Wollongong is a coastal city south of Sydney along the Grand Pacific Drive. Surfing beaches and rock pools line the coastline. Trails encircle the forests and rocky cliffs of Mt. Keira in the Illawarra mountain range, which frames the city. To the north, hang gliders launch from Bald Hill. South lie the Buddhist temple of Nan Tien and Lake Illawarra, a large lagoon with boating and fishing facilities.

Discover a beachside buzz, extensive cycleways and myriad adventures in NSW’s third-largest city, south of Sydney. In Wollongong’s heart is the tempting Keira Street ‘eat street’, between Crown and Smith streets. A stroll away is one of the finest regional art galleries, with a wonderful Aboriginal collection.

The quickest route to Wollongong, in the Illawarra region, is along the M1 Princes Motorway. Or take the Grand Pacific Drive, a spectacular touring route through the Royal National Park to Stanwell Park and south over the Sea Cliff Bridge, an engineering feat snaking out over the ocean.

A cyclist riding on the promenade, North Wollongong Beach, Wollongong

The scenic train trip from Sydney to Wollongong is 90 minutes. The station is within easy walking distance of some major attractions, including Wollongong City Beach and North Wollongong Beach. There’s a gorgeous walk between both beaches, via pretty Wollongong Harbour.

Dine at beachside cafes and laid-back restaurants, and enjoy a vibrant arts precinct, centred on the Wollongong Art Gallery and the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre. Journey to the stars at the Science Space and discover the future at the Futureworld Eco-Technology Centre.

A lotus pond at the Nan Tien Temple, near Wollongong

A short drive south is the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere, Nan Tien Temple. You can explore the tranquil gardens and tour the temple. Other tours include skydiving, scuba diving, surfing and fishing. There’s even a weekly tour of the Port Kembla Steelworks.

There are many more things to do and see. Explore rainforest walking tracks on the Illawarra Escarpment at Mount Keira and Mount Kembla. Or enjoy a cool drink at the Mount Kembla Village Hotel, a timber pub established in 1898, and visit the cellar door of Five Barrel Brewing.

Wollongong has an exciting events calendar of festivals, shows, concerts, exhibitions and markets. There are lots of accommodation options, from beachside hotels to camping sites by the ocean or Lake Illawarra, a popular waterway for kayaking, sailing, waterskiing and fishing.

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