Here at What’s On In Wollongong we know wonderful ways to woo your lover locally!
These beautifully different date ideas, have been thoroughly tested by Wollongong local, Jodie Berry.
Click here to read Jodie’s guide on Romantic Dining and Best Restaurants in Wollongong for Couples 🙂
There is plenty to do around Wollongong if you want to romance your date or loved one.
During June, the Picnic Train – a beautiful old school steam locomotive is offering steam train rides from Wollongong Station to glorious Scarborough. Following the coast, turn back the clock and enjoy stunning views from the privacy of your own compartment.
Private compartments are $160 per cabin, but if you don’t want to break the budget you can travel for $40 each. The best bit is you can BYO wine and beers, as well as food for the one-hour return journey. This beautiful old train, with the smells, smoke and sounds of the past, is a unique Orient Express experience you will love.
Located in the glorious Royal National Park, the Audley Boat Shed hires many different types of water craft, but perhaps the most romantic are the row boats. Launch your love at Audley Weir and explore the Port Hacking River and Kangaroo Creek. Boat hire starts at $20 for one hour.
You can pack a picnic to enjoy on the bank, or head to the Audley Dance Hall café after you have worked up an appetite. Rowing and romancing are hungry work! If you are more at the quirky end of romance, the water bikes are for you. There are also mountain bikes for hire if you and your date prefer to stay on terra firma.
The Boat Shed will provide you will your life jackets, and all the secret spots you should visit.
If you have ever a penchant for pony club, maybe a trail ride could be the adventure you are looking for on your next date. Darkes Forest Riding Ranch offer a 30 minute trail ride for $85, through gorgeous bushland tracks.
The horses are very kind (and so are the guides) so even if you are a beginner, you will be confident to giddy up. It’s a great way to explore the bush, giving you a whole different perspective. Funny how even little horses seem big when you are on their backs! It’s a whole other view from up there. Longer tours available if you are keen to up your cowboy game.
Picking apples (or nectarines and peaches) might not seem like an obvious choice for a date. However walking between the pretty green of the apple trees, taking your time to pick the fruit and learning from the experts about what goes in to orchard life is a relaxing and enchanting way to spend some time.
Partnering with the café Earthwalker & Co you can also grab a bite at the orchard and sample some of the delicious Darkes ciders on offer. The Paddock Café is open until 2pm on the weekends, but you are also welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy the surrounds.
You can’t pass a little bit of old school Putt Putt golf to get some giggles. Illawarra Golf Complex has a fantastic 18 hole Putt Putt course to test your skills (and your patience!). It’s only $9 per adult for your first game and if you feel a re-match is order, the second game is only $6. Tie-breaker? The third game is free.
If Putt Putt is too nuanced, there is a driving range as well where you and your date can whack the daylights out of 50 golf balls for just $11 a bucket. You don’t need to book, there are 21 hitting bays – 5 of which are undercover.
Helensburgh Golf at the other end of town also has a challenging 18 hole Putt Putt course for $10.50 per adult. Worried that it’s just for kids? Pish-posh, get out there and embrace that inner scallywag. Helensburgh also have a fantastic driving range and you can get your 50 balls for $10.50. So north or south – your golf date is sorted.
Pick a Picnic Spot.
Remember lockdown? Remember when we were allowed to “picnic”? The sales of picnic rugs and wicker hampers went through the roof. Well drag yours out and bring back the picnic date. You don’t even need a fancy rug – an old beach towel will do.
We are truly spoiled for choice here in the Illawarra for perfect picnic places. A favourite, for good reason, is the Wollongong Botanic Gardens. Everywhere you look there is beauty, and you can’t beat it for tranquility and loveliness.
The newly introduced “Go Slow For a Mo” Nature Wellness Trail is an interactive walk providing 7 different places along the way to try a short wellness exercise. What a relaxing start. Finish off with a beautiful picnic and take in the rest of the grounds for a unique date experience.
Personally I love a picnic on any of the grassy foreshores along the gorgeous coastline. It’s the best of both worlds – a great view of the beach without getting sand in your champagne. Or you could take a leaf out of my hubby’s book and set up a beach picnic – this was done for my birthday many years ago when we had a small child, a big mortgage and an empty wallet – and it’s one of my favourite memories. Proof it doesn’t require big bucks to create a big impression. Here we are!