It’s another edition of The Wollongong Local where we look at some things that make our beautiful city the best place to live. If you missed the introduction to this series, The Wollongong Local: The Beginning, you could find it here.

It was a rainy day in Wollongong when I started thinking about how lucky we are to have such incredible weather. From watching a rainbow appear over the ocean to a rainstorm rolling in over the escarpment, the views we enjoy can be quickly taken for granted.

As they say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, so in the spirit of embracing the rain, we wanted I wanted to look at a few places that are perfect for sitting back with friends and watching those rainy days pass you by.

Steamers Bar and Grill

Steamers Bar and Grill sits perched on the edge of Wollongong Beach with ocean views of the beach and lighthouse. This rustic atmosphere is a great place to enjoy a late lunch with great food and a few cocktails. The Chilli Salted Calamari and Wood-Fired King Prawns are enough to ruin you for all other seafood entrees to come. Don’t say I didn’t warn you; they are that good.

Don’t forget to use your Dine & Discover Vouchers here too!

Credit: Steamers Website

The Scarborough Hotel

I love this place because of the family-friendly atmosphere, thanks to the choice to have no gambling on site. The Scarborough Hotel is fantastic in wet weather. If you can nab yourself one of the indoor tables, the view over the cliffs towards the ocean is mesmerising and a fabulous place to watch the weather roll in. You will be safe and sound indoors while the chaos unfolds outside, working its magic to put on an epic display that showcases the power of nature. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t your average pub food. The Scarborough Hotel has an impressive menu full of flavour and creativity.

Credit: Scarborough Hotel Facebook

The Lagoon Deck Bar

Speaking of weather watching, the Deck Bar at Lagoon is another of my favourite go-to spots for a relaxing afternoon. You might usually associate The Lagoon with their fine dining and indoor seating; however, the Deck Bar has an entirely different and quite affordable menu. The outdoor seating is undercover and can now be fully enclosed in heavy wind or rain. If visiting in less treacherous weather, the open-air environment can get very cool, so be sure to rug up. The Lagoon Deck Bar is a fabulous place to take a seat and watch the fog dance down the escarpment over a few drinks.

Credit: Lagoon Deck Bar

The Robertson Hotel

If you fancy a bit of a drive, wind your way up Macquarie Pass to the picturesque Robertson Hotel. While the grounds are shimmering under the reflections of raindrops outside, take a seat by the fireplace for hot chocolates, high tea, or lunch in this stunning old-world manner. The High Tea offering here is quite impressive and makes for a lovely treat while you watch the weather drift by outside.

Credit: Robertson Hotel Website

Headlands Hotel

Last but not least on our list is the Headlands Hotel overlooking the beaches of Austinmer. This location offers a Brasserie & Bar and a Dumpling Bar & Cafe outside, courtesy of the on-site Airstream food truck. There is an expansive undercover dining area outside with a large indoor dining area as well. A captivating view, a few dumplings and shelter from the rain, what more could you ask for?

Credit: Headlands Hotel Website

Given the current circumstances in NSW, we strongly recommend that you call ahead and book a table wherever possible. Many of our venues are facing occupancy limits beyond their control and staff shortages, so be kind if you turn up and can’t be accommodated. If you are looking for things to do in Wollongong, check out our latest list of the best things to do in Wollongong, including several indoor activities that will keep everyone happy.

Zoë Wood is an international travel writer from the local Illawarra area. Contact her here: Facebook –  Instagram  –  Email

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CLICK HERE to visit our sister site, Parents Guide Illawarra, for even more family-friendly What’s On and local events!