14 Best Things To Do In Wollongong, Australia

things to do in wollongong australia
Adrian Chew
Adrian Chew 
| 7 min read

Wollongong lies 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of Sydney and about a one hour drive from Sydney. It is a popular destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Wollongong means between the mountain and the sea, and that is precisely where it lies, on a narrow strip. It is bound by beaches on one side and an escarpment on the other. The entire city is highly multicultural, adding to its charm and relaxed approach to life. Wollongong is filled to the brim with great activities and attractions to suit any and all lifestyles, including its beautiful beaches and lively beachside city, as well as its excellent fishing, surfing, picnics, and many other activities. Read this article to find out more about the best things to do in Wollongong, Australia.

1. See the interesting exhibits at Wollongong Art Gallery

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

WAG's last opening for 2022 Thinking Through Pink was a great day with many artists and guests getting into the theme of...

Posted by Wollongong Art Gallery on Monday, December 5, 2022

Sliding Wollongong Art Gallery in your itinerary will be worth it if you fancy Australian, Aboriginal, and Asian art. One of the largest regional art museums in Australia, this gallery offers interactive activities and showcases a permanent collection of artworks that reflect the Illawarra regional histories and art practices. Its diverse exhibits comprise 3,257 pieces spanning from Neolithic pots in the Mann-Tatlow Collection of Asian Art to Colonial and Early Australian Art from 1831 and more.

Its humble history dates back to 1956 when Wollongong City Council started collecting art pieces from local art prize exhibitions. The city’s art collection also grew through several gifted artworks and led to the opening of the art gallery in 1978.

Wollongong Art Gallery

Address: 46 Burelli St, Wollongong NSW 2500

Website: Wollongong Art Gallery

Opening hours: Tue- Fri: 10am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 12pm - 4pm (closed on Mon)

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2. Take souvenir pictures of Flagstaff Point Lighthouse

Flagstaff Point Lighthouse, Wollongong, New South Wales
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Coekon used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Also referred to as The Wollongong Head Lighthouse, Flagstaff Point Lighthouse is an iconic landmark in the beautiful city of Wollongong and a popular tourist attraction. It was built in 1936. The eastern side of The Land Down Under only has two lighthouses, and one of them is Flagstaff Point Lighthouse. Its main function is to provide assistance for vessels to safely reach Port Kembla. Standing tall in Wollongong Harbour, Flagstaff Point Lighthouse creates a postcard-perfect scenery for tourists to marvel at.

Flagstaff Point Lighthouse

Address: lot 2500, LOT 2 Endeavour Dr, Wollongong NSW 2500, Australia

Website: Flagstaff Point Lighthouse

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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3. Take your kids to Early Start Discovery Space

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by UOW Early Start Discovery Space on Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Your little science geeks will have a fun time at Early Start Discovery Space. It is a fascinating science and technology museum for children, and it is located in the University of Wollongong. It offers an abundance of activities for the little ones to try. Early Start Discovery Space offers hands-on activities and informative programs for children up to ten years of age. A huge play area, a mock campsite, and an Antarctica-centered research vessel await participants. It also has a parents’ room where guardians can chill while their kids have the best time. Plus, this museum has a cafe that serves hearty meals and a gift shop selling souvenir items.

Early Start Discovery Space

Address: Building 21 University of Wollongong, Northfields Ave, Wollongong NSW 2522, Australia

Website: Early Start Discovery Space

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 12pm, 12:30pm - 3:30pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 15 USD

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4. Unwind in Lang Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Thinking of fun things to do with your family on your rest day in Wollongong? Why not take them to Lang Park and make memories that you will remember forever? Nestled on Marine Drive, Lang Park is a charming park that is also a popular venue for community events and festivals in town. It is spacious and close to the beach. The pleasant sea breeze can be felt from the park. It has benches and picnic shelters for guests’ convenience. Plus, it has a playground for kids to enjoy.

Lang Park

Address: Marine Dr, Wollongong NSW 2500, Australia

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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5. Hang out at Port Kembla Beach

Port Kembla - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Maurice van Creij used under CC BY 3.0

Your vacation will not be complete without a fun day at the beach. If you are visiting Wollongong, you should not miss checking out Port Kembla Beach. Billed as one of the city’s most breathtaking beaches, Port Kembla Beach is a paradise for tourists who are merpeople at heart. It showcases a pale sandy shore and waves that are perfect for surfing. Plus, the views are spectacular. It is well-trafficked all year round, and it is even more packed during the summer season. A few steps away from the shore lies a stunning pool that takes advantage of the picturesque views of Port Kembla Beach.

Port Kembla Beach

Address: Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia

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6. Stroll along Sea Cliff Bridge

Sea Cliff Bridge, Wollongong
Source: Photo by Flickr user russellstreet used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Sea Cliff Bridge is located along Grand Pacific Drive, which is 140 kilometers (87 miles), in length. From the Royal National Park, it will take you through a rainforest, passing over the bridge and through the coastal cities of Woll, Shellharbour, Kioma and Shoalhaven. There are endless experiences to be enjoyed, along Grand Pacific Drive. The 665 meter (2182 foot) Sea Cliff Bridge, is the highest point, along the route and it has become an icon to the people of Wollongong.

Opened in 2005, the Sea Cliff Bridge offers visitors the chance to get out of the car and stretch their legs. Besides, it is a great viewing platform for migrating whales, heading south or north during the migration season. This starting point of this attraction is accessible via various types of public transport such as bus and train or you can even rent a car to drive the route, stopping along the way.

Sea Cliff Bridge

Address: Clifton NSW 2515, Australia

Access: By car, train or bus

Website: Sea Cliff Bridge

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7. Drop by Nan Tien Temple

Nan Tien Temple
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Adam.J.W.C. used under CC BY 3.0

Situated south of the city of Wollongong, this temple is the largest Buddhist temple, belonging to the Taiwanese Fo Guang Shan order. It is quite a sight, with a respectably sized pagoda alongside a Buddhist school. Its position was specifically chosen to ensure all elements were in harmony. This spiritual, educational and cultural refuge brings a bit of the east to the western world. It is very different from most tourist attractions because there is so much to offer, here. The temple features exhibitions and festivals with vegetarian culinary delights, as well as educational and healthy lifestyle classes and retreats for the public. Besides all this, the Pilgrim Lodge overlooks a lotus pond, the peaceful temple, splendid gardens, the beautiful rolling hills and the famous escarpment of Illawarra.The visual delights and the grand architecture are sights to behold. For those with time, spend a day or weekend, here, on one of the temple’s retreats, for a fully serene experience.

Nan Tien Temple

Address: 180 Berkeley Rd, Berkeley NSW 2506, Australia

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday including public holidays (9am-5pm). Closed on Monday

Access: By train or bus

Contact: + 61 2 4272 0600

Near by Food: Delicious vegetarian meal and on-site tea house

Website: Nan Tien Temple

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8. Chill out at Wattamolla Beach

Rock fishing at Wattamolla
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jayphen used under CC BY-SA 2.0

When you are pining for the feeling of the sand between your toes, take your family to the Wattamolla picnic area in Royal National Park. With a lot of options to keep everyone happy, it is a popular place to base yourself, while exploring the park. The kids will love the calm waters of the lagoon for snorkelling, swimming or bushwalking. The beach is an ideal site for a picnic, under the shade of the cabbage tree palms or you can head to the beach for a spot of fishing. This attraction is a unique place to visit and explore, as you can see the beach and a park, at the same time.

Wattamolla Beach

Address: Royal National Park, Coast Track, Sutherland Shire NSW 2232, Australia

Access: By car

Contact: + 61 2 9542 0648

Website: Wattamolla Beach

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9. Enjoy a picnic at Kellys Falls Picnic Area

Situated in Stanwell Park, this is another ideal spot for solo visitors and families to spend a day. You will see the waterfalls cascade over the rocks and drop into a pool, which provides a relaxing soundtrack for your lunch, in the picnic area. You can get back to nature at this beautiful spot and, from the picnic area, walk to one of the four scenic lookouts, where you can immerse yourself in the amazing view of the rainforest and waterfall, below. Apart from that, it is an ideal spot for birdwatching, as you can get a closer look at wattle birds, satin bowerbirds and honeyeaters, attracted to the towering Gymea lilies, flowering grevillea, banksias and hakea.

From here on you can take a walk along one of the adjoining walking tracks. If you choose the Illawarra Escarpment Trail, it will lead you to the northern suburbs of Wollongong and if you opt for the Bushwalking Trail, you will reach Stanwell Tops.

Kellys Falls Picnic Area

Address: Kellys Falls Track, Helensburgh NSW 2508, Australia

Access: By car

Website: Kellys Falls Picnic Area

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10. Visit the Science Centre and Planetarium

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Science Space Wollongong on Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Science Centre and Planetarium of Wollongong is operated by the University of Wollongong and covers everything from dinosaurs to electronics. Quizzical kids of all ages will look forward to visiting this amazing planetarium, once they are in Wollongong. It is the largest planetarium in New South Wales and the main highlight here includes exploring the stars, through their Zeiss star projector as you are guided through a tour of the night sky. All the planetarium shows are followed by other immersive shows, with topics ranging from astronomy to dinosaurs. The shows are performed on a regular basis, on weekends, school holidays and public holidays.

Science Centre and Planetarium

Address: Innovation Campus, Wollongong Science Centre, Innovation Campus, 60 Squires Way, North Wollongong NSW 2519, Australia

Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday, Sunday (9am-5pm), Friday-Saturday (10am-4pm). Closed on New Years Day, Australia Day, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Price: About 14 AUD (10.55 USD), Adults; About 10 AUD ( 7.55 USD), Children

Access: By shuttle bus

Contact: + 61 2 4286 5000

Website: Science Centre and Planetarium

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11. Explore the Wollongong Botanic Garden

Wollongong Botanic Garden
Source: Photo by Flickr user Negoz used under CC BY 2.0

Wollongong Botanic Garden is located in the city’s suburb of Keiraville, at the foot of Mt. Keira, in New South Wales. The garden is a place of natural beauty, where people can come to relax, celebrate and learn more about plants and horticulture. The garden also offers an exciting array of activities and experiences, for visitors of all ages. The activities include guided walks and a community workshop. Besides, it has a huge garden collection, which is divided into many different sections, including the Dryland Garden, Rainforest Collection, Towri Bush Tucker Garden, Plant Life, Woodland Garden, Rose Garden, Palm Garden, Flowering Trees & Shrubs and a Succulent Collection.

One can take the time to explore the different sections carefully. The rose garden is a circular private area, surrounded by a wall of vines, with beautiful roses and a seating area. Apart from all this, it has a shady area, a lake with a red bridge and a pagoda in the middle, which makes this place perfect for wedding photos. At the entrance is a fantastic kids area, for them to play.

Wollongong Botanic Garden

Address: Murphys Ave, Keiraville NSW 2500, Australia

Opening Hours: Daily (7am-5pm). Closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day

Access: By car or shuttle bus

Contact: + 61 2 4227 7667

Website: Wollongong Botanic Garden

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12. Spend a day at Bulli Beach

Bulli Beach
Source: Photo by Flickr user Alan Samuel used under CC BY 2.0

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Bulli Beach is located about 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) north of Wollongong Central Business District. It is 900 metres (2953 feet) long and backed by a sand dune and a large parkland area. Besides that, it is a perfect place for picnics and family gatherings. All year round, you will see many visitors come to Bulli Beach, some even with their caravans. It also consists of the Surf Club, located south of the northern rocks. Bike paths run behind the beach, linking Bulli Beach and Woonona Beach. The beach is also dog-friendly, so just bring your dog and let it have some fun.

Bulli Beach

Address: 46 Trinity Row, Bulli NSW 2516, Australia

Website: Bulli Beach

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13. Take photos at Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse

Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse
Source: Photo by Flickr user russellstreet used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This heritage lighthouse, on the harbour, was built in 1871. It has now been superseded by a larger one nearby but it is still an attractive sight. Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse is also known as Wollongong Harbour Lighthouse. The coastal city is the only place in east Australia to have two lighthouses located so near to each other. The other one is known as Wollongong Head Lighthouse. The old lighthouse has become an icon of Wollongong for its part in history and is often depicted in tourist brochures and is even in the emblem of the high school uniform. The Breakwater Lighthouse was listed as a heritage building of significance, for being Australia’s first fabricated steel lighthouse.

Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse

Address: Wollongong NSW 2500, Australia

Website: Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse

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14. Venture to the Illawarra Escarpment

Bumbo latite columns
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dietmar Down Under used under CC BY 2.0

Illawarra Escarpment is a dramatic 300 million-year-old formation offering scenic views, hiking, walking, birdwatching and amazing picnic spots for visitors. The spectacular rainforest hugs the sandstone cliff of the Illawarra Escarpment, that overlooks Wollongong and the coast and provides a good place for those who loves nature. The escarpment features dramatic sandstone cliffs and a medley of different forest types from sub-tropical rainforest to eucalyptus and towering cedars. There is also an abundance of colonial and aboriginal heritage, here and a stunning variety of bird life.

You can choose to go during spring, summer or winter. During spring, visitors can enjoy the native wildflower display, along the Forest Walk. If you go there during summer, you can take the Mont Kiara bush track, which threads through refreshing rainforests. When winter arrives, take advantage of the escarpment elevation for a spot of whale watching, north of Mount Keira, or from one of the lookouts. It’s an awesome experience for visitors or first-timers.

Illawarra Escarpment

Address: Wollongong NSW 2500, Australia

Access: By car, bike or train

Website: Illawarra Escarpment

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So much to see

From fun adventures to beautiful beaches and delicious cuisine. Wollongong is the perfect escape, just south of Sydney on the Grand Pacific Drive. There is a range of water sports for the adventurous and a journey to see the stars, at the planetarium, is an added attraction, for the kids. A memorable adventure begins here, for the whole family, with this beautiful seaside destination, perfect for day trips, a weekend escape or a longer sojourn.

Wollongong is within easy reach, from Sydney. There are varied dining options and visitors will be spoilt for choice. The vibrant art scene, centered around the Wollongong Art Gallery and the Illawarra Arts Centre, makes this city a must-visit destination. Accommodations are plentiful and range from beachside hotels to camping sites, by the ocean. You can also visit Lake Illawarra, popular for kayaking, sailing, skiing and fishing. There are many more things to see and do, here. Check out the exciting festivals, shows, concert and exhibitions, once you are in Wollongong.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Adrian, originally hailing from the small town of Muar in Johor, Malaysia, was born and raised there. Following his parents' marriage, he made the transition to Kuala Lumpur and now resides in...Read more

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