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MOUNTAIN TO SEA FESTIVAL is a new project with a focus on the positive aspects of mining history in the Illawarra which harks back to the days of company picnics and games.


With deep mining roots, Mt Kembla Heritage Centre is excited to be part of this new initiative and will be hosting light refreshments, historic tours and an early bird preview of our new display 'From Coal Tunnels to Dirt Trenches'.


Mountain 2 Sea Festival is over two days.

  • April 9th,  'by the sea', is centred around Market Square, Wollongong, and involves more historical and cultural aspects. 

  • April 10th 'on the mountain' is centred at Mount Kembla and revolves around mining industry teams competing for the 'M2S trophy' with various faculties of the emergency services and mining activities.


Mining competitions will be held at Mt Kembla Oval until 2 pm and then the action moves to Kembla Heights from 3 pm. 


Free shuttle buses provided by Premier Illawarra will do a loop every thirty minutes from the oval to the Heights stopping at the various venues including the Mount Kembla Heritage Centre along the way. Download the bus route Most local businesses and organizations along the route will be involved and hold events.


The M2S festival has been conceptualized and initiated by Chris Denison of 'Wollongong - Australia - Our City, Our Passion' and David Bottin of ‘Lost Wollongong.’ It is an exciting new community focused event the likes of which haven't been seen in these parts since the 'good old days' of Mount Kembla Heritage Festivals, which would attract thousands to the area annually.



 Open from 10 am to 4 pm Sunday 10th April 2016 with a new exhibition, tea, and historic tours.


New Exhibition

The new display 'From Coal Tunnels to Dirt Trenches' is based on Marion Beard's Kembla and Cordeaux-related World War One research and book, read more about at the bottom of the page here



There will be coffee, tea, cold drinks ANZAC biscuits ad cake on sale.


Historical Tour

An hour long historical tour will be led by Paul Treanor, author of ‘The Spirits of Windy Gully’ and Neil Bott bringing to life the story around the 1902 disaster.  The cost of the tour is $10.  The first tour departs from the Heritage Centre at 1.00 pm with a second tour leaving at 2.30 pm.  Tickets are available at the Heritage Centre on a first comes first served basis.


An event and bus stop map will be available and uploaded soon showing exactly what’s going on, and where. There is plenty to see and do for young and old alike, all day.



Image of ANZAC biscuits and tea courtesy of and © Emu Bottom Biscuits

Incredibly passionate about war history and the memory of the people who fought for Australia - Marion Beard has spent over two years researching the topic to compile a new work on miners from the mountain who went to war. She has made a number of previously unknown historical discoveries in the process.


The community actually made a huge contribution to the whole war effort, (however) Mount Kembla is the only place I have been without a memorial of some type”, she says, on what inspired her idea.

Her writing has been used to create a new display at MKHC.


The April M2S festival opening will be a soft launch, in May the display will be expanded with a special event to be held on Mother’s Day as part of this National Trust Heritage Festival with the launch of the book and exhibition proper. For more details, go to the website here.

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