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Great Southern Nights Guide: Wollongong

Sea Cliff Bridge, CliftonCredit: Destination NSW

Sun rising over the Sea Cliff Bridge, Clifton.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Great Southern Nights Guide: Wollongong

Sea Cliff Bridge, Clifton Credit: Destination NSW

Sun rising over the Sea Cliff Bridge, Clifton.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #feelnsw #newsouthwales

Wollongong and Thirroul will host more than 30 gigs as part of New South Wales’ music festival, Great Southern Nights (GSN), which is back from 8-24 March 2024. The star-studded line up, including The Teskey Brothers, Gretta Ray, G Flip and Budjerah is gearing up to embrace the oceanside beauty and coastal ease of Wollongong and Thirroul whilst performing on the region’s most iconic stages. So why not make a weekend of it and hit the road on the ultimate musical GSN road trip with family and friends.

Great Southern Nights Gigs

Spend your evenings swaying to the sounds of Budjerah (8 Mar) at Thirroul’s historic Anita’s Theatre and G Flip (8 Mar) at Towradgi Beach Hotel. Then put your hands in the air at Wollongong’s UOW Unibar for Dj Boring (15 Mar), or head to La La La’s Wollongong for L-Fresh the Lion (15 Mar) and Gretta Ray (22 Mar). These gigs will soundtrack a South Coast adventure that reverberates with natural beauty and a relaxed beat.

Great Southern Nights 2024 - G Flip Credit: Morse Code

Great Southern Nights 2024 - G Flip

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Great Southern Nights 2024 - G Flip Credit: Morse Code

Great Southern Nights 2024 - G Flip

#feelnsw

Great Southern Nights 2023 Taster Series Credit: Morse Code

Great Southern Nights 2023 Taster Series

#feelnsw

Great Southern Nights 2023 Taster Series Credit: Morse Code

Great Southern Nights 2023 Taster Series

#feelnsw

Eat and Drink

The Scarborough Hotel

With bush-covered escarpments backdropping what must be one of the most spectacularly located beer gardens in Australia, heritage-listed The Scarborough presides over the Pacific Ocean as its patrons sip ice-cold Riesling and peel prawns by the bucketload. As you drive into Wollongong after the Sea Cliff Bridge, this is the perfect pit stop anchored in good times.

Dagwood Bar & Kitchen

Take the greatest menu hits from all corners of Asia, from bao to bulgogi, shake it with some coastal classics and garnish with a Mexican-accented drinks list and you have Dagwood – a neon-lit, shiso-laced feast with a side of chips and edamame. It’s a mix tape of riotous fun and flavour in the city centre.

Juniper Bar 

Another small city bar, this one is gin-centric with more than 60 different incarnations of the spirit. You’ll find your own good spirits here as you settle into a holiday state of mind.

Longboard Café

The beachside cafe at City Beach with a philosophy intention to craft food for the soul; made with the freshest local ingredients. Think classic café eats with a focus on whole food, plant-based, vegetarian and vegan options, from the earth, for the soul.

Lee and Me

Lee and me is a cafe operating out of a charming old terrace house. A must visit for breakfast, lunch, specialty coffee and cocktails. Freshly baked goods and takeaway available. Open 7 days a week.

Kneading Ruby

Nestled in the heart of Wollongong and participating in the town’s cheery seaside dining scene is Kneading Ruby on Crown Lane. Imposed from the outside with high brick walls, the inside is unassumingly elegant, with lofty ceilings giving an airy feel to pair with delicate vines draped across timber ceiling beams and polished floors. Naturally lit during the day for a breezy café feel and cast under a soft glow for more ambient evening dining.

Diggies

Perched on the edge of North Beach, Diggies is a bright, casual cafe serving fresh food and great coffee with coastal vibes. Aussie beach culture is brought to life via a seasonal menu sourced from high quality, local ingredients. Soak up the ocean breeze over an all day brunch menu, epic cocktail and wine list, plus a Little One's menu.

The Scarborough Hotel, Scarborough Credit: Destination NSW

Young people having an afternoon drink at The Scarborough Hotel in Scarborough on the Illawarra coast.

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The Scarborough Hotel, Scarborough Credit: Destination NSW

Young people having an afternoon drink at The Scarborough Hotel in Scarborough on the Illawarra coast.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Main Beach, Wollongong Credit: Destination NSW

People enjoying the sand and surf at Main Beach, Wollongong.

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Main Beach, Wollongong Credit: Destination NSW

People enjoying the sand and surf at Main Beach, Wollongong.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Play 

Symbio Wildlife Park

Say hello to a motley crew of cheetahs, red pandas, lemurs and koalas at Symbio Wildlife Park on the outskirts of Royal National Park home - along with some less cuddle-receptive reptiles. Once you’re done ogling the residents, point the kids in the direction of the Splash Park and let the squeals ensue.

Hang Glide Oz at Bald Hill, Stanwell Park

If you feel inclined to check your adrenaline reserves, place yourself in the reassuring hands of Hang Glide Oz. The almost-theatrical beauty of the Stanwell Tops escarpment may be lost on you as you prepare to launch yourself off the edge, but no doubt, as the wind gently guides your descent and your pounding heart calms, you’ll find a moment to appreciate the landscape and an intoxicating sense of mid-air liberation.

Anita’s Theatre

This iconic Thirroul theatre, built in 1925, spent time as a roller-skating rink in the ’60s after a decline in theatre patronage until it was restored to its designated purpose as a venue and reopened in 2007. Since then, Anita’s Theatre has been the source of all hot tickets in town and surrounds, including this year's Great Southern Nights gigs featuring music legends Missy Higgins, Jessica Mauboy and James Reyne.

Explore

Wollongong Botanic Garden  

As you tread the well-tended pathways of this half-a-century-old garden, allow your chattering mind to hand the reigns over to your senses.  No matter your botanical preferences, there’s a garden here to satisfy your horticultural inclinations, from succulents and palms to natives and rainforest plants. Ascend to the annexed Mount Keira Summit Park to absorb the sweeping vista of Wollongong below.

Grand Pacific Drive  

Threading through pins dropped at points of wonder, the Grand Pacific Drive road trip is a pilgrimage of veritable joys. Stretch out the journey for as long as you can to take in the Illawarra’s unrelenting charm. Starting from Sydney, navigate through the waterfalls and white cliffs of the Royal National Park, frolic in the waves of Wollongong’s beaches, ascend to a state of tranquillity in the Minnamurra Rainforest, sip local wines and slurp river-harvested oysters at Crookhaven River and delight in diving dolphins on a Jervis Bay boat cruise. 

Symbio Wildlife Park, Helensburgh Credit: Destination NSW

The Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh provided interactive animal experiences and an opportunity to explore the Conservation Splash Park Adventure Playground.

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Symbio Wildlife Park, Helensburgh Credit: Destination NSW

The Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh provided interactive animal experiences and an opportunity to explore the Conservation Splash Park Adventure Playground.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Stanwell Park, South Coast Credit: Destination NSW

Aerial view of Stanwell Park on NSW's South Coast..

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Stanwell Park, South Coast Credit: Destination NSW

Aerial view of Stanwell Park on NSW's South Coast..

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Stay 

Novotel Wollongong Northbeach

Located in a front-row position to take in the ocean’s perpetual show, the Novotel is also close to many of the city’s best-loved attractions, such as restaurants, WIN Stadium and the Botanic Gardens. Hop from beach to bar and back again before returning to roost for the evening.

Headlands Austinmer Beach 

Just minutes from Thirroul, Headlands Austinmer Beach features apartments ranging from studio to penthouse, offering gaze-lingering views of the ocean and the city’s protective Illawarra Escarpment. There’s a brasserie and bar, pizza and dumplings dispensed from an airstream caravan, and, of course, the turquoise beach right in front of you.

Hotel TOTTO

Hotel TOTTO is your latest escape smack bang in the centre of Wollongong. Steps away from world-class waves, they're your industrial-style home base for exploring the laidback Wollongong scene. Each of their 150 rooms is ideal for the ultimate chilled-out experience.

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For more information on Great Southern Nights and to purchase tickets go to greatsouthernnights.com.au. Start planning your Great Southern Nights road trip and learn more about New South Wales’ diverse destinations and experiences at sydney.com and visitnsw.com.

Share your Feel New moments with #FeelNSW and #FeelNewSydney.

Austinmer Beach, Austinmer Credit: Destination NSW

Aerial overlooking Austinmer Ocean Pools, Austinmer Beach.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Austinmer Beach, Austinmer Credit: Destination NSW

Aerial overlooking Austinmer Ocean Pools, Austinmer Beach.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

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