Announcement coming soon

The Saltwater Freshwater Festival is confirmed to go ahead in 2019. Organisers said the festival, a valuable and much-loved annual event of the Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance (SWFW), will run in Coffs Harbour on its traditional Australia Day date.

The festival, which is nomadic and is held in various locations on the Mid North Coast, offers a high-quality, all-inclusive showcase of NSW Aboriginal culture. The 2019 event will run in the picturesque sweeping grounds of the Regional Botanic Gardens in central Coffs Harbour. Highlights will include:

  • cultural activity workshops including dance, weaving, language and canoe making
  • selection of exotic food from many parts of the world;
  • up to 30 market stalls selling a vast range of cultural products
  • Aboriginal artists performing their music on the main stage
  • Elders storytelling programs for each nation
  • bush tucker tours with respected Elders

The news will be welcomed by the community after SWFW’s reluctant cancellation of the 2018 event.

Chris Spencer, SWFW general manager, said: “I am delighted to announce that we will be back in Coffs for 2019. Each year the festival has gone from strength to strength and we have a team of dedicated people already working hard to bring joy, inspiration and a meaningful event to the Mid North Coast.

“We’re lucky to have the support of the business community, who forge terrific partnerships with SWFW’s work. We invite any businesses to get involved in putting on an outstanding 2019 event.”

The Festival plays a valuable role locally by offering non-Aboriginal people a unique opportunity to participate in traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture via inclusive activities and workshops, complementing the activities of the SWFW Cultural Programs Unit.

Saltwater Festival has attracted in excess of 50,000 attendees since 2010 and has engaged the talents and skills of more than 300 volunteers, providing valuable opportunities to the community to be involved as festival workshop facilitators, artists, performers or volunteers.

The event itself showcases the talents of hundreds of Aboriginal artists, as well as stallholders, small businesses and food vendors of all backgrounds, and Aboriginal cultural practitioners facilitating cultural workshops (dance, art, weaving, canoe-making, didgeridoo playing and language).

SWFW invites support from across the business community to share in the success of the 2019 festival. Contact Chris Spencer at to enquire about sponsorship.

For media enquiries, please contact general manager Chris Spencer on (02) 6658 1315 or 0428 002 313.