Wollongong is where the mountains meet the sea. Not sure what that looks like? Then head to one of the amazing lookouts in the Illawarra and you'll understand what we mean!
Bald hill lookout, stanwell tops
Bald Hill is one of the Illawarra's most popular lookouts situated on...you guessed it...Bald Hill. Experience sweeping views of the Seacliff Bridge and northern Wollongong suburbs as you take in the view. You may even get to see some of the hang gliders take a running leap over the edge as Bald Hill is internationally recognised as a major hang gliding point.
It was on the beach below Bald Hill that Lawrence Hargrave, an Australian pioneer of flight, experimented with box kites in the early part of the 20th century. A memorial cairn dedicated to him has been erected at the peak of the hill near the car park.
Bald Hill is located on Lawrence Hargrave Drive and forms part of the beautiful Grand Pacific Drive. The Grand Pacific Drive is accessible heading south from Sydney on the M1 Motorway.
Facilities include public toilets.
Southern Gateway centre lookout, Bulli Tops
The Southern Gateway Centre is perfectly perched on the Illawarra Escarpment at Bulli Tops. The Centre is easily accessible for those heading south towards Wollongong on the M1 Motorway. The Centre is open 7 days a week and offers public amenities.
The Centre is the beautiful Gateway to Wollongong & the South Coast where you can enjoy stunning 180 degree ocean and escarpment views from the viewing platform. Why not drop into the Visitor Centre for some expert local knowledge, enjoy a meal at the adjoining Restaurant/Cafe Altitude 1148 or a freshly made Gelato at the Gelato Emporium.
sublime point lookout, bulli tops
Sublime Point Lookout is accessible heading south from Sydney on the M1 Motorway . Providing one of the best vantage points in the Illawarra, Sublime Point delivers 180-degree views of Wollongong and its surrounds, capturing the beauty of the Illawarra Escarpment and the dazzle of the ocean.
The Sublime Point walking track is 850 metres with the difficulty level considered to be hard and best suited to fit walkers, you may have to hike your tail off to reach the summit but when you get there the view is well worth the walk. The track branches of Gibson's track and then ascends sharply to the lookout. A series of steel ladders assist walkers up the jagged cliff lines to the top of the climb. We suggest allowing 45-minutes to complete the track.
Toilets, barbecues, picnic shelters and Sublime Point Restaurant/Cafe are available, the lookout is accessible 7 days a week during daylight hours.
Mt keira lookout, mt keira
Mt Keira is a major local landmark of Wollongong, towering 463.9 metres high casting its protective shadow over the city. It's located just 4 kilometres northwest of Wollongong, forming part of the Illawarra escarpment, providing sweeping views of Wollongong.
Keira is an indigenous Australian term meaning large lagoon or high mountain. The D'harawal Aboriginal people called it Djera, meaning wild turkey. The first maps of the area called it Keera, later adding the i. The mountain is usually pronounced Kee-rah.
The natural beauty of Mount Keira gives an unspoiled backdrop to the City of Wollongong. Mount Keira is part of the Illawarra Escarpment. The vegetation is made up of a mixture of rainforest (closed forest) and sclerophyll forest (open forest). Early logging removed most of the oldest and largest tall forest trees in the area but there is a stand of Turpentines as tall as sixty metres and over.
Mt Keira lookout is located on Mt Keira Road. Facilities include public toilets, the lookout is accessible 7 days a week during daylight hours.
mt kembla lookout, Mt Kembla
After visiting Mt Keira lookout, you can continue onto Mt Kembla which is a charming historical mining village and lookout by following Tourist Drive 11 directional signs.
Kembla is an aboriginal word meaning "wild game abundant" or "plenty of game". The D'harawal Aboriginal people called the area "jum-bullah" or "Djembla" which means wallaby.
Mt Kembla has been described as a subtropical belt of rainforest that is home to a variety of game life resulting in an abundant food supply.
The lookout offers amazing views of Lake Illawarra and the coastal plain. For hikers, it is a 30-minute walk uphill from Mt Kembla village and is the starting point for the Ring and Summit tracks. If you just want to enjoy the view without the hard work, car parking is available at the lookout which you can access it via Cordeaux Road.
There are no facilities at the lookout.
Hill 60 Lookout, Port Kembla
The Hill 60 Lookout offers spectacular views up and down the coast line. Just below the lookout are beaches fished commercially by local Aboriginal fishermen up until the 1940s. The area has numerous Aboriginal shell middens and artifacts scattered along its shores.
Deep beneath this scenic lookout, lies a series of fortifications which were established at the beginning of World War II. These fortifications housed large guns which were put in place to protect the vital industrial centre of Port Kembla. Although there are no longer any large guns here, the concrete bunkers can be clearly seen. These bunkers are connected to a series of underground tunnels, and in fact, the area is honeycombed with tunnels. These tunnels are not open to the public.
Hill 60 Lookout is accessible off Military Road, Port Kembla.