Tag Archives: Things to do in Wollongong

Criniti’s Italian Cuisine Now Open in Wollongong

Food lovers across Wollongong rejoice! Multi award winning family-owned restaurant Criniti’s Italian Cuisine is now open in the heart of Wollongong.

South Coast fans of the authentic Italian cuisine have been flocking to the new premises on Crown Street and newbies are quickly discovering what all the fuss is about.

Ticking all the boxes for delicious food, superb service, and a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, Crinitis is definitely upholding their exceptional reputation for excellent dining.

“When you’re here, you’re family….salute!”

There’s always something special and cosy about dining at a family-owned restaurant that you simply can’t beat.

From the warm welcoming, the comfortable setting to the outstanding abundance of freshly cooked food, you always leave with a smile on your face and a very full belly!

Frank Criniti has a saying…”when you’re here, you’re family…salute!“…and they certainly deliver on that.

Establishing the first Crinitis in Parramatta in 2003, it is now a multi-award winner of ‘Australia’s Favourite Italian’ with 8 locations across NSW and Victoria including Wollongong.

Traditional Italian Meets Contemporary Dining

Where to start! Bringing a fusion of traditional Italian cuisine  and contemporary dining together in perfect unison, this is one place you must visit if you love amazingly good food.

The menu is simply outstanding…..and enormous! Whether your coming for a family dinner, a catch up with friends or a celebration, you will absolutely adore the range.

You are sure to find a crowd pleasing dish for everyone and they also cater to a range of dietary requirements including vegetarian dishes. Check out the full menu here.

Experience Criniti’s

There had been many expressions of deep foodie-love from those that had already experienced the Italian sensation so I was excited for my first visit.

With the family in tow, I set off with an  empty stomach and high expectations. Boy were we all in for a treat!

After receiving a warm welcome and checking out the funky decor and family photos , we couldn’t wait to begin.

We kicked off proceedings by sharing the Mozzarella Stick, a 1m wood fired bread stick filled with mozzarella, Italian herbs, rosemary and sea salt flakes.  As you can see below, it was a winner!

 

What followed was nothing short of a taste sensation, little mickie’s pizza with crispy bacon and garlic prawns, a special family recipe Criniti’s lasagne (complete with a mamma rosa’s meatball) and beef nachos.

My family all have varying tastes but I have to say we loved sharing our meals and simply devoured the lot!

Saying we were full after this was an understatement but there’s always room for dessert….right?!

With an extensive choice of desserts including classics, crepes, pancakes, authentic Italian gelato, fried desserts and so much more it was a difficult decision, but one we enjoyed pondering.

We finally settled on Oreo sliders! Battered and fried oreos with vanilla, salted caramel and nutella gelato with Criniti’s mascarpone cream topped with hot white choc fudge, dusted with icing sugar.  Delicious! I shared with the kids but I’ll seriously be getting my own plate next time.

Visit Crinitis

Criniti’s Wollongong
200 Crown Street
Wollongong NSW

Open 7 days a week for lunch & dinner.

Reservations

Phone: 1300 CRINITIS OR (02) 8026 7700
Visit crinitis.com.au for further information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brokers Nose | Family Friendly Bush Walk in Wollongong

Finding a bush walk that is suitable for everyone to enjoy can be tough but that’s why we love Brokers Nose in Wollongong.

Suitable for children, beginners and those with low fitness, the terrain is easy going and you are rewarded with the most amazingly beautiful views views!

There is plenty of adventure too with manageable but completely awesome fun rock hopping along the way. Big and little kids will love it.

Located within the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area, the wonderful thing about this trail is that you can look one way and see the glorious green of the Escarpment and on the other, the epic blue of the ocean.

It’s adventure time!

Where Is it

Brokers Nose is located approx. 3 km west of Corrimal and about 5 km south-west of Bulli. The summit sits approximately 440m above sea level.

If you look back towards the Escarpment from around Corrimal, you should be able to see a BIG television transmission tower sitting on top of the cliff face. That’s where you’re headed! It’s totally worth it.

Where to Start

The entrance to the track is located on the side of Mt Ousley Road.  If you’re heading north from Wollongong, take the Picton Road exit and turn immediately right, taking the exit back onto Mt Ousley Road (you would now be heading South back towards Wollongong).

Stay in the left hand lane and pull off at the first Truck Stop. Please be aware there is limited parking here.

Note: If you are at the Truck Stop with the toilets you are on the wrong side of Mt Ousley and need to follow the above instructions (we know this from experience!).

You will see a green gate and that is the entrance to the trail where you will begin your walk.

It does feel a bit wrong standing on the side of such a busy road however you will soon enter one of nature’s beautiful playgrounds and the sound of passing trucks will soon be forgotten.

Parking at the Truck Stop on Mt Ousley Rd, Wollongong heading South

 

 

 

 

Where to Next

Follow the main trail and before long you will come to an amazing sweeping view over Balgownie and beyond.

Take your time, breath in the fresh air and immerse yourself in the view. This also happens to be a great spot for the kids to have a snack, do a few cartwheels and shake their silly out.

As you move off you will notice different trails branching off here, there and everywhere. We have been told by those ‘in the know’ that there are several shortcuts up to Brokers Nose but we decided to stick with the main track.

Apparently as long as you follow the cliff line (heading North) you’ll be fine but pick your adventure wisely!

From here we continued to follow the track until the path was wide enough for cars (i.e. service road). Look up to your right and you will see the television transmission tower. You need to head directly for the tower (do not turn around, do not pass ‘go’, just head for the tower!).

As you approach the tower you’ll probably be thinking “Is this it?” but boy oh boy are you in for a treat once you get past the tower. Absolutely stunning sweeping views over Wollongong and beyond.

Almost there. Walking along the service track towards the tower.

 

 

Brokers Nose Summit

Once you pass the tower this will be your reward!

Take lots of photos and move around the cliff to get all sorts of views and angles but keep in mind that the area is not fenced and it’s a darn good drop if you did fall.

Keep your eye on little ones! If it’s windy stay well away from the edge.

Try your luck at spotting some key locations around Wollongong such as the lighthouse and Stuart Park….you might even find your house.

Watch out for a passing train too, they look like they are in a model train set.

Highlight for the adults: Gorgeous ‘forget your worries‘ views.

Highlight for the kids: Spotting the roof of Bunnings at Bellambi (I’m not kidding!).

The stunning view!

 

Inscribed Rocks

Don’t forget to look under your feet when you get there. You’ll find inscriptions on the rocks dating back as far as 100 years ago.

Time Taken

This is a tricky one to answer. We were given an estimate of 1.5 hours round trip. It is approximately 3.5km return.

We were travelling with a very experienced (well for his age!) almost 3 year old bushwalker and a couple of 6 and 8 year olds. There was plenty of stopping, skipping, dancing and just general chit chat along the way.

We took our time and enjoyed a few snack breaks along the way. It took us 3 hours return. So really it depends who you have with you and what there walking pace/physical fitness is like.

When to Go

This walk was taken during the July school holidays and it was a perfect clear day. You could see the fauna was starting to flower and although there was a puddle here and there, it was pretty easy strolling.

This would definitely be an all-year-round amazing walk. Spring would be fantastic! We would recommend avoiding windy days or after heavy rainfall (slippery rocks and BIG puddles).

What to Take

  • Water, snacks
  • Sunscreen, hat
  • Insect repellent
  • Leech repellent (we didn’t see any but you can’t be too prepared)
  • A jacket, especially in cool or windy weather
  • Comfortable walking shoes/runners
  • Long pants
  • Mobile phone for pictures and those unexpected situations
  • Binoculars for the great views and birdwatching
  • Friends and/or family (always travel with at least 3 people)
  • Tell someone where you are going and the approximate time you expect to return.
The first breathtaking view along the track – enjoy!

Recommendations

If your after something that takes less time and would be suitable for toddlers or you want something a bit more challenging and suitable to those with a bit more experience, check out our blog on The Cascades Walk and Jump Rock at Macquarie Pass National Park.

Your Guide to the July School Holidays in Wollongong

The July School Holidays are nearly upon us and there are plenty of fun and exciting activities to see and do with the kids.

We’ve compiled a list of some great events on to keep the little ones busy these holidays.

Disclaimer: These events are not run by What’s On In Wollongong, so we suggest you contact the individual venues for further details prior to the event.

Open-Air Ice Skating at Novotel Wollongong Northbeach

For the experienced skaters or those ready to tie up their laces for the first time, the Novotel is hosting an exciting open-air ice skating experience on their rooftop terrace. Grab a hot chocolate and take in views of the beach as you enjoy the classic winter activity of ice-skating.

Food and beverages will be available for sale. We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes before your session begins to ensure time to have your skates fitted.

Location: Novotel Wollongong Northbeach
2-14 Cliff Road, North Wollongong, New South Wale

Dates: 7 July – 22 July 2018

Times: Sunday to Thursday – sessions begin at 12pm and run until 7pm and Friday and Saturday – 12pm to 7pm, with two +18 plus sessions from 8pm

Prices*
Toddler (2-4 years) = from $10.00 (must be with paying adult)
Child (5-13 years) = from $15.00
Adult (14+ years) = from $19.50
Family (2 children, 2 adults) = from $55.00
*Skate rental is included in these prices.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit the website here.


Merrigong Creativity Camp

This camp is five fun-filled days of interactive activities aimed to develop your child’s creativity and acting, get their imaginative minds flowing and build self-confidence. They will get to finish the week with a viewing of The 78-Storey Treehouse live on stage. Suitable for ages 5 to 13.

Location: Wollongong Town Hall
Dates: 16 – 20 July 2018
Times: Monday to Friday 9am – 3pm

Price: $290 (Includes a ticket to see The 78-Storey Treehouse. 20% discount for additional siblings)

Reserve a spot now here or by calling 02 4224 5999.


Merrigong Design Workshops

Check out a variety of different interactive and imaginative workshops offered for the kids over the holidays.

All workshop tickets can be booked online on the Merrigong Theatre Co website.

Silly Sock Puppets
Learn to create basic puppets with Set and Costume Designer, Imogen Ross. This is a great introduction to puppet-making for young creative minds.

Date: Friday 13 July
Time: 10am
Recommended Ages: 6-9

Price: $30 – book online.

Make a Set and Tell a Story
Learn the basics of model and set design with Imogen Ross. This is the perfect introduction to theatre design for growing creative minds.

Date: Friday 13 July
Time: 1pm
Recommended Ages: 9-12

Price: $30 – book online.

Book workshop tickets online on the Merrigong Theatre Co website


The 78-Storey Treehouse Live on Stage

Take the kids to see the well-known book The 78-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton live on stage, adapted into a play by Richard Tulloch. From the same team that brought The 13- 26- and 52-Storey Treehouses Live on Stage, this show is the biggest one yet!

Running time is approximately 1 hour. This show is recommended for ages 6+.

Location: Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, 32 Burelli Street, Wollongong, New South Wales

Dates: 20 – 21 July 2018

Show Times: Friday July 20 @ 12:30pm and 3pm and Saturday July 21 @ 12pm and 3pm, and relaxed performance at 10am

Price: $39.00

For more information and to order tickets, visit the venue’s website here.

Winter Workshops at Burgh

Flip, tumble and parkour the winter school holidays away with workshops at Burgh Healthy Hub, for 3 jam-packed days of energetic entertainment. There are two amazing workshops to choose from and you can come for one day or all 3.

Location: Burgh Healthy Hub, 338 Cemetery Rd, Helensburgh New South Wales

Dates: 17 – 19 July (Come for one, two or all three days!)
Time: 10am – 3pm

Cost $60 per day (optional lunch = $5)

Flip Tumble, Dance & Act
Mornings will be spent warming up with tumbling or acrobatics. Afternoons will be spent in a variety of difference drama and dance workshops with a final creative performance to end the day.

Freerun, Triking, Scalling and Stalling
Perfect for beginners, this workshop will start the day off with high intensity boxing-style cardio. They’ll spend the day working on fundamental tricks and movements at a more technical level, indoor and outdoor. They’ll end the day putting it all together and trying out the outdoor parkour course.

For more information and to book tickets visit the website or call 4294 1282.


Fun-damentals School Holiday Program

Fun-damentals provide school holiday activities for primary school aged children in Wollongong with a focus on Fundamental Movement Skills. Each day your child will participate in several sports plus they’ll have plenty of opportunity for creative activities. Soccer, netball, dodgeball, football, drawing, crafting plus so much more (view full list of activities).

Bookings can be made for one or multiple days and all skill levels and interests are catered for.

Location: Lindsay Park Primary School, Thames St, Wollongong

Dates: 9 – 20 July | 8am – 6pm

Cost: $50 per child (discount apply for siblings). CCS Subsidy available.

To book contact Daniel Morris on 0423 661 911 or email: [email protected]. You can also book online here.


Live Love Learn Art Workshop

Live Love Learn brings us an amazing Captivating Island Life Art Workshop inspired by Greg Nagel and his photography of Tahiti.

Ideal for both kids & adults, this is a perfect activity for the upcoming school holidays. You can choose to join in with your children or simply drop-off – no parent supervision required.

There are also 5 spots available for kids with special needs and their carer (carer attends for free).

Location: Wollongong Innovation Campus, Squires Way, North Wollongong

Date: 17 July | 9am – 3.15pm

Cost: $83* (normally $100) when booking via Famly.

*Special Offer
Use code FAMLYLOVESWOIW at checkout to receive a further $10 discount off already discounted prices.


Revolution Laser, Hangdog and Hangtime 

There is no need to break the bank these school holidays with these special offers available via Famly, a locally owned app that helps you discover all the fun things to do with your kids in the neighbourhood and when travelling and exploring.

Revolution Laser Family Pass
Revolution Laser Arena is the ultimate laser tag experience for all ages. It is an immersive, stand alone laser tag experience – a movie set quality arena, with a detailed backstory, the latest technology and a whole lot of fun! Play with your family and friends today.

Get Offer: $60 (normally $72)*
Valid for a family of 4
Location: Unit 1/2 Drummond St, Wollongong

*Special Offer
Use code FAMLYLOVESWOIW at checkout to receive a further $10 discount.

Hangdog Indoor Climbing
Life is an adventure and at Hangdog everyone is passionate about sharing their love for climbing and the great outdoors with the families and kids of the Illawarra and beyond. Great activity for school holidays and bad weather option (heat, rain, hail etc).

Get Offer: $50 (normally $60)*
Valid for family of 4 (no time limit!)
2 Adults/ 1Kid (5-15) and 1 Kid (+16yrs) or 2 Adults/ 2 Kids (5-15)
Location: 130 Auburn St, Wollongong

*Special Offer
Use code FAMLYLOVESWOIW at checkout to receive a further $10 discount.

Hangtime: Trampoline Fun Family Pass
Hangtime is about more than jumping on a trampoline. Get your kids out there and have fun with the whole family! Perfect for Gifts, School-holidays & bad weather options (hail, rain or shine). Just for the tiny tods!

This is a special time only for the littlelies under 110cm tall! Bring them to Hangtime and enjoy 1 HOUR of fun and know that their safety is most important to all at Hangtime. Big kids are still allowed but flips and big bouncing are NOT.

Get Offer: $30 (normally $40)*
Valid for family of 4 (min. age 2 yrs)
Location: Unit 3, Lot 2 Drummond Street, Wollongon

*Special Offer
Use code FAMLYLOVESWOIW at checkout to receive a further $10 discount.


Coding, 3D Printing and Design Workshops

The kids will love using their imaginations and building skills with these coding, gaming and 3D printing workshops with CIY Club.

With no experience or parental supervision required, the kids will be entertained and you will love the discounts thanks to locally owned business Famly. Check out the available workshops below plus a special offer.

Location: Science Space, Innovation Campus, Squires Way, North Wollongong

Special Offer
Use code FAMLYLOVESWOIW at checkout to receive a further $10 discount.

Game Coding Camp
Learn the basics of computer coding and game creation. CIY teaches your child how to make their very first computer game, and in just one day they’ll will be able to put together a few different games including graphics and basic coding to make it interactive. Your kids can take the games home and continue to develop them.

Game Coding Camps are for beginners and intermediate Coders alike, with content suitable for attendees to learn the foundations and design different games.

Full day workshop – not adult supervision required.

Date: Mon, 9 July
Time: 9am – 3pm
Suitable for ages 7 – 17 years
Cost: $99 when booking with Famly – Book Now.

3D Printing
A fun, half-day interactive 3D Printing Workshop where you and your child discover an exciting future technology together.

Working as a team, you and your child will discover the endless possibilities of 3D Printing through fun and interactive modern technology techniques, led by the friendly team of leading education experts from Me3D (me3d.com.au).

Date: Tues, 10 July
Time: 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Suitable for ages 6 – 16 yrs

Cost: $108 when booking with Famly – Book Now.

Website Design Camp
Learn how to design a website from scratch utilising one of today’s most engaging and popular design systems. You will be able to make your very own custom website and you will be able to load it in a browser. Design your own colours, images and menus whilst being introduced to the basics of website development.

Date: Tues, 10 July
Time: 9am – 3pm
Suitable for ages 7 – 17 yrs

Cost: $99 when booking with Famly – Book Now.

Full Day Coding Workshop
Learn the basics of computer coding, website development, game creation, robotics and more. Ideal for beginners and intermediate levels. Join the CIY.Club community and attend a full day, Club session.

Date: Mon, 16 July
Time: 9am – 3pm
Suitable for ages 7 – 17 yrs

Cost: $99 when you book with Famly – Book Now.

3D Printing and Design Camp
Learn the basics of 3D design. Coders get an exciting opportunity to experience a new technology that is changing the way we view, imagine and interact with the world around us.

Date: Tues 17 July
Time: 9am – 3pm
Suitable for ages 7 -17 yrs

Cost: $99 when you book with Famly – Book Now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some More Great Ideas for July School Holidays in Wollongong

  • Wollongong Libraries – Circus Skills classes, Lego Robotics, 3D printing, knitting and even a MASH tent where you can learn how to bandage an arm. All activities are free but most require bookings.
  • Visit Wollongong Botanic Garden for the Outdoor Reading Room or burn off energy at the All Abilities playground which boasts a climbing net, viewing platform and maze. You will also find special school holiday activities.
  • Visit Wollongong Youth Services for activities in a safe, fun, accessible, supervised, drug and alcohol free spaces.
  • Wollongong Central will host Questacon’s travelling exhibition Fascinating Science plus a Get Active Zone.
  • Warrawong Plaza will host Prehistoric Creatures displays and craft zone plus free Library Story Time.
  • Check out our 2018 Ultimate Guide to Wollongong for more inspiration!
  • Go for a bush walk (you’ll love it!). You can check out one of our recent walks with the kids right here.
  • To keep up to date with the latest events in Wollongong, be sure to sign up to our newsletter today.
  • Take the kids up to Brokers Nose for amazing views over Wollongong.

The 2018 Ultimate Guide To Wollongong

Wollongong is known for being a bustling coastal city just an hour’s drive south of Sydney. So what does “the Gong” have to offer? Read on to hear our recommendations for 20 things to do in Wollongong (and nearby!).

1. Botanic Garden

It’s not a visit to Wollongong without a trip to the Botanic Garden.  From the rose garden, the duck pond and the sculptures, this is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle and easily spend a few hours leisurely strolling. Bring a picnic and set up under a nice shady tree for a well-spent afternoon. The wee ones will love feeding the ducks and learning about the local plants and wildlife.

Other key activities include:

  • The All-Abilities Children’s Playground, which has a maze suitable for children aged 2-12
  • The Kawasaki Bridge, a Japanese ornamental bridge which renowned for being a great photo opportunity
  • A variety of garden types, including roses, herbs, woodlands, an azalea bank, succulents and a variety of rainforests.

2. Grand Pacific Drive

If you are the type who loves to take in a good drive with scenic views and unique places to stop, this day trip idea is for you. This 140km drive runs between the Royal National Park, just south of Sydney all the way to Bomaderry in the Shoalhaven Region. Hit the road and enjoy endless views of the sea as you pass through rainforests and charming seaside towns. Make sure to look out for the Sea Cliff Bridge, which is a highlight along the drive. We suggest going for a walk across the bridge to stretch your legs and take in the picturesque views and winding stretch of road.

sea-cliff-bridge-aerial
Credit: Dee Kramer Photography

In addition, The Scarborough Hotel is a great lunch spot nearby, that offers sweeping ocean views from a top-notch beer garden.

Tip: Great spot to be during the whale migration season (late April-August)

3. Nan Tien Temple

Did you know Wollongong is home to the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere? Known for its peace and tranquillity, Nian Tien Temple is the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon. Stroll the grounds and gardens to take in the incredible architecture and serenity, take part in health and wellbeing retreats or excursions offered, dig into a wholesome and unique vegetarian culinary experience, check out frequent Buddhist festivals and exhibitions held at the temple and so much more.

4. Check Out the View from Our Magnificent Lookouts

Wollongong is known for being a coastal city where the sea and mountains meet. Which is why we have so many incredible lookout spots. If you are looking for the best views, check out Bald Hill Lookout, a world-renowned hang gliding spot; Southern Gateway Centre Lookout on the escarpment; Sublime Point Lookout for a bush walk and 180-degree views of the coast; Hill 60 for a scenic look south at Port Kembla Beach and some World War 2 history; and Mt Keira Lookout for stunning views over Wollongong. Bring a picnic and spend lunch overlooking the beautiful coastline. If you’re lucky (and visiting at the right time of year) you may even see a whale breaching out to sea!

5. Science Space

What better way to spend a Saturday with the kids than at Science Space, New South Wales’ only dedicated science experience. With interactive exhibits, hands-on activities and experiments and school holiday shows, your kids will be busy discovering and learning about the world of science for hours.

For those who love their astronomy, Science Space is home to the DIGISTAR 6, Australia’s #1 most digitally advanced Planetarium.

6. Visit 17 Surf Beaches and 9 Rock Pools

Believe it or not, the Wollongong area is home to 17 stunning surf beaches and 9 amazing rock pools for swimming. Austinmer Beach + Little Austinmer Beach are two of the more popular beach spots in the region, with large rock pools and decent waves, it is approximately 25 minutes north of the Wollongong City Centre.

The Towradgi Beach Park is another great spot for the family, just north of the city centre. With its main feature – a saltwater rock pool, as well as a patrolled beach and plenty of areas for the little ones to play, it is an easy place to spend a Sunday afternoon in the summer. You’ll also find a magnificent walking track that leads to central Wollongong and further on if you feel like stretching the legs.

Port Kembla Beach is known for being one of the cleanest, safest and best-maintained beaches in the Illawarra, thanks to its pristine soft sand and crystal-clear water. Port Kembla is also home to a large Olympic pool which provides fantastic views.

port-kembla-pool
Credit: Dee Kramer Photography

7. Australian Surf Tours

For those who are ready to take on the beloved Aussie past time of surfing, spend a day with Australia Surf Tours. This specialised surf school will teach you all you need to know to leave you feeling like a pro. They offer both private and group lessons for the adults, special programs for the kids, and surf camps for all the backpackers who pass through the area. They can be found at three different spots in Wollongong – North Wollongong Beach, The Farm Beach and Bulli Beach. Check out their website for more information.

8. Endless Cycling Pathways

If you want an alternative to driving along the coast, grab your bike (or rent one!) and enjoy over 60 kilometres of on and off-road cycleway with views of the beach and escarpment. Grab the family and bike the 15km track from Wollongong to Thirroul – this stretch is flat, making it an easy and enjoyable ride for riders of all ages. Beautiful beach views, refreshing sea breezes, cafes and parks for rest stops – cycling is the perfect activity for a family day out in Wollongong.

Bike Riding
Credit: Dee Kramer Photography

9. Skydiving

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, why not cross skydiving off your bucket list at Skydive Sydney-Wollongong. As the only spot to beach skydive near Sydney, you’ll freefall at speeds of up to 220km p/h for up to 60 seconds, while taking in some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. You’ll see the beaches of Wollongong below and the beautiful New South Wales coast stretching as far north and south as the eye can see. If you are looking for a bit of adrenaline and the best views around, skydiving in Wollongong is for you.

10. Stuart Park

Stuart Park is a spacious, grassed park right next to the North Wollongong Beach. It provides ample covered eating areas, plenty of cafes nearby. Laze away near the inlet from the beach while you listen to the ocean waves and watch skydivers land, as this park is also home to the landing pad for Skydive Sydney-Wollongong. The kids will be happy for hours with a bike and scooter track, a big playground with massive slides, accessible swings and of course, a flying fox. Stuart Park is a great place to relax and is close to central Wollongong.

11. The Australian MotorLife Museum

This automotive museum is a true hidden treasure for all automobile enthusiasts. Check out the vast collection of vintage cars, vans, and many other types of vehicles. They are even home to a very rare collection of some of Australia’s earliest manufactured motor vehicles. Walking through the museum, it is evident that a great deal of hard work has gone into the restoration and presentation of the vehicles. Well worth a visit to learn more about Australia’s motoring history.

12. Early Start Discovery Space

Another great spot to take the kids on the school holidays is the Early Start Discovery Space, an interactive children’s education centre. In fact, it is Australia’s only dedicated children’s museum! With so much to see and explore, kids will spend hours imagining, dressing up, experimenting, and playing with all the sensory learning opportunities that this attraction has to offer. Highlights include the large Lego area, caves to explore, a mini marketplace with mini trolleys, the HMAS discovery, and outdoor space to dig up dinosaur bones. Don’t worry parents, there is also a great café to keep you busy as well.

13. Illawarra Performing Arts Centre

The Illawarra Performing Arts Centre is easily the area’s most loved place for the arts, located in the middle of the city’s arts precinct. It plays host to a wide variety of shows, from renowned theatre to music and dance, and even comedy. It also hosts a number of community-focused events. The size of the venue makes for a very personal, intimate experience, making you feel like part of the show, which is always a favourite for the audience. There is always something for everyone, from the kids to the adults, so check out their website here to see what is on throughout the year.

14. Hang Gliding at Bald Hill

If jumping out of a plane isn’t for you, perhaps hang gliding at the Sydney Hang Gliding Centre is. Take in the views as you glide through the air at Bald Hill, a world-renowned hang gliding location. You’ll be strapped in with an instructor from the team who together holds over 100 years of gliding experience. This experience of a lifetime is a great way to make your trip to Wollongong a memorable one.

hang gliding
Credit: Dee Kramer Photography

15. WIN Sports and Entertainments Centre

If you’re looking for a place to catch a sporting match or concert, the WIN Sports and Entertainment Centres is where you want to be. This multi-purpose facility has staged some of the world’s top artists, including Elton John, Bob Dylan and Lady Gaga. You can also catch major national sporting events, both indoor and outdoor, including NRL, basketball, soccer, and local rugby league.

The local home teams include:

  • St George Illawarra Dragons (National Rugby League)
  • Illawarra Hawks (National Basketball League)
  • Wollongong Wolves (National Premier League – NSW Soccer)

Upcoming events and ticketing information can be found on the WIN Sports and Entertainment Centres website.

16. Wollongong Art Gallery

A must-visit while exploring Wollongong is the local Wollongong Art Gallery. The gallery features the work of both local and Australia wide icons in the art world, from photography and painting to music, and so much more. They regularly host new exhibits and displays so there is always something new to check out at the Wollongong Art Gallery. Located in the heart of the arts precinct, it is easy to access and even easier to spend many hours enjoying all the incredible Australian art that the gallery has to offer.

17. Visit the Famous South Coast Markets

For all the foodies and art lovers out there, the Wollongong area has plenty of markets just for you. You’ll find the Coledale Markets, Puckeys Night Market, Foragers Market, Friday Forage Market and the Eat St Market. Browse the stalls, grab a bite and sit back and enjoy the music. Stock up on fresh local produce, handmade jewellery and organic products. The food markets are bustling with food stalls hosted by the region’s food producers who are passionate about the quality of the food they produce. From truffle infused burgers to the paella, with plenty of vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options, there is a huge range of food for every taste bud. These markets run on different days across the week so be sure to check what is on when you’re in town.

18. Illawarra Light Rail Museum

For a truly unique experience, head over to Albion Park to see the historical Illawarra Light Rail Museum, just a short drive south from Wollongong. Have a look at old steam locomotives, rolling stock and learn about the history of the railway in the Illawarra region of New South Wales. The kids will love learning about the history of local trains as they go for a ride on the steam train or the miniature railway. An incredible experience that will feel like a blast from a past!

19. Aquilla Fishing Charters

Head out on the water for a day with Aquilla Fishing Charters, as they take you on an incredible adventure through some of the best fishing areas off the New South Wales coast. No fishing license is required and they provide all gear and tackle on board. With over 40 years of history fishing in the area, the team will take you out from Wollongong Harbour, show you the best spots around, and be sure to provide you with a unique and unforgettable experience. Learn more about their guided fishing excursions the Aquilla Fishing Charters website.

20. Indulge in Wollongong’s Best Cuisine

Last but not least, we thought would shine the spotlight on all the incredible places to eat in Wollongong. From Friday night spots to those slower paced Sunday breakfasts, the city has something for everyone. Lee and Me is a local favourite for brunch and coffee, located on Lower Crown Street. For your next date night, check out Bull & Bear – Wollongong’s best Spanish tapas bar. This unique spot has an edgy vibe and serves up the best Spanish classics suited to the Australian palette, such as croquetas, churros and sangria to top it off. If you’re feeling adventurous, just go for a stroll down Crown Street in the centre of the city and see what you come across – we can assure you that you can’t go wrong.

Destination Wollongong Grand Pacific Drive
Credit: Dee Kramer Photography

We hope this list has provided you with some great ideas to get out and explore all that Wollongong and the surrounding areas have to offer. From the endless beaches and coastline to the incredible museums and arts centres, you’ll never run out of unique things to do in Wollongong.

For the latest news and updates on what is happening in the city of Wollongong, be sure to sign up to the What’s On In Wollongong newsletter.

The Cascades Walk and Jump Rock | Macquarie Pass National Park

Explore a natural adventure playground at Macquarie Pass National Park located just 30 minutes from Wollongong.

Providing an abundant rainforest you’ll see amazing plant life, birds and native wildlife together with breathtaking views.

Conveniently close to both Robertson and the coastal town of Kiama, this is easily a fantastic one day road trip or a chance to spend a few days away with friends and family.

The Cascades Walk

Location: Base of Macquarie Pass
Distance: 2km return
Time: Allow approx. 45 – 90mins
Pace: Leisurely/family friendly

With a mostly flat terrain we enjoyed the Cascades Walk at a leisurely pace with a 5 and 8 year old in tow.

If coming from Albion Park, you will find a carpark on the right hand side at the base of Macquarie Pass. Simply cross the grass area in front of the carpark where you will find the beginning of the path.

Please note there are steps along the path but nothing that caused complaint. The kids happily ran ahead more excited about what they could discover.

With the sunshine magically peeking through the rainforest canopy, we stopped many times along the way to enjoy the scenery, climb rocks, test our balance skills across a fallen log  and spot native animals including lizards and birds.

Your prize at the end of the track is the beautiful waterfall and natural pool, a photographers dream.  A perfect spot to just stop and take it all in.

Just a word of warning – be careful of slippery surfaces at the waterfall. I may or may not admit to taking a slip waist dip into the refreshing water. That’s a story for another day!

Recommendations

  • The track can include water and mud – don’t wear your best shoes.
  • Don’t forget your water, hat, sunscreen and snacks.
  • Take the insect repellent and some salt (leeches present).
  • Pack a picnic and take advantage of the Cascades picnic area.
  • Take your rubbish with you.

More Info

More info regarding the Cascades Walking Track can be found at nationalparks.com.au

Pictures-of-The-Cascades-Macquarie-Pass-National-Park-NSW

Jump Rock

Location: Track commences base of Macquarie Pass.
Distance: Approx. 3.5km return
Time: This would depend on your level of experience and who you are travelling with. We had young children and it took us 3 hours return. Experienced or fit walkers may take approx. 1.5 hours.

Located on the left hand side (if coming from Albion Park) at the base of Macquarie Pass, this was our unexpected adventure!

There are no signs but the path commences from the small carpark and is fairly obvious.

As you progress along the initially flat walkway, the path begins to fork giving you the option of travelling closer to the water or ascending higher. We took the higher road where we navigated some tricky situations including steep slopes and muddy, slipper surfaces. At times we felt like mountain goats but  we were loving the challenge!

With a 5 and 8 year old in tow we really had to work as a team to ensure safety and we recommend you do some research prior if you plan on taking young ones (be smarter than we were!).

You will discover stunning scenery along this walk with views of water pools, plant life, birds, astounding rock formations plus massive tree roots along the way.

There are also plenty of places to stop along the way to have a rest or cool off in the creek water.

So what did we discover when we reached Jump Rock? Stunning natural pools of water cascading down over massive boulders creating a stunning landscape. It’s absolutely beautiful.

You will find beautiful pools of water which are brilliant for dipping your toes or taking a swim (it’s a bit chilly in that fresh water!) so pack some swimmers and a towel.

There are ropes tied in various places to help you climb the large rocks and people were climbing the rocks and jumping from various platforms 3-10 meters back into the water. We did not do this and cannot comment on the safety of doing so (do your research before participating!).

This walk took us 3 hours return but keep in mind we had young children in tow. I would recommend you do your research before heading off on this walk to determine if it is right for you and your company.

Recommendations

  • Do your research – check out Bush Walk the Gong for more information.
  • Wear old shoes, there’s plenty of water and mud.
  • Take plenty of water, sunscreen, hat and snacks.
  • Be prepared for leeches – take some salt.
  • Safety first, let someone at home know when you are going and when you’ll return.
  • Take your rubbish home.
  • If planning to do this with young children, please ensure they are up for the challenge prior to departure. Our 5 and 8 year old, although champions along the way, were absolutely exhausted after this walk.
  • We have heard that Jump Rock can be very popular in Summer months so plan accordingly.

More Info

More detailed information can be found at Bush Walk the Gong and Pioneer Walks.