Illawarra Art Trail & Café

Not all art exhibitions are held in a gallery. At Lake Illawarra, just south of Wollongong, you can find an outdoor gallery that will astound you, and you can get in a bit of exercise while you see it.

We’re talking about the Lake Illawarra Art Trail, a fantastic art experience celebrating the lake, its people and its history. Start by downloading the Tread Shellharbour app on your smartphone before you go, and then follow the trail for artworks dotted around three kilometres of shoreline.

We hired a bike from South Coast Bike Hire and started at the artwork called “Split” by artist David Ball. It represents an element of nature that perfectly frames Windang Island. Then it’s on the bike to see “Ghost Trees for Spirit of Place”, an artwork using totem poles to represent the collective memory of the community.

Other works on the art trail include a carving by Shellharbour Woodcarvers, “Window to the Soul” bv local artist Alyssa Willstrop and “Illawarra Dreaming” by Aunty Lorraine Brown and Narelle Thomas. The last work on the trail is the leatherback turtle piece at Boonerah Park.

After the tour, we visited Relish on Addison, a local institution run by chef Tom Laws. Using local produce such as swordfish from Ulladulla and oysters from Shellhaven, Tom has created an exceptional menu that will add an extra level of art to your day in Shellharbour.