What’s On in June: Events in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter

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What’s on in June 2022? Here’s the month’s top events in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & The Hunter especially selected for families.

A Portrait of Australia – Newcastle Museum

Runs until Sunday 19 June 2022 | Newcastle Museum | Tue-Sun 10-5pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: A Portrait of Australia: Stories Through the lens of Australian Geographic is touring the country as part of an unprecedented partnership between the National Museum of Australia and Australian Geographic. The stunning display of large-format photographic prints unites the expertise of Australian Geographic’s acclaimed photographers and the National Museum’s interpretive storytelling experience. The photographs will tour Australia for the next two years and were drawn from a book A Portrait of Australia, which was produced to celebrate 30 years of Australian Geographic’s magazine.

Alice’s Wonderland

Runs until Sunday 10 July 2022 | Newcastle Museum | Tues-Sun 10-5pm | $10 Adults, $7 Concession, $5 3+, FREE 2 and under, $25 Family of 4 | Details

Why you should go: This intriguing, family friendly, hands-on science exhibition from Museums Victoria is based on Lewis Carroll’s well-known Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Just as Alice’s curiosity led her to follow the white rabbit, children are invited to journey down a rabbit hole to explore the way they perceive and make sense of the world around them. Activities bring basic science concepts of optics and illusions, word play, physics and maths to life for 3 – 8 year olds and their families. Tickets are available for purchase at the door. Newcastle Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday and 7 days/week in the NSW School Holidays.

Exhibition: The Soft Library

Runs until Tuesday 19 July 2022 | Newcastle Library | Mon-Sat 4pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: The Soft Library is an immersive felt installation by Melbourne-based textile artist & author Cat Rabbit. Newcastle Libraries is turned into a fantastical library run by bears, or ‘libearians’. Literary characters and authors are brought to life as bears along with shelves of felt books and a desk of library paraphernalia – all handmade by the artist in felt and fabric. This whimsical exhibition highlights the positivity of imagination and play for all ages. The artist pays tribute to the library as a place of learning and wonder; a home for the endless possibilities of the imagination. Join giant ‘Libearian Bear’ for a special story time and discover Cat Rabbit’s books through Story Box. The Soft Library is a beautiful and captivating experience for families! 

Maitland River Run

Sunday 5 June 2022 | Maitland Regional Athletics Centre | Races from 7.30-11.30am | 1 lap/4km Course: Adults $45, kids $35 (late entries after 22 May, add $10) | Details

Why you should go: Presented by H Events. Enjoy a fun family walk/run and complete one lap of the Maitland River Run. The one lap/4km run is open to kids 6 years and older and their parents and starts at 10.45am. Starting at the new Maitland Regional Athletics Centre the walk/run will take you along the Maitland Regional Athletics Track and the foreshore of the Hunter River. There is also a 2 lap/8km course, 3 lap/12km course, a Half Marathon and Maitland Mile option.


Tuesday 7 June & Wednesday 8 June 2022 | Civic Theatre | Tue 7.30pm, Wed 2pm & 7.30pm | Adult $66, Concession & Junior $56 | Details

Why you should go: Featuring ten of Australia’s foremost dancers and four extraordinary musicians, LEAP re-imagines recognisable classical music into a modern soundtrack.  A unique blend of dance and story, LEAP will transport you into the lives of compelling characters in the effervescent and unknown world that is LEAP. Catch LEAP on its premiere Australian tour before it takes the world by storm!

Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces

Friday 10 June – Sunday 12 June 2022 | Golden Highway Merriwa | Details

Why you should go: Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces is on the June long weekend each year.  For 30 years, the festival has proudly celebrated the rich history of agriculture and sheep farming in Merriwa. The festival runs on the long weekend with the main festival and the famous Running of the Sheep parade held on the Saturday at noon. It’s a fun family-friendly event with markets stalls, dog high jump, working sheep dog demonstrations, shearing demonstrations, gumboot throwing and fireworks.

Migration Intergalactic Sci-Fi Spectacular

Friday 10 June – Sunday 12 June 2022 | Lake Mac MAP mima, Speers Point| Various times | Tickets start from $15 (+ booking fee) | Details

Why you should go: A family-friendly original immersive 360° multimedia journey brought to you by the creators of the Intergalacular Sci-Fi Spectacular and The Hangar Pop-Up venue. This intergalactic ‘nature documentary’ is a live act featuring aerial performances that blend seamlessly with an epic original score and deep immersion full-surround visuals.

Harvest Festival Central Coast

Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 June 2022 | Various locations | Combination of free and paid events and activities | Details

Why you should go: The two-day event includes fresh food and country markets, food and wine events, factory tours, pick your own experiences, bush tucker tours, working farm tours, pick your own oranges and more. This is a rare chance to take a glimpse behind the farm gate as you explore four rural farming areas and their picturesque heritage villages on the Central Coast.

Family Fun Day at Kahibah Sports Club

Sunday 12 June 2022 | Kahibah Sports Club | From 1pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Create special memories with the family this June long weekend! Enjoy a fun-filled day on The Green with Live Music, Face Painting, and Jumping Castles. There’s plenty of entertainment to keep the little ones busy while you kick back and enjoy some live entertainment.

Hunter Drama presents The Sound Effects Show

Tuesday 14 June 2022 | Cessnock Performing Arts Centre | 7-8pm | All tickets $35 | Details

Why you should go: Hunter Drama present their mid-year WOWFEST event, The Sound Effects Show. Each group of students will be given a random sound effect to use as a stimulus point to create a short 10 minute performance to be presented as part of The Sound Effects Show. Guided by their tutors, students will work with their classmates during term 2 and explore the world of playbuilding. With a focus on ensemble work and building the fundamentals for performing in front of an audience, a simple sound effect will bring the stage to life!

Star Struck 2022

Friday 17 June & Saturday 18 June 2022 | Newcastle Entertainment Centre | Various times | From $39.95 | Details

Why you should go: Watch the talent at Star Struck, a NSW Department of Education annual performing arts event for the Hunter and Central Coast. It is a showcase of dance, drama and music performed by students from Kindergarten to Year 12 from a variety of NSW public schools. The theme for 2022 is ICONIC Celebrating 30 Years.

Dobell for Kids

Sunday 19 June 2022 | MAC Museum of Art & Culture, Lake Macquarie | Sessions at 10am, 11am & 12pm | $8 tickets required for participating children only, includes all materials | Details

Why you should go: Be inspired by the great artist Sir William Dobell! Enjoy a range of art activities based on Dobell’s works, in the grounds of MAC. Kids and families can rotate between the activity stations, exploring ways to create landscapes, portraits and postcards! Bookings essential limited places. Activities designed for 6-14 year olds, with parental supervision. This event is part of the Lake Macquarie Dobell Festival Event.

Feast n Furious

Sunday 19 June 2022 | Maitland Showground | 10-2pm | Entry $2 (kids free) | Details

Why you should go: Feast n Furious is hitting Maitland Showground. There’ll be classic cars & bikes, international street food, local musicians, local retails stalls, kids rides, jumping castles, Kiddie Kartz, Laughing Clowns, fairy floss, popcorn and sno cones. Bring your picnic rugs and chairs.

Float Your Boat

Friday 24 & Saturday 25 June 2022 | Various locations in Lake Macquarie | 6-9.30pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: It’s a fun winter event. Get your friends and family together and gather on the shores of Lake Macquarie to see a flotilla of boats pass by in the Float Your Boat event organised by Lake Macquarie City Council before casting their vote for the Newcastle Permanent People’s Choice Award. The event runs over 2 nights and sets sail from Marmong Point Marina each night. On Friday 24 June, the boats travel on the western side of Lake Macquarie from Marmong Point Marina to Toronto, Coal Point and Wangi. On the following night, Saturday 25 June, the flotilla of boats travel the eastern side of the lake from Marmong Point Marina to Warners Bay, Eleebana, Valentine and Belmont.

Maitland Winter Markets

Friday 24 & Saturday 25 June 2022 | Maitland Showground | 4-9pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: Rug up and enjoy gourmet food trucks, food stalls including a desserts section, boutique retail shopping, kids rides, jumping castles, carnival games and more.

Newcastle Unity in Diversity Festival

Saturday 25 June 2022 | Foreshore Park, Newcastle | 11am – 3pm | Free | Details

Why you should go: The Newcastle Unity in Diversity Festival returns this year for another day full of delicious multicultural food stalls, entertainment, and family friendly activities. Sponsored by City of Newcastle, STARTTS, NSS and the Refugee and Multicultural Communities of Newcastle. The Newcastle Unity in Diversity festival marks the beginning of National Refugee Week celebrations.

Snow Time in the Garden at Hunter Valley Gardens

Saturday 25 June to Sunday 24 July 2022 | Hunter Valley Gardens | 9.30am – 4.30pm | Family Pass (2A+2C 4-15yrs) $110 | Details

Why you should go: Enjoy a fun-filled day of icy activities at Hunter Valley Garden’s winter festival Snow Time in the Garden. Build a snowman (or snow family) in the MEGA snow pit, glide down the giant ice toboggan and skate on a real ice rink. Plus there’s amazing amusement rides, roving entertainment, hearty food and warm beverages.

After Dark: A Midwinter’s Night

Saturday 25 June 2022 | The Levee, Maitland | 5-9pm | $2 entry | Details

Why you should go: Embrace the winter chill and warm the soul as The Levee ignites into a vibrant display of fire and light, performers, hearty food and live entertainment.

Fire & Flow June Jam

Sunday 26 June 2022 | King Edward Park | 3pm- after dark | Free | Details

Why you should go: Get down to King Edward Park for a picnic, prop spinning and skill sharing, musical instruments, yoga, dance, or whatever your creative flow may be and enjoy music, flow and community! Family friendly, all welcome. Bring a warm layer of clothing and a picnic.

Featured image credit: Float Your Boat, Lake Macquarie City Council

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