Experience Wollongong's gorgeous beaches along a splendid stretch of coast. From Stanwell Park in the north to Windang in the south, the Wollongong area is blessed with many beaches. Coalcliff Beach attracts families to its rock pool, uncrowded Coledale has a relaxed vibe and Austinmer is longtime favourite because of its rock pools and ocean baths. The most popular beaches are North Wollongong Beach and Wollongong City Beach. Both have great waves as well as wading pools, cycle paths, barbecues and parks offering respite from the Sun.
A marvel of engineering, the Sea Cliff Bridge is a highlight along the magnificent coastal road of the Grand Pacific Drive, one of Australia's great touring routes. Visitors can stop here to break up their road journey, stretch their legs and take in majestic panoramic views across the Pacific Ocean. It's also a great viewing platform for migrating whales heading north and south during the migrating season between June and November.
For an unforgettable experience, skydive above the beach and ocean in Wollongong. Securely attached to your experienced tandem instructor, you'll be guided through the entire skydive. Your adventure begins with a safety briefing followed by a scenic plane ride. As the excitement builds, your instructor will prepare you for the countdown and together you'll make the jump from more than 4 km above the beautiful coast. After you freefall at more than 200 km/h for a minute, your instructor will pull the chute and you'll soar serenely for 5-7 minutes before landing.
Symbio Wildlife Park, near the start of the Grand Pacific Drive, is home to hundreds of creatures and offers daily animal shows and enthralling wildlife experiences. Reserve an animal encounter to pat a koala, feed a meerkat and join keepers and dingoes on their daily walk around the park. You can also see water dragons, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos and echidnas, among the many other native animals in the sanctuary. An impressive collection of reptiles – big and small – slither and crawl, and you can enjoy a daily reptile show.
Cruise through Wollongong and its surrounds on a chauffeured trike, sidecar or solo motorcycle. Just Cruisin' tours specialise in showcasing Wollongong's beautiful coastline including the Sea Cliff Bridge and the Grand Pacific Drive. Enjoy a sensory experience: feel the wind in your face, smell the sea breeze, hear the motor, and take in the spectacular natural scenery all around you.
Enjoy a bird's-eye view of the beautiful coast on an exhilarating aerial adventure. Wollongong is renowned for thrilling air adventures including skydiving, hang-gliding and paragliding. Steep cliffs rising sharply from the coast combined with strong air currents make it a popular destination for hang-gliding and paragliding - Bald Hill Lookout at Stanwell Tops is an acclaimed international site. Soar above cliffs and ocean as you tandem glide before landing on Stanwell Park Beach.
The Australian Motorlife Museum is dedicated to providing visitors with an insight into the history of motoring through its showcase of historic vehicles and memorabilia.The museum is home of the Paul Butler Collection which includes more than a dozen motor vehicles built before 1930.
Bald Hill in Stanwell Park is one of Australia's most popular lookouts, offering spectacular and sweeping views of the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge, splendid coastline and vast Pacific Ocean. The area is internationally acclaimed for hang-gliding and paragliding. It was in Stanwell Park that Lawrence Hargrave, an Australian pioneer of flight, experimented with box kites and made a successful flight on 12 November, 1894.
Explore Wollongong and beyond on a leisurely drive on one of Australia's spectacular touring routes. The Grand Pacific Drive begins just south of Sydney at the Royal National Park, among the oldest national parks in the world, and travels through temperate rainforest to Stanwell Tops, then down to the famous Sea Cliff Bridge and along the coastline to Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Berry.
Enjoy one of Australia's best treetop experiences and soar on the highest zip-line in the country. High above the rainforest, the treetop walk features two gently swaying cantilevered arms and a central tower raised nearly 50 metres from the forest floor. Positioned 710 metres above sea level, the magnificent views take in the rainforest floor to the canopy and out to the Pacific Ocean.
Located just 30 minutes south of Wollongong, this popular water theme park is set among 40 hectares of gardens and parklands. It's the perfect setting to relax or join the kids on a huge range of water slides and attractions. Home of the Funnel Web, the longest, most exhilarating water thrill ride built in the world, or splash about in Banjo's Billabong, the largest aqua play structure in the Southern Hemisphere. You can also ride rafts along Rapid River and slide down Surf Hill.
Visit or stay at Nan Tien Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere. Admire the temple’s beautiful mix of eastern and western influences and explore the tranquil gardens and lotus ponds. Nan Tien also offers many spiritual experiences including self-development talks and Buddhist meditation retreats. Pilgrim Lodge is a 100-room facility, which is open all year round and located in the grounds of the Temple.
Wollongong's most visited indoor attraction, the Science Centre and Planetarium is a major hands-on science venue. Suitable for all ages, attractions include two floors of exciting interactive exhibits, a science theatre, and the amazing and immersive planetarium.
The WIN Sports and Entertainment Centres are multipurpose venues, hosting various concerts, conventions, exhibitions, and indoor and outdoor sporting events. Watch A-League football matches and national basketball games, or see international musicians and comedians.
A leading regional art gallery with a schedule of high quality exhibitions and public programs. The gallery houses an important collection of Australian, Aboriginal and Asian art. The permanent collection not only documents regional histories and art practices, but also reflects developments and issues in art of local, national and international relevance.
Wollongong Botanic Garden is a place of natural beauty where people can relax and learn more about plants and horticulture. The garden offers an exciting array of activities and experiences for visitors of all ages. These range from guided walks and community workshops that focus on environmental sustainable practices through to band recitals, theatrical entertainment, and sunset cinema screenings.
Mount Kembla Hotel is a heritage listed building and is the oldest weatherboard hotel in the Illawarra. The scenic views of the surrounding escarpment and award winning restaurant make it a favourite venue for many tourists and artists of the local area. Mount Kembla Village Hotel specialises in Gastro Pub style cuisine, sourcing only the freshest local produce around. Offering Mid-week Lunch and Dinner Specials Tuesday to Thursday. There also is a boutique Australian wine list, with wines from the best growing regions. The hotel provides live music Friday nights as well as every Sunday. With its friendly locals and its comfortable family friendly surrounds your experience is sure to be a pleasurable one.
This multi award-winning restaurant takes its name from La Caveau, a famous literary, wine and gastronomic society formed in France in 1792. The modern French menu is changed regularly to utilise fresh seasonal ingredients. Seafood is sourced from Sydney's premier supplier. Try the seven-course degustation menu at this fine dining restaurant.
This multi award-winning restaurant was established in 1986. Situated by the sea where Fairy Creek Lagoon meets the Pacific Ocean, Lagoon Restaurant offers spectacular views at its waterfront location. The restaurant's private dining rooms feature floor to ceiling glass doors that open up onto al fresco terraces.
The festival presents around 150 performers over four days featuring some of the best national and international traditional folk acts. Ride the Green Music Train from Sydney to Bulli and enjoy other festival highlights including a two-day intensive folk school and the popular Lunch Italian Style and Tripe Dinner.
A week-long celebration of the arts and seaside activities that reflect the community's way life. Enjoy art shows and photography exhibitions alongside carnival rides, dancing and live music. Admire the Sculpture on the Shore display along Thirroul Beach and vote for your choice of the best sculpture in the People's Choice Award.
The splendid harbour precinct of Wollongong comes alive each March with a festival of fitness, health and family fun that offers the opportunity to participate or enjoy the spectacle of the sport. The festival offers races for a wide range of ages and abilities from a 1 km ocean swim, to the popular beginners Enticer triathlon, through to Olympic distances. Entries are available to individuals or teams.
Sydney Airport is the closest airport to Wollongong. Connecting links between the airport and Wollongong are provided by rail and road. By road: It's an easy hour-long drive to Wollongong. Follow the signs from the airport towards Wollongong and Rockdale to get to the Princes Highway, and from there follow the road and directional signage south to Wollongong. By Rail: For a direct link to Wollongong, catch an airport train to Wolli Creek and then change platforms for a train on the South Coast Line to Wollongong. Peak hour trains to Wollongong sometimes skip Wolli Creek, in which case you can change trains at Hurstville for a train to Wollongong. Travel time is less than 2 hours.
Wollongong’s free Gong Shuttle Bus makes it easy to get around the city. The service operates in both directions on a loop from Wollongong Station to Wollongong University via Wollongong Hospital, Burelli Street and the Innovation Campus. On weekdays the shuttle operates every 10 minutes between 7am and 6pm and every 20 minutes from 6pm to 10pm. On weekends the shuttle operates every 20 minutes between 8am and 6pm. The route numbers for the Gong Shuttle are 55A and 55C.
Wollongong Train Station lies in the heart of town on the South Coast Line of the Transport NSW intercity network. Many surrounding beaches are also accessible by train, including Stanwell Park, Wombarra, Coledale, Austinmer and Thirroul, which all have an hourly service. Travel further south on the train line to discover other beautiful coastal towns such as Shellharbour, Kiama and Gerringong, as well as the hinterland village of Berry.