Wollongong, or 'The Gong' as it's affectionately referred to by locals, is NSW third largest city. Just a 90-minute drive from Sydney, there's plenty by the way of beaches and adventure to discover along the route.
This trip gives you the opportunity to explore The Royal National Park, drive along the famous Sea Cliff Bridge, see spectacular views from Bald Hill Lookout and relax at the beach too.
Day 1: Royal National Park to Wollongong
48min | 60km
Located just 30 kilometres south of Sydney, ‘Nasho’, as the locals call it, Royal National Park is one of the oldest national parks in the world. Covering over 15,000 hectares, the park hugs Australia’s east coastline from the Port Hacking River (near Cronulla) down to its southernmost tip at Otford, a northern suburb of Wollongong. Go on its secluded beaches, bushwalks, biking trails, picnic grounds, camping grounds, rowboats on the river, and swimming holes.
In 2005, the Sea Cliff Bridge replaced a particularly dangerous part of the road. It was built at a cost $52 million and opened in 2005. Safety benefits aside, the bridge is so magnificent that resulting tourism alone made the investment worthwhile. It’s frequently photographed and filmed for TV advertisements and magazines. Up close, it’s even more spectacular and pedestrians also have a pathway across the bridge so anyone can experience it. In engineering terms, it’s a balanced cantilever bridge, with anchor arms that support the roadway. It is this that makes it seem to float in the air above the sea.
Mount Kembla is an impressive natural landmark. If you have time, the 5km loop track, Mount Kembla Ring Track, is well worth your time. If not, visit Mount Kembla Heritage Centre. Open every second Sunday of the month between 11am to 4pm, Mt Kembla Heritage Centre was founded in 2008 as a keeping place for Mt Kembla's cultural heritage. The collection began in 2002 on the centenary of the 1902 Mt Kembla Mine disaster, when 96 men and boys lost their lives. This disaster remains the worst mining accident in Australia's history.
Make your way to Wollongong, referred to by the locals as 'The Gong'. There are plenty of beaches and rock pools along the coastline where you can enjoy a short walk, a swim or just somewhere to relax. Stay at Adina Apartment Hotel Wollongong for the night. With a CBD location, you will be in the perfect place to explore the area and the city's offerings.
Offering One and Two bedroom fully appointed apartment style accommodation in the heart of Wollongong is Mantra Wollongong. Relax and enjoy the panoramic coastal views from your balcony, before exploring everything Wollongong has to offer, including the nearby city beach and city centre, shopping malls and many local attractions. Members can save up to 20% on the best available room rate at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge with late check out, as well as 10% off food and beverage*. Simply use the promo code: 'NRMA' when booking. *T&C's apply.
Day 2: Wollongong to Stanwell Park
40min | 39km
Wollongong is a beautiful city, located on the Grand Pacific Drive just south of Sydney. From swimming to surfing, or even hand-gliding there are plenty of adventures to choose from.
The Science Centre and Planetarium is a great place to visit, especially if you have little ones with you! It's actually one of the most visited indoor attractions and here's why; engaging activities, suitable for all ages and located nearby to a beach. Take a picnic and enjoy the surrounds after a morning spent at the centre.
If you're feeling adventurous, give Tandem skydiving a go. It might be a little nerve-racking but the views over North Wollongong Beach are truly spectacular.
Before you head off to Stanwell Tops, re-fuel in Wollongong North.
Head to Stanwell Park for some magnificent views. Bald Hill Lookout overlooks the village and Stanwell Park Beach. The perfect place for a picnic or a barbecue!
At Bald Hill lookout, above Stanwell Park, there’s also a monument to Lawrence Hargrave. He was the inventor of the box kite as part of his work to develop a manned flying machine. On November 12, 1894, on the slopes of Bald Hill, four box kites lifted him to a distance of 16 feet. An engineer, explorer, inventor as well as an aviator, he was an inspiration to people such as Alexander Graham Bell. His achievements were so impressive that his face, along with his box kites, were featured on the back of the old $20 note.
Appropriately, Bald Hill has become an internationally known hang gliding location and, if you’re brave, you can take a tandem flight and see the magnificent escarpment from a higher height than Lawrence Hargrave achieved. He would no doubt have been impressed.
Save 20% on accommodation at Mantra Wollongong
NRMA Members can save up to 20% on the best available room rate with late check out, as well as 10% off food and beverage*.