The Ultimate Illawarra FUN Bucket List - which ones have you done with the kids!?

 Naomi Cotterill Wed 12 December 18


We don’t mean to alarm anyone but the BIG holidays are almost upon us. Yep, 6 long weeks of quality time (think a solid 10-12 hours daily) spent with your kids. Now, we understand if that has you reaching for the wine (‘tis the season after all) BUT with a little bit of planning, the holidays can be manageable and, dare we say it, even FUN!

To give you a helping hand, we’ve rounded up 10 AWESOME things that you’ve just gotta do in the Illawarra. Think those things that make our little slice of NSW paradise extra special. Choose a couple to put on your ‘Bucket List’ list for 2019 and we reckon you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to answering the inevitable ‘what are we doing toddddddddday?’ question. 

1.Sea Cliff Bridge Walk – The Sea Cliff Bridge is a bit of an architectural marvel. Surely we can’t be the only ones who drive across it and wonder; “but HOW did they build it?” A great spot to check out for visitors and locals alike, we love driving to the Stanwell side, parking and walking/biking/scooting across before returning for a picnic and a dip.

2.Try a swimming safari – We are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to our beaches. Seriously, people would pay a lot of money to have the likes of Little Austi and Sharkey’s on their doorstep. For many of us though, we tend to stick to our local haunts. Why not think outside the box and check out one of the other hidden gems along the coastline? From Wombarra rock pool to Coalcliff, Bellambi to Port Kembla, there are SO many places to get your toes wet that you can and should try and visit somewhere new each week. Click here to read our family friendly guide to Illawarra and south coast beaches!

3.Visit Port Kembla – Leading on from the above, Port Kembla pool is a must-do for families. Tucked away in a tiny enclave, the council run pools are right up against the beach so you can choose how you’d like to get wet. With toddler and pre-school pools, a lap pool and plenty of shade, you’d expect to pay for the privilege but entry is FREE, the water is salt and there’s even a café which serves great coffee and all the essential ice cream choices.

4.Illawarra Trees Adventure – If you've yet to take the family, you are missing out on such a brilliant experience! Designed for all ages from 4 years and up, and with over 80 courses and 15 flying foxes (!) the family are in for a unique and wonderful treat! Sessions run for 2 hours, where you and your family can navigate and fly through the trees! Trees Adventure is located inside the Shoalhaven Zoo so you can be a monkey while checking out the monkeys! A discount on zoo tickets is also available to Trees Adventure customers - so why not make a day of it? You can learn more by CLICKING HERE!

5.Minnamurra River – A day spent by the river is a day well spent, at least that’s what we say in this house! The Minnamurra River is one of those amazing spots that just seems to have it all. Depending on the tide, you can wade out and set up camp IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RIVER, which is a novelty in itself. Even at high tide, there’s plenty of shoreline for your beach tent. The perfect spot for paddle-boarding, kayaking, fishing or relaxing in the sun, you can also walk across to Mystics Beach which is part of Killalea State Park and Surfing Reserve.

6.Science Space – While we all love getting outside during the warmer months, indoor options with cooling air con are always a good thing and the Science Space is one of the best. Located in North Wollongong, Science Space allows budding scientists to explore how science and technology operate in everyday life. You can check out the Planetarium, Australia’s most digitally advanced planet display and over 100 hands-on interactive exhibits great for aged 3-12years although younger kids welcome!

7.Wollongong Botanic Garden – Occupying a prime chunk of real estate in Keiraville, the Wollongong Botanic Garden are a gorgeously lush little oasis, perfect for a summer picnic. With a gated playground, a maze, outdoor reading room, walking tracks and plenty of shady space to stretch out in the sun, it’s the perfect spot to spend a warm afternoon.

8.The Blow Hole – While Kiama is home to many wonderful things (may we suggest The Hungry Monkey for a coffee?), the Blow Hole is one of the most well-known. And even if it’s not ‘firing’, there’s enough drama surrounding it to keep even the fussiest kid entertained. One of our favourite things to do is jump on the train and ride it to Kiama for a day spent blow hole watching, fish and chip eating and harbour swimming - CLICK HERE to find out more!

9.Lake Illawarra and Reddall Reserve – If you’re a Northern Suburbs’ person, you may not have spent much time by Lake Illawarra, (link to our page about this!) and that, my friends, is a sad state of affairs. The perfect spot for a paddle, walk, bike ride or to throw in a fishing line, there’s so many things to check out by the lake. It’s also home to Reddall Reserve which has plenty of picnic, BBQ and toilet facilities and the Pelican Park playground which is wheelchair accessible and suitable for kids of all ages.

10.Fairy Meadow skate park, playpark, bike track and car race track! It’s a well kept secret this one but Guest Park in Fairy Meadow has huge green playing fields to roam and race around, a great playpark AND a place for scooters and skaters to test their skills on the ramps – plus a great course perfect for bike riders and those with remote controlled cars – if you child gets lucky with a RC car this Chrissy this is the place to come test drive as there is viewing platform perched above to test drive your cars from!  

For more family friendly What’s On inspiration – CLICK HERE! Or check out our latest Summer School Holiday Feature which is bursting with kid friendly FUN this January - CLICK HERE!

Click here to subscribe to our Parents e-Newsletter and you’ll be sent our Top 10 Free Things to do in the Illawarra – in the form of a kid’s journal so you can capture the memories of your child growing up in this amazing place we get to call home.  

And hey! Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and become a part of our growing online community - be in the know about all the family-friendly local businesses and events - CLICK HERE! 


WBRSL Banner
Wollongong Central Chillville Banner
Gravity Gym

Important Numbers

24hr Health Line
1800 022 222

Poisons Information
13 11 26

Parent Line NSW
1300 130 052

13 20 11

Pregnancy, Birth & Baby Helpline
1800 882 436

Australian Breastfeeding Ass.
1800 686 2 686 222

Tresillian Help Line
1300 272 736

Mental Health Line
1800 011 511 (24 hours, 7 days)

Parents Guide © Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved Design and development by: Butler Creative