Thirroul is a treasure trove of goodness, holding a special place in my heart. It is a place full of small businesses with a mindful and planet-conscious purpose. There are day spas, gift shops, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and a spectacular theatre. This sunny Northern Illawarra suburb is historic, scenic and beautiful, and is nestled between the picturesque mountains and the sea.

Growing up in Thirroul felt alot like living in a small village. Everyone knew each other and it felt like home. At What’s On in Wollongong, we’ve gathered a collection of Thirroul gems to put on your must-visit list – a perfect way to spend the day there exploring, as there is so much to do. 

Whatever you are looking for, you will find it in Thirroul. It’s a place full of heart and community and the kind of peaceful, relaxed vibe that the Northern Illawarra has come to be known for.

Best Things to do in Thirroul; Insider’s Guide

Thirroul Pool

What’s not to love about this pool? It’s beautiful, clean, fully enclosed from the beach and Olympic-sized. It is excellent for swimming laps or having a leisurely cooldown, and only a short walk from the town centre. With lifeguards, public toilets, and a toddler pool, it is the perfect community-minded pool. It is also at Thirroul Beach, across the road from a great playground, and next to the Pavillion Cafe. What more could you ask for?

Opening dates and times (except when closed for cleaning, carnivals, Good Friday, & Anzac Day):

  • Open dates: 24/09-28/10; times: 6am-6pm
  • Open dates: 29/10-24/03; times: 6am-7pm
  • Open dates: 25/03-24/04; times: 6am-6pm
  • Open dates: 25/04-31/05; times: 6am-1pm
  • The pool closes for Winter from the 1st of June to the 23rd of September.

Located at: The Esplanade, Thirroul NSW 2515

Best Things to do in Thirroul; Insider’s Guide

Thirroul Beach

Thirroul Beach is a beautiful long beach, that is patrolled by lifeguards who are on duty from September to April every year. It has a cafe to enjoy, public toilets and is a beautiful place to spend the day.

Located at: The Esplanade, Thirroul NSW 2515

Best Things to do in Thirroul; Insider’s Guide

McCauley’s Beach 

Most days at low tide you will find families here playing on the sand and splashing in the water. It is not patrolled and is a dog off-leash area. Please help to keep this beach clean and abide by the rules. There is a car park here, but no toilets. Great option for rockpool exploring too.

Located at: The bottom of Hamilton Road, Thirroul, NSW, 2515.

Best Things to do in Thirroul; Insider’s Guide

Thirroul Playground

Opposite the Thirroul Beach and pool sits, the popular family hangout, Thirroul Playground. It is perfect for children of all ages, with climbing frames, a zipline, and swings. It has shade under the trees and places to sit for a picnic. There is also a small track for bikes and scooters. We usually make a day of it and have a play at the playground followed by a swim in the pool or beach and a spot of lunch at the Thirroul Beach Pavillion. Many hours have been spent this way over Summer!

Located at: The Esplanade, Thirroul NSW 2515

Best Things to do in Thirroul; Insider’s Guide

Anita’s Theatre

Anita’s Theatre is an incredible art deco-inspired theatre located in the heart of Thirroul. It is the most historic and largest performing arts venue of the Illawarra region, and seeing a live show there is an exceptional experience. The theatre attracts both international and local acts, comedy acts and the performing arts. Follow this link for information on upcoming events at Anita’s Theatre.

Located at: 264 – 270 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Thirroul NSW 2515

Thirroul Library and Community Centre

Thirroul Library and Community Centre always have a large and diverse range of activities on. These include weekly activities during the term, one-off author talks, and school holiday programs. Activities are catered to all age groups, with book clubs, toddler programs, community-based events and school-aged activities as well. Follow the link for a range of activities to choose from. Click here for their list of upcoming events.

Best Things to do in Thirroul; Insider’s Guide

Thirroul Walks

Whether you are looking for a beach walk with your pet, a walk with pram-friendly access, or a challenging bushwalk, Thirroul has a wide selection of walks to choose from.

The Sublime Point Walking Track is a beautiful, but challenging walk through parts of the Northern Illawarra escarpment. This walk begins at Foothills Road in Austinmer and ends at Sublime Point Lookout in Bulli, with incredible views of the Illawarra. It is not pram-friendly or pet-friendly though. The walk is for intermediate to advanced walkers, as some parts of the walk are very steep (steps). We would encourage you to take your time as there are plenty of vantage points to take a breather and take in the beautiful views.

Thirroul to Wollongong coastal track is a pram-friendly and pet-friendly walk that takes in the ocean views, goes past local cafes, and has places to stop off at the beach. It is an easy walk, and you can go as far as you like – all the way to Wollongong if you choose. This track begins at the Thirroul side of McCauley’s Beach.

Find the perfect gift in Thirroul

Finding the perfect gift is easy in Thirroul. There are a few special shops we have listed here, but we hope you visit Thirroul and find some others as well. There are many beautiful shops with gifts, homewares and hampers to choose from.

Best Things to do in Thirroul; Insider’s Guide

Day Spas & Massage places in Thirroul

There are many places to book a massage in Thirroul, from the Thirroul Natural Healing Centre to small businesses like Body & Balm, Harmony Naturopathics, and Emma Packer Massage Therapy. For a special day spa treat, you can’t go past the Ibah Day Spa Thirroul. It is a truly serene and indulgent experience. Other massage places and day spa experiences are listed below.

Best Things to do in Thirroul; Insider’s Guide

Festivals and Events

Every year in April, Thirroul hosts the Seaside & Arts Festival. This is a festival that takes over the town with artworks on display, stalls with local makers’ products, and performances by local dance schools and musicians. It is an enormous amount of fun. On Saturday the festival fills the streets of Thirroul, and Sunday the festival and stalls are moved to the playground and park areas alongside Thirroul Beach.

During December, there are a number of local churches that host Christmas Carols. The biggest one is Carols By The Beach. These carols incorporate local music, food trucks, and market stalls. It is a family-friendly event. Bring a picnic rug and enjoy this high-quality event and soak up the atmosphere and Christmas vibes.

Best Things to do in Thirroul; Insider’s Guide

Local Produce in Thirroul

Flame Tree Community Food Co-Op

Flame Tree Community Food Co-Op is the place to source ethically made food. It is a plastic-free shopping experience, so bring your own bags for produce, or jars for nuts, seeds, or various types of flour. This is a member-owned and not-for-profit co-op. It is a place to buy milk, local eggs, and even bamboo toilet paper. The objectives of this co-op are to be sustainable, local, affordable, community-based, healthy, and accessible. Many of the staff are volunteers, with a small handful of paid employees.

Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm, Sat: 9am-4pm

Located at: 355 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul, NSW, 2515.

Purebred Meats

Purebred Meats is Thirroul’s gourmet butcher and one of the best butchers in the Illawarra. They provide meat that is sourced from pasture-fed, pasture-finished, free-range, bred-free-range, or organic local farms. They cater to a range of dietary needs such as organic, gluten-free, free-range, preservative-free, and paleo. They are massive supporters of local and ethical Australian farmers and producers. Owners Peter and Marian, and their small friendly team, pride themselves on their ‘high standards, but a personal touch at all times’. They are now also stock delicious ready/home-made meals (their cannelloni and home-made sausage rolls are delish!). People stop in just to buy a cup of home-made bone broth – try it! A must-stop when you are in Thiroul.

Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-5pm, Saturdays: 7am-2pm

Located at: 279a Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul, NSW, 2515

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About the Author: Lisa Hagan
Lisa grew up in Thirroul and is a mum of four children. A student to life, Lisa loves learning and searching for the most fun things to do with her kids. She loves exploring the Illawarra and surrounds. Searching for fun and educational activities are her favourites for her kids whom she homeschools.