Fun things to do in Wollongong

  • Catching that magic wave
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Wollongong

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    Beautiful beaches and Harbours

    by lindyz Updated Jun 4, 2009

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    The Illawarra is blessed with many beautiful beaches that stretch from Coledale in the north to Shellharbour in the South. Then if you head further south you get to Nowra, Jervis Bay and countless holiday spots, collectively known as "down the coast"!

    We are also blessed with a temperate climate, not too hot and not too cold - thankyou Goldilocks!

    A friendly pelican at Wollongong Harbour Port Beach Wollongong Harbour looking onto Novotel Port Beach again Old Lighthouse Wollongong Harbour

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    Visit the Nan Tien Temple - a little bit of Asia

    by lindyz Updated Jul 15, 2009

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    The Buddhist Nan Tien Temple is the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere and it is located at Berkeley, a suburb about 15 minutes drive south of Wollongong, overlooking beautiful Mount Keira and Mount Kembla. It was opened in 1995 and has become an important cultural centre bridging different cultures and beliefs.

    It is situated on a 22 hectare site adjacent to the F6 Freeway, which is the main southern access road into Wollongong, so it is very easy to get to.

    This place is so tranquil, peaceful and calm and a lovely place to visit, even if you are not really into Buddhism. The architecture is amazing especially the roof detail, the gardens and lawns are beautifully manicured.

    You can visit the temple for an hour, a day or even a weekend. I have been on a Weekend Meditation Retreat here back in 2001 with 2 of my friends. Whilst we enjoyed the serenity of it all, we did find it a bit difficult to "not speak" - when you are meditating or even eating meals, you are NOT allowed to speak, and this was the thing we found most difficult. In fact, at times we had to exercise serious control not to start laughing, not because anything was funny at the time, just because it was soooooo hard not to be able to talk! When we did the retreat in 2001 the cost was only $60 each, which included all meals, all meditation sessions and a nights accommodation in the attached Pilgrims Lodge Motel. So, it was certainly a very cheap thing to do, and maybe a great thing for tourists to do - if they are on a budget and also want to experience Buddhism. As well as the Meditation Retreat, they also hold an Eastern Awareness Retreat. All details will be on their website.

    Pilgrims Lodge has 100 suites, each with a panoramic view of the Temple. Anyone can book to stay here, not only if you are doing the retreat. Pilgrims Lodge is open 7 days.

    The meals were an art unto themself. Firstly, you were not allowed to speak when in the eating hall. Secondly, all meals were vegetarian. Thirdly, if you accept food onto your plate, you must eat it as buddhism allows for no waste. All of this makes for a huge problem in that when they come around with food to offer you, you are not allowed to ask them what it is, so if you take a gamble and accept it, and it tastes like crap - THEN you still have to eat it!!! We all had some funny stories to tell when we came out of the eating hall!!! The main attractions are the Pagoda, Museum, Main Shrine, Front Shrine and Meditation Room, just to name a few.

    Overall, I would thoroughly recommend a visit to the Nan Tien Temple. They also hold regular meditation classes, Tai-Chi classes and vegetarian cooking classes, there is also conference facilities and catering for up to 200 people in the public dining hall.

    If you are interested in learning about Buddhism then this place is a must. Even if you are not, it is a beautiful place to visit, if only to marvel at the buildings and the gardens and to step back into a whole different world - a little bit of Asia right here in Wollongong!

    Visiting hours are Tuesday through to Sunday from 9am-5pm. It is also open on Monday if it is a public holiday.

    Steps leading up to the Pagoda Steps up to main entrance hall More steps taken from Pagoda towards Mt. Kembla Amazing architecture especially roof detail Perfectly manicured lawns and gardens

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    Belmore Basin and harbour

    by austarman Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    A walk around the beaches and harbour area is a great thing to do in Wollongong.
    There is a combination cycleway and walk-track that starts at the harbour and follows the coast 14km's north.
    Belmore Basin itself has barbecue and picnic facilities, restaurants and
    playgrounds and a fish market.
    All of which overlooks the picturesque harbour.
    Belmore Basin is studded with lighthouses and Norfolk Island Pines and flanked by golden surfing beaches.
    Belmore basin is home to a large fishing fleet as well as attracting plenty of
    pelicans.

    Wolongong Harbour,fishing boats Sailing boats and pleasre craft Wollongong lighthouse and canons Wollongong Harbour Walkway and saltpool north-beach in distance
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Water Sports
    • Beaches

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    Visit Nan Tien Temple

    by austarman Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This is a very large Chinese Buddhist temple complex, and in fact it is the largest in the southern hemisphere.
    There are three large shrines here:
    The main shrine,the great mercy hall and the pagoda.
    There is also a meditation hall,a museum and gift shop a restaurant, a tea room,conference room, lotus pond and garden and a information centre.
    Accommodation is also available there at the pilgrims lodge.
    I'm not Buddhist ,but there is definitely a atmosphere of calm and peace here and I like to visit this place before I fly anywhere. ;-)

    The Pagoda The Buddha Nan Tien temple Nan Tien temple Statue Grand master Hsing Yun
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Arts and Culture
    • Religious Travel

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    Corrimal Beach

    by leebee1 Written Dec 12, 2004

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    Another Beach just North of Wollongong, is Corrimal.
    The surf club is located on the south end, where you'll find the patrolled swimming area.
    The northern end is my particular favourite...
    Although this Beach is not a "designated dog friendly area", you'll always find a hundred million dogs running freely along. I don't have any problem with that, infact I like it. You''ll also find if you go there often enough, its always the same dogs.
    This beach is one of my favourites in the whole area, simply for the fact its not overcrowded.
    On a nice day you have a great view of Wollongong from here.

    Northern end of Corrimal Beach

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    The Pagoda

    by martin_nl Updated Feb 9, 2004

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    I didn't know what the function of a Pagoda was when I went to the NanTien Temple. So I was a bit disappointed when I heard that we couldn't go in and climb the stairs to the top. However now that I do know what the relevance of the Pagoda is I don't mind anymore.

    The Pagoda is a resting place for the cremated ashes of devotees and their relatives. The Pagoda can store the remains of 7000 people. If you want you can sound the bell inside the Pagoda and make a wish.

    The Pagoda
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Road Trip
    • Religious Travel

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    the HARS-museum of vintage airplanes

    by globetrott Updated Mar 13, 2012

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    This museum is another great collection for all friends of technical museums: The HARS (Historic Aviation Restoration Society)-collection of airplanes and most of these airplanes are even still able to fly or are under repair or restoration in order to be able to fly some day soon.
    Unfortunately you can visit this collection only as a guided tour, BUT they do it even for a single person like me and even, when you get there just about 30 min before they are closing. In similar situations other museums would have told me to come back tomorrow.
    You will be able to enter some of the airplanes as well !
    An ordinary tour will take about 1 hour or even more and there is no extra charge for it, you just pay the entrancefee !
    The museum is open:
    Monday – Sunday: 09:30 am – 3:30 pm

    Entrance fees: adults 15 AUS / children: 5 AUS / Family: $25.00

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    campers of the early days

    by globetrott Written Mar 14, 2012

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    This part of the museum was a surprise for me as well and I think it was really interesting to see what the early campers and motorhomes looked like. The windows and the doors of that campingtrailer were open, so you could take a look inside and see it in all fine details.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

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    Lanterns

    by martin_nl Written Feb 9, 2004

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    All over the temple complex you can see all these lanterns. I love the sight of them. It reminds me of 11th of November. This is the day of St. Maarten in the Netherlands. Kids go from door to door with their lanterns and sing songs and hope to get some candy. You can compare it with Halloween, trick or treat....

    Lanterns in the wind
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Road Trip

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    Woonona Beach

    by leebee1 Written Dec 10, 2004

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    Take a 15 minute drive North of Wollongong and come to Woonona Beach. This is a very nice clean beach, very family orientated. They have a gorgeous cliff top area where you will find Rubys cafe (see rest. tips for more info). Here you can purchase breakfast or lunch. From here you can have a great view of both Woonona and Bulli Beaches. On the cliff top there is a large playground for the kids to play. Down on the beach itself, you will find the rockpools, and the patrolled swimming areas.
    I think this is a very nice spot, especially for the kids or picnicing.

    Woonona Beach

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    Wollongong Harbour.

    by leebee1 Updated Aug 28, 2004

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    Grab a bite to eat at Boufflers Seafood. They have beautiful seafood boxes here to take and eat on the Harbour foreshore. Although it is a little pricey, it's well worth it.
    There is a Bicycle track right through Wollongong, where on the weekends most people take advantage of the weather and the gorgeous backdrop. There will be many cyclists, kids riding bikes, walkers accompanied by their dogs. A very family type atmosphere, and great for people watching. There are numerous cafes along Cliff Rd, where you can have breakfast, lunch or dinner, or you could just pop in for a coffee.

    Wollongong Harbour.
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Family Travel

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    Kiama Blowhole

    by leebee1 Written Jan 3, 2005

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    Ok, this tip in particular really should come under Shellharbour (pages I have yet to start on)...BUT...If you are planning on visiting Wollongong its only about a 20/30 minute drive south, and its worth the drive. So i had to add it to my Wollonong pages.
    Best seen on a windy type day with a bit of swell, the blowhole is one attraction that is totally FREE!
    Also it is worth browsing through all the beautiful shops around Terralong and Manning Streets. You'll find a variety of things such as books, handmade lollies and jams, arts and crafts. Gorgeous little cafes and restaurants all in and around the Kiama harbour area.
    A beautiful must see place. We still take drives to Kiama often ourselves...

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    Fitzroy Falls in Picturesque Morton National Park

    by lindyz Updated Jun 9, 2009

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    Usually when we have visitors come and stay there are a few places we like to take them, and this is one of them. It is only about an hours drive from our house, heading up the winding road called Macquarie Pass.

    Fitzroy Falls were discovered in the 1820's and the Reserve became known as Morton National Park in the 1960's. Fitzroy Falls flows onto the Kangaroo River and the beautiful area known as Kangaroo Valley.

    At Fitzroy Falls you will find a Visitors Centre, the famous Lookout and countless stunning bushwalking trails.

    Also, near here is the newly opened "Illawarra Fly". This is a 500 metre long 25 metre high elevated tree top walk through the bushland. The Illawarra Fly is located in the Southern Highlands at Knights Hill, which is near Jamberoo and Robertson. Also closeby is Cambewarra Mountains, with panoramic view of the south coast and Shoalhaven. On a clear day you can see 110 km of coastline from this viewpoint.

    Me at Fitzroy Falls Viewpoint Fitzroy Falls Cambewarra Mountain Lookout overlooks Nowra

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    a wonderfull Car-collection

    by globetrott Updated Mar 13, 2012

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    In Wollongon you will find one of the best Car-collections that I found in NSW.The only problem is the fact that the adress is called Wollongong, but in reality you have to drive 20km before you get there from the town of Wollongong. But it was worth all of that trouble, see my pictures here and a lot more in my travelogues !

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Photography

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    some great vintage-trucks as well

    by globetrott Updated Mar 13, 2012

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    There are some interesting vintage-trucks, a great car of the firebrigades and even some old buses as well in the car-collection of Wollongong, take a look at my pictures here or in my travelogues !
    Once that you have found this museum you will need about 1-2 hours in order to be able to explore all exhibits there ! The Paul Butler Collection of vinatge cars is also shown here in that museum !

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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Wollongong Hotels

  • Medina Executive Wollongong

    19 Marketing Street, Wollongong, 2500, Australia

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Best Western City Sands Hotel

    Cnr of Banks & Corrimal St, Wollongong, New South Wales, 2500, Australia

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Couples

  • Quality Suites Pioneer Sands

    19 Carters Lane, Towradgi, Wollongong, 2518, Australia

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

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