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Why visit Wollongong
Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Wollongong is the perfect location for a weekend escape. Just an hour south of Sydney, Wollongong is NSW's third-largest city. A coastal city with an abundance of beaches, forests, and noteworthy dining establishments, Wollongong is quintessential NSW. Visit 'The Gong', as the locals call it, for a refreshing seaside escape.
Best time to visit Wollongong
The best time to visit Wollongong if you're planning on beach adventures is over summer (December-February). This is peak travel time, but the temperature is perfect for long beach days. Over the summer months, average temperatures are in the mid to high 20's (degrees celsius) with some 30+ degree days. Over winter, the temperatures drop to the mid to high teens during the day, which is perfect for those planning on getting some hiking in. The wettest months are February to June.
Getting around Wollongong
Wollongong has a free shuttle bus that operates every 10-20 minutes and runs on a loop around the CBD from Wollongong Station to Wollongong University. There are also public buses available to take you where you need to go. There is a train line, but it only travels to the outer suburbs or other regional towns, so it can't be used for getting around Wollongong. You can travel around the CBD and central beaches by foot.
What to do in Wollongong
Visit the CBD for fantastic shopping, dining and drinks before hitting the superb beaches, lakes, and nature reserves. Try surfing, sailing, canoeing, hiking, fishing, stand-up paddle boarding, or even skydiving to get a view like no other. Visitors looking for a more relaxing getaway can enjoy indulging in local produce, strolling through the Wollongong Botanic Gardens or along the picturesque harbour, and getting amongst the local arts & entertainment scene.
Free things to do in Wollongong
Find a hiking trail There's no shortage of coastal cliffs or emerald rainforests to explore in Wollongong. Be rewarded with dazzling ocean views, mesmerising waterfalls, or cascading watering holes on one of the many hiking trails. If you're short on time but want a challenge, try your hand at Sublime Point Walking Track ending at Sublime Point Lookout. The track is a bit more than 1km in each direction but features stairs, steep paths, and ladders, so it's not for the faint of heart. The track finishes up at Sublime Point, offering scenic views over Wollongong. There's also a cafe if you need a breather or caffeine pick me up. Hit the beach Beautiful beaches abound in Wollongong and its surroundings, so pack your sunscreen and head out for a day at the beach. Wollongong City Beach is one of Wollongong's most popular beaches, both for its convenient central location and for its 3km expanse of yellow sand and clear blue waves. Venture further out of Wollongong CBD to find a variety of charming beaches. Sea Cliff Bridge If you have a car, take the Grand Pacific Drive to drive over The Sea Cliff Bridge, Australia's second most photographed bridge after Sydney's Harbour Bridge. There are also hikes and lookout points encompassing birds-eye views of the bridge, or you can walk or cycle across it.
Fun things to do in Wollongong
Jamberoo Action Park A 30-minute drive south of Wollongong, Jamberoo Action Park is a fun-packed water park with giant water slides, wave beach, river rides, and much more. Fit for thrill-seekers, fun lovers, and kids, a day out at Jamberoo Action Park will leave everyone feeling refreshed and exhausted from all the excitement. Symbio wildlife park A 30-minute drive north of Wollongong, Symbio wildlife park offers a fun day out for animal lovers and families. See typical Australian animals like koalas and kangaroos, as well as some exotic animals like meerkats and cheetahs, and enjoy humane close encounters.
Where to eat & drink in Wollongong
If you like views with your meal, you can't go past Scarborough Hotel. Located on the drive into Wollongong from Sydney, Scarborough Hotel is perched on a seaside cliff. Complete with a charming outdoor beer garden to sit in the sun, feel the ocean air on your skin, and enjoy sweeping views over the water. Head into Wollongong CBD for mouth-watering Italian at Kneading Ruby, a favourite among locals with fresh handmade pasta and pizzas. For your morning coffee, visit Diggies, a beachfront cafe with panoramic sea views. A great place to grab breakfast before heading out for a day at the beach.
Where to stay in Wollongong
However you enjoy Wollongong, make the most of it with the right Wollongong accommodation. Book yourself a modern room in a hotel in Wollongong's CBD, or look out over the ocean at the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach hotel. Start planning your next getaway and explore nature and the sea.