ILLAWARRA / SOUTH COAST
THINGS TO DO IN ILLAWARRA / SOUTH COAST
Rolling green hills to white sand beaches, Illawarra and the South Coast is a nature lover's paradise.
A natural wonderland of untamed beauty, the Illawarra and South Coast region is overflowing with white-sand beaches, lush rainforests, national parks and charming fishing towns. Here, life is meant to be lived in the great outdoors, from heart-thumping activities to foodie delights to quiet places for indulgent solitude. There's no shortage of things to do in Illawarra and the South Coast.
Stretching from Sydney's south to the Victorian border, Illawarra and the South Coast boasts a line-up of seaside towns that know how to charm; Berry, Kiama, Wollongong, Shoalhaven Heads, Gerringong and Jervis Bay (to name a few), all have a lifestyle that is hard to resist. Sweeping acreage and hobby farms aplenty to beach shacks and luxurious abodes. This coastal region and its charming towns seem worlds away from Sydney and Canberra's hustle and bustle.
So, whether you're looking for family-friendly fun, a city-like vibe, a place to retreat to, or country-style hospitality, this spectacular region delivers ten-fold. Packed full of things to do (and what a choice you have!), Illawarra and the South Coast is as much a holiday hotspot as it is a place to call home. Buckle up because our list of things to do is long.
Known for its outdoor lifestyle, Illawarra and the South Coast is packed full of adventure; sea kayaking, scuba diving, big game fishing, surfing, mountain biking, whale watching, hiking, and camping. And with so many lagoons, waterways and inlets, you will want to launch your vessel or jump aboard a tour to explore the region in its entirety. However, Wollongong is the icing on the cake, with sky diving, treetop adventures, and hang gliding. When it comes to things do, Illawarra and the South Coast delivers in a big way.
Hands down, the region's biggest drawcard, the coastline of Illawarra and the South Coast is nothing short of breathtaking. From Stanwell in the north to Hyams Beach in the south, the region offers some of the best beaches in the State. Long sandy beaches with crashing swells, bay style beaches with rock pools, and secluded shorelines bounded by untouched wilderness – it's all here begging to be explored. And although most are easily accessible, it's the ones that you have to hike to that will really leave you in awe.
With the promise of adventure and beauty, the best way to soak up the stunning scenery of Illawarra and the South Coast is by foot. From the beach to the bush, from short strolls to all-day hikes, these scenic walking tracks are some of the best things to do on the South Coast. From the trails in Booderee National Park in the Jervis Bay region to Barunda National Park in the South Coast's far reaches to the stunning coastal walk from Kiama to Gerringong. Or, head inland a little and explore the wonders of Illawarra Escarpment and Kangaroo Valley.
Illawarra and the South Coast thrives on homegrown goodness and its foodie scene that delights in the most unexpected ways. Our advice? Pack an empty esky because you're going to want to take more than a slice of this region home with you, from the donuts in Berry to pies in Kangaroo Valley, to burgers in Kiama and the World's Famous Fish n' Chips in Huskisson. Then there is the cafes and restaurants that champion paddock-to-plate; Gunyah Restaurant at Paperbark Camp in Woollamia, The Butter Factory in Pyree, and South on Albany in Berry. Yet, it's the farmgate produce and weekly Farmers Markets that will really have you in a spin with delicious and wholesome locally grown and made produce.
Flush with national parks and rainforests and boasting some of the dreamiest beaches on Australia's east coast, Illawarra and the South Coast are wildlife-watching destinations. It is where you can spot dolphins frolicking in the waves one day, penguins waddling on the sand the next, and kangaroos hopping among the greenery. Whales have tour boats going out into the deep sea in droves, and Jervis Bay Marine Park is an underwater wonderland. And to add to the allure, the South Coast is Australia's 'Oyster Coast'.
With so many things to do in Illawarra and the South Coast, you will want to stay awhile. One of the best ways to explore this region is to camp, and there are plenty of spots to choose from, be it beachside or beneath a rainforest canopy. If camping is not your thing, the region is overflowing with luxurious getaways (Paperbark Camp, Bangalay Luxury Villas or Bannisters, anyone?) to insta-worthy holiday properties (The Pause, Soul of Gerringong, Beach House Gerroa). Whichever you choose, one thing is for sure. You'll be in for a real treat.
Lustful beaches and pristine national parks to sleepy beachside towns, when it comes to things to do in Illawarra and the South Coast, you are truly in an outdoor lover's paradise.
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