When you decide to visit New South Wales on your next holiday, why not try somewhere different? Wollongong is the third largest city in the state and is only an hour and a half south of Sydney - two hours if you choose to take a train down the spectacular South Coast Line. It features beaches, extreme sports and plenty of cultural activities to keep even the grumpiest of family members satisfied.
Weather in Wollongong
Come summer or winter, Wollongong is great to visit all year round. Between December and March temperatures can often soar to a blissful 25 degrees Celsius, though don't discount the colder months because June through to August still rarely drop below 15 degrees Celsius during the day.
What to do in Wollongong
Just over 10 minutes south of Wollongong's CBD is the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere - Nan Tien Temple. For a reasonable entry fee you can be taken around a fascinating guided tour of this magical place by one of their expert tour guides. Tours come with a vegetarian lunch and you can even upgrade to participate in your choice of cultural activity, including origami, meditation, Tai Chi and calligraphy.
For a scientific experience visit the Wollongong Science Centre and Planetarium. Over two storeys tall, their Exhibit Hall features dangerous dinosaurs, marvellous machines, brand-new nanotechnology and plenty more. There's also an observatory where you can gaze at the stars, a planetarium for insightful shows about our night sky through time and regular science shows where they sometimes blow things up!
Skydive the Beach Sydney is the only skydiving company in the Sydney area with their landing zone on a beach. Over North Wollongong Beach you can experience the thrills of a 15,000-foot jump at 200 kilometres per hour lasting an organ-squelching 65 seconds. When your parachute is deployed, the remainder of the fall is between five and seven minutes so you can take in the unforgettable sights of Wollongong from the air and snap as many pictures as you possibly can.
On top of all these great attractions, Wollongong is perhaps best known for its stunning beaches. Surf, stroll, kite surf or swim your way through some of the most stunningly beautiful seasides in the area, all patrolled regularly from September to April - with the exception of North Wollongong Beach which is patrolled year round.
Accommodation in Wollongong
Proudly resting on the North Wollongong Beach waterfront is the premiere Wollongong hotel, Novotel Wollongong Northbeach. Offering guests an in-room Jacuzzi, air-conditioning and work desk, the Novotel Wollongong's 204 comfortable rooms are the ideal way to experience the region's accommodation. Work up a sweat in the on-site fitness centre, refresh yourself with a dip in the outdoor heated swimming pool then sit back and relax in the Novotel's sauna.
Afterwards you can enjoy an exquisite meal at Windjammers Restaurant, with buffet style and a la carte dining available for both dinner and breakfast, seven days a week. The Lobby Bar and Beach Bar are also staples of this hotel, offering delicious cocktails, live musical entertainment and a sparkling beachfront view.