BERRY TO SYDNEY
On day 3 we left Berry after breakfast and travelled on to our next destination, Kiama. The rural charm of the region is second to none and the scenery along this stretch of the coast is one of my favourites with rolling green hills and pastures and a pristine coastline. We made a brief stop at Gerringong for panoramic ocean views and then continued on a further 10kms until we reached Kiama where we spent the night.
Kiama is a coastal town, famous for it’s blowhole. Please make sure you stay behind the fence as seven members of a family tragically lost their lives in 1992 when a freak wave sucked them in, followed by the death of two more members of the same family five years later. What is doubly sad is that the family were refugees escaping oppression before settling in Australia.
Beautiful Norfolk pines line the streets of Kiama as well as many historic buildings, including the Presbyterian Church, Kiama Council, post office and the Terrace Houses which were originally built for the local quarry workers in 1886 but now house shops and cafes. There are markets aplenty and you can do as much or as little as you like.
Visit www.kiama.com.au for more information on where to stay and what to do in this beautiful region.
On day 4 we set off for Wollongong where we spent 2 nights. Wollongong, affectionately known as The Gong, sits at the foot of the Illawarra mountain range. It has magnificent beaches – and is home to Australia’s biggest steelworks, the Port Kembla Steelworks. I’ve recently discovered that they operate guided tours over summer which provide a fascinating insight into a working plant. My own parents worked at the steelworks for a short while in the late 1950s after emigrating from Germany. Max and I have decided that next time we visit Wollongong, we’ll definitely be doing the tour.
I’ve always preferred the north of Wollongong to the south. There’s a lovely man-made harbour within walking distance from the city where you can enjoy a pleasant lunch at one of three harbourside restaurants. The Wollongong Council offers a free city bus which does a loop and takes you from Wollongong Station to the university, via Wollongong Hospital, Burelli Street, alongside the harbour and past Innovations Campus.
www.visitwollongong.com.au will provide information on where to stay and what to do.
On day 6 we travelled from Wollongong to Sydney along the Grand Pacific Drive and over the Sea Cliff Bridge which was opened in 2005. It snakes its way along a spectacular coastline. To the north is Stanwell Park which is an internationally acclaimed hang-gliding area. If you’re not too keen to give it a go, then enjoy the sweeping views from Bald Hill Lookout instead.
We spent 3 nights in Sydney. Max grew up here and although I’ve been to Sydney countless times myself, there’s always something new to discover. On this trip we decided to do the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. We’ll definitely be doing it again!
This cliff top coastal walk is 6km long and will take you along beaches, parks, rock pools and even a cemetery. You’ll be rewarded with amazing views. You can stop for refreshments along the way as there are plenty of cafes and kiosks. You can also take a break for a swim or have a picnic at one of the beautiful bays or beaches. It’s a medium grade walk with a few staircases along the way and some steep gradient paths.
IMAGES OF BONDI TO COOGEE COASTAL WALK
It’s recommended to take sunscreen, water, hat and sunglasses and wear comfortable walking shoes. Don’t forget your togs (what we call swimsuits in Oz) and a towel if you decide to go for a swim or if it’s autumn/winter take a jacket and brolly. When we arrived at Coogee, we took a refreshing swim here as it was pretty hot by the time we arrived, followed by a well-earned lunch at the Coogee Pavilion overlooking the beach. We decided we’d take the bus back to the city as we didn’t have the energy to re-trace out steps – maybe next time …
This link will tell you how to get to the start of the walk and outlines the stops and distances along the way – https://www.bonditocoogeewalk.com/
On the following day, we wandered around Sydney re-visiting some of our favourite attractions as well as discovering new ones. Just down the road from the apartment we rented, we stumbled across the White Rabbit Gallery at 30 Balfour Street, Chippendale. It exhibits fascinating Chinese contemporary art. Have a look at their website for current exhibitions. You’ll be amazed!
If you live overseas, please feel free to contact me any time for information or advice on any of the places we visited. Please feel free to share.
Note: The rest of the images are author’s own