Your complete guide to the October long weekend

FAMILY FUN: The celebrated Mattara Festival makes its debut at Wallsend Park this weekend.
FAMILY FUN: The celebrated Mattara Festival makes its debut at Wallsend Park this weekend.


Balloon Fiesta 2017 Saturday to Monday, Peterson House, Pokolbin. The annual Balloon Fiesta will take to the skies over the Hunter Valley in a colourful display.  Each day sees upward of 20 hot air balloons from all around the country launch together at sunrise.

Bonsai Show 2017 Saturday to Monday, 10am to 4pm, Port Stephens Community Arts Centre, Nelson Bay. Daily bonsai demonstrations, tree sales and raffles.

Dashville Skyline Saturday & Sunday, Dashville, Lower Belford. The annual music festival isn’t simply a celebration of Americana, alt-country and psychedelic music, but of the cultural movement. Musical acts this year include Oh Mercy, Mark Olson (US) and Ingunn Ringvold (NO), Cash Savage & The Last Drinks, The Teskey Brothers and Immigrant Union. The self-described “Cosmic Country Weekender” features American-style food and ample children-friendly activities like a petting zoo. 

Family Fun Zone Saturday to Monday, 10am to 5pm, Market Street Lawn, Newcastle. Rides including the giant slide, classic carousel, cup and saucer, laughing clowns, inflatable pirate ship and bouncy ferris wheel, plus coffee and fairy floss to keep the whole family entertained.

Hunter Valley Night Glow 5pm to 9pm, Roche Estate, Pokolbin. Tethered balloons light up the evening sky in a choreographed display. There’s also food and wine, live music, face painting and activities for younger children.

Mattara Festival Saturday to Monday, 10am to 5pm, Wallsend Park, Wallsend. The celebrated 52-year festival has moved west to Wallsend for the first time. The family-friendly event features free stage entertainment, rides, showbags, food stalls and more.

Mega Creatures Saturday to Monday, Hunter Valley Gardens, Pokolbin. Immerse yourself in dinosaurs. See a giant animatronic t-rex, stegosaurus, triceratops, plus massive bugs.

Murray’s Oktoberfest Saturday to Monday, Murray’s Brewery, Bob’s Farm. Three specially-brewed festival beers will be released, including the brewer’s first Kransky smoky sausage beer, and Black Forest beer. Oktoberfest food features Kransky Burgers, smoked meats, house-made pretzels and more.

Oktoberfest Saturday, 10am to 10pm, The Pourhouse, Maitland. A selection of German beer on tap and food to enjoy.

Oktoberfest at Hope Estate 11am to 7pm, Hope Estate, Pokolbin. Enjoy award-winning beer, live entertainment, food and the footy on the big screen. There’s also a kids zone with jumping castle and face-painting.

Quilts By The Myall Saturday to Monday, Myall Community Art & Craft Centre, Tea Gardens. There will be Christmas decorations and homemade quilts for sale.

Shoal Bay Greek Festival 6pm to 2am, Ramada Resort, Shoal Bay. Traditional Greek food like mezethes, lamb on the spit and Cypriot souvles, plus dancing and plate smashing.

This Is Not Art Saturday & Sunday, various venues throughout Newcastle CBD. The 20th edition of the contemporary art and media festival features “fake news” game shows, spelling bees for adults, a critique of Newcastle’s quirky architecture and a late ‘90s themed music night. Visit for program information.

Winter Food Truck Get Together 12pm to 4pm, Queen’s Wharf, Morpeth. Food trucks including Ambrose Coffee, Bonjani Woodfired Pizzas, Red Belly Gourmet and Smokin’ Hot and Saucy.

Wollombi Music Festival Saturday & Sunday, Wollombi. The eclectic festival is back for its eighth edition. Artists include Lime Cordiale, Caiti Baker, Dubarray, The Ruiins and Ivy.

Women’s Hockey Masters Saturday to Monday, 9am to 5pm, Newcastle International Hockey Centre, Broadmeadow. Women aged 35 and over come together from all corners of Australia to compete in a unique hockey tournament.


Ugly Bartender of the Year launch party 2pm to 6.30pm, Royal Hotel Dungog. Live Music from Mokobenj and a sausage sizzle to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation.


Not Just For Laughs Festival 12pm to 8.30pm, Crowne & Anchor Hotel, Newcastle. A full day of back-to-back Labour Day programming celebrating comedy in all its forms; stand up, improv, sketch and podcasting.

The Entrance Spring Festival 10am to 4pm, Memorial Park, The Entrance. Rides, market stalls, gourmet food and pelican feeding.


Newcastle Flower Markets Saturday, 9.30am to 2pm, 1 Rural Drive, Sandgate.  

Hunter Wine Country Markets Saturday, 9am to 3pm, De Bortoli Wines, 532 Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin. 

Handmade in the Hunter Markets Saturday & Sunday, 9am to 3pm, Kevin Sobels Wines, Pokolbin.

Hamilton Clocktower Markets Saturday, 8am to 2pm, James Street plaza, Hamilton. 

Nelson Bay Legacy Markets Sunday, 4pm, Fly Point Park, Nelson Bay.

Newcastle City Farmers Market Sunday, 7am to 1pm, Newcastle Showground, Broadmeadow.

Maitland Markets Sunday, 8am to 2pm, Maitland Showground.

Sacred Tree Markets Saturday & Sunday, 10am to 3pm, Nelson Bay Foreshore.


Art Systems Wickham Traverse, by Dino Consalvo. Until Sunday. 

Cessnock Regional Art Gallery Five Strings, by  Lisa McArthur Edwards, Lindsay Cameron, Therese Wilkins, Emilia Krumm and Kate Landsberry. Until October 22.

Cooks Hill Galleries Islands & Fires, by Susan Weaver. Precious Metal, by Steve Glassborow. Until October 9. 

CStudios Art Gallery Amor Vincit Omnia, by Lucy Prior and Penny Greaves. Until Saturday.

Gallery 139 Beneath, by Toni Amidy, Nina Battley, Penny Dunstan, Nathan Keogh, Mandy Robinson, James Murphy, Ainslie Ivin-Smith. Until October 8.

Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery Book Club; Glass Cage, by Lezlie Tilley. Until October 15. 

Maitland Regional Art Gallery Operation Art; Otherworldly: A Sensory Experience Of Art, by Bliss Cavanagh. Until November 19. Wanton, Wild & Unimagined, by Alison McDonald; Fiona Foley. Until December 3. Fertile Ground, by Gaye Shield and Julie Hosking. Until October 22. ATLAS; Play, by Sylvia Ray. Until October 8. Lionel’s Place. Until April 8, 2018.

Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre  Dorothy Wishney: Art of Contemplation; Michèle Heibel: For the love of the Hunter; Goodstart Muswellbrook: Our Community; Urban Outlook: Max Watters Collection; 8x10: Muswellbrook High School Photographic Works. Until October 22.

Newcastle Art Gallery Montages: The Full Cut, 1999-2015, by Tracey Moffatt and Gary Hillberg; Between Dream And Earth, by Mazie Karen Turner. Until November 5. Kilgour Prize 2017; The Figure Feminine. Until October 15.

Timeless Textiles Nature’s Exuberance, by Lois Parish Evans. Until October 8.

University of Newcastle Gallery Afterwork, by Paul Munro. Overtime, by Rae Richards. 

Watt Space Gallery Semblance: 2017 Annual Student Art Prize. Ends Sunday.

Wollombi Cultural Centre Emerging Artists Awards. Until October 8.


Cinderella Getting to Know production for young performers of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical version of the classic fairy tale. Young People’s Theatre, at its Hamilton theatre. Saturday 2pm and 7pm. Details at

Crack Theatre Festival Different theatre works developed by young people from Newcastle and throughout Australia, as part of This is Not Art, 25 shows and workshops, at different venues, with 18 staged in Watt Space Gallery at Newcastle University’s CBD site. Performances Saturday to Sunday. Visit for more information.

Dr Dolittle A doctor who can talk to animals finds it harder to handle adults; musical for all ages, with songs by Leslie Bricusse. Maitland Musical Society. St John’s Pro-Cathedral Hall, Maitland, Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm.

Pope Head: The Secret Life of Francis Bacon English actor Garry Roost in his world-acclaimed darkly comic look at the life, psyche and career of a controversial 20th century artist. Creator Incubator Art Gallery, Clyde Street, Hamilton North. Saturday, at 7.30pm.

Room on the Broom Animals help a witch find lost belongings, and get a ride on her broom – but their weight breaks it; adapted from a children’s book. CDP Kids and Tall Stories, at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. Tuesday 12pm and 2pm.

The Diary of Anne Frank Moving play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, based on the diary kept by a teenage Jewish girl whose family hid from the Nazis during the Second World War. Maitland Repertory Theatre. Saturday 8pm, Sunday 2pm, until October 7.


5 Sawyers Saturday, Alessandro.

Anna Bay Tavern Saturday, Outerphase.

Australia Hotel Cessnock Saturday, Jamie Martens Duo.

Bar Petite Saturday, Gerda +1.

Battlesticks Bar Saturday, Audie Franks.

Bay Hotel Saturday, 4 Letter Word.

Beach Hotel Saturday, Misbehave. Sunday, New Black Shades.

Belmont 16s Saturday, Tim Harding, Tre Soul. Sunday, The Blue Water Cowboys.

Belmont Hotel Saturday, Chad Shuttleworth.

Belmore Hotel Saturday, Steel City.

Beresfield Bowling Club Saturday, Big Night Out.

Black Malabar Saturday, Miriam Liebermann. Sunday, The Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood Experience.

Blackbutt Hotel Saturday, Hornet.

The Bradford Saturday, Blue On Black. Sunday, Kempy.

Burwood Inn Saturday, DJ Surian.

Cambridge Hotel Saturday, Everclear (US). Sunday, Ocean Alley, Wharves (Glass House), E4444e, Dipsmith, Wolfie, Taki Local (warehouse).

Cardiff RSL Club Saturday, Kick – The INXS Show, VIP – The Band.

Catho Pub Saturday, John Larder. Sunday, Loose Bazooka.

Central Charlestown Leagues Club Saturday, Matt Gaudry.

Cessnock Leagues Club Saturday, The Big Bang.

Charlestown Bowling Club Saturday, Arley Black.

Clarendon Hotel Saturday, Sarah Christine.

Club Lemon Tree Saturday, Deborah Sinclair.

Commercial Hotel Morpeth Saturday, Pat Vs Cat.

Country Club Hotel Shoal Bay Saturday, Alias.

Criterion Hotel Carrington Saturday, Karen O’Shea.

Criterion Hotel Weston Saturday, Hard Drive.

Customs House Saturday, Jason Bone. Sunday, Peta Evans-Taylor, Sunset Club.

Cypress Lakes Saturday, Emily Smith.

D'Albora Marina Saturday, Mick Jones. Sunday, Jordan Fleming. Monday, Tyler John.

Dashville Saturday-Sunday, Dashville Skyline ft. Oh Mercy, Cash Savage & The Last Drinks, Mark Olson (US) & Ingunn Ringvold (NO), The Teskey Brothers, Emma Russack, The Roamin’ Jasmine (US),Immigrant Union, Claire Anne Taylor, Tim Easton (US), Ben Ely, James Thomson and many more.

Denman Hotel Sunday, Darren Rolling Keys.

Duke Of Wellington Saturday, Jungle Kings Duo.

East Maitland Bowling Club Saturday, Motown Magic.

East's Leisure & Golf Club Saturday, Steve Werren.

Edgeworth Bowling Club Sunday, Michael Hawk.

Exchange Hotel Saturday, Soundabout.

Finnegans Saturday, Natalie Sax.

FogHorn Brewhouse Saturday, Ryan Daley. Sunday, Gleny Rae Virus & Her Bluegrass Playboys.

George Tavern Saturday, Dos Eager.

Great Northern Hotel Teralba Saturday, Max Jackson.

Gunyah Hotel Saturday, Gen-X.

Gwandalan Bowling Club Saturday, Boney Rivers.

Hamilton Station Hotel Saturday, Devil Electric, Drug Mother, Hypnofuzz.

Harrigan’s Pokolbin Saturday, Kellie Cain, Hell Rad.

Hexham Bowling Club Saturday, Adrianna Mac.

Honeysuckle Hotel Saturday, Mark Wells. Monday, Pete Evans-Taylor.

Hotel Cessnock Saturday, Purple Hearts.

Hotel Delany Saturday, The Fedz. Sunday, Sean Andrews.

Jewells Tavern Saturday, Loko.

Kent Hotel Saturday, Latch.

King Street Hotel Sunday, King Street Laneway Party.

Lambton Park Hotel Saturday, Mick Hart Duo.

Lass O’Gowrie Saturday, Milstream, Dusky Lanes, Milli Casey. Sunday, Palace.

Lizotte’s Saturday, Glenn Cardier. Sunday, The Black Sorrows. 

Lochinvar Hotel Saturday, Jason Ray.

Lucky Hotel Saturday, Truman Smith.

Mark Hotel Saturday, Marissa +1.

Mary Ellen Saturday, Gen-R-8.

Maryland Tavern Saturday, Paparazzi.

Mavericks On The Bay Saturday, Greg Bryce. Sunday, Mick Jones. 

Mavericks On Darby Saturday, Dean Kyrwood.

Mayfield Ex-Services Saturday, The Years.

Mezz Bar at Wallsend Diggers Saturday, Incognito. Sunday, Flattrakkers.

Morriset Country Club Sunday, Ben Woodham.

Murray’s Brewery Saturday, Nano. Sunday, The Lamplighters.

Neath Hotel Saturday, Peta Evans-Taylor.

Nelson Bay Diggers Saturday, The Way.

Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club Monday, Mick Jones.

Newcastle Leagues Club – The Vault Saturday, Psynonemous, Anno Domini, Earth Rot, The Loom Of Time.

Northern Star Hotel Saturday, Elisa Kate.

Pedens Cessnock Saturday, Something From Nothing - Foo Fighters Show.

Pippis At The Point Friday, Kaylah Anne, Arley Black. Saturday, Tim Broadway.

The Pourhouse Saturday, The Oompah Pa's.

Premier Hotel Saturday, Anthology. Sunday, The V Dubs. 

Queens Wharf Hotel Saturday, Davis & Jayne, The Levymen. 

Racecourse Hotel Saturday, Darren Rolling Keys.

Royal Federal Hotel Branxton Saturday, Sun Hill Drive.

Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto Sunday, Maryanne Rex.

Rutherford Hotel Saturday, Pistol Pete.

Seabreeze Hotel Sunday, Jamie Martens.

Shenanigans at the Imperial Saturday, Tim Rossington.

Shortland Hotel Saturday, Big Pete.

Singleton Diggers Saturday, Elton - The Young Years.

Small Ballroom Saturday, Stevie Melani.

Soldiers Point Bowling Club Saturday, 2 Left Feet.

South Newcastle Leagues Club Saturday, Joel Oakhill.

Stag and Hunter Hotel Saturday, The Blues Bombers. 

Station Hotel Kurri Kurri Saturday, Mardy Leith.

Stockton Bowling Club Saturday, WoodStockton ft, Wesley Edgerton, The Levymen, Clean Slate, Marriah, Dusky Lanes, Misbehave, Bad Luck Kitty. 

Stockton RSL Club Saturday, The Voodoo Rhythm Shakers.

Swansea Hotel Friday, Darren Rolling Keys. Saturday, Mick Jones.

Swansea RSL Club Saturday, Duplexity. Saturday, Duplexity.

Swansea Workers Club Saturday, Catfish Soup..

Tea Gardens Hotel Saturday, Robbie T.

Tilligerry RSL Saturday, Bernie Ayrton.

Toronto Workers Saturday, Frick N Orson. Sunday, Todd Schmoo.

Victoria Hotel Hinton Saturday, Phil McKnight.

Wangi Hotel Sunday, James Naldo.

Warners At The Bay Saturday, Wicked.

Westfield Kotara Saturday, Tom Christie.

Weston Workers Saturday, Jumpin Jukebox Trio.

Wests Cardiff Saturday, Cruzers.

Wests New Lambton Saturday, Kasey Chambers, The Remedy.

Wickham Park Hotel Saturday, Yes Commissioner.

Windsor Castle Hotel Saturday, Melody Feder.

Wollombi Saturday-Sunday, Wollombi Music Festival ft. Lime Cordiale, Caiti Baker, Dubarray, The Ruiins, Ivy, Cornstalk, The Kava Kings and more.


A Monster Calls (PG) A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mother's terminal illness. (Regal)

Ali’s Wedding (M) After a "white lie" which spirals out of control, a neurotic, naive and musically gifted Muslim cleric's eldest son must follow through with an arranged marriage. (Lake Cinema)

American Assassin (R) A story centered on counter terrorism agent Mitch Rapp.

American Made (R) A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s. (Lake Cinema)

Battle Of The Sexes (PG) The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.

Black Sabbath: The End of the End (M) Chronicles the final tour from the band who forged the sound of metal - Black Sabbath. (Tower)

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (G) Two overly imaginative pranksters hypnotize their principal into thinking he's a dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.

Dunkirk (M) Allied soldiers are surrounded by the German army during a fierce battle in World War II. (Lake Cinema)

Flatliners (M) Medical students experiment on "near death" experiences that involve past tragedies until the dark consequences begin to jeopardize their lives.

Gifted (PG) Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with his mother. (Lake Cinema)

Girls Trip (MA) Four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival.

Hampstead (PG) An American widow finds unexpected love with a man living wild on Hampstead Heath when they take on the developers who want to destroy his home. (Regal)

It (MA) Something is terrorising Maine children in this supernatural horror adapted from Stephen King's 1986 novel.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (MA) When an attack on the Kingsman headquarters takes place and a new villain rises, Eggsy and Merlin are forced to work together with the American agency Statesman to save the world.

Mother! (R) A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

Mountain (PG) This documentary examines the complex relationship between humans and the natural world. (Tower)

Paris Can Wait (PG) Anne unexpectedly finds herself taking a car trip from Cannes to Paris with a business associate of her husband. (Regal)

Rip Tide (G) When a damaging video of a model goes viral she departs for Australia to spend time with her aunt.

The Emoji Movie (G) Gene, a multi-expressional emoji, sets out on a journey to become a normal emoji.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (MA) The world’s top bodyguard gets a new client – a hit man.

The Lego Ninjago Movie (PG) Six young ninjas Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya are tasked with defending their island home, called Ninjago. 

The Time of Their Lives (M) A former Hollywood star enlists the help of a new friend to journey from London to France for her ex-lover’s funeral. (Regal)

The Wiggles: Nursery Rhymes (G) Families all around the world have sung nursery rhymes to each other for generations. The Wiggles select, arrange and perform their favourites.

Victoria and Abdul (PG) Queen Victoria strikes up an an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.

Where Am I Going? (PG) When a new reformist government vows to cut down on bureaucracy, Checco is forced to accept worsening conditions. (Regal)