I still remember the first time we visited Austinmer - we took the winding road along the coast and saw deserted beach after beach with aqua clear water. When we got to Austinmer suddenly it seemed like everyone on the coast was at this one beach. We pulled up thinking this is the spot to be. There were kids running around madly in the park, people all over the beach, lots of swimmers catching a wave and the cafe opposite was hiving.
Austinmer is an iconic location along the coast and many day trippers from Sydney flock to the beach. It has a kids park, shade, grass to set up a picnic, showers, toilets and change rooms, shops and a cafe opposite. This is a place you can park your car and play all day.
Austinmer is a small, charming village so there are only a hand full of shops, cafes and things to do. But knowing where to find the little hidden gems and having it in a neat two day itinerary is something I just could not find online. So I thought I better write it.
Austinmer Accommodation: Where to Stay
Although Austinmer offers a mix of accommodation you really only have to decide between two choices a holiday house or the Headlands Hotel resort.
Austinmer Headlands Hotel: Offers a mixture of studio, one bedroom and two bedroom rooms. There is a resort style pool, dining and bar. The views are incredible and access to the bike and walking path as well as a secluded beach is just outside your door.
Austinmer Accommodation: What to Bring
- Sunglasses and sunblock: Always a must as you are likely to spend the whole day out and about in the sun.
- Large brimmed hat: Don't end the day with a red face and painful sunburn.
- Water bottle: Reduce plastic and be prepared for where ever the day takes you.
- Beach Towels: You often can't take towels from hotels or holiday homes to the beach so its best to bring your own.
- Camera: I know every ones uses their phones but the beach and coastline are breathtaking so take some shots you might actually want to frame. Otherwise Instagram the hell out of every thing.
- Comfortable shoes: Include a cool pair of sandals for wandering around, thongs for the beach, hiking boots and runners. A thigh busting run along the coast will earn you all the cake you want to eat.
- Swimsuits galore: more than one pair so you can shake it up a bit and let them dry out between swims.
- Beach toys: Austinmer beach has a wide expanse of sand for the kids to build a whole fort if they want to.
- Books: There isn't a book shop in sight until you hit Wollongong so bring your own.
Austinmer Accommodation: Getting Around
By car from Sydney CBD it will take you about 1 hour and 20 minutes. From Parramatta about 1 hour and 25 minutes. On the train from Sydney Central you are looking about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Austinmer train Station is very accessible to the beach, just walk down Moore Street and take a left and you will find yourself in the hub of things. If you plan on just staying in Austinmer then you could probably get around easily on your feet. But I would recommend bringing your car as there a few places further a field that you might want to explore. There isn't anywhere in Austinmer to hire bikes but you can contact South Coast Bike Hire who will bring the bikes to you (if you hire two bikes the cost is about $45.00 each) if you have your own bring it with you.
Austinmer Accommodation: Where to Eat
On Austinmer Beach
Shell's Diner - offers old style fish and chips, burgers, milkshakes and all those favourites that you crave after a swim at the beach. The atmosphere is busy and unpretentious and the food is deep fried delicious. But there are also fresh juices and salad so you can balance things out a bit. Don't get put off by the crowds the food comes out quickly and the turnover means it is fresh.
Austi Beach Cafe - has all the usual cafe favourites especially for breakfast, the French toast with Mascarpone cheese and streaky bacon is a winner. Get there early so you can get a table on their outdoor deck overlooking the beach.
Headlands Hotel - recently reopened after redevelopment of the site. It is worth a visit for the view and a cold bubbly . We will keep you posted on the food as we learn more but the accommodation is a winner.
On Moore Street
Fireworks Cafe - is the best option for coffee, a short walk along Moore Street is worth the wait for a well made brew. Their food is also fresh, well made and varied. They hold themed dinners every couple of weeks which are worth booking in for. Dinner in general needs to be booked ahead. New owners have taken over this year and hopefully will build on its excellent reputation.
Austinmer Accommodation: Where to Shop
Haveli Living - brings together fabrics, clothing and home wares that manage to both have a global yet beach feel. Take a far flung adventure through the orient and take home sumptuous table clothes, Turkish tiles, copper bowls, beaded African statues and beachwear with a difference.
Mala Beads - is a tiny shop filled to the brim with all things lovely and interesting. Don't be fooled by the size and leave your self plenty of time to look at everything. For the keen jewelry maker there is a wonderful range of beads in resin, glass and wood. Mexican hand made artifacts, collections of beautiful jewelry and odds and ends that you will never find anywhere else. Owned by a famous Sydney casting director and her mum the shop has a global feel and offers beads and jewels from around the world.
Austinmer Accommodation: What to Do
- Walk, run or ride the coastal track; going South you can go all the way to Wollongong or going north all the way to Coalcliff.
- Challenge yourself to take on the Sublime Point track it is only 700m but its gradient is vertical and classed as very steep.
- Wake up to sunrise on Austinmer Beach and catch nature painting the sky in her best colours.
- Take a walk down Moore Street, Oceania Parade and The Grove and marvel at the beautiful houses set on lush, lovely blocks.
- Book in a hair appointment at Moore Street Hair and treat yourself to a wash and blow dry before dinner out.
- Take a Yoga class at the Moore Street Yoga Room there are classes everyday with different teachers.
Austinmer Accommodation: 2 Day Itinerary
Austinmer Accommodation: Day 1
- Wake early and climb to Sublime Point lookout.
- Take a quick dip in the ocean pool at Austinmer.
- Head across the road to the Austi Beach Cafe for big breakfast.
- Walk around Moore Street and check out Haveli and Mala Beads.
- Head back to your hotel or holiday house for a snooze, read your book and have some down time.
- Do some body surfing at Austinmer Beach before inhaling a delicious Gelato from the Austi Beach Cafe.
- Get ready for dinner and head to the Fireworks Cafe.
Austinmer Accommodation: Day 2
- Take the bike path to the edge of Austinmer and head to Bread and Espresso for a coffee and croissant
- Join in a Yoga class a the Moore Street Yoga Room.
- Enjoy a quick dip in the ocean before heading to Shell's Diner for a burger, chips and a milkshake.
- Walk off the calories by checking out the amazing properties on Moore Street, Oceania Parade and The Grove.
- Have a sun downer at the Headlands Hotel and take in the amazing view.
Austinmer Accommodation: Things to Know
The Austinmer Local List
Supermarket: IGA or Coles in Thirroul - Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul.
Butcher: Pure Bred Meats Thirroul - Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul.
Chemist: Barry Navins Pharmacy - Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul.
Newsagency: Austinmer Newsagency and Post Office - corner of Lawrence Hargrave Drive & The Grove.
Pizza Delivery: Crust Pizza - Lawrence Hargrave Drive (they get very busy so order early).
Medical Centre: Thirroul Medical Centre - Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul.