When exploring the Illawarra region, begin with a stroll along the Kiama Coast Walk – it's an ideal way to become acquainted with the area. This stupendous 22km stretch begins at Minnamurra and ends in Gerringong and incorporates sublime beaches, wetlands, the Kiama Lighthouse, and the Kiama Blowhole where you can gaze in awe as water is tossed high into the air.
Highlighting the diversity of the region is engrossing Budderoo National Park, just a 15-minute drive west of Kiama. It hoards captivating waterfalls, huge boulders, and the must-visit Minnamurra Rainforest attraction, which reveals breathtaking sights along elevated walkways.
Back on the coast, Gerroa is a pleasant village within touching distance of Seven Mile Beach National Park. Take a walk to the lookout that highlights the magnificent coast. Seven Mile Beach was once used as an airstrip by the legendary Sir Charles Kingsford Smith; learn more about this historic event at the Gerringong Heritage Museum.
In the northern part of the Illawarra region, Shellharbour is a great base for accessing Lake Illawarra where sailing, waterskiing, canoeing, and fishing can all be enjoyed.
Continuing north, Wollongong is one of the largest regional cities in Australia and this coastal hotspot has a wealth of appeal. Relax at sparkling beaches, or enjoy adrenaline-pumping activities like skydiving, paragliding, and Ferrari and Harley-Davidson joy rides.
Wollongong cultural attractions are first rate. The southern hemisphere’s largest Buddhist temple – Nan Tien Temple – and the extensive Wollongong Art Gallery lead the way.
The Illawarra Rhododendron Gardens make for a beautiful sight, or take in superb views along the Mount Kembla Ring track or the Mount Keira Ring track; both are easily accessed from Wollongong.
If continuing towards Sydney, journeying along the 665m-long Sea Cliff Bridge will delight photographers – the views are phenomenal and a walking path allows unhurried views of these surrounds. Nearby Bald Hill lookout is a prime spot to snap away in the Illawarra region.