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5 reasons to spend a weekend in Wollongong

NSW South Coast

Wollongong is something of a treasure to those who live there, and whether its a short or long stay, here's 5 reasons we're sure you'll love it too!



1. The beaches
The South Coast of NSW is known for its stunning beaches and Wollongong is no exception. Whether it’s central Wollongong or a little either side you definitely cannot miss a trip to one of Wollongong’s many beaches. With the two CBD beaches separated by a large lighthouse and boat harbour the 10 minute walk between is definitely going to be a pleasant one. If waves aren’t really your thing, head down to Windang beach where the water slowly makes its way in from the sea to an inlet flanked by a variety of playgrounds, tables and BBQ stations – perfect for a picnic!

Alternatively for just a 45 minute drive into the national park you can experience all the wonders of Watamolla. With a calm cove, you don’t need to worry about the kids in the waves, and there’s even a shallow stream running down to the beach which is perfect for smaller children to avoid the waves. The kids will surely be entertained by the crowd of rock jumpers flinging themselves off the cliff face and into the fresh water lagoon down below, but watch out – we don’t want any copycats!

North Gong beach

Credit: Dee Kramer Photography

 

2. Jamberoo Action Park
The advertisement is right; Jamberoo Action Park really is the place where you control the action! With so many rides to choose from the whole family will have a blast whether it’s fast paced, scream-inducing slides or bobbing around in the wave pool. Make sure to arrive early so you can set up in a shady spot under the trees, or grab one of the lockers before they fill up. Pack a picnic lunch for some tasty homemade treats or head over to one of the food outlets, the fresh cinnamon doughnuts at ‘Bombora Scoop’ are crazy good!

For younger kids, Banjo’s Billabong is the place to be! With multiple levels, water slides, spray features and a classic Australiana theme they’ll have a blast. Listen out for the peals of laughter as the huge bucket atop the structure tips 1200L of water over the park every few minutes! For the older adrenalin loving kiddies, there are so many rides and slides to choose from. Slide into the mouth of the Taipan and speed right through the belly of the beast, jump off the infamous rock, speed past picnickers on the Splash Out and have the time of your life as you speed up the walls of The Funnel Web.

Jamberoo

Credit - Xplore Sydney

 

3. Nature
Wollongong is the perfect balance between coastal and rural, it literally is the place where the mountains meet the sea; and when you climb these mountains you're rewarded with the most spectacular views over the entire Illawarra region. Sublime Point at Bulli Tops is one of these amazing locations and situated just 20 minutes from Wollongong's CBD. The peacefulness felt as you navigate the lush rainforest makes you feel like the only people in the world and the panoramic views at the top of the track are absolutely breathtaking. This almost makes up for the 'strenuous' rating of the 800+ steps and four ladders which take you to the top. Don't let this deter you from bringing the kids though, as long as they're committed to making it to the top, it will be a breeze. Seriously though, there are families heading up every weekend and these kids just can't keep the smiles off their faces.

For a more educational trek, head south to Minnamurra Rainforest, where the kids can check out all the artefacts in the visitors centre before heading into the ferns. With a network of elevated walkways there are no stairs on this one but the path can get quite steep for little legs. Head along the Falls Walk for a spectacular view of the Minnamurra waterfalls which cascade through the rainforest.

Sublime Point
 

4. Nan Tien temple
‘Nan Tien’ in Chinese literally means ‘Paradise of the South’, which is fitting since this is the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. Since its opening over 20 years ago, the Nan Tien Temple has been a place of worship for not just the local Buddhists and Monks of the Temple, but also for national and international tourists. With so much on offer, it’s not hard to see why people flock to have this unique cultural experience.

Classes offering Tai Chi, Meditation and basic Buddhism make up the bulk of the activity program, along with dance classes, kids programs and weekend retreats. Guided Temple tours take place on weekends with a cost of just $4.00pp. Your family can visit each shrine and learn the meanings of Buddhist symbols and statues situated around temple grounds, view the precious artworks in the museum and learn how to practice Buddhism in your daily life. If a tour is not for you, an exploration of the grounds is one thing not to miss. The award-winning gardens and beautiful Kuan Yin Wishing Pond are just beautiful.

Nan Tien
 

5. Sea cliff bridge
If you've seen any recent car advertisements, you've likely seen the sea cliff bridge in all its coastal glory. It has been reported that 42 film and TV shoots have taken place on the bridge since its opening in 2005 and brands such as Holden, Subaru and even Ferrari have chosen it as the location of their advertisements. With sweeping coastal views one side, and an intricate cliff face on the other, this winding coastal road has become something of a national icon. Stretching from Clifton to Coalcliff in Wollongong's north this 665m bridge is one Wollongong experience not to be missed. Whether you drive, ride or walk the view is stunning.

If driving is not for you, trains run to Coalcliff 7 days a week and it's just a 15 minute walk to the bridge or catch a bus to one of the stops either side of the structure. Make sure you don't forget the camera, the waves crashing below make for a great photo op!

Seacliff Bridge

Credit: Chilby Photography

 




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