As holiday home managers and locals we always get asked for our best Illawarra Travel Tips so below we have gathered everything that can make a holiday on the south coast amazing;

  1. Don’t Forget About the Escarpment

Although it looms large people often hit the beach and forget the mountainous forest behind.  With thigh busting walks you can scale up to Sublime point for incredible views.  The escarpment is a rarity that should not be overlooked.

  1. This is the Birthplace of Flight

Stanwell Park has a long history and connection with flying and today sees scores of hang gliders and paragliders launching themselves off Bald Hill.  Be sure to grab a coffee and settle in as adventurers fly off the cliffs like brilliant tropical birds.  Or take a tandem flight yourself and experience the coast from a completely different perspective.

  1. Take The Leap

Wollongong is a prime spot for skydivers and you will often see their swirling parachutes coming down in clusters over Stuart Park.  Strap on a parachute and a guide and see what happens when you fall from a great height.

  1. Join the Artisan Beer Craze

The Five Islands brewing company was establish in 2001 and specializes in beer brewed with local ingredients that are free of artificial colours, additives, preservatives or added sugar.  You can enjoy a cold one overlooking the harbour and enjoying fresh, local food.

  1. Join the Fining Dining Revolution

Be sure to book in a night to sample some of the exciting food that the Illawarra has to offer. Caveau is Wollongong’s only hatted restaurant, however lined at the top of Kiera Street is also Lorenzo’s and Rookie which are turning out fare of comparable quality.  Thirroul’s iconic Samuels has been reinvigorated by a new chef and management while The Postmasters Quarters housed in the original post office is bringing new flavours and ideas into town.   Also to note is Lupa in Wollongong who makes amazing wood fired pizzas, cures their own meats and makes their own delicious wine.  While Three Chimneys combines’ eclectic interiors with an onsite bakery, bands and interesting food  

  1. Drink in Style

Getting a drink in this town can be also be quite the adventure. Whether it is a Vodka infused with everything from Lychees to Chupa Chups at Red Square or indulging in a delightful menu of cocktails at The Little Prince or sipping Champagne on the rooftop bar of Humber.  Making having a few drinks an event to be savoured.

  1. Let them Drink Coffee

Coffee flows from every street corner of Wollongong and its surrounds.  Never fear this regional centre has well and truly embraced the art of coffee.  In Thirroul Honest Dons, Finbox and Bread and Espresso come highly recommended.  Bulli offers the best coffee at the Foragers market on Sundays. Woonona has All and Sundry tucked away in one of its lane ways but is well worth finding. Corrimal has Frank n Beans.  While Wollongong is spoilt for choice with Diggies, Sandy Goodwich, Lee and Me, Bull and Bear and Lower East hotly competing.

  1. Kid Size Fun

The Illawarra is a fantastic place to travel as a family.  There are some amazing kid’s playgrounds at Thirroul, Towradgi and Stuart Park which come complete with Flying Foxes, scooter tracks, Ropes Mountains and enclosed slides. The coast is dotted with rock pools and ocean pools that are ideal for kids to stay cool which building sand castles of every size and shape.  The Discovery Centre and Science Centre and Planetarium offer fun interactive play.  There is a rock climbing and trampolining centre in Wollongong.  There are also lots of family friendly walks in the Escarpment State Conservation area and the Royal National Park.

  1. Let Us Entertain You

Between iconic music venues like Anita’s Theatre in Thirroul, The Heritage Hotel in Bulli, The Bombie Bar in Coalcliff and world class venues like the IPAC theatre and Win Stadium in Wollongong the Illawarra attracts an impressive range of local and international performers. Be sure to book in a show as part of your holiday.

  1. Life Is a Beach

Pack your swimmers, beach towels and sand castle tools and prepare to be soaked in sun, sand and surf on a stretch of coast that offers beach after beach – 17 in total.  But don’t be afraid to shake it up with surfing lessons and paddle board hire in Wollongong.  The best surf breaks can be found at Sandon Point, Woonona, Bellambi, East Corrimal and Wollongong City Beach. 

  1. Markets

On Thursday evenings head to Eat Street on Crown for food stalls offering food from all over the globe from 5pm – 10pm there is often live music and a festive atmosphere.  Every Friday you will find the Produce and Creative Traders Market set up on Crown Street mall in Wollongong offering sumptuous food, fresh flowers and yummy treats to enjoy on the spot.  On Sundays head to the Bulli Show Ground for the Foragers Market which has farm fresh produce, beautiful food, live music and is very kids friendly with play areas and toys set up.  Get there for the 9am start as it is all over by 2pm.

  1. Unexpected Delights

Helensburgh is home to the Sri Venkateswara Hindu Temple which is open to the public and has a vegetarian Indian canteen that runs from 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.  Heading south you will find the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple with its gorgeous building and beautiful grounds.  It also has a café offering vegetarian Asian inspired soups and dumplings.

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