Over the Christmas period, Mike and I tried to find somewhere to settle with our campervan. We weren’t having much luck in Sydney, as it was so hectic and completely booked up. Subsequently, we had to cast our net slightly further afield. Which is exactly how we stumbled upon the delightful city of Wollongong, Australia…
Aside from the locals, I don’t imagine that many people have heard of Wollongong. I certainly hadn’t. But my, what a pleasant surprise. If you’re travelling along the East Coast of Australia via Campervan, you may have noticed that city campgrounds aren’t so pretty. Moreover, you might be interested in a campsite that comes in at a fraction of the cost, with scenic views for days. If this sounds like you, I strongly recommend settling in Wollongong. There are plenty of things to see and do in this beautiful coastal city. And it’s only around an hour’s drive from Sydney, which is ideal if you’re happy to nip in and out.
In case you need any more convincing, here’s a roundup of some of my favourite spots in Wollongong, predominantly around the Bulli Beach area. These should be enough of a starting point for what to do when you first arrive.
Where to Stay if You’re Camping
Bulli Beach Tourist Park. What. A. Find! I’d highly recommend this scenic campsite to any travellers driving along the East Coast of Australia. As mentioned, it’s roughly an hours drive from Sydney but is significantly cheaper. Plus, you’ll avoid hoards of other tourists. The campground itself is pretty large, with plenty of room for all kinds of campervan, caravan, tent or whatever else you have with you.
Of course, the best part is that it’s on the beachfront, as in, literally right on the beach. You can roll out of your teeny campervan (if yours is anything like mine was) to a lovely, uncrowded stretch of sand. Added bonus: Spectacular sunrises (something I discovered on one well-timed toilet trip)!
Where to Eat Along Bulli Beach
Ruby’s Cafe is located right on Bulli Beach. Conveniently, this also happens to be right on the edge of the Bulli Beach Tourist Park. Ruby’s strikes the perfect balance between laid-back and utterly charming. Ideal for breakfast or lunch. Whether you’re indulging in a full-on meal, or simply stopping by for an ice cream cool down, you can’t really go wrong. The prices are great, as is the quality of the food. We actually treated ourselves to breakfast here most days.
Looking for something a little more formal? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
Bulli Beach Cafe still epitomises laidback luxury but is a step up in terms of formality. For this reason, I’d say it’s better suited for dinner. Or a nice glass of vino in the afternoon. Just a short walk from Bulli Beach, it’s easy to amble over from the Tourist Park to see what it’s all about. And trust me, it will not disappoint. If you can, try to snap up a table on the balcony, overlooking the beach as the sun goes down. We paired our evening with a divine sharing platter for two and a couple of delicious smoothies. What else do you really need?!
What to Do in Wollongong
Take a day trip to Royal National Park and spend a few hours exploring. This National Park is approximately 40 minutes drive away from Bulli Beach Tourist Park and boasts a range of beautiful coastal walks. It’s also home to numerous facilities including Cafe’s, public bathrooms and picnic spots galore. Mike and I spent our time exploring Wattamolla Beach, but there are so many other things to see here. Check out the waterfalls, wildlife and spectacular seasonal wildflowers. Or maybe just one of the other gorgeous beaches along the coastline. The
park world is your oyster.
I hope that this article has inspired you to visit Wollongong! If you have any questions or have your own recommendations to suggest, please feel free to share these in the comments section below.