The region in which you find the Australian city Wollongong is called Illawarra in New South Wales. Wollongong is an interesting city because of its location. It is only about six kilometres wide, but about forty kilometres long. The reason for this is that the mountains are on one side, and the ocean on the other. This also leads to the fact that Wollongong is one of the best cities to go to if you would like to combine a city holiday with a beach and mountain holiday. You can have it all. According to a study of Instagram photos, the people who live in Wollongong are the people who smile the most in Australia – so you won't just have the mountains, the sea, and an interesting city for your holiday, but you'll also find smiling people everywhere.
How to get there
You can either fly into Wollongong, or take a train from Sydney. Note, however, that the train can be busy with commuter in the morning and late afternoon.
How to get around
There are various buses, and all suburbs are connected by regular trains. It's also easy enough to walk around, and there are some guided walking tours. You can hire a car or a bike. Getting around in Wollongong itself is not much of a problem.
Best times of the year to visit
Wollongong can become very hot during the our summer, so if you can't stand the heat, you should avoid the summer months. For people who don't like wind very much, July and August are the months to avoid (as there is a good chance of very strong winds during those months).
The sights and activities you shouldn't miss
A visit to the beach: There are plenty of beaches to visit in Wollongong, and not one of them will be as busy as the beaches in Sydney or the Gold Coast, for example. Yes, you will find tourists and local beach-goers, but you can also find a beach where the next person will be quite far away from you.
Climb to a lookout point: Okay, it's not really climbing, more like walking, but getting up to one of the lookout points will give you spectacular views. Mount Keira Lookout is one of the best lookouts. There is also a great cafe up there where you can enjoy some traditional Devonshire teas while watching para-gliders starting their glide.
Nan Tien Temple: You can visit the biggest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere – entry is free, and you shouldn't miss this. The building has won various awards.
Minnamurra Rainforest: Fantastic, easy walks through a sub-tropical rainforest.
Botanical gardens: For the lovers of plants and nature. And of course there are ducks.
Science Centre and Planetarium: A great museum for young and old.