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The New South Wales coastal area of Illawarra lies immediately to the south of Sydney, perhaps best known as the home of Wollongong, the third largest city in the state. It stretches from the southern edges of Sydney down the coast to the Shoalhaven River. You’ll discover treetop adventures, craft markets, whale watching and beautiful coastline - making this a great region to explore when you get out of the city. Visit the Australian Motorlife Museum, a real hidden gem or indulge yourself in the shops and boutiques of Wollongong.
Wollongong - This city starts where Sydney finishes, running in a long thin strip down the coast, as its growth is limited by the mountains behind it.
Shellharbour - Another small coastal city that has been inhabited by people for thousands of years, making it one of the oldest settlements in the country. A great place for watersports.
Kiama - Famed for its stunning coastline, this town lies about an hour and a half south of Sydney. There’s a big arts scene here and a real community spirit.
Royal National Park - One of the oldest national parks in the world and lying just to the south of Sydney stopping its urban sprawl, it’s a great place to go for a picnic.
Starting in the north of the region, visit the Royal National Park, the second oldest in the world. It’s huge and is blessed with some majestic scenery. Visit the historic boat shed or take the paved path up to the Bungoona Lookout for the best views over the Hacking River Valley. Explore more of Kiama’s impressive coastline, with rugged and rocky outcrops giving way onto rolling green foothills. Wollongong is one of the state’s biggest cities, and has everything you would expect from a big urban area, with top shopping and dining options. Take the Grand Pacific Drive to arrive in the city in the most beautiful way. There are also some great beaches here, including North Beach and Austinmer.
Head to Nowra for a tree top adventure in the challenging wire course and get the blood pumping. Or indulge your creative side at Wollongong’s Friday markets. Take a boat out to spot whales, which are frequently seen in the waters off the coast or get technical at the Australian Motorlife Museum. Visit the Breakwater Lighthouse, also known as the Wollongong Harbour Lighthouse, which forms an iconic part of the city’s history. Try out a range of watersports at Shellharbour, a historic town that has been home to aboriginal people for thousands of years. Keep your eyes peeled for the many festivals and events that happen in Illawarra throughout the year, including barefoot yoga.