Dark
Light

Top 11 Things To Do in Austinmer, NSW Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

15/08/2023
9 mins read
Austinmer
Source: Dee Kramer Photography

Nestled along the picturesque south coast of New South Wales, Austinmer is a charming beachside village just 15 km north of Wollongong and 73 km from Sydney. Surrounded by the stunning Illawarra escarpment, this enchanting coastal gem boasts golden sandy beaches, lush rainforests, and a vibrant arts scene. Whether you’re seeking thrilling outdoor adventures, immersive cultural experiences, or simply a serene escape from the city, Austinmer has something for everyone.

Join us as we uncover the hidden gems and reveal the top things to do in Austinmer, NSW, Australia. Immerse yourself in the area’s natural splendor, delve into its cultural treasures, and embark on a remarkable journey through the captivating world of Austinmer.

Things To Do In Austinmer, NSW

1. Austinmer Beach – A Coastal Paradise

Austinmer Beach is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike, offering a picturesque setting for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards, ensuring a safe environment for all visitors. With its golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and stunning views of the coastline, Austinmer Beach is the perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun.

For those seeking more active pursuits, the beach is a popular surfing spot, with consistent waves suitable for both beginners and experienced surfers. Nearby, you’ll find rock pools and a children’s playground, making it an ideal destination for families. After a day at the beach, explore the local shops and cafes in the charming town of Austinmer.

  • Best time of the year: Summer months (December to February) for warm weather and ideal swimming conditions
  • Address: Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Austinmer NSW 2515, Australia
  • Distance from town: Located in the heart of Austinmer

2. Sublime Point Lookout – Breathtaking Coastal Views

Sublime Point Lookout offers panoramic views of the coastline and Wollongong, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Austinmer. The lookout is accessible by car, but for those seeking a more adventurous experience, the Sublime Point Lookout Ascent offers a challenging hike through beautiful coastal rainforest. The trail features steep sections and ladders, but the reward is well worth the effort, with stunning views awaiting at the top.

The lookout is also a popular spot for birdwatching, with a variety of native bird species often spotted in the area. Pack a picnic and enjoy a leisurely lunch while taking in the breathtaking scenery. As the sun begins to set, the lookout offers a fantastic vantage point for capturing stunning photographs of the changing colors in the sky.

  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) offer milder temperatures for hiking
  • Address: Foothills Rd, Austinmer NSW 2515, Australia
  • Distance from town: Approximately 4.5 km (10-minute drive) from Austinmer

3. Royal Botanic Garden Sydney – A Tranquil Escape

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a beautiful botanical garden located about 55.6 km from Austinmer. Perfect for a day trip, the garden offers a serene setting for picnics and leisurely strolls among a diverse collection of plants. The garden is divided into various themed sections, showcasing plants from different regions and climates.

Visitors can join guided tours to learn more about the garden’s history and the unique plant species it houses. The garden also hosts various events and exhibitions throughout the year, so be sure to check their calendar for any special happenings during your visit.

  • Address: Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 7 am – 8 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 72 km (1 hour 20-minute drive) from Austinmer

4. Thirroul Beach – A Vibrant Coastal Village

Thirroul Beach is a nearby beach with boutique shops, hipster restaurants, and art galleries, making it an ideal destination for a day trip from Austinmer. The beach itself is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing, with lifeguards on duty during the summer months.

After enjoying the beach, take a stroll through the village and explore the local shops, which offer a range of unique clothing, homewares, and gifts. Thirroul is also home to a thriving arts scene, with several galleries showcasing the work of local artists. Be sure to check the events calendar for any special exhibitions or performances taking place during your visit.

  • Address: The Esplanade, Thirroul NSW 2515, Australia
  • Best time of the year: Summer months (December to February) for warm weather and ideal swimming conditions
  • Distance from town: Approximately 3 km (5-minute drive) from Austinmer

5. Coal Coast Brewing Co. – Taste the Local Craft Beer

For beer enthusiasts, a visit to Coal Coast Brewing Co. is a must. Located in nearby Thirroul, this local brewery offers a range of craft beers that showcase the unique flavors of the region. The brewery’s popular Pit Pony beer is a standout, described as having a bitter citrus flavor that remains highly drinkable.

The brewery’s laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great place to unwind after a day of exploring Austinmer’s attractions. Be sure to check their social media pages for updates on special events and new beer releases.

  • Address: 1/378 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Thirroul NSW 2515, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Wednesday to Friday: 4 pm – 10 pm, Saturday: 12 pm – 10 pm, Sunday: 12 pm – 8 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 3 km (5-minute drive) from Austinmer

6. Symbio Wildlife Park – Encounter Australia’s Unique Wildlife

Symbio Wildlife Park is a short drive from Austinmer and offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with a variety of Australian wildlife. The park is home to kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and a range of bird species, providing a unique opportunity to learn about and interact with these fascinating creatures.

Daily keeper talks and feeding sessions offer insights into the animals’ habits and behaviors, while the park’s lush gardens and picnic areas provide a relaxing setting for a family day out. Don’t miss the chance to hand-feed kangaroos and take a memorable photo with a cuddly koala during your visit.

  • Address: 7-11 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Helensburgh NSW 2508, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 9:30 am – 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 20 km (20-minute drive) from Austinmer

7. Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures – Soar Through the Rainforest

Experience the thrill of ziplining and treetop walks at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, set amidst the beautiful Illawarra rainforest. The park offers a range of experiences, including a 1.5 km treetop walk that takes you high above the forest floor, providing stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

For adrenaline seekers, the park’s zipline tour offers an exhilarating journey through the rainforest canopy, with experienced guides ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. The park also features a cafe and picnic areas, making it a fantastic destination for a day of adventure and relaxation.

  • Address: 182 Knights Hill Rd, Knights Hill NSW 2577, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 9 am – 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 36 km (40-minute drive) from Austinmer

8. Tandem Skydive – Experience the Ultimate Adrenaline Rush

For thrill-seekers, a tandem skydive with a beach landing is an unforgettable experience. Located in nearby North Wollongong, this adventure offers a unique perspective of the stunning coastline as you freefall from 15,000 feet before gliding to a soft landing on the beach.

With experienced instructors guiding you through the entire process, you can enjoy the adrenaline rush of a lifetime while taking in the breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding landscape. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is sure to be a highlight of your visit to Austinmer.

  • Address: Stuart Park, George Hanley Dr, North Wollongong NSW 2500, Australia
  • Distance from town: Approximately 18 km (25-minute drive) from Austinmer

9. Bald Hill Lookout – Stunning Coastal Panoramas

Bald Hill Lookout is a popular spot for taking in breathtaking views of the coastline and the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge. The lookout is easily accessible by car and offers ample parking. It’s a great place to stop and enjoy the scenery, take photographs, or simply relax and watch the paragliders and hang gliders soaring above the cliffs.

The lookout is also a popular spot for birdwatching, with a variety of native bird species often spotted in the area. Pack a picnic and enjoy a leisurely lunch while taking in the stunning views of the coastline.

  • Address: Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Stanwell Tops NSW 2508, Australia
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) offer milder temperatures
  • Distance from town: Approximately 12 km (15-minute drive) from Austinmer

10. Sea Cliff Bridge – A Scenic Coastal Drive

The Sea Cliff Bridge is an iconic structure that offers stunning views of the coastline and the Pacific Ocean. The bridge is part of the Grand Pacific Drive, a scenic route that takes you through picturesque coastal towns and beautiful landscapes. You can either drive or walk along the bridge, taking in the views and stopping at various lookout points along the way.

The bridge is also a popular spot for photography, with its unique design and dramatic backdrop making for stunning images. Be sure to stop at the various lookout points along the drive to fully appreciate the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

  • Address: Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Clifton NSW 2515, Australia
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) offer milder temperatures
  • Distance from town: Approximately 6 km (10-minute drive) from Austinmer

11. Nan Tien Temple – A Spiritual Journey

Nan Tien Temple, located in Wollongong, is the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere. The temple offers a serene and peaceful environment for visitors to explore its beautiful gardens, ornate architecture, and impressive collection of Buddhist art.

Visitors can join guided tours to learn more about the temple’s history and the principles of Buddhism, or simply wander the grounds at their own pace, taking in the tranquil atmosphere. The temple also offers various workshops and classes, such as meditation and calligraphy, providing a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Buddhist culture.

  • Address: 180 Berkeley Rd, Berkeley NSW 2506, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am – 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 30 km (35-minute drive) from Austinmer

Towns Nearby Austinmer, NSW

Here are some nearby towns/suburbs around Austinmer, NSW, Australia, along with their highlights, attractions, distance from Austinmer, and reasons why they are worth visiting:

  1. Thirroul, NSW (1.15 miles from Austinmer): A charming coastal village with boutique shops, hipster restaurants, and art galleries. Thirroul Beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing, with lifeguards on duty during the summer months.
  2. Coledale, NSW (2.21 miles from Austinmer): A small beachside suburb with a beautiful beach and a popular camping reserve. Coledale Beach is great for swimming, surfing, and fishing, and the Coledale Markets offer a range of local produce and handmade goods.
  3. Bulli, NSW (2.30 miles from Austinmer): Known for its stunning beaches and the Bulli Lookout, which offers panoramic views of the coastline. The Bulli Heritage Hotel is a historic pub with live music and a lively atmosphere.
  4. Stanwell Park, NSW (5.95 miles from Austinmer): A picturesque coastal village with a beautiful beach, popular for hang gliding and paragliding. The Bald Hill Lookout offers breathtaking views of the coastline and the Sea Cliff Bridge.
  5. Wollongong, NSW (15 km from Austinmer): A vibrant city with a range of attractions, including the Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong Botanic Garden, and Wollongong Harbor. The city also offers a range of dining options, shopping centers, and entertainment venues.

These nearby towns and suburbs offer a variety of attractions and activities, making them worth exploring during your visit to Austinmer, NSW, Australia.

Getting To Austinmer, NSW

To get to Austinmer, NSW from common destinations or origins as a local tourist, you have several options for both public transport and driving.

From Sydney CBD:

  • By train: Take the South Coast Line from Sydney Central Station towards Kiama. Alight at Thirroul Station and then take a short bus ride (route 2) or walk to Austinmer. The train journey takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • By car: Drive south on the M1 (Princes Motorway) and take the Bulli Pass exit. Follow the Lawrence Hargrave Drive until you reach Austinmer. The drive takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on traffic.

From Wollongong:

  • By train: Take the South Coast Line from Wollongong Station towards Sydney. Alight at Thirroul Station and then take a short bus ride (route 2) or walk to Austinmer. The train journey takes approximately 20 minutes.
  • By car: Drive north on the M1 (Princes Motorway) and take the Bulli Pass exit. Follow the Lawrence Hargrave Drive until you reach Austinmer. The drive takes approximately 20 minutes, depending on traffic.

From other nearby towns:

  • From Thirroul: Austinmer is just a short 5-minute drive (1.15 miles) north along the Lawrence Hargrave Drive. Alternatively, you can take a bus (route 2) or walk to Austinmer.
  • From Stanwell Park: Drive south on the Lawrence Hargrave Drive for about 15 minutes or 5.95 miles.

For public transport options from other nearby towns, use the Transport for NSW website (https://transportnsw.info) or app to plan your journey, as it provides detailed information on train and bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.

Hafiz Kashif

Kashif, our associate writer at HumbleTrail, brings stories from across the globe to our readers. Originating from Pakistan, his journey has taken him through the vibrant cityscape of Dubai and now to the diverse and cultural melting pot of Melbourne, Australia.

His writing is a reflection of his own journey - rich in diverse experiences and filled with the excitement of discovering new places. Melbourne, with its unique blend of cultures and bustling energy, has captured Kashif's heart, a sentiment that deeply resonates in his work.

Kashif's articles for HumbleTrail are more than just travel logs; they are narratives that weave together the beauty of diverse cultures and the thrill of exploration, inviting readers to see the world through his eyes.

Stroud
Previous Story

Top 11 Things To Do in Stroud, NSW Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

Merriwa
Next Story

Top 10 Things To Do in Merriwa, NSW Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

Latest from Same Tags

Don't Miss

Armidale

13 Best Places To See Autumn Leaves In Sydney 2024

Unveil the autumnal magic of Sydney with our guide to
Bondi to Coogee Walk

13 Best Scenic Walks Sydney 2024

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Sydney with our guide to