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When you think of Australia, Sydney is at the top of everyone’s mind, but if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city, drive an hour and a bit down south and you’ll find yourself in the seaside city of Wollongong, affectionately known as “the Gong” to locals.

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Best Time to Visit Wollongong

Since Wollongong follows an oceanic climate pattern, you can visit it any time of the year. Summers here are not too hot, and winters more cool than cold. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s plenty of things to do in Wollongong. However, if you’re looking for a lazy day on the beach, the best advice is to visit September to February during spring and summer.

Low season is generally in the winter months from July to August, with temperatures around 17C. Summer is the most popular time to explore Wollongong as it makes for a perfect weekend escape to the beach.

Low season is generally in the winter months from July to August, with temperatures around 17C. Summer is the most popular time to explore Wollongong as it makes for a perfect weekend escape to the beach.

Top Things to do in Wollongong

If you just want to relax and hit the beach…

Whether you’re looking for a spot for fishing, a quiet beach, or one that’s popular with surfers, Wollongong’s got it. The Bondi of Wollongong, Austinmer beach, draws in large crowds in the summer and with shops and local eats located close by, it makes for the perfect lazy beach day.

If you are looking for more active things to do in Wollongong, the town also features surf beaches such as Sandon Point, Bellambi, and Port Kembla beach. Just be sure to check out the surf reports. Magic Seaweed provides a free, and current surf report.

If you are looking for a bit of adventure…

Wollongong is an adrenaline destination. Thrill seekers will find plenty of things to do in Wollongong with an adventure list featuring everything from bushwalking to skydiving, and everything in between.

One of the top Wollongong attractions is skydiving. From 14,000 feet some would say you’d get an alright view of the coast. Jokes, it’s amazing and terrifying at the same time! You’ll be free-falling for 60 seconds at speeds of 200km/hr. The views will be breathtaking, and Skydive Sydney-Wollongong is the only beach skydive in Sydney!

Skydiving is one of the most exhilarating Wollongong attractions. Photo by Marcelo Rajchman via Flickr CC

If you’re more of a beginner adventurer and wondering what to do in Wollongong, check out some of the walking tracks on offer, like the Sublime Point walking track.

If you are looking for a cultural experience…

For culture vultures wondering what to do in Wollongong, head to the Nan Tien Temple is the perfect fit. Situated just 10 minutes from Wollongong City, it offers a variety of experiences and is worth a visit.

Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong, Australia
Wollongong attractions for those seeking a spot of culture: Nan Tien Temple. Photo by Aaron Jacobs via Flickr CC

The temple is the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere and features grand architecture, and unifies traditional and modern practices of Buddhism. Additionally, the temple often plays host to various festivals and ceremonies throughout the year so no matter when you visit you’ll always have plenty of things to do in Wollongong.

Wollongong Accommodation 

If you just want to relax…

For many, a  holiday is a time for relaxing, not the time for pitching up a tent, not the time for making the bed, and definitely not the time to be stuck outside facing the elements. Wollongong accommodation list features an extensive range of motels and hotels.

If you’re looking for hotels in Wollongong for a luxe beach weekend escape, the award-winning, 4-star Novotel Wollongong North Beach is situated just a few steps from the beach and boasts stunning ocean views.

There are plenty of other Wollongong accommodation offerings, but an average weekly stay in any of the hotels in Wollongong will set you back about $100AUD a night.

If you are looking for a bit of adventure…

Wollongong attractions are definitely worth the journey. If you’re driving down from Sydney why not take full advantage of the beachside getaway and make camp at Coledale Beach Camping Reserve. This Wollongong accommodation site provides showers, toilet facilities, power outlets, a kitchen, and a laundry.

For those looking for a more rugged eco-friendly Wollongong accommodation check out the North Era Campground, but be aware that campers will need to be self-sufficient in water, food, and shelter.

For culture-vultures…

Feeling even more spiritual? The Nan Tien Temple offers weekend retreats where you can stay on the grounds at the Pilgrim Lodge.

What to Eat and Drink in Wollongong

Like the rest of Australia, Wollongong has a strong cafe and coffee culture. Be sure to take a stroll on Crown street and its side streets, where you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a breakfast or brunch spot. It’s the perfect spot to take in the atmosphere as you wonder what to do in Wollongong next!

If you are looking for some night time things to do in Wollongong, then be sure to check out trendy Dagwood an Asian-South American Fusion bar and kitchen. The menu features tacos, fried chicken, and hot dogs, and the atmosphere is communal and unique. Samaras is a must have in Wollongong, offering up Lebanese and Mediterranean classics, and shared platters.

For more options, the Illawarra Mercury compiled a list of 18 Wollongong eateries to try!

How Much Time Do You Need in Wollongong

You won’t need more than 1-2 days to explore all of the Wollongong attractions. The city is relatively small and all the things to do in Wollongong are within close proximity.

I would recommend planning on one beach day, and another day for exploring the surrounding areas of Wollongong.

Author’s Bio: Olivia Bourke is an adventurous traveler who simply wants to explore this incredible world we call home. Originally from the States, she now call Australia home and is loving every minute exploring this ever so scenic country, one city at a time. You can followe her adventures on her blog, Great Lost

1 thought on “Tips for Visiting the Seaside Town of Wollongong, Australia”

  1. I have heard so lovely things about Wollongong the past months. It’s great to know that is safe for a girl to travel on it’s own. I love the fact that you can also do a lot of things apart from the beaches!

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