Illawarra

Travel Guide
Wollongong featuring rugged coastline

Seaside towns, eucalyptus forests and expansive plains are dotted throughout this beautiful coastal region, where dramatic sandstone escarpments meet the Tasman Sea.

Explore the region of Illawarra to find a diverse landscape of coastal plains, magnificent mountain ridges, forests and urban areas. Beginning at Sydney’s southernmost border, Illawarra contains the beautiful Royal National Park, Lake Illawarra and Shoalhaven River to the south. New South Wales’ third-largest city, Wollongong, is located in Illawara, as well as a collection of charming coastal towns.

Spend several days exploring Illawarra’s magnificent coastal areas. From secret coves hidden by fragrant eucalyptus forest to open, sandy beaches with excellent surf breaks and sea baths, Illawarra has the diversity of coastal destinations to suit many pursuits. Spread out a towel or wax up your surfboard and check out the breaks at Austinmer or Wollongong’s North Beach. Follow a section of the unbeatable Coast Track in Royal National Park, a beautiful reserve filled with coastal forests of gum trees and palms, as well as historic beach shacks, stunning rock formations and secret swimming holes.

Wollongong is a relaxed city beneath the rugged Illawarra Escarpment. Find casual cafés, traditional pubs and fine dining establishments serving fresh local seafood. Discover rare and native plants at the Wollongong Botanic Gardens and take in sweeping vistas from atop the Bulli Pass or nearby Mount Keira.

Head south to find the magnificent Illawarra Lake, as well as the raging Kiama Blowhole and pretty Jamberoo. Check out the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre to enjoy relaxing forest walks, see a waterfall and learn about the ecology and local Aboriginal heritage of Budderoo National Park. Camp amid peaceful natural surroundings in Kangaroo Valley or go fishing from the wharves of Shellharbour.

Illawarra’s Royal National Park is a 45-minute drive from Sydney. Reach Wollongong via the scenic Grand Pacific Drive in 90 minutes. The South Coast Railway Line connects Sydney to several destinations in Illawarra. The region has year-round mild temperatures; however, summers can become quite hot. Explore the region via a coastal road trip combined with exciting visits to beautiful national parks.

Where to stay in Illawarra

Sage Hotel Wollongong
Sage Hotel Wollongong
4 out of 5
60/62 Harbour Street, Wollongong, NSW
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is AU$199 per night from 31 Oct. to 31 Oct.
Located in Wollongong CBD, this golf hotel is steps away from WIN Stadium and Wollongong Golf Club. WIN Entertainment Centre and Illawarra Performing Arts Centre ...
3.9/5 Good! (996 reviews)
"Great location and 24 hour front desk."

Reviewed on 13 Jul. 2021

Sage Hotel Wollongong
Novotel Wollongong Northbeach
Novotel Wollongong Northbeach
4.5 out of 5
2-14 Cliff Road, North Wollongong, NSW
The price is AU$229 per night from 28 Oct. to 28 Oct.
Nestled on the beach, this Wollongong CBD hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Stuart Park and North Wollongong Beach. Towradgi Beach and Brighton Beach are also ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (1,000 reviews)
"The bathroom vent in our room was very dusty and in need of clean The food in the Palliaades Restauant was poor and expensive compared with other restaurants nearby. Disappointing."

Reviewed on 23 Oct. 2021

Novotel Wollongong Northbeach
The Sebel Harbourside Kiama
The Sebel Harbourside Kiama
3.5 out of 5
31 Shoalhaven Street, Kiama, NSW
The price is AU$205 per night from 18 Nov. to 18 Nov.
Located in Kiama, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kiama Seaside Markets, Kiama Leagues Club, and Bombo Beach. Pilots Cottage Museum and ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (991 reviews)
"Perfect location."

Reviewed on 20 Jun. 2021

The Sebel Harbourside Kiama
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Quest Wollongong
Quest Wollongong
4 out of 5
59-61 Kembla Street, Wollongong, NSW
The price is AU$180 per night from 7 Nov. to 7 Nov.
Located in Wollongong CBD, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Wollongong Town Hall, Wollongong City Gallery and Illawarra Museum. Illawarra ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (359 reviews)
"It was a pleasant stay. Nice, clean and spacious room. Friendly staff and on site parking."

Reviewed on 21 Jun. 2021

Quest Wollongong
Headlands Austinmer Beach
Headlands Austinmer Beach
4 out of 5
1 Yuruga Street, Austinmer, NSW
The price is AU$272 per night from 2 Nov. to 2 Nov.
Offering direct access to the beach, this Austinmer aparthotel is steps away from Little Austinmer Beach and Austinmer Boatharbour. Sharky Beach and Austinmer ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (402 reviews)
They need to improve bedding and cleanliness
"Bedding and mattress were terrible. It wasn’t comfortable at all. The blanket wasn’t clean and I got few blood spots on it."

Reviewed on 14 Jun. 2021

Headlands Austinmer Beach
Mantra Wollongong
Mantra Wollongong
4.5 out of 5
6-10 Gladstone Ave, Wollongong, NSW
Located in Wollongong CBD, this luxury aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Crown Street Mall and Wollongong Hospital. Wollongong Golf Club and WIN Entertainment ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (1,323 reviews)
"Nice comfortable bedding. Spacious apartment."

Reviewed on 10 Jul. 2021

Mantra Wollongong
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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