Day Tripper: Wollongong.

Wollongong Harbour at its finest...

Wollongong Harbour at its finest…

For those travelers who’ve spent a little bit too much time in urban Sydney, there’s plenty to see and do away from the hustle and bustle of the state’s premier attraction. Just an hour and a half south from the city, there’s a wonderful beach side city known to locals as ‘ The Gong’. Wollongong is definitely worth the train trip out, so here’s a guide for your day in paradise.

Catch the train from Central Station, Sydney. You can rent a car and drive down, but the train trip is simply beautiful. It’s a great way to see the state’s idyllic coastline and also get a feel for life outside of the city. Views from the carriage are truly magnificent, with passengers treated to cliff-top passages along miles on uninterrupted ocean panoramas. If you start your trip early enough, stop off in Thirroul for a cup of coffee and a hearty brunch.

Visit the center of the Wollongong CBD. After you’ve reached your destination (North Wollongong station), alight and make your way through to the pleasant CBD area. A great place for last-minute shopping (think sunscreen and hats!), the CBD area has recently been rejuvenated by increased investment and a bit of a cultural revolution. A restaurant of almost every kind can be found, by for our money, Lupa Woodfired Pizza and Jay-Jay’s Indian are the best value.

Walk down to the Wollongong Marina. The local marina is a wonderful spot for an open air lunch of fresh prawns, succulent oysters and flavoursome grilled fish. Visit the local fish market for the best local produce, offered at truly awesome prices. Soak in the view, which includes a picturesque lighthouse and World War II ear embattlements.

Catch some waves at North Wollongong Beach. With its white sands and elongated beach front, North Wollongong Beach is the ideal place for an afternoon swim. The waves are definitely for the faint hearted, but there are also ocean baths and a top-quality outdoor pool available for use. Near the swimming club, there’s a great canteen which serves up great snacks and refreshing juices made in store.

Watch the sun set over the lagoons. A little further to the north of the main swimming area, there are a few small lagoons, paradisiacal wetlands which are a home for elegant sea-birds and local fauna. Enjoy the finest things Australia has to offer, including our amazing natural beauty. You won’t regret taking the time to enjoy it!

If you have energy left in your tired body, you’ll have to make your way back into town for your train home. But if you feel like staying overnight (and there’s every chance you will), then there are plenty of options for every budget imaginable, from camping to four-star hotels. So happy trails!


Noble Endeavours Community Development, a multi-faceted development project aimed at improving the lives of the people living in marginalized and indigenous communities.

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