If you’re in need of a great day trip from Sydney and unsure where to go, we’ve found just the place to explore.

Wollongong is a cultural feast which is home to two incredible temples and loads of fun things to do for the family near Sydney. It’s even an Instagrammer’s dream with plenty of photo opportunities around the area.

We’ve found 15 worthy things to do in Wollongong, and you’ll have a fun filled day out planned in no time.

16 things to do in Wollongong

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1. Start at Bald Hill Lookout at Stanwell Tops

stanwell-tops-lookoutStanwell Tops should be your first stop whilst exploring the Wollongong area. The views out to Sea Cliff Bridge and over to Stanwell Park beach are spectacular and you’ll be snapping away for the perfect photo opportunity.

Read more: 19 fun date ideas in Sydney

2. Check out the beautiful Sri Venkateswara Temple sri-venkateswara-temple-helensburgh

Image via SBS

The Sri Venkateswara Temple at Helensburgh is an excellent find in the Wollongong area. Here you’ll be able to try proper ridgy-didge Indian food, by far the best you’ll find anywhere outside of India. The temple itself is stunning and worth a look in.

Related post: 4 places to visit in Kerala, Southern India

3. Hike to Kelly’s Falls

Kellys-falls-helensburgh-SydneyImage via The Photo Nomad

If you’re into hiking, you’ll find the track to Kelly’s Falls opposite the Sri Venkateswara Temple. This unknown hike is stunning but make sure you take your swimmers and wear hiking boots. Don’t take kids as there’s a tricky bit of rock climbing along the way to get to the bottom.

Related post: Best 18 hikes in Sydney

4. Keep the kids entertained at Symbio Wildlife Park


Image via Dolphin Watch Cruises

If you want to get up close to kangaroos in Sydney or any other Aussie wildlife, head over to Symbio Wildlife Park. You’ll be able to cuddle a koala, feed the kangaroos and get a selfie with most of the animals here. Just check out David Beckham’s selfies when he visited recently.

There’s also the awesome splash water park which has recently opened at Symbio and will keep the kids entertained during the summer months.

Symbio Wildlife Park costs $36 for adults, $22 for kids, and free for under 3 years.

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5. Be brave and do a tandem paraglide

paragliding-stanwell-topsYou can also try your hand at paragliding with Adventure Plus Paragliding for $250 for a tandem jump, which takes you right over Stanwell Tops, an experience which will certainly be memorable.

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6. Check out the Helensburgh Tunnel for glow worms

old-helensburgh-tunnelImage via Interesting Fun Facts

Another great thing to do in Helensburgh is to check out the old Helensburgh tunnel and railway tracks. It’s a big thing on Instagram but just be careful when heading over there.

Related post: The amazing Newnes glow worm tunnels

7. Hike to the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout

SEA-CLIFF-BRIDGE-Sydney Sea Cliff Bridge is the second most photographed bridge in NSW which you   can see from Bald Hill Lookout. Although you can walk and drive across it, there’s also a secret lookout point which gives a different perspective.

Although it’s technically not illegal, finding the entrance to the lookout point is a bit of a mission. It’s not a hugely noticeable trodden on track and you have to find the secret path to access to it.

Don’t take children up there and if you go just be super careful and always wear hiking boots as thongs or trainers are definitely not suitable.

Read more: Sea Cliff Bridge lookout point

8. Buy your weekly shop from Binners fruit & Veg

binners-helensburghA little secret tip about Wollongong is to visit Binners fruit & veg shop before you drive home. It’s a great place to stock up for the week and you probably won’t find a cheaper fruit & veg shop in the Sydney area.

Related post: 10 Brunch spots in Sydney

9. Visit the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere

nan-tien-temple-things-to-do-in-wollongongDid you know Wollongong is home to the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere? Nan Tien Temple is so beautiful to walk around and best of all you’ll find a stunning cafe serving up the best tea and asian food.

If you’re visiting this temple, please be respectful and cover your shoulders, arms and above the knees.

Nan Tien Temple is a great free thing to do in Wollongong if you’re looking for a cheap day out from Sydney.

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10. Check out the views at Sublime Point

sublime-point-things-to-do-in-wollongongImage via Waterfall Wondering

The Sublime Point walking track is one of the most iconic treks in Wollongong. The steep 45 minute climb to the top has the most rewarding views over looking Wollongong and out to the ocean.

But, if hiking isn’t you’re thing, you can also just drive up to Sublime Point Lookout as well, as it’s just off the Princes Highway.

There’s a cafe up the top, so if you’re walking you can stock up on refreshments.

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11. Walk around Wollongong Botanic Gardens

wollongong-Botanic-GardensImage via South Coast Kids

The Wollongong Botanic Gardens is a lovely gem and a great thing to do in the Illawarra region. Not only does it offer loads of paths to explore, it also has a brilliant playground to keep the kids entertained, complete with a climbing net and a maze.

Wollongong Botanic Gardens also host guided walks and workshops as well as a sunset cinema! Check out their events calendar to see what’s on here.

Related post: 4 secret gardens in the middle of Sydney you have to visit

12. Check out the largest blow hole in the world


A big draw card to the Wollongong area is the Kiama blowhole which draws in nearly 1 million visitors a year. Just thirty minutes drive down the road from Wollongong and you’ll find the largest blowhole in the world.

There’s actually two blowholes in Kiama, both can be found on the coastal walk, the larger one next to the lighthouse and Little Kiama Blowhole 2km further south.

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13. Have some water park fun!

jamberoo-water-park-sydneyJamberoo is a brilliant day trip from Sydney during the summer for everyone. Set in the country on the outskirts of Kangaroo Valley, this water slide park is a great day trip for the whole family and just a 30 minute drive from Wollongong.

Just to warn you, Jamberoo isn’t the cheapest activity but it’s worth it and costs $60 for adults, $50 for kids 4-12 and free for under 3’s.

Related post: 35 best city beaches in Sydney

14. Illawara Fly Tree Walk

illawara-fly-tree-top-wollongongImage via Big4 Holiday Parks

Just a 35 minute drive from Kiama you’ll come to the award winning Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures. It’s also one of Australia’s premier Treetop Walk and Zipline Experiences.

You don’t have to do any ziplining as there’s a treetop walk which costs $22.50 or $70 for a family of four. If you book ziplining online, you’ll get 20% off costing $60 pp. And they also do sunrise and after dark tours too. FInd our more here.

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15. Macquarie Jump Pass Rock


Just a 25 minute drive from Illawara Fly Treetop Adventures lies a beautiful 30 minute hike over to Macquarie Pass Jump Rock.

Once you get to Jump Rock, you’ll arrive at the most beautiful swimming spot, with jumping platforms included. Just be careful if you decide to jump in and always be very careful.

When you drive back over the Macquarie Pass back to Wollongong, the drive is so beautiful, you’ll be hanging out of the window to take as many photos as possible.

Read more: 9 Best wild swimming spots in Sydney

16. End the day at The Scarborough Hotel


The Scarborough Hotel easily has the best beer garden in Sydney. It’s a bit unassuming from the outside but once you set foot inside the pub, you’ll see a huge garden out the back which sits on top of the cliffs. People sit on the grass whilst their kids run around and it’s the type of pub you could spend the entire day relaxing in the sun.

After you’ve spent the day exploring the Illawarra region and Wollongong, stop by The Scarborough before you head back home.

Check out the pub below!

Looking for some of the best things to see in Australia? Find out more here.

Top things to do in Wollongong

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