Last Updated on June 20, 2019 by Lauryn Long
1. Head down to the beach
North Wollongong Beach is easily accessible and a perfect place to spend some free time. The picturesque shore is easy to walk to, but you can also get there by the free public bus that is offered throughout the city. It’s a perfect place to soak up the sun, take a dip in the ocean (between the lifeguard flags of course), play a pick-up game of volleyball, or relax and read a book. Honestly, everything is better at the beach.
2. Grab your hiking gear
Mount Keira is a local mountain that provides one of the best outlooks of Wollongong and beyond. With a view that includes mountains, city, and ocean, it’s something you don’t want to miss out on. The best way to get to the top of Mount Keira is to hike. The climb itself isn’t too overwhelming, although there are some steep inclines throughout. It will all be worth it once you reach the top! Alternatively, you could drive to the top and enjoy the view without all the sweat, but where’s the fun in that?
3. Hop on the train
Luckily, train fare is cheap and the ability to go to different cities offers a world of new places to see and things to do in Wollongong. North Wollongong station is a train system that goes all the way to Sydney with many stops along the way. One of my favorite places to go is Kiama, a town filled with unique shops, restaurants, and cafes. What really sets it apart is the Kiama blowhole that leaves everyone in awe.
4. Go downtown
If you’d rather stay local then head to Wollongong central. With lots of shopping opportunities, an art gallery, movie theaters, and even escape room there’s always something to do. My personal favorite called “Eat Street” happens every Thursday night. Local food trucks come and line the main street offering a variety of food from different cultures. It’s a great way to get yourself to try new things!
5. Get outside of your comfort zone
What better place to learn how to surf than the beautiful Australia? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to jump out of a plane at 15,000 feet in the air? Both of these once in a lifetime experiences are right at your fingertips here in Wollongong. There are surfing schools that will teach you and a some mates for a couple hours including wetsuits and boards. Skydiving is also very popular here. I’ve grown accustomed to looking up in the sky and seeing about a dozen people floating up there along with the clouds and the birds. That could be you! Some of the best experiences are had when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, so give something new a shot.
This post was contributed by Lauryn Long, a student from St. John Fisher College who is spending her spring semester studying abroad with AIFS in Wollongong, Australia.