Best viewpoints in Wollongong – Australia. A guide to some of the stunning viewpoints in and around the Wollongong area of New South Wales.
Affectionately referred to as ‘The Gong’, Wollongong is part of the Illawarra region in New South Wales. Located about 80km south of Sydney, Wollongong is beautifully positioned between the imposing forested slopes of the Illawarra Escarpment and the mighty Pacific Ocean. Known as the place “where the mountains meet the sea”, Wollongong is blessed with some amazing scenery. From atop its vantage points, there are some truly spectacular views over its near 60km of coastline, which stretches from the Royal National Park to the north, all the way down to Lake Illawarra in the south.
What’s so great about this area is that it’s packed full with epic viewpoints. From easily accessible ‘drive-up’ viewpoints to awesome hikes and hidden lookouts, there’s lots to choose from. Here’s some of our favourites and what we consider to be the best viewpoints in Wollongong.
Time Required: 30 minutes at the viewpoint
Hike Option: Yes. 30 to 45 minutes each way if taking the Sublime Point walking track
The Sublime Point Lookout is one of the most accessible and definitely one the most popular of the Wollongong viewpoints. From the main lookout there are 180-degree views along the beautiful stretch of coast. For a more intimate experience, follow the Woodward Track for a few minutes (to the left of the viewpoint, if looking out to the sea) and you’ll find our favourite photo location up here.
You can simply drive and park right at Sublime Point. Or for the more adventurous, take the 30-45 minute Sublime Point walking track from the Foothills Road for a sunrise summit. A series of stairs and ladders take you 700m metres to the summit. What a way to start the day!
Mount Keira Lookout
Time Required: 30 minutes at the viewpoints
Hike Option: Yes. 3 to 4 hours if hiking the Mount Keira Ring Track
The Mount Keira Lookout is on Mt Keira Road to the north of Wollongong and it’s another viewpoint in Wollongong that you can drive right up to. From Mount Keira’s lofty 460m peak, there’s sweeping 180° views right along the coast, looking down over Wollongong’s CBD and the Port Kembla area.
To escape any crowds at the main viewpoint, take the Keira Summit track to the right of the main viewpoint (as you look out to sea). This short dirt trail will lead you around to another viewing platform called Five Islands Lookout. There are various hidden viewpoints around here. From here you can follow the signs for a trail which circles back to the carpark, or simply return the way you came. For those wanting a more active experience, take the Dave Walsh Track from the Five Islands Lookout, connecting to the 5.5km Mount Keira Ring track which circles around Mount Keira.
A sculpture near Five Islands Lookout commemorates the Aboriginal creation story of Mount Keira and the five islands that you can see off the coast on a clear day. It marks the Aboriginal significance of Mount Keira.
Robertson Lookout (Robertson’s Knoll)
Time Required: 15-30 minutes at the viewpoints
Hike Option: Yes. 5+ hours if hiking the Robertson’s Lookout and Mount Keira Ring track
Located close to Mount Keira Lookout, Robertson lookout also offers spectacular views. The short trail from the road leads you to a wooden viewing platform. From here, Mount Keira dominates the foreground on your lefthand side, with Wollongong CBD and the Port Kembla in the distance.
If you are wanting natural unfenced viewpoints, explore the surrounding trails and you’ll find some. To incorporate this viewpoint into a hike, combine it to the above Keira Summit track via the Jumper Track (also labelled as Robertson Lookout Walking Track). This Robertson’s Lookout and Mount Keira Ring track is just under 8km long.
Bald Hill Lookout, Stanwell Tops
Time Required: 15-30 minutes at the viewpoint
Hike Option: No
Another of the most popular lookouts in and around Wollongong, Bald Hill has stunning views south along the coastline. This site is world famous for hand gliding, so if you want the ultimate birds-eye view, why not give it a go here!
Bald Hill is one of the stops on the renowned Grand Pacific Drive south of Sydney. From here you get a great view of one of this 140km scenic coastal drives main features; the famous Sea Cliff Bridge. Make sure to drive down the coast and stop at this impressive 665 metre long bridge. There’s a walking path along it, making it a good spot to look for the migrating whales heading north from May and then returning south from November.
Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout
Time Required: 1 hour
Hike Option: Yes. More of a short scramble, but it’s the only way up
Once dubbed the ‘secret’ Sea Cliff Bridge lookout, this viewpoint is far from ‘secret’ these days. This short sharpe walk takes you up to what has to be the best view over the Sea Cliff Bridge.
This unofficial pathway is NOT maintained and is NOT for those without basic hiking experience and decent footwear. But, from a small opening in the bushes by a layby off the Sea Cliff Bridge (see below), a muddy trail leads you up a steep track which involves scrambling up dirt banks and even pulling yourself up tree roots. See pictures below. But after just 10 minutes you’ll come to an opening that gives unparalleled views of the bridge below. You can continue onto a slightly higher section for more views.
* IMPORTANT: Whilst this may only be a very short walk and physically easy, there are dangers involved. The scrambling to and from the lookout is steep and slippery. We saw someone take a nasty tumble while we were there. And, from the lookouts edge there are steep drops. There is absolutely no need to get too close to the edge. No stupid selfie is ever worth risking your life, keep well away from these sheer drop-offs!
Time Required: 1-2 hours
Hike Option: Yes, the only way up
The relatively simple 4.6km Brokers Nose Trail is an easy to follow family friendly hike. Starting from Mt Ousley Road you’ll hike up a dirt track through the forest before coming to a clearing with power lines. Stick to the track and go straight ahead back into the bush. The trail then becomes a dry creek bed (which we imagine would be nasty after the rain), which you continue to follow. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll likely see some Lyrebirds scuttling through the undergrowth. After about 2km, there’s a sharp right turn which merges into a more open area and past a service road. From here you’ll see a large television transmission tower and just beyond, you’ll find the viewpoints.
Brokers Nose has a selection of rocky ledges and lookouts and is the perfect place to stop for a scenic picnic. In our opinion, these might well be the best viewpoints in Wollongong. And surprisingly, it really isn’t that busy for such an accessible hike. On our last visit, we saw only one other couple during our time here.
The hardest part about this trail is finding the start point. Parking for the trailhead is on a lay-by on the opposite side of the road to the Mount Ousley Road Parking. From Wollongong heading north on Mount Ousley Road (M1) take the Picton junction turn and after about 300m turn right onto the B88 slip road back onto the Mount Ousley Road heading south. About 200m after rejoining Mount Ousley Road, pull into a small lay-by we’ve marked with a * below. Hopefully our map illustrates this clearly – Click HERE for larger map. The start point to the hike is this graffitied metal gate with a yellow sign.
Safety at the viewpoints
A lot of the best viewpoints in Wollongong have some very steep unfenced drop-offs. So tread carefully, use common sense and don’t be stupid. As we mentioned earlier, no photo is worth risking injury or death for! These pictures have been taken over a number of years and we believe some of these viewpoints may now be inaccessible. If there are fences surrounding any of these viewpoints, please do not attempt to bypass them. They are there for your safety. As always be extra careful when climbing around on the rocks, as they may be unstable, loose or slippery.
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