When and where is the 2019 Bird Haven Festival being held?
18-20 October, in various locations in the village of Shoalhaven Heads, just two hours south of Sydney.
Friday 18 October is a welcome event with birding legend Sean Dooley at the Shoalhaven Heads Bowling Club ($35). Saturday 19 October is a day of talks by experts at the Bowlo ($65). Early Bird Special is available until 15 September, with the two sessions available for $75, a saving of $25.
Sunday 20 October is a FREE day in and around the Shoalhaven Heads Community Centre, where you can learn about birds through mini-talks, creative activities, information stalls by environmental groups and more, all in a Festival atmosphere with a bird-themed market, food and music.
Food, music and creative umbrella events are also being held over the Festival weekend.
See our program pages for details.
Do you have Early Bird tickets?
Early Bird tickets are available for the Friday evening and Saturday talks for just $75, a saving of $15. Early Bird Tickets are available until Sunday 15 September, so be an early bird and catch the worm!
What time is the Sunday Festival?
Will there be coffee?
Is the Festival suitable for children?
The free Sunday event is the best day for children, as there will be lots for them to participate in and learn from.
How will the speed talks work?
The mini-talks will be held in the main hall of the Community Centre on the Sunday, from 9.30am-2pm, while the Festival is happening outside.
There will be 15 minute talks, with a 10 minute gap in between. Choose which talks interest you from our blackboard program, which will be posted on this site closer to the time.
The idea is that you can come and go as you please.
Will there be walks on the Sunday?
While Shoalhaven Heads is a great place for a quiet bird spotting walk, the number of people anticipated to attend the Festival means that we will not be conducting organised walks that day.
Instead, experienced local birders will be on hand to take you under their wing at various key locations around the village to help you put your new knowledge into practice.
Remember to practice the first principles of birdwatching: bring binoculars, don’t get close enough to disturb the birds, don’t damage habitat and leave only footprints.
Where can I stay?
Shoalhaven Heads has a variety of accommodation options, including The Heads Hotel, Mountain Ridge Resort, Holiday Haven Caravan Park (with camping) and many Air BNB options in the area. Here is a link to Shoalhaven Tourism’s accommodation page.
How can I get to The Heads?
Driving is the best way. Shoalhaven Heads is two hours drive south of Sydney (just west of Berry), and three hours from Canberra. Trains from Sydney go to nearby Berry, but it is still a 10 minute drive to Shoalhaven Heads, with no public transport and few taxis.
How easy is it to get around The Heads?
Shoalhaven Heads is a sleepy holiday village, on flat land, making it very easy to get around once you are here. All of the Festival venues are within walking distance. You might like to bring your bike to make it even easier to get around.
Is the Festival site accessible for people with a disability?
Both the main venues are fully accessible, and the bird viewing areas are also accessible.
How do I volunteer to help?
We would love you to contact us giving us an idea of what sort of role you could help with. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I have a market stall?
We’d love to hear from you if you have bird-themed product or experiences to sell. Please email email@example.com
Where can I eat?
On the Friday and Saturday, meals (dinner and lunch respectively) are included in your tickets.
On Saturday morning, the local Mens’ Shed will be doing a BBQ at the Shoalhaven Heads ‘airport’, a bird viewing area on the estuary.
On Saturday night, if you don’t book in for our Feathered Feast at Far Meadow Table, you can get dinner at the Bowling Club, The Heads Hotel, the local Chinese restaurant, the local woodfired pizzeria or at one of a number of places in nearby Berry.
On Sunday, apart from local businesses, including an excellent fish & chip shop and a café at the Surf Club, we will have food stalls at the Festival.
What else is there to do nearby that weekend?
The Berry Garden Festival is on the same weekend as us, so you have the opportunity to visit eight wonderful local gardens. See https://berrygardens.org.au/berry-gardens-festival/ for details.
The Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival is also on that weekend. www.kangaroovalleyfolkfestival.com.au
In addition, Shoalhaven Heads is in a lovely part of the world, close to beaches, mountains, wineries, and other South Coast villages. You’ll want to stay longer!
Is there a map?
There will be!
Where can I buy tickets?
You can buy tickets for the festival program and other umbrella events on this site. (link to the try booking page)
Will alcohol be available on the Sunday?
No. You can go to the Pub or the Club if you’d like a drink. Strictly no alcohol at the Festival site.
Where should I park?
There is some parking behind the Community Centre, and further up Shoalhaven Heads Road. Otherwise, park considerately on nearby streets.
Can I bring my dog on the Sunday?
Well behaved dogs, used to crowds, may be brought along to the market, but of course cannot go inside the Centre. PLEASE make sure that your dogs are not brought to the bird viewing areas, as they may scare away our feathered friends.
Are the Children’s Workshops on Sunday free?
Yes they are, but you need to register to secure a place. There are age ranges for the 45 minute workshops. Bookings will be available on our website, closer to the date.