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.
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.
200 Crown Street
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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).
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.
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.
It’s the Summer school holidays and the kids energy levels are through the roof!
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the most exciting water play fun happening right here in the beautiful Illawarra!
Don’t forget that events can be subject to weather conditions, age restrictions, conditions or incur an entry fee. Be sure to check with individual event holders prior to attendance (relevant links below).
Screamer Water Slide
Where: Wollongong Youth Centre, 85 Burelli Street, Wollongong
When: Friday, 12 January 2018
Time: 11am – 2pm
Ages: 12 – 18 years
Get the adrenaline pumping as you scream down the 9m high & 20m long water slide. Bring your towel! 12-18 year olds only.
Where: Dapto Showground, Princes Hwy, Dapto
Enter via southern end of Mulda Street (free parking)
When: 20 December ’17 to 25 February ’18.
Only 700m from Dapto Train Station you will find Waliscags Water Worx.
With 5 themed pools with integrated slides, plus an 11m high slide for the daredevils rightfully named the Epic Racer.
The slides cater for all ages and includes special toddler only zones. Spectators are free.
When you book your tickets you have up to 4 hours of slipping, sliding and splashing fun.
Babies 0 – 3 years: FREE
Children & Adults: $23.80 – $24.50
Group Pass (4 participants): $84.15 – $95.00
Party Pass (minimum 12 participants): $19.95 per person
Children aged 1-5 years must be supervised in the water by a parent or guardian.
Tickets can be bought online or at the kiosk. Gift vouchers available. Book online and save at www.waterworx.fun
Jamberoo Action Park
Where: 1215 Jamberoo Road, Jamberoo
Open: 10am – 5pm daily (during the school holidays)
It’s where YOU control the action! Open EVERY Day this summer holiday season from 26th December 2017 until 31st January 2018.
Jamberoo Action Park is set amongst 40 hectares of amazing aqua play fun, landscaped gardens and parklands and is the perfect place to kick back and relax or join the kids on a vast range of water rides, slides and attractions.