Geographically, Thirroul is caught between a rock and a wet place – the latter being the sparkling ocean that greets a long sandy arc of popular beaches that curve south to Sandon Point, north to Austinmer (and the award-winning Headlands Hotel) and congregate along Thirroul’s main beach. Prefer pool swimming? A popular spot for families, who love the giant playground and 50m lap pool just metres from the sand.
As for the ‘rock’, well there’s a constant reminder of that in the towering 400m high bush-clad escarpment that forms the entire western backdrop. It also hints at this area’s beginnings in the late 1800s servicing the nearby Bulli coal mine – with author DH Lawrence describing it in his 1922 novel, Kangaroo, as “a great black wall of mountain or cliff”.
Of course, he’s not the only “Lawrence” to get a look in, as Australian pioneering aviator Lawrence Hargraves’ namesake road snakes its way through the town. Along the way, it takes in a show at the historical Anita’s Theatre, browses the menu at South Sailor or many others, and picks up a quirky bargain from one of the unique stores along this creative strip.
In fact, Thirroul’s mix of history and wild natural beauty has made it very popular with many artists and creatives – and the result is a village atmosphere and geological amphitheatre quite unlike anything else!