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It’s winter but events are heating up


From a Winter Wonderland to a nautical festival, the Hunter is your “go to” place for family-friendly activities.


  • Where: Toronto Foreshore, Warners Bay Foreshore
  • When: Friday 23 and Saturday 24 June
  • Cost: Free

The annual two-day event, Float Your Boat, transforms Lake Macquarie into a stage, with boats in the starring role.

The shoreline is filled with family-friendly activities designed to warn off the winter chills.

This year’s Float Your Boat will be buoyed by “live” sites at Toronto Foreshore for the first leg of the technicolour tour on the western side of the lake on Friday (5pm-9pm), and Warners Bay Foreshore on Saturday for the eastern journey (5pm-9pm).

The hubs are the perfect place to enjoy the show, with music, roaming illuminated performances, food trucks, children’s events and more complementing the rainbow cruise, from LED UFOs to glowing ghouls.

The highlight, however, will be the iconic Float Your Boat parade, open to owners of vessels of five metres or more in length to deck out their rigs in dazzling light displays.


  • Where: Event Cinemas Kotara 
  • When: Friday 23 to Sunday 25 June 
  • Cost: Varying ticket prices 

A celebration of cinema will return to Newcastle this month, thanks to the much-loved Travelling Film Festival. 

Showcasing a new program direct from the 70th edition of the Sydney Film Festival, the event is scheduled to take place at Event Cinemas Kotara from 23 to 25 June. 

It’s expected to feature an exciting mix of the best local and international movies, fresh from sold-out sessions in Sydney. 

Opening the festival is Newcastle-based director Claire Pasvolsky’s Three Chords and the Truth, a moving and musical story of Angie whose chequered career is uplifted through her friendship with teenage Ruby. 


  • Where: Nobbys Beach Reserve
  • When: Thursday 29 June to Sunday 16 July (excluding Mondays and Tuesdays)
  • Cost: From $25 (ice skating)

Ice skating, show rides, food vendors and show bags… what more could you ask for?

Newcastle will turn into a Winter Wonderland from Thursday 29 June, allowing locals and visitors alike to immerse themselves into icy delights and thrilling adventures right in the heart of the city.

Lace up your skates, whether you’re a beginner or a pro, and glide across the rink. And, even better, it’s available to all skill levels.

The event also boasts an exciting array of attractions and activities, plus a mouth-watering selection of food venues to tempt your taste buds.

So, you don’t need to travel to Jindabyne or Thredbo to get your snow fix.

The Newcastle Winter Fun Fest will open daily from 11am until 9pm, with ride packages offering free entry to the event.

Take note, it is closed Mondays and Tuesday, so plan ahead.

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