It’s no doubt that punters have been frothing to get back to festivals post-pandemic, and Wanderer Festival’s inaugural event last month was a refreshing return to live music and art over a sun-drenched three days of fun.

Held at the pristine beachside location of Pambula Beach on New South Wales’ far south coast, the boutique festival was a delightful celebration of music and arts crafted for all generations of festival goers.

With the festival focusing on sustainability, community and creativity, the event – which was capped at 10,000 patrons – gave us a glimpse into what the future of festivals might look like.

In vast contrast to the packed, muddy chaos of the festivals we used to know, Wanderer Festival was a breath of fresh air, with the event providing endless entertainment in the form of great music, delicious local food, kids’ entertainment, and so much more.

Capped at 10,000 attendees, the festival gave attendees a chance to indulge in a more intimate music experience with an epic lineup, with day one kicking off to a bluesy start with Josh Pyke, The Teskey Brothers and Emma Donovan & the Putbacks.

Credit: Ruby Boland

Day two ramped up as punters hit the front of the stage to mosh to the likes of Confidence Man, Wolfmother, and DZ Deathrays, along with the more chilled vibes of Winston Surfshirt and Ziggy Alberts.

The festival’s third and final day certainly didn’t disappoint, with Sarah Blasko, the Dandy Warhols, DMA’S and Harvey Sutherland getting festivalgoers in a frenzy as they wrapped up the epic weekend.

The Teskey Brothers had punters up and dancing. Credit: David Rogers

The festival also offered comedy, circus, cabaret, theatre and workshops, as well as a slew of activities that kept the kids having a blast over the entire weekend.

In what made for the most endearing part of Wander Festival was the fact that local residents and businesses were more than happy to get involved in the event, allowing punters to truly immersive themselves in all the culture and beauty that the Sapphire Coast had to offer.

Not only did the festival have endless activities available, but the small town itself also offered an added experience to the weekend, with the southern coastal area offering some of the world’s best whale watching, oysters plucked straight from pristine waters, beaches where yours will be the only footprints, immense tracts of national parks, serene ocean pools, artisanal producers and more.

Some of our favourite activities over the weekend included heading to Lockstocking Brewery, an independent brewery just south of Pambula Village that serves up delicious craft beer, cider, oysters and live music.

The brewery is run by Peter Caldwell and Joey Cunningham, who also drove artists to and from the festival site while ensuring the brewery continued dishing its delectable wood-fired pizzas, laidback vibes, and epic cover tracks from local cover band SALT.

Not only is it the perfect spot for a Sunday bev, the family-friendly location also allowed visitors to stroll around the picturesque grounds of Oakland Barn for shopping, browsing, checking out the adorable farm animals or sitting down for a meal.

For fans of mouthwatering fresh seafood, another notable mention is Broadwater Oysters, which offer delicious award-winning Sydney Rock Oysters straight from the farm on Pambula Lake, with the choice of opened, unopened or bottled oysters.

Broadwater Oysters is owned by Greg Carton and Sue McIntyre, who have been producing oysters for over 25 years and have established themselves as one of the top producers of the Sydney Rock Oyster.

Pambula Beach Campground. Credit: David Rogers

The farm is a must-visit when in the area, with its shopfront serving freshly shucked oysters where you can sit and overlook the Pambula Lake, which was truly the perfect place to devour oysters (and a bottle of wine).

And if you’re keen to learn more about oyster shucking, they also offer farm tours in which visitors can talk to the farmers about oyster production and watch oysters being freshly opened and ready for sale.

For those who are a bit more adventurous, there’s also guided local scuba diving and snorkelling through Dive Eden, where you can literally immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Sapphire Coast.

They offer a whole range of options based on all skill levels, including a ‘Dive Against Debris’ program, where you’ll be offered a mesh bag to help remove marine debris from the ocean, improving the health of the underwater paradise.

If you want to try scuba diving, but aren’t ready to take the plunge into a certification course, the scuba program is a also quick and easy introduction to what it takes to explore the underwater world. If you want to go further and experience unparalleled adventure, you can also get your scuba diving certification with the Open Water Diver course.

​There’s also the option to dive and free dive with friendly grey nurse sharks in the warmer months along the Sapphire Coast – to book, just get in touch with Dive Eden

Check out the highlights from Wanderer Festival below:


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♬ We Used To Be Friends – The Dandy Warhols

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