fork giving you the option of travelling closer to the water or ascending higher. We took the higher road where we navigated some tricky situations including steep slopes and muddy, slipper surfaces. At times we felt like mountain goats but  we were loving the challenge!

With a 5 and 8 year old in tow we really had to work as a team to ensure safety and we recommend you do some research prior if you plan on taking young ones (be smarter than we were!).

You will discover stunning scenery along this walk with views of water pools, plant life, birds, astounding rock formations plus massive tree roots along the way.

There are also plenty of places to stop along the way to have a rest or cool off in the creek water.

So what did we discover when we reached Jump Rock? Stunning natural pools of water cascading down over massive boulders creating a stunning landscape. It’s absolutely beautiful.

You will find beautiful pools of water which are brilliant for dipping your toes or taking a swim (it’s a bit chilly in that fresh water!) so pack some swimmers and a towel.

There are ropes tied in various places to help you climb the large rocks and people were climbing the rocks and jumping from various platforms 3-10 meters back into the water. We did not do this and cannot comment on the safety of doing so (do your research before participating!).

This walk took us 3 hours return but keep in mind we had young children in tow. I would recommend you do your research before heading off on this walk to determine if it is right for you and your company.


  • Do your research – check out Bush Walk the Gong for more information.
  • Wear old shoes, there’s plenty of water and mud.
  • Take plenty of water, sunscreen, hat and snacks.
  • Be prepared for leeches – take some salt.
  • Safety first, let someone at home know when you are going and when you’ll return.
  • Take your rubbish home.
  • If planning to do this with young children, please ensure they are up for the challenge prior to departure. Our 5 and 8 year old, although champions along the way, were absolutely exhausted after this walk.
  • We have heard that Jump Rock can be very popular in Summer months so plan accordingly.

More Info

More detailed information can be found at Bush Walk the Gong and Pioneer Walks.









DJUKI MALA | Spiegeltent Wollongong

In their inaugural Wollongong performance, award-winning indigenous dance sensations DJUKI MALA literally blew the top off the Spiegeltent!

Surpassing all expectations, these instantly likeable boys hailing from Elcho Island in North East Arnhem Land were simply charisma on legs… and boy could they dance.

With their cheeky, high-energy personalities, they each have a powerful and undeniable presence on the stage. You simply can’t peel your eyes from the stage.

Welcoming you into their world with open arms, DJUKI MALA thoughtfully express their traditions and values through the art of storytelling and dance with an enormous pinch of humour (ladies wear waterproof mascara!).

It’s a fast-paced journey from traditional Yolngu dance through to modern day hits and there is more than one surprise moment!

Expect the unexpected and you will leave wanting more. Watch out for those electric hips!

Would we see it again? Hell yes!

You can literally feel the happiness and joy in their performance and it’s infectious.

DJUKI MALA is hilarious, uplifting and full of soul!

Performance Times

Sat 14 Apr at 2:30pm
Sun 15 Apr at 6:30pm


The Spiegeltent Wollongong
The Arts Precinct
Burelli St, Wollongong



Tickets On Sale Now

Top 12 School Holiday Picks

It’s time to inspire, create and get active these April school holidays with our Top 12 School Holiday Picks!

Whether the kids love sports or aspire to the creative, you are going to love what’s on offer from our Top 12.

Get organised and start booking today. These offers won’t last!

Exclusive Offer Alert

Receive an additional $20 OFF already discounted prices these school holidays when you book with locally owned famly.

Simply use promo code FAMLYLOVESWOIW on already discounted prices for exciting and unique school holiday fun across Sydney, Wollongong and the South Coast. Check out some of the great deals on offer:

3D Printing Workshop – Wollongong
Explore the 3D world and save up to $150 with famly.

Inside Matisse’s Garden Art Workshop – Wollongong
An inspirational journey into the life of Matisse, one of the most loved artists of all time.Normally $100, only $70 when you book with famly.

Family Friendly Glass Bottom Kayak Tour – Batemans Bay
A fun 2.5 hour family friendly tour in stable double kayaks, with photos and snacks included. Book with famly for a 10% discount.

Lollie Claire Photography – Wollongong
Capture that special moment in time with savings on newborn and baby photography sessions.

Science Space Wollongong Admission – Wollongong
Save on entry when you discover Australia’s #1 Planetarium

Visit famly for more amazing deals.

Commandos + Circus!

Commando Kids & Creative Circus Camp
Where: Burgh Healthy Hub
23 – 24 April 10am – 3pm
Full day: $65
Option lunch $5/creche $25 (9am – 5pm)
Age: 5 – 12 years

The kids will be active, engaged and thoroughly entertained when they join the Commando Kids or Creative Circus Camp (or both!) at BURGH Healthy Hub.

Join Commando Simon on his outdoor obstacle courses or come and transform your tricks into a creative act. YES! You can do both. 

Call Burgh on 4294 1282 or book and pay online.

Creativity with Da Vinci Art Hub

Da Vinci Art Studio
When: 16 – 20 April
Where: Shellharbour

The creative space at Da Vinci Art Studio caters to primary aged children and high school students from beginners through to advance.

  • Pet Portrait in Oil Pastels
  • Create a Sculptural Jelly Fish Lantern
  • Paint a tiger with Rainbow Eyes
  • Autumn Scene in soft pastel
  • Beach scene in impressionism
  • Beach Landscape painting in oils
  • Watercolour Birds
  • Mermaid in Watercolour
  • Create a unique bag

Workshops start from just $25. Bookings are essential.
Call 42951042 or 0414 829 548
Book and pay online.

Active FUN with Fun-Damentals

Fun-damentals School Holiday Program
16 – 30 April
Lindsay Park Primary School
Open 8am – 6pm
Cost: 1st child $50 – discounts apply for siblings.

Fun-damentals proudly provide the most affordable FUN childcare for primary school aged children in Wollongong including the Pupil Free Day! Approved for the Child Care Benefit and Rebate.

Each day your child will participate in several sports plus lots of fun activities including laser tag*, orienteering, arts and crafts, board and table games, plays, dancing, lego, dominoes, reading, drawing, upcycling, gardening plus much more. VIEW THE FULL PROGRAM HERE

Contact Daniel Morris on 0423661911
Download Booking Request form 

Fun Experiences with Merrigong

Barrel of Monkeys
The Spiegletent (Arts Precinct)
17 – 22 April
Tickets: $28
Recommended for ages 5+

Watch cheeky monkeys trick, toss and tumble in the riotous physical comedy Barrel of Monkeys in the magical Spiegeltent. This high-energy circus extravaganza will bring joy to all ages. BOOK NOW

Merrigong Creativity Camp
Wollongong Town Hall
16 – 20 April
Price: $290 
Age: 5 – 13 years 

Kids will love expressing their imagination at an interactive 5-day theatre-craft & performance workshop with the guidance of professional artists and educators. As part of the Creativity Camp your child will also experience the magic of The Spiegeltent when they see Barrel of MonkeysBOOK NOW

Marvellous Masks Workshop
Illawarra Performing Arts Centre
Mon, 23 April 10am
Price: $50
Age: 8 -12 years

Developed for primary school students who love to create things, children will explore the world of theatre design with professional Set and Costume Designer, Imogen Ross. BOOK NOW

Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine
Illawarra Performing Arts Centre
Fri 27 Apr, 10am & 12.30pm
Sat 28 Apr, 10am & 12.30pm
All tickets: $32

Adapted from the much-loved book by Roald Dahl, George’s Marvellous Medicine is a spectacular live show for the whole family packed to the rafters with mischief, music, magic and mammoth laughs. BOOK NOW

Your Guide to Easter in Wollongong 2018

Have yourself a ‘hopping‘ good time this Easter with our guide to all the fun things happening in and around Wollongong.

Find out where to take the kids for Easter egg hunts, Easter crafts and activities, and where to find the Easter Bunny! Plus we have you covered with markets, fun things for the adults plus what’s on Easter Sunday.

Top Picks for Kids

Easter Family Fun Day
Where: Wollongong Botanic Garden
When: Saturday, 31 March 2018
Time: 10am – 1pm
Cost: Free

We are so excited to see the return of the Easter Family Fun Day in 2018. This is a free community event proudly presented by the Rotary Club of Wollongong and Wollongong Botanic Garden.

What’s On
  • 10am – 11am Easter Egg Hunt*
  • 10.30am – 12.30pm Symbio Mobile Wildlife Zoo
  • 11.30am Discovery Centre theatre show
  • Jazz tunes from local students of the Conservatorium of Music
  • Children’s fun entertainment & activities brought to you by the Garden’s Ranger party experts & Wollongong Botanic Garden’s Discovery Centre.
  • A BBQ by Rotary, refreshments and coffee will also be available for purchase on the day.*Note: During this time age groups will run in order from 10am, starting with 0-5 years, 6-8 years and 9-12 years. Children will hunt for a token in exchange for an easter egg.

TBH Annual Easter Show
Where: Towradgi Beach Hotel (carpark)
When: Saturday, 31 March 2018
Time: 10am – 5pm
Entry: Free Entry

There is no need to travel up to Sydney when we have our very own amazingly fun Easter Show right here in Wollongong!

What’s On
  • Carnival rides*
  • Show bags
  • Reptile show
  • Farmyard animals
  • Magicians
  • Free face-painting
  • Sideshow games + more!

*Wristbands are $25 per person per session. session times are 10am to 2pm and 1pm to 5pm.

Free Easter Activities for the Kids

Kids Easter Basket Decorating at Figtree Grove
When: Saturday, 31 March 2018
Time: 10.30am – 1.30pm.
More info.

Easter Central  at Wollongong Central
When: 26 to 31 March 2018
Activities include Easter colouring in, Easter Sand Sculpture Building, Sand Sculpture Workshops, Butterfly House Feeding Experience, Easter craft activities, chocolate fountain experience and a visit from the Easter Bunny (31 March 11am – 2pm).
More info.

Easter Fun Day at Dapto Mall
When: Saturday, 31 March 2018
Time: 11am – 2pm
Annual Easter Egg Hunt through-out the centre, create an Easter tote bag to collect yummy Easter eggs, face painting and the Easter Bunny will be roaming the centre. More info.

Easter Bunny Visits Warilla Grove Shopping Centre
Join in the Easter Fun at Warilla Grove Shopping Centre with a visit from the Easter Bunny on Thursday 29th March and Saturday 31st March between 10:30am to 2:30pm each day.

Easter Bunny’s Breakfast + Live Show at Warrawong Plaza
When: Saturday, 31 March 2018
Time: 8.30am – 9.30am
Join The Cadbury Easter Bunny for a special Easter Breakfast in the Warrawong Plaza Food Court. Breakfast which will include fruitless hot cross buns, a piece of fruit and a bottle of apple juice or water. Following the Breakfast there will be a live Cadbury Easter Bunny show at Centre Court commencing at 10am.Bookings are essential. $5 deposit per child, refundable upon attendance at the event. Tickets are on sale now at the Customer Service Desk.

Easter Fun at Stockland Shellharbour
When: Saturday 31 March 2018
Time: 10am – 3pm
Meet the roaming Easter Bunny and have fun with Easter craft activities.

What’s On Easter Sunday

Annual Burgh Easter Egg Hunt 
Where: Burgh Healthy Hub, 338 Cemetery Rd, Helensburgh
Time: from 8am
Cost: FREE
Whilst your searching for your eggs keep your eyes peeled for an appearance from a very cheeky rascally rabbit PLUS enjoy Hot Cross Buns, Coffee, BBQ Breakfast and of course CHOCOLATE!!! Everyone is invited so come have some fun at this FREE event.

Easter Sunday at Windjammers
Where: 2-14 Cliff Rd, Wollongong
Time: 12.30-2.30pm
Easter Sunday lunch at Windjammers includes:
– Deluxe BBQ & seafood buffet
– EGG-stravagant chocolate themed dessert buffet
– 3 hour beverage package
– Live entertainment
– Kid’s face painting
Bookings Essential – more info.

Easter Egg Hunt + Meet the Easter Bunny
Where: Headlands Austinmer Beach Hotel
When: Sat, 31 March + Sun 1 April
Time: 11am

Giant Easter Egg Hunt
Where: Jamberoo Action Park
When: Sunday, 1 April
Time: 9.30am (don’t be late!)
Hunt for 1000’s of yummy chocolate Easter Eggs at the GIANT Easter Egg Hunt at Jamberoo Action Park. It is FREE to participate, must be either a paying guest or a Season Pass Holder. Easter Egg hunt starts at 9.30am SHARP. ONLY for children aged between 4-12 years. More info.

Easter Sunday Eggstravaganza
Where: Red Dog on the Green, Figtree
Time: from 12noon
Easter Egg Hunt, have some fun on the Slip n Slide, Run n Splash Water Slide, fun with Dragonfly Parties plus kids crafts, games & face painting activities throughout the day.

Easter Egg Hunt & Live Music
Where: Mountain Ridge Wines Cellar Doors & Restaurant, Berry
Easter Egg hunt: 9:30am (regular breakfast menu will be available) and the second hunt of the day will be on at 12:30pm (set menu and kids menu available only). Kate Young will also be playing from 12pm till 3pm. Booking are essential: (02) 4448 5825. Visit Mountain Ridge Wines for more information.

Easter Family Race Day
Where: Shoalhaven City Turf Club
Time: 11am – 5.30pm
Visit Shoalhaven City Turf Club

Dragons v Knights
Where: WIN Stadium
When: 1 April 2018
Time: 4.00pm

Easter Markets

Kiama Farmers’ Market – Easter Market & Kids Spud Hunt
When: Wednesday, 28 March 2018
Where: Surf Beach, Kiama
Time: 3pm – 6pm

Eat Street Market by Foragers
When: Thursday, 29 March 2018
Where: Crown St Mall
Time: 5 – 9pm

Good Friday Market, Kiama Makers & Growers
When: Friday, 30 March 2018
Where: Black Beach, Kiama
Time: 9am – 2pm

Warrawong Markets
When: Saturday, 31 March 2018
Where: Northcliff Dr, Warrwong
Time: 7am – 1pm

The Farm’s Market
When: Sunday, 1 April 2018
Where: Killalea State Park, Shellharbour
Time: 10am – 3pm

Dapto Showground Markets
When: Sunday, 1 April 2018
Where: Dapto Showgrounds
Time: 7am – 1pm

Foragers Market
When: Every Sunday
Where: Bulli Showgrounds
Time: 9am – 2pm

Something for the Adults

Original Sin INXS Show
Where: Towradgi Beach Hotel & Waves
When: Thursday 29th March 2018
Time: 8.30pm
Cost: Free

Marty Bright + Support
Where: Wollongong Comedy
When: Saturday, 31 March 2018
Time: 8pm – 11pm
Tickets $15 online | $20 at the door

John Waite
Where: Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul
When: Saturday, 31 March 2018
Time: 8pm
Tickets on sale now

Easter Sunday Session
Where: PEPE’S on the beach, Wollongong
When: Sunday, 1 April 2018
Time: 2pm – midnight
Entry: Free
DJ’s on the Deck from 3pm
Feat. DJ KEYES & DJ Ace
VIP Cabana Bookings & Bottle Service Packages
Dance Floor
Dessert Cocktails

The Villains – CD Launch
Where: Towradgi Beach Hotel
When: Sunday 1st April at 7.30pm
Cost: $13.94

Award-winning Duo The Ironing Maidens Come To Wollongong

Award-winning Australian electric house duo The Ironing Maidens  will hit Wollongong with their unique sound as part of their regional Strike While the Iron is Hot Laundromat Tour on Saturday 27 January at  City Central Laundry Services.

Yes that’s right folks, this performance will take place in a laundromat and will have you second guessing not only the role of the traditional housewife, but you’ll also never look at your iron the same way again!

Following their stand-out performances at Germany’s famous Fusion Festival and Byron Bay’s Falls Festival, expect an ‘iron sharp‘ performance as The Iron Maidens showcase their breakthrough music and unusual sound by adapting real irons and ironing boards into electronic instruments.

Celebrating the release of their new single Electro Housewife using samples from real life 1950s ads encouraging a life of domestic duties for the female population at the time, explore whether the  notion of the ‘female domestic goddess‘ has changed over the decades.

An electronic arts projects that begun 5 years ago, The Ironing Maidens, Patty Preece and Melania Jack are also lifting the lid on female electronic music pioneers that have remained largely under acknowledged.

Encouraging new dynamic expression into the electronic music genre via their own music technology school, Mesh – Music Electronic Sound House, The Ironing Maidens will also be offering public workshops with each performance.

Participants will gain an introduction into the  topics of EMP, basic Ableton Live software skills, electronic instrument creation and the history of women in electronic music.

One half of The Ironing Maidens, Melania Jack, took some time out for a chat about their sound and how they are changing the perception of both female pioneers of electronic music and the role of the traditional domestic worker.

A natural evolution into electronic music

I had originally studied guitar and had been writing songs for sometime when I met Patty who produced an earlier EP of mine (In the birds Belly – Melania Jack). Patty’s production on the tracks included some electronic elements which really gave a new edge to the arrangements. From there we started working on more electronic based tracks in a band called Shiny Shiny with Bec Newman – a really fun, crazy and politically charged band with hilarious stage antics.

It has been a natural evolution but what I really love about it is the fluid nature of working in Ableton Live. We can sketch down idea’s, add our own parts, it’s so easy to collaborate.  We like to use a lot of samples we collect ourselves which is a really engaging part of the process. It allows us to continually create and develop our ideas, and allows us to stay in the playful part of the track construction until it all settles into itself and feels like it is finished.

The Ironing Maidens journey begins

We had both [Patty Preece and Melania Jack]  been studying and working in the Electronic Music Production (EMP) industry for some time before we discovered the work of Daphne Oram – a pioneer in Electronic Music from the 1950’s.

We were surprised at the lack of acknowledgement she received in her time and that she was not included in current EMP history curriculum. We wanted to create a show as a homage to the influence Daphne, and many other females in the industry have had on the development of the industry.

From there we started exploring the parallel topics of the time and what stood out to us was that household technology and the role of the housewife was being heavily marketed towards women. Through this process of research, we felt that not enough has changed for women in our society. Whether they are in the studio, laboratory or kitchen, in our opinion, women’s work and worth is not valued or promoted enough.

The process of adapting the domestic iron to electronic music

The first step is finding an iron that can be pulled apart. This is not easy with modern irons being designed with planned obsolescence and very few spare parts. Then we look at what we can do with them.

One iron – “the ironiser”, has a synth built inside it that I play like any other synth instrument, with pitch and volume control. The ironing boards have sensors to trigger sounds.

Patty has an iron that has been modified with buttons she can press to trigger the samples we use – of 1950’s advertising of household goods. It’s been fun learning how to make our own instruments and really gives you an appreciation for the work of instrument designers – like Daphne.

The ‘irony’ of performing in regional laudromats

The laundromat has been the perfect venue for our show, for the aesthetic, but also because it gives the audience a really unique experience; with the smell of laundry soap, the humming of the dryers and the social nature of the space. I also think using the laundromat as a venue really speaks to the washing and ironing as being work, outside of the home (which seems to be more valued by our society) as opposed to chores.

Female pioneers of electronic music

We hope through the songs and conversations we have after the show with the audience, we can spark people’s interest in the work of these women.

Certainly, in the workshops we’re running during the tour, we’ve found participants are surprised and sometimes blown away when they look at the work, for example the Oramics Machine – an early synthesiser invented by Daphne. Just having her name mentioned and her work discussed I feel changes the way we think about women in the industry.

1950s ads and the role of domestic females – has anything changed?

Listening to the language of the ads makes people laugh, and comment about how it ‘used to be’, but we don’t feel like that much has changed.

One of our strong themes is the gendered allocation of household work, and why it is we are still seeing this extra work being laundry piled onto women.

The 2016 census showed that women are still doing up to 5 to 14 hours of unpaid domestic work, compared to less than 5 hours for the average Australian Man. When we saw those stats, we were even shocked. This needs to shift, and soon; there is nothing about ironing that makes it particularly a woman’s job. We don’t iron with our genitals – that would be dangerous!

Public Workshops

Our workshop had been developed with young people (16-30) in mind, but we are open to anyone who is interested in learning the basics of Ableton Live, electronic music production, song-writing and particularly the history of women in electronic music.

We hope people get a taste for the software and the process as well as an opportunity to experience a gender inclusive EMP education space.

Sometimes people can feel a bit excluded by the language and the male dominated nature of tech spaces – we hope we provide a totally different vibe that is female, trans and gender queer friendly. It means that everyone in the room gets to contribute and feel part of something.

The Ironing Maidens Live Wollongong Performance

The Ironing Maidens will perform live at City Central Laundry Services (82 Kembla St, Wollongong) on Saturday, 27 January 2018 from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.

Wollongong Public Workshop

The public workshop will take place at Anchors Aweigh Art Studio (104 Church St, Wollongong) on Saturday, 27 January 2018 from 10.00am to 1.00pm.


Tickets, performance and workshop information available at