The Lola Rose Art Award Exhibition

Part of The Lake Macquarie Dobell Festival and hosted by the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Art Society Inc in honour of the late and esteemed Novocastrian artist Lola Rose.  Includes displays of art by adults and children, art demonstrations and classes, artists painting at their easels, and (on Saturday: 11.30am-1pm) children’s art awards and a school band performance.  Rathmines Theatre/Boiler Room, Stilling Street.  Daily until 27 June.

The daily art displays (9.30am-3.30pm) and various demonstrations are free

All artworks are for sale

Most art classes are ticketed and all require bookings: 0400 494 490 (Kate)

Full details at:

High School Musical

The students of St Philip’s Christian College with the Disney musical about the blossoming romance between two high-schoolers and the opposition they face when they audition for the school’s musical.  Civic Theatre.  Friday (10.30am and 7pm); and Saturday, 26 June (2pm and 7pm).  Tickets: 4929 1977 or

Lake Cinema, Boolaroo

This Little Love of Mine (G): A romantic comedy, filmed in North Queensland, about a female lawyer travelling to a tropical island to convince a childhood friend to sign a contract which will make him a billionaire.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday (4.30pm and 7.30pm).

Spirit Untamed (G): Animated feature about a young girl’s adventures to rescue a wild mustang she’s befriended.  Saturday and Sunday (midday).

Peter Rabbit 2 – The Runaway (G): Animated sequel to Peter Rabbit in which the mischievous Peter takes umbrage at being cast as the villain in a bestselling book.  Saturday and Sunday (2pm).

Lake Cinema, Main Road, Boolaroo.  4958 5810.  Cash only.  Bookings available only for the 7.30pm sessions. 

Last Fridays: Newcastle Art Gallery

All welcome to an after-hours event hosted by the Torres Strait Islander community and featuring art, music, dance and virtual-reality games inspired by the gallery’s current exhibition Warwar: The Art of Torres Strait.  Includes a pop-up bar.  Newcastle Art Gallery, Laman Street.  Friday (5pm-8pm).  A free event, but bookings required:

Hudson’s Circus

Family fun with a two-hour traditional-style circus with a modern twist.  Includes clowns, jugglers, globe riders (featuring a nine-year-old boy) and trapeze artists.  Richardson Park, Chatham Road, Hamilton North.  Friday (7pm), Saturday (4pm and 7pm) and Sunday (11am and 2pm).  Also: Wednesday, 30 June (11am and 2pm); and Thursday, 1 July (11am).  Continues until 18 July.  Bookings:

An autism-friendly performance, with reduced sounds and lighting effects, is on Saturday, 3 July, at 11am  

Dark Stories: A True Crime Tour – Newcastle

Guided tours of the alleyways and backstreets of the East End to learn of Newcastle’s dark criminal history.  Friday and Saturday.  Departs both evenings from the corner of Scott and Watt streets (next to Customs House) at 7.30pm.  Bookings essential:

Dark Stories: A True Crime Tour – Maitland 

Guided tours of Maitland’s alleyways and backstreets to learn of the city’s dark criminal history.  Friday and Saturday.  Meet at 7.30pm in front of Maitland’s railway station (Station Street side).  Bookings essential:

The Civic Comedy Club 

A night of laughs, with the performers announced just before showtime.  Banquet Room, City Hall (entry via the back laneway in Christie Street).  Friday – presented as show only or show-plus-food (doors open 7pm, food service 7.15pm, show 8pm).  Tickets: 4929 1977 or

Order food when booking: see the menu at

The House of Bernarda Alba

An all-female drama about a Melbourne gangster’s widow who’ll do anything to safeguard the safety of her five adult daughters as well as her dubious fortune.  Newcastle Theatre Company, DeVitre Street, Lambton.  Friday (8pm) and Saturday (8pm).  Tickets: 4952 4958 or

Concert: The INXS Tribute Show

A salute to Aussie rock band INXS by six-member tribute band Live, Baby – Live!  Features a replication of the classic INXS hits, with frontman Guy Collings emulating Michael Hutchence.  Spinnaker Room, Belmont 16s.  Friday (8.30pm).  Ages 18+.  Tickets:

Free Concert: The Mark Wells Duo

Performing hits and classics from yesteryear to contemporary.  Star Lounge, Belmont 16s.  Friday (8.30pm).  Ages 18+.  Tickets: 

Lions Club Markets: Clarence Town

Arts, crafts, plants, clothing and garden supplies, plus local honey and produce.  Clarence Town Bowling, Sport and Recreation Club, 40 Paperbark Drive.  Saturday (8am-midday). 

Big Bargain Day: Windale

Includes furniture, bric-a-brac, jewellery and clothing, plus a sausage sizzle.  Windale Anglican Church, Merrigum Street.  Saturday (9am-11am). 

Walking Tour: A Taste of Maitland

A guided coffee-and-culture tour, on flat and accessible ground, to discover Maitland’s rich history.  Meet at The Cabin Collective, 511 High Street.  Saturday (9am-12.30pm).  An all-weather event.  Bookings:

Love Lambton: 150 Years

A two-day celebration for the 150th birthday of the suburb of Lambton.  Includes an Elder Street retail sale on Saturday (9am-1pm); a night of music, finger-food and raffles at Lambton Bowling Club on Saturday (from 6pm); and a Lambton Park event on Sunday (10am-4pm) featuring markets, art, a photo competition, street theatre and live entertainment, plus a 2pm visit from Kate Ceberano who’ll sing Happy Birthday.

Lambton Bowling Club tickets: 0412 916 649 (Judy) or

Homegrown Markets: Newcastle

Handmade and eco-focused items, plus food and live music.  The Station, Newcastle.  Saturday (9am-2pm). 

Book Fair: Wickham

A fundraising sale of bargain-priced books, hosted by the Cooks Hill City Scout Group.  Scout Hall, 16 Albert Street, Wickham.  Saturday and Sunday (9am-3pm each day).   

Orchid Show and Fair: Central Coast

The 18th annual event, hosted by the Mingara Orchid Club.  Features 20 vendors selling plants and orchid supplies, plus demonstrations of potting and culture.  Mingara Recreation Club, Mingara Drive, Tumbi Umbi.  Saturday (9am-4pm) and Sunday (9am-3pm).  Free entry and ample parking.   

Art Exhibition: Lambton

Part of Lambton’s 150-year celebrations.  A display and sale of quality artworks, in a variety of styles and mediums, by members of the Society of Artists, Newcastle.  Lambton Park.  Saturday and Sunday (9.30am-4pm each day).  All welcome.  Free entry.   

Living History Tours: Newcastle Theatre Company

Part of Lambton’s 150-year celebrations.  Join costumed members of the Newcastle Theatre Company as they take to the streets with the roving entertainment Lambton: The Walking Play, which offers a fun and informative look at nine of Lambton’s historic sites.  Includes songs, poems and storytelling.  Saturday and Sunday (each day at 10am, 10.15am, 10.30am and 11am).  Tours begin at the Newcastle Family History Society building, 68 Elder Street, Lambton (opposite Lambton Park).  A free event, but bookings essential: 4952 4958.     

Backstage Tours: Newcastle Theatre Company

Part of Lambton’s 150-year celebrations.  If you’ve ever wanted to see the magic that’s created behind the scenes of a live theatre production, then members of the Newcastle Theatre Company are offering free guided tours on Saturday (11am and midday) of the theatre’s stage and backstage areas.  90 DeVitre Street, Lambton.  All welcome – no bookings required.     

Free: Self-Watering Garden Bed Workshop

Learn to build and maintain water-efficient garden beds with permaculture experts Chiala and Nestor.  The morning session (10am-midday) comprises information and the construction of two examples.  The afternoon session (1pm-3pm) involves planting, mulching and watering.  The Toronto Community Centenary Hub, 97-99 The Boulevarde.  Saturday.  Either BYO lunch or buy soup and a roll for $5.  Details: 0412 179 866.  Bookings:

Exhibition: Speaking and Listening From the Heart

Hosted by The Friends of Grossmann House.  A display of artworks by high-school and primary-school students from across the State which comprised the 2019 Schools Reconciliation Challenge.  The artworks help to offer an understanding of the diverse history of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities, as well as highlighting the students’ feelings on reconciliation.  Brough House, 71 Church Street, Maitland.  Each Saturday and Sunday (10am-3pm) from Saturday, 26 June, until 22 August.

Open Visit: Dobell House

Part of The Lake Macquarie Dobell Festival.  The home and studio of the late Sir William Dobell will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday (1pm-4pm).  47 Dobell Drive, Wangi.  Tickets at the door.

Fashion Parade: Beresfield/Thornton

All welcome to attend a fashion parade of Australian-made clothing by Donna-Lou, which caters for women’s sizes 8-26.  The Anglican Parish of Beresfield/Thornton, corner of Lawson and Beresford avenues.  Saturday (1.30pm).  The tickets, available at the door, include afternoon tea and lucky door prizes.   

Maitland Night Markets

Food trucks, market stalls, live music and kids’ activities.  Maitland Showground.  Saturday and Sunday (4pm-10pm each day).  Gold-coin admission at the gate.  Free parking.  No pets allowed. 

Float Your Boat! (Rescheduled)

The cancelled section of last week’s event, on the eastern side of Lake Macquarie, will be staged on Saturday, 26 June.  Boat owners will decorate their craft with brightly-coloured lights to form a flotilla which will leave Marmong Point Marina at 6pm for Speers Point and then on to the Warners Bay foreshore, where there’ll be activities and entertainment from 5pm-9.30pm.  The flotilla will continue past Eleebana, Croudace Bay Park, Valentine, Lake Macquarie Yacht Club and Belmont Baths, finishing at Belmont 16s.   

Concert: Rocking Down the Highway

Popular driving songs – including Heartache Tonight, Desperado, Hotel California and Rocky Mountain Way – plus hits made famous by John Paul Young, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Chris Isaak and many more.  Singleton Diggers, York Street.  Saturday (8pm-10pm).   

Free Concert: The Walking Phoenix Duo

Performing modern hits with an acoustic-driven touch of folk, reggae and rap.  Star Lounge, Belmont 16s.  Saturday (8.30pm).  Ages 18+.  Tickets: 

The Vietnam Vets Markets

More than 100 stalls of vintage and handmade goods, plus art, music and food.  Wickham Park, Albert Street, Islington.  Sunday (7am-1pm). 

The Newcastle Annual Wedding Expo

More than 100 exhibitors with advice on planning the perfect wedding day.  Club NEX, King Street, Newcastle West.  Sunday (10am-3pm).  Tickets:

Open Days: Tocal Homestead

Open to visitors each Sunday (10am-3pm) to explore colonial farm buildings from the 1830s and to view the seasonal activities of the historic farm’s operations.  Devonshire teas available.  957 Tocal Road, Paterson.

A First Birthday Plant Sale: East Maitland

Celebrate Love My Plants’ first birthday with giveaways, stalls, gardening demonstrations and discounts.  101 Newcastle Street, East Maitland.  Sunday (10am-4pm).

Concert: An Afternoon With The Beatles

The Newcastle Conservatorium’s community choir The Callaghan Singers, plus students from Dungog High School, with a tribute to the music of The Beatles. James Theatre, Brown Street, Dungog.  Sunday (3pm).  Tickets from the venue: 0409 038 452.

The Omega Ensemble: Ex Machina

The Australian chamber ensemble is showcased as a virtuosic machine with a programme of music from the 20th and 21st centuries.  Includes the Australian premiere of a new work by Bryce Dessner, plus the world premiere of a new work by Nico Muhly designed to push the individual musicians to their limits.  Newcastle Art Gallery.  Sunday (6.30pm).  Tickets: 4929 1977 or

Tim Minchin: Back – The Encore Tour

Old hits and new songs from Tim Minchin’s eclectic repertoire.  Civic Theatre.  Monday and Tuesday, 28-29 June (8pm).  Bookings essential: 4929 1977 or


A stage adaptation of Steven Herrick’s popular family novel Naked Bunyip Dancing, in which final-year primary-school students prepare for the transition to high school via the unusual methods of a new teacher.  Young People’s Theatre, Lindsay Street, Hamilton.  65 minutes (plus a short interval).  Tuesday, 29 June (10.30am and 2pm); Wednesday, 30 June (10.30am and 2pm); Thursday, 1 July (10.30am and 2pm); Friday, 2 July (2pm); Thursday, 8 July (2pm); Friday, 9 July (2pm and 6pm); Saturday, 10 July (2pm and 6pm); and Saturday, 17 July (2pm and 6pm).  Bookings:

The Lake Macquarie Dobell Festival

A celebration of the life and creative excellence of esteemed artist Sir William Dobell.  Features events at various Lake Macquarie venues, including exhibitions, concerts, art classes and activities.  Until Wednesday, 30 June.  Details:

The Hunter Valley Wine and Food Month

A themed extravaganza which allows you to wine and dine with leading Hunter Valley chefs and vignerons, as well as joining interactive food-preparation classes.  Until Wednesday, 30 June.  Details:

The Effect of Gamma Rays On Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds

Paul Zindel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a slatternly woman’s hold over her two young daughters who are trying to cope with their unhappy existence.  Maitland Repertory Theatre, High Street.  Wednesday, 30 June (8pm); Friday, 2 July (8pm); Saturday, 3 July (8pm); Friday, 9 July (8pm); Saturday, 10 July (8pm); Sunday, 11 July (2pm); Friday, 16 July (8pm); Saturday, 17 July (8pm); and Sunday, 18 July (2pm).  Bookings:

The Tap Pack

An energetic, high-class tap show featuring a male quartet emulating yesteryear’s Rat Pack with a modern tribute to the crooners from the 1950s to the singers of today.  Cessnock Performing Arts Centre, Vincent Street.  Wednesday, 30 June (7.30pm).  Bookings essential: 4993 4266 or

Also at Newcastle’s Civic Theatre on Thursday, 1 July, at 7.30pm – 4929 1977 or

Snow Time in the Gardens

Fun and frosty family activities in a manufactured winter wonderland.  Includes ice-skating, tobogganing, a Play Zone for building snowmen, and a Snow Cave filled with animatronic Arctic creatures.  Hunter Valley Gardens, 2090 Broke Road, Pokolbin.  Daily (9am-5pm) until 18 July.  Details:

Collect: 2021

Annual exhibit and sale (both inhouse and online) of works by more than 80 respected Hunter artists, with a large percentage of the proceeds supporting the gallery’s artistic programme.  The Lock-Up Gallery, 90 Hunter Street, Newcastle.  Friday and Saturday (10am-4pm); and Sunday (11am-3pm).  Online shop:

I Am . . . Newcastle

Mike Moore and Jeff Lees showcase Newcastle’s unique character and daily life, both past and present, with a series of photographic images which have been hand-coloured using ceramic enamel paints and then transferred onto ceramic and glass.  Back-to-Back Galleries, Bull Street, Cooks Hill.  Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (11am-5pm) until 4 July.  


Paintings created outdoors over eight months by Ileana Clarke and Anne McLaughlin which highlight life in Carrington.  The Station, Newcastle.  Thursdays to Sundays (10am-3pm) until 8 July.


Ink-and-sculpture displays of the wetlands by the Newcastle Printmakers and Hunter Sculptors.  Hunter Wetlands Centre, 1 Wetlands Place, Shortland.  Daily (9am-4pm) from Monday until 23 July.

Rachel Milne: Nest

A major solo exhibition by award-winning local artist Rachel Milne.  Her intimate paintings and portraits reveal the beauty in the everyday, and her landscapes of Newcastle are laden with social history.  Newcastle Art Gallery, Laman Street, until 1 August.  Closed Mondays.

A Portrait of Australia

An Australian Geographic exhibition of large-format photos highlighting the bush, the outback, the coast and their inhabitants.  SEEN@Swansea, Swansea Centre, 228-234 Pacific Highway.  Daily (10am-2pm) until 1 August.  Gold-coin entry. 

Shadow Boxer

A showcase of art, photography and memorabilia highlighting the sporting and cultural aspects of the world of boxing.  Includes workshops, films, paintings and discussions, plus a tribute to Maitland-born boxer Les Darcy.  Maitland Art Gallery, High Street, until 8 August.    

Dry to Dry

A tour of Kakadu via Liz Anelli’s illustrations, plus award-winning author Pamela Freeman’s story of the yearly weather cycle and changing wildlife of the Kakadu National Park.  Lovett Gallery, Newcastle Library, Laman Street, until mid-August.  Closed Mondays.

Warwar: The Art of Torres Strait

Contemporary works highlighting cultural maintenance, Christianity, language, and the effect of globalisation on the physical environment of the Torres Strait Islands.  Newcastle Art Gallery, Laman Street, until 22 August.  Closed Mondays.

Impressions of a Journey

Hunter Valley artist Paula Jenkins’ oils and watercolours of the vast bush landscapes between Paterson (where she was raised) and Walcha (where she now lives).  Maitland Art Gallery, High Street, until 29 August.  

Barka: The Forgotten River

On tour from the Broken Hill Art Gallery.  Artists Badger Bates and Justine Muller, in collaboration with the Wilcannia community, with artwork, lino print, ceramics and steel sculpture to highlight their love of the Barka (or Darling) River and its indigenous people, the Barkandji.  Maitland Art Gallery, High Street, until 12 September.    

Max Dupain: Art and War

A display of work by respected wartime photographer Max Dupain, who captured daily life at various military bases, including Papua New Guinea’s Goodenough Island and the RAAF Rathmines base.  Rathmines Centre, Stilling Street. Each Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 28 November.  Gold-coin admission.

Coming Soon – John Williamson: Winding Back

The Aussie entertainer celebrates 51 years in the music industry with his popular ballads which have captured the outback’s landscape and people.  Civic Theatre.  Saturday, 3 July (8pm).  Bookings essential: 4929 1977 or

Coming Soon – Carmen

Opera Australia’s vibrant presentation of Georges Bizet’s opera, updated to 1960, about a Spanish soldier who is lured from his duty and his intended by a sensual young factory worker.  Sung in French, with English subtitles projected on a screen.  Features a live chamber orchestra and The Hunter Trebles children’s choir.  Civic Theatre.  Tuesday, 6 July (7.30pm).  Bookings essential: 4929 1977 or