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 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.
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.
3. Hike to Kelly’s Falls
Image 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.
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.
5. Be brave and do a tandem paraglide
You 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.
6. Check out the Helensburgh Tunnel for glow worms
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.
7. Hike to the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout
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.
8. Buy your weekly shop from Binners fruit & Veg
A 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.
9. Visit the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere
Did 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.
10. Check out the views at Sublime Point
Image 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.
11. Walk around Wollongong Botanic Gardens
Image 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.
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.
13. Have some water park fun!
Jamberoo 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.
14. Illawara Fly Tree Walk
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.
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.
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!
Top things to do in Wollongong
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