Illawarra is where mountains meet the sea, and the two forces of nature combine to make a gorgeous, challenging terrain for any nature lover and the paradise of any hiker's dreams. The rugged landscape begets small cities with plenty of character and with a gorgeous backdrop of the Illawarra escarpment.
The Illawarra region includes the three local government areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama. It has a population of over 310,000 people and is linked to Sydney by several passes, motorways and highways, and rail. Illawarra real estate median house prices are between $800,000 and $1.2 million (2021).
Things to see and do around the Illawarra region
Located in the district, Wollongong is known for its brilliant multicultural cuisine. Taste every flavour imaginable in Wollongong's downtown food markets. You can also get lost in nature at the Wollongong botanical gardens or head north to the heritage listed Royal National Park and enjoy spectacular bush walks, surfing, canoeing and coastal exploring.
If you're a fan of calm waters, then look no further than Lake Illawarra. This 5.5km wide, 9.5km long body of water is home to some fantastic fishing spots. It's also a great spot to go 'prawning', swimming and play some exhilarating water sport. For those landlubbers, Lake Illawarra also boasts a biking/walking trail that traverses the lake's perimeter. If you're a bird photographer, Lake Illawarra is also home to many dozens of species of Pacific Ocean birds, so get your long lens out and head down to the lake. Illawarra is the perfect mix of metropolitanism and nature. Visit any one of its major centres dotted along the coastline and enjoy all that the eclectic mix of culture has to offer.
22km from Wollongong is Shellharbour, a vibrant destination on the NSW South Coast where you can explore gorgeous beaches, world-class surf breaks including The Farm at Killalea Beach and Mystics at Minnamurra Beach, famous dive sites and trek through national parks to discover rainforests and waterfalls.