Wollongong

Stanwell Park, Explore Australia Publishing

Population 263537

As a major iron and steel producer, Wollongong has an undeserved reputation for being an unattractive industrial city. In fact, Wollongong enjoys some of the best coastal scenery and beaches in the state, superbly positioned with mountains to the west and ocean to the east. It has the facilities and sophistication missing in many smaller towns and has been awarded the title of 'Australia's most liveable regional city'.

Visitor Information

Southern Gateway Centre, Princes Highway, Bulli Tops; (02) 4267 5910 or 1800 240 737

www.visitwollongong.com.au

Nearby national parks

  • Royal National Park

    Royal National Park, Australia’s oldest national park, has a rich cultural heritage, both European and Indigenous. It combines...more

  • Budderoo National Park

    Small but spectacular, Budderoo National Park in the Southern Highlands is notable for its outstanding Minnamurra Rainforest Centre,...more

  • Georges River National Park

    On the south-west outskirts of Sydney this national park, a picturesque retreat on the lower reaches of the Georges River, is popular with...more

Nearby towns

  • Shellharbour

    Shellharbour was a thriving port in the 1830s when development could not keep up with demand. The first shops did not appear until the 1850s...more

  • Jamberoo

    One of the most picturesque areas of the New South Wales coast, Jamberoo was once tropical forest. The town is surrounded by nature reserves...more

  • Kiama NSW

    This popular holiday town, hosting one million visitors each year, is best known as the home of the Kiama Blowhole. The rocky coastline,...more

In Town

Wollongong Botanic Garden The magnificent gardens encompass 27 ha of undulating land and feature a sunken rose garden, a woodland garden, rainforests, and flora representing a range of plant communities. Guided walks and bus tours are available. Various workshops including crafts and gardening throughout the year; Murphys Ave, Keiraville; (02) 4225 2636; call for opening hours. The adjacent Gleniffer Brae Manor House is a Gothic-style 1930s house now home to the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music and used for music recitals. Northfields Ave, Keiraville.

Flagstaff Point: 180-degree views of the ocean and historic light lighthouse (1872); Endeavour Dr.

Illawarra Historical Society Museum: highlights include handicraft room and Victorian parlour; open weekends and 12–3pm Thurs; Market St; (02) 4283 2854.

Wollongong City Gallery: collection of 19th- and 20th-century art including Aboriginal art; Cnr Burelli and Kembla sts; Tue–Fri 10am–5pm, Sat–Sun 12–4pm; (02) 4228 7500.

Mall: soaring steel arches and water displays; Crown St.

Five Islands Brewing Company: locally brewed beers; Crown St; (02) 4220 2854.

Wollongong Harbour: home to a huge fishing fleet and Breakwater Lighthouse.

Surfing beaches and rockpools: to the north and south, with excellent surfing and swimming conditions.

Foreshore parks: several with superb coastal views and picnic facilities.

Nearby

Royal National Park Established in 1879, this is the second-oldest national park in the world after Yellowstone in the USA. There is much natural diversity packed into a compact parkland. Highlights include walking and cycling along Lady Carrington Drive through rich forest, swimming at the beach or in the lagoon at Wattamolla, enjoying the Victorian-park atmosphere at Audley (with causeway, picnic lawns and rowboats) and walking the magnificent 26 km Coast Track; (02) 9542 0648; 35 km N. Read more Grand Pacific Drive, a new tourist route along the coast, links Royal National Park with Wollongong. The 70 km drive takes in spectacular scenery and the Sea Cliff Bridge.

Illawarra Escarpment: forms the western backdrop to the city and has spectacular lookouts at Stanwell Tops, Sublime Point, Mt Keira and Mt Kembla.

Wollongong Science Centre and Planetarium: hands-on displays and activities for all ages; Squires Way, Fairy Meadow; (02) 4286 5000; open 10am–4pm every day; 2 km N.

Nan Tien Temple: largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere with a range of programs available; closed Mon; Berkeley Rd, Berkeley; (02) 4272 0600; 5 km SW.

Lake Illawarra: stretching from the South Pacific Ocean to the foothills of the Illawarra Range, the lake offers good prawning, fishing and sailing. Boat hire is available; 5 km S.

Port Kembla: up-close view of local industry and the steel works at Australia's Industry World with tours; bookings (02) 4275 7023.

Mount Kembla: site of horrific 1902 mining disaster. Also here are several historic buildings and a historical museum featuring a pioneer kitchen, a blacksmith's shop and a reconstruction of the Mount Kembla disaster. The Mount Kembla Mining Heritage Festival is held each winter in memory of those lost; 10 km W.

Bulli Pass Scenic Reserve: steep scenic drive with stunning coastal views. Bulli Lookout at the top of the escarpment has great views and a walking path leads to Sublime Pt Lookout, which enjoys stunning views over Wollongong and has a restaurant; 16 km N.

Symbio Wildlife Park: koalas, eagles, wombats and reptiles, as well as Sumatran tigers; Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Helensburgh; (02) 4294 1244; 32 km N.

Just Cruisin Motorcycle Tours: Cruise Grand Pacific Dr and the spectacular South Coast on a chauffeured Harley Davidson; (02) 4294 2598.

Lawrence Hargrave Memorial and Lookout: on Bald Hill, this was the site of aviator Hargrave's first attempt at flight in the early 1900s. Now popular for hang-gliding; 36 km N.

Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk: the Treetop Walk offers inspiring views; 182 Knights Hill Road, Knights Hill; (02) 4885 1010.

Heathcote National Park: excellent for bushwalks through rugged bushland, past hidden pools and gorges; (02) 9542 0648; 40 km N.

Dolphin Watch Cruises: see dolphins and whales at Jervis Bay; 50 Owen Street, Huskisson; (02) 4441 6311 or 1800 246 010 .

Fishing spots near town

Port Hacking 43 km

In my youth, bream was a species anglers sought to put food on the table. It was a ‘kill it and fillet’ favourite. Both yellowfin and black bream fought well, but the sedentary nature of bait fishing –... Find out more


Cafes & restaurants around town

Lorenzo’s Diner

Lorenzo’s Diner has been evolving under different names for some time, shining brighter with each incarnation. Recently awarded ‘Best Italian Restaurant in NSW’ by the Restaurant and Catering... Find out more


Lagoon Seafood Restaurant

On the north Wollongong foreshore, nestled against Stuart Park, this seafood restaurant is blessed with incredible views of the lagoon, as the name suggests. Clearly a local favourite, the focus at this friendly place is... Find out more


Nearby breweries

Five Islands Brewing Company 2 km

Started by local Illawarra rugby league legend Michael Bolt in 2001, the Five Islands Brewing Company has travelled a markedly different course to most other craft-beer enterprises. FIBC began life as a beachside bar and... Find out more


Campsites around town

Corrimal Beach Tourist Park 5 km

Located on gorgeous Corrimal Beach, 5 km north of Wollongong, Corrimal Beach Tourist Park offers everything from tent sites through to standard, beachside and mountain-view spa cabins. Facilities include laundry, camp... Find out more


Killalea camping area 21 km

This is a well-equipped camping ground in prime position behind Mystics Beach. There are walking tracks, fishing spots and a golf course nearby; alternative accommodation is available in the form of a bunkhouse with 40... Find out more


Carrington Falls camping area 31 km

This small camping area can get crowded in peak periods, so think twice if you’ve got a campervan or trailer. You’ll find it on Carrington Falls Access Rd, off Jamberoo Mountain Rd, 8 km east of Robertson.... Find out more


North Era camping area (walk-in and bush camping) 31 km

On the stunning 26 km Coast Track (2 days, medium difficulty), this is a walk-in bush campsite with 12 sites. You’ll need to be self-sufficient; bring food and drinking water with you. Wood fires are not permitted.... Find out more


Kingfisher Pool camping area (walk-in camping) 34 km

On the Bullawaring Track in the middle of the park, this campsite is a fair walk in. It’s only for self-sufficient campers carrying decent maps. Note: fires prohibited; gas/fuel stove only.... Find out more


Lake Eckersley camping area (walk-in camping) 37 km

There are 2 camping sites here, near Lake Eckersley in the middle of the park, with enough room for up to 6 campers. You’ll need to be self-sufficient in food and drinking water. Take a good map with you. Note:... Find out more


Mirang Pool camping area (walk-in camping) 37 km

This is slightly larger than the other camping grounds in the park, with 4 campsites accommodating up to 12 people in total. Make sure you’re self-sufficient in food and water, with a good map. Note: fires... Find out more


Uloola Falls camping area (walk-in camping) 37 km

The medium–difficult Uloola Falls Walking Track (11 km, 3 hr) is the only way in to this camping ground. The track can be accessed from Heathcote, Engadine or Waterfall, all of which are reachable by train. Make... Find out more


Bonnie Vale camping area 44 km

There are 74 sites here and it’s the only designated camping ground that’s accessible by vehicle. To reach it, take the Bundeena Rd from Bundeena and turn onto Seabreeze La. Note: fires are not permitted;... Find out more


Caravan parks around town

Corrimal Beach Tourist Park 5 km

A council-owned beachside park on the north side of Wollongong, this place has good amenities and is a popular holiday destination. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more


Bulli Beach Tourist Park 10 km

This popular, council-owned holiday park adjoins a patrolled beach with beach pools. In a quiet area, this place will appeal to families or those just spending a few peaceful days out of the holiday season.... Find out more


Windang Beach Tourist Park 13 km

This is a council-owned, popular beachside holiday park located on the south side of Wollongong, next to Lake Illawarra. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies at these times.... Find out more


Shellharbour Beachside Tourist Park 17 km

This caravan park is in a quiet location on the beachfront, adjoining the beachside baths. The shops, including some eateries, are just a short stroll away. While pets are allowed, only small dogs are permitted. This is... Find out more


Big4 Easts Beach Holiday Park 30 km

This is a fabulous, large and well laid out beachfront park with very good amenities and facilities, including TV cables to all ensuite sites. The East family is a prominent owner of several New South Wales caravan parks... Find out more


Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park 39 km

Swim at the beach or sit back, relax and watch TV at this large, fabulous beachside park. It has great facilities, including ensuite sites with full Austar TV hook-up. It also has excellent amenities and is in a... Find out more


Mittagong Caravan Park 40 km

The caravan park is 1 km north of the town centre. There is a well-stocked shop and easy access to the Hume Freeway. This is one of only two parks in this area of the central highlands. The park can get very busy, so... Find out more


Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Above Wollongong at 
Pleasant Heights B&B

Above Wollongong at Pleasant Heights, this luxurious boutique B&B has stunning ocean and lush escarpment views. The three individually themed self-contained spa suites all have private entrances, marble floors and... Find out more


What's on around town

Market: Harbour St; Sat.

Illawarra Folk Festival: Jan.

Wings over Illawarra: Feb.

Mt Kembla Mining Heritage Festival: July.

Viva La Gong: street-arts festival; Oct.

comments powered by Disqus