Festivals & events,  Free to do

SWELL Sculpture Festival 2019

Looking for a great family beach outing without getting wet? Queensland’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibition is on now at Currumbin Beach! This year marks its 17th year running and they expect nearly 300,000 visitors, so it’s definitely one of the most popular beach festivals around and not to be missed.

SWELL is a ten-day festival with around 50 sculptures by local, national and international artists on display along the beach front. There are also master classes, a children’s activity area, sculpture workshops and a music stage.

If you’re going during the day, I recommend getting there early! While it’s promoted as open from 9am, the sculptures are installed for the full 10 days so can be seen at any time. For those really keen, a sunrise walk would be amazing! We got there at 8.45am and already it was hard to get a carpark, so keep in mind there is a park and ride facility if you go later in the day – you’ll need it. The sculptures are set up ‘from rock to rock’, which means that they are between Wallace Nicoll Park and Elephant Rock, Currumbin. We started at Wallace Nicoll Park and looked at the sculptures on the sand first, turning around at Elephant Rock and looking at the grass-side sculptures on the way back.

Something new this year is SWELL for kids – a completely interactive area where kids are encouraged to get up close and personal with some sculptures, kicking balls into a giant tepee, walking through tunnels, drawing and listening to story time. This is all set under the shady tress at Wallace Nicoll Park and was as much fun for the parents as it was for the kids!

For a different SWELL experience, you could visit in the evening when some of the sculptures are lit up with spotlights. You can participate in a guided twilight walk through the artworks, listen to some artist talks next to their sculptures, and see the festival under a different light. Definitely a great way to beat the heat, but still a lot of crowds unfortunately!

We had another great family morning out and there is so much to do around Currumbin. We hit up the Palm Beach Farmers’ Market beforehand, but there are so many great parks and swimming spots to extend your stay as well.

Need to know:

  • 17th SWELL Sculpture Festival 13-22 September 2019
  • Pacific Parade, Currumbin
  • Parking available on street (free but limited), at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary ($10/day)
  • The exhibition is open all hours. Info Hubs are along the 1km walkway open daily from 9am – 9pm. A selection of sculptures will light up 5pm – 9pm.
  • On the weekends, park opposite the Currumbin RSL and use the FREE park and ride to SWELL between 9am – 4pm.
  • www.swellsculpture.com.au

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