a budget day in the ‘gong

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Sydney is meant to be heading into autumn but certainly has not felt like it. We have been getting a steady 30 degrees Celsius every day with the lovely humidity to go with it (except maybe for today – with the welcome cool change)

When we woke up on Saturday, the day was too gorgeous to waste on anything other than a day trip somewhere. So we chose a drive south to Wollongong; an easy 85 km drive from home.

Our one-day itinerary, mixed a bit of culture and a bit of nature, was not only glorious but “budget” too 🙂  … winning!

So here is a list of the free things to do in Wollongong in a day (and on the way too).

* Lookouts

A “road trip” wouldn’t be right without viewpoint stops. It does not matter how often we do these types of trips, we always make sure we stop to take in the shoreline that maps out this side of Australia.

Stop at Sublime Point Lookout, Bald Hill Lookout or both and soak in the excellent views. Both are great vantage points, delivering 180 degree views of the coastline.IMG_0072_2

* Drive the Sea Cliff Bridge

Either on the way down, on the way back or both directions, choose to take the 665 metre Sea Cliff Bridge route. You can walk, drive or cycle across this bridge – feel the South Pacific Ocean breeze in your hair. It is always certainly a highlight for us when we head South.IMG_0071_2

* Nan Tien Temple

Include a visit to the largest temple in the Southern Hemisphere. The grounds are beautifully manicured and provides a sense of serenity. Visiting here actually made us feel like we were overseas. It took us immediately back to the temples in Japan and China.IMG_0020_2

* Beaches

Any budget day anywhere probably could easily include a visit to a beach (if they are accessible) and it is no different when you head south from Sydney.

The soft warm sand between our toes was enough for us to forget that winter was coming. Sydney was not ready to say goodbye to summer. In and around Wollongong, there are numerous beaches to go to. But remember swim at patrolled beaches and between the flags for your safety.


* Botanical Gardens

Another great little free spot to escape the hustle bustle of urban life, with plenty of paths to weave around and explore the many different garden collections on display. Ideal to leisurely stroll through and absorb the natural surroundings. See if you can spot the various birds and butterflies.  There is a big playground area for children and also picnic areas perfect for a BBQ or a picnic.IMG_0045_2

Although it’s a pretty jam-packed day, it was enjoyable and affordable.

It is so easy for us to forget that we don’t have to travel far and wide to experience a getaway. There is so much to explore so close to home.

Have you got a favourite day trip from home? 

Share with us in the comments.



27 thoughts on “a budget day in the ‘gong

    Don Schuldes said:
    November 18, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    The most beautiful SEA CLIFF BRIDGE with scenic beauty. The beautiful SEA and mountain. The unforgettable moments.

    Andaman tour package said:
    December 26, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    The places you have been while roaming around Gong are really delightful whether it is sea cliff bridge or botanical garden. I loved the pictures you have shared for each destination.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      March 17, 2019 at 5:03 pm

      Thank you so much for stopping by and your kind comment!

    Birmingham to gatwick taxi said:
    December 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    natures beauti.. Awesome blog, very usefull and informative thanks for sharing.

    Forestwoodfolkart said:
    March 30, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Fun post, Monkeys. I never knew the temple existed!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 4, 2016 at 8:09 am

      It’s funny what we stumble across when we play “tourist” whilst at home! It’s brilliant. Thanks for stopping by.

        Forestwoodfolkart said:
        April 4, 2016 at 5:32 pm

        Exactly. We take things at home for granted and only go see them when we have visitors from overseas.

    AndysWorldJourneys said:
    March 20, 2016 at 10:31 am

    great portrait of Wollongong. When I saw the title I thought that you were talking about Hong Kong! lol. so imagine my surprise when I opened the page…

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      March 21, 2016 at 10:47 am

      🙂 We are yet to visit HK…. So one day, a post like that might appear!

    travelfranzi said:
    March 19, 2016 at 3:08 am

    I really like your post. One day I really want to visit Australia 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      March 19, 2016 at 7:54 am

      Thanks so much 🙂 Well, we hope that one day you too get to visit Australia.

      Thank you for your comment, your visit to our blog and for following us!

    kayrpea61 said:
    March 16, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    … or maybe I missed the subtlety of your heading 😐

    kayrpea61 said:
    March 16, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Ah, those “Look Outs”, L&D, There must’ve been a dive bomber aiming at the lookout – tee tee😝 You have my permission to make the correction and not accept my comment for publication,

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      March 16, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Hahahah….. Our bad… duly noted and will update after replying to our other comments!

    Gypsy Bev said:
    March 16, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Wish I could make that day trip! One of my favorite trips is to nearby Marietta along the Ohio River. It is filled with exciting places to visit.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      March 16, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      You will have to come to Sydney one day so you can make that trip 😉
      We are sure you have plenty that you can do in around where you live too!

    the eternal traveller said:
    March 15, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    It’s warm here in southern Queensland too and there’s no sign that it’s going to cool down any time soon. You did well to fit all this into a day trip. One of my favourite day trip destinations is the Bunya Mountains where the wallabies and parrots join you for breakfast.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      March 16, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Yeah, we were pretty exhausted by the time we got home! That’s an awesome idea of a day trip… We will have to remember to check it out if we are ever up that way!

        the eternal traveller said:
        March 17, 2016 at 6:48 am

        It’s a pretty place to visit. There are some nice walks and plenty of wallabies and parrots.

    thenomadicpanda said:
    March 15, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Looks great 🙂 Enjoy your travels!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      March 16, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      Thanks! We are just chilling in our home city for a while longer before we get to go overseas again. So making the most of local trips 🙂

    Mabel Kwong said:
    March 15, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    It did sound like a jam-packed day, what with the days getting shorter as winter approaches. That temple looks lovely, would love to visit it at some point. I usually like to jump on the train and see where I end up when I feel like going somewhere but not too far 😀 Like Sydney, it is still warm i Melbourne. Not that I’m complaining 😀

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      March 16, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      It’s turning cooler as we speak. The breeze is different. We can feel that winter is coming….

      We hope you had yourself a lovely weekend last weekend. And hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

      How’s the book coming along?

        Mabel Kwong said:
        March 16, 2016 at 11:30 pm

        It has been a full on week. Hanging in there 🙂 Book writing is so slow since I am so tired. But better slow than never 😀 Have a good rest of the week, monkeys!

      Gypsy Bev said:
      March 17, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      I like your plan of just hopping on a train and see where you end up. I do that in my car quite often and find the most interesting places. Enjoy life!

    Mani (A New Life Wandering) said:
    March 15, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Lovely photos! Sounds like a pretty relaxing day in nature.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      March 16, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Mani! It was a very lovely day…. it was just a glorious day to not be enjoyed 🙂

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