Sitting just south of Sydney, Wollongong is a famously laid-back destination. It’s here that you’ll find beautiful beaches, delicious food and friendly locals. Affectionately nicknamed “The Gong,” the city is a popular destination along the legendary Grand Pacific Drive. Stretching for 140 kilometres, the scenic coastal route winds its way past lush rainforests, pristine beaches and coastal cities like Wollongong.
Things to Do
If the sun’s shining (which it probably is), embrace Wollongong’s surf culture and head straight to the beach. Rent a board, or sign up for a surf lesson. North Wollongong Beach is perfect for families, while the city’s ocean rock pools are great if you want to soak in the sunshine without the waves.
Wollongong serves up plenty of thrills, with opportunities to skydive, hang glide and take to the skies in the cockpit of a fighter jet. For something a little more laid-back, spend a day at Royal National Park. Characterised by its towering eucalyptus trees, secluded beaches and sandstone cliffs, it’s one of the oldest national parks in the world.
Wollongong serves up an inspired food scene, spotlighting local produce. Eat your way through farm-to-table restaurants, fresh seafood spreads and modern gastro pubs. When the sun sets, head down to the picturesque harbour for happy hour with a view.
If you’re travelling by car, it’s worth cruising Grand Pacific Drive from end to end. Don’t miss the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge, a snaking stretch of road that links the coastal towns of Coalcliff and Clifton. Visit from May to November, and you could spot whales on their annual migration.
Perfect for day trips and weekends getaways, Wollongong is just a 90-minute drive from Sydney. Alternatively, you can travel by local train in around two hours. Once in the CBD, the free Gong Shuttle Bus makes it easy to get around.