New South WalesWollongongA thriving university-city, jam packed full of art and culture, food, entertainment and technology, against a backdrop of stunning beaches.
Wollongong is the third largest city in New South Wales, located an hour's drive south of Sydney. Wollongong's superb beaches, accommodation options, brewery by the beach and alfresco dining choices make it a great base for exploring the south coast region. Thrill-seekers can skydive, hangglide or paraglide, enjoy Harley and Trike joy rides and play golf on a beach side course. Cycle ways line the coast, so hire a bike and explore Wollongong with the kids. The Wollongong Art Gallery has one of the best regional art collections in New South Wales with a special focus on colonial and early Australian art, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and artefacts. Be sure to visit the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern hemisphere, the Nan Tien Temple - it's surrounded by beautiful gardens and only a 10 minute drive from the Wollongong Central Business District. Free entry - Open Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays.
Chill and play at Wattamolla Beach
When you’re pining for the feel of sand between your toes, take the family and head to Wattamolla picnic area in Royal National Park. With loads of options to keep everyone happy, this is a popular place to base yourself while you’re exploring the park. The kids will love the calm waters of the lagoon for snorkeling, swimming and liloing. Unpack a picnic under the shade of the cabbage tree palms and do some serious unwinding, or head to the beach for a spot of fishing. After enjoying a barbecue lunch, go for a walk along one of the beach tracks, with a prize for the first to see a sea eagle or oystercatcher. Note: Wattamolla Beach is only patrolled during the summer months. There is a per vehicle, per day entry fee to enter the Royal National Park.
Take in the beauty of the Illawarra Escarpment
Framing Wollongong, the Illawarra Escarpment is a dramatic 30 million-years-old formation, offering scenic lookouts, hiking, walking, birding, and picnic spots. Millions of years in the making, the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area features dramatic sandstone cliffs and a medley of different forest types, from sub-tropical rainforest to olive-green eucalypts and towering cedars. Throw in two accessible mountains, an abundance of colonial and Aboriginal heritage, and a stunning variety of birdlife, and you have a unique place with attractions to suit any taste. Come for a serious bushwalk or a casual jog, visit a lookout in the winter for whale watching off the coast, or break out the binoculars for birdwatching. There are cycling opportunities on fire trails and plenty of chances to cool off in summer by retreating to a rainforest track. The area is also popular with families taking advantage of the picnic spot by firing up barbecues on Sundays. Please note there is no access to Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area from Brokers Nose and Brokers Point via Hawthorn Street, as this is private property.
Take the family to Jamberoo Action Park
Looking for a great family experience with something for everyone? Want quality entertainment in a natural setting where no two rides are ever the same? This season, experience Jamberoo Action Park where you control the action! Just an hour south of Sydney, NSW’s largest family-owned and operated water theme park features a host of world-class rides and attractions. The attention to detail, well-trained staff and variety of park attractions come directly from the passion and supervision of being 100 percent privately owned and operated. Set amongst the mountains in Jamberoo and with the back-drop of the spectacular Illawarra escarpment, Jamberoo Action Park is positioned to deliver an entertainment experience unlike any other. When you spend a day or invest in a season at Jamberoo Action Park – you are entering a place where you will have the experience of a lifetime. Admission into the Park covers all rides and attractions and parking is free, so you can experience all that Jamberoo Action Park has to offer all day long. This season, experience Jamberoo Action Park where you control the action!
Lake Illawarra is a large tidal lake with a surface area of 35 square kilometres, and a 37 kilometres shoreline. The saltwater lake is home to majestic black swans, pelicans and other water birds and is a good prawning ground. Ideal for swimming, fishing, boating, kayak and Stand up paddleboarding. For a great family outing visit Reddall Reserve. It has plenty of picnic and barbecue facilities and is a fun and safe playground for families. Walk or cycle the three-kilometre Lake Illawarra Art trail to explore local history, Aboriginal heritage, flora and fauna. The artworks along this trail were created by local artists in collaboration with the community. Download the Tread Shellharbour app and take a virtual tour.
Stroll the Lake Illawarra Art Trail
Walk or cycle the three kilometre Lake Illawarra Art Trail to explore local history, Aboriginal heritage, flora and fauna. The artworks along this trail were created by local artists using natural and fabricated objects and various techniques such as woodcarving, painting, mosaic and glass imagery. It involves a series of sculptural totem poles depicting stories of the city at designated parts of the foreshore. Download the "Tread Shellharbour" app and take a virtual tour.
Drive Sea Cliff Bridge
The 665 metre long Sea Cliff Bridge is a highlight along the Grand Pacific Drive - A drive which takes in 140 kilometres worth of coastal scenery from the Royal National Park, Loftus down to Nowra. The bridge has become an icon to the people of Wollongong and the world, once again welcoming tourists annually to this picturesque coastal road. Opened in December 2005, the Sea Cliff Bridge offers visitors the chance to get out of the car and stretch their legs. It is also a great viewing platform for migrating whales heading north/south during the migrating season. The Sea Cliff Bridge is accessible via public transport. Coalcliff Station has trains running seven days a week. There is a steep incline from the train station to the bridge; the walk will take approximately 15 minutes from the station to bridge. Bus stops are located on either side of the Sea Cliff Bridge. Premier Illawarra Bus Number Two provides services Monday to Saturday (not available on public holidays). For train and bus time tables please refer to Sydney trains and Premier Illawarra Buses.
Discover more in New South Wales
- Blue Mountains
- Bondi Beach
- Bundanoon & Surrounds
- Byron Bay
- Central Coast, NSW
- Coffs Harbour
- Country NSW
- Hunter Valley
- Jervis Bay
- Lord Howe Island
- Merimbula & Sapphire Coast
- Mungo National Park
- Murramarang National Park
- North Coast
- Outback NSW
- Port Macquarie
- Port Stephens
- Snowy Mountains
- South Coast, NSW
- South West Rocks
- Sydney Harbour
- The Mallee Region
- The Murray
- Tilba Tilba