Are you planning a journey to Wollongong? You have chosen a beautiful part of the South Coast in NSW.
I was born in Wollongong and it holds a special place in my heart. Wollongong has grown over the years since I left and has matured into a destination that holds its own.
We share with you our top things to do in Wollongong in NSW.
You can download our article from GPSMyCity. Download the app “GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities” from the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store to your mobile phone or tablet. With the help of the easy-to-use interface of the app, you can create self-guided walks to explore Wollongong single-handedly. Each such walk comes with a detailed route map and GPS navigation to guide you from one tour stop to the next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when travelling abroad.
How long should you plan to stay in Wollongong? We would recommend at least 2 nights to enjoy all the places to visit in Wollongong. If you want to spend a further few days in the South Coast region consider visiting Jervis Bay
Wollongong is easily reached from Sydney taking only an hour if you are driving. Head along the tourist drive known as the Grand Pacific Drive and enjoy driving across the 665m Sea Cliff Bridge with stunning views. There is even a short pedestrian walkway on the bridge.
What can you expect when visiting Wollongong? Beautiful beaches, ocean pools, bicycle trails, cafes, restaurants and bars.
Map of Wollongong
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Things to do in Wollongong
Wollongong is located 85 km south of Sydney with an average driving time of 1 hour and 25 minutes.
#1 Symbio Wildlife Park
On your journey to Wollongong take some time out to visit the Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh. You can cool off in the Symbio Splash Park, get up close and cuddly with koalas, and kangaroos and feed and pet all your farmyard favourites. There are wombats, echidnas, lemurs, red pandas, a cheetah and the reptile house and crocodiles.
Take a picnic or arrange a birthday party there. The kids will love being amongst the wildlife.
You can purchase tickets directly here. Opening hours are from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm daily.
Address: 7-11 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Helensburgh
#2 Nan Tien Temple
Nan Tien Temple is the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. You can visit daily, stay for a weekend retreat and study Buddhism in this unique location.
Address: 180 Berkeley Road, Berkeley.
#3 Tandem Flight Above Wollongong
Soar through the sky around Wollongong. Dive from up to 15,000 feet, attached to a professional instructor. Experience the thrill of freefall for up to an insane 60 seconds, and enjoy views of the amazing coastline.
#4 Visit the Botanic Gardens of Wollongong
You can enjoy wandering through various garden collections such as the rainforest, rose garden, palm garden and the Towri Bush Tucker Garden and more.
Address: Murphys Road Keiraville
Free to enter
Open 7 am to 5 pm daily.
#5 Visit the Beaches in Wollongong
Wollongong City is framed by two beaches – Wollongong City Beach and North Wollongong Beach.
Wollongong City Beach is located at 1 Marine Drive Wollongong. It stretches from Flagstaff Point down to the south to Port Kembla.
Amenities include a children’s playground, picnic tables, outdoor exercise equipment and a bike path. The North part of the beach is better for swimming near the Surf Club.
North Wollongong Beach is located at Cliff Road North Wollongong. A great beach for families with rock pools to explore and wading areas. There is also a childrens playground at Stuart Park which is close by.
#7 Wollongong Scavenger Hunt: Wollongong’s Storied History
Whether you’re a visitor or a local to Wollongong, if you’re looking for a fun, fast-paced group activity, this history-focused scavenger hunt delivers. Download an app and get searching for clues and answers around Wollongong, seeing the sights and learning about the town’s history along the way. Pass by the Illawarra Museum, the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Old Court House, and more. A fun way to get your bearings in Wollongong The activity lasts about two hours Best suited to active travelers as the hunt involves walking Receive digital copies of photos from the activity
#8 Visit Wollongong’s Two Lighthouses
It is the only eastern point in Australia that has two lighthouses.
Wollongong Harbour Lighthouse is located at the breakwater. It was built in 1871.
Flagstaff Point Lighthouse was completed in 1936 and is located on Flagstaff Point.
#9 Visit the Wollongong Science Centre
Such a popular attraction for families. The Wollongong Science Centre offers hands-on interactive adventures for kids of all ages. You can choose from over 90 exhibits, science shows, dinosaurs and much much more.
Address: 60 Squires Way North Wollongong
Open hours: 10 am to 4 pm daily except for Wednesdays during NSW school terms.
Purchase tickets here
#10 Enjoy Craft Beer with a View at Illawarra Brewery
Pop in for delicious pub meals and bites and of course a range of great craft beer.
Address: Eastern Terrace, Win Entertainment Centre, Crown St & Harbour St, Wollongong
Open hours: From 11.00 am daily
#11 Visit the Cinema in Wollongong
During Summer Wollongong is host to the Sunset Cinema. Check out their website here.
Wollongong is not short of mainstream cinemas – click here for their locations
#12 Wander Around the Wollongong Art Gallery
Address: 46 Burelli St, Wollongong NSW
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 12.00 pm to 4.00 pm
Closed every Monday, Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day
#13 Visit the Illawarra Museum
One of the best things to do in Wollongong is to visit the Illawarra Museum.
The location in the Post & Telegraph Building which was built between 1865 and 1882 is in itself special as this is a very fine example of late colonial architecture. The Museum focuses on the early history and heritage of Wollongong.
Address: 11 Market Street Wollongong
Open Hours: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday 12.00 to 3.00 pm
Best Places to Eat in Wollongong
For the best breakfast in Wollongong head to Diggies at 1 Cliff Road North Beach – one of the best cafes in Wollongong and loved by locals and visitors.
A favourite lunch spot of ours is Pepe’s on the Beach at 2 – 14 Cliff Road North Wollongong. We love the menu here and the views are stunning.
For dinner, we would recommend the Rookie Eatery for contemporary Australian cuisine located at 125 Keira Street Wollongong.
We have found a great bar and restaurant located in the centre of Wollongong at 60 Market Street – Basta Trattoria which is in Hotel TOTTO.
Basta Trattoria serves the best of Italian cuisine. A firm favourite is their wood-fired bread with garlic oil and pasta dishes. They have an alfresco dining area available, live music on Friday night and a separate room for special events. They are open for breakfast and have some great dishes on their menu.
Accommodation in Wollongong
The latest accommodation on the block is Hotel TOTTO at 60 Market Street. Just a few minutes walk to Central Mall and only 10 minutes to the beaches it is the new exciting hotel loved by locals and tourists. There are 150 rooms – king, queen, twin and accessible rooms and 100 on-site car parking spaces. The decor is stylish and minimalistic. We can highly recommend your next stay here in Wollongong.
To check availability and to make a reservation click here
The Adina Apartment Hotel is a popular place to stay in Wollongong at 19 Market Street.
Accommodation consists of studio, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments. Wollongong City Beach is 500 m away. There is an outdoor pool, fitness centre, sauna and spa. Depending on the room there is either a kitchenette or a fully equipped kitchen and laundry.
Guest review: We liked everything from checking in to checking out. Our room was bigger than we expected. We had a very comfortable stay.
Address: 2- 14 Cliff Road Wollongong
One of the top locations for hotels in Wollongong being just a 1 minute’s walk to the beach. The Novotel North beach has rooms with either ocean or mountain views, an outdoor swimming pool, 5 restaurants and bars and a fitness centre.
Liked · location, staff, very clean, the beds were so comfortable and room service was always on it.
Disliked · don’t really have a negative comment to say about this place.
For a range of accommodation under the Stayz banner – click our link here for further information.
There is a huge range of accommodation to suit all travellers and budgets.
How To Get To Wollongong
There are flights to Wollongong from Melbourne and Brisbane operated by Link Airways. The airport is located at Shellharbour 20 minutes south of Wollongong. The Albion Park Rail Station is a 11-minute walk from the airport.
Sydney Airport is 73 km from Wollongong.
For the latest flight deals click here.
You can hire a car from Sydney Airport to Shellharbour Airport. Full details here.
If you prefer to hire a van we recommend Jucy – click here for more details.
For the latest travel insurance quotes click here to find out more
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We hope you have enjoyed our top things to do in Wollongong. There are some great activities to enjoy when you are next visiting Wollongong and the South Coast of NSW. If you have any questions you can post them in our Staycation Australia Travel Planning Group.
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