The Romance of the Northern Suburbs

The northern suburbs, also known fondly as our Coal Coast was once regarded as the “sticks”.

An area that no one really wanted to live in. Speaking to many locals over the years it’s described as an area with little transport and hard-working locals

What changed? Progress did. The urban sprawl that is SYDNEY.

The northern suburbs of the Illawarra are split by a national park thus divorcing us somewhat. People wanting a lifestyle choice yet choose to work in Sydney set their roots in suburbs northern tip of the Illawarra to minimise commute time.

Certainly not the only reason, the area has some serious perks which we will share with you.

Everyone knows Wollongong has some of the best beaches and scenery on the coast. From Bald Hill in Stanwell Park, with its amazing views and hang-gliding spot to Bulli beach and famous surf break. But did you know it also has a fantastic local art scene, community gardens and huge food and cafe culture.

Once only deemed north of Bulli Pass the northern suburbs can be referred to as anywhere north of Wollongong. But here we pick out just some of the very many attractions not always on tourist map.

1. Moore Street, Austinmer

A gorgeous tree lined street off the main road in Austinmer. Moore Street is one of those streets you can meander down, grab a coffee or a bite to eat at Moore Street General. It’s an eclectic mix of period homes and businesses including finance (Wealth Connection), yoga, building (Moko) and hairdressers. Once you’re done one of the Illawarra’s most popular beaches is at the end of the street.

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2. Fancy Some Exercise with a Reward at the Top?

Sublime Point, found at the top of Buttenshaw Drive in Austinmer. Turn left at the top and look for a sign on your right. A track not well publicised but worth the hike. It’s a combination of semi flat board walk to climbing stairs but the view at the top is well worth it.

3. Balgownie Pub

A historic pub built in the 1890’s in the small village in Balgownie. It has something for everyone with live music on Saturday nights and popular with locals a kid’s jumping castle on Sunday’s. Very similar to Mount Kembla pub, also another favourite.

4. A Little Veggies

An unusual topic to put on a list of things to do however, Popes Produce is a little space doing great things. Located on Popes Road, Woonona this yard turned mini farm holds workshops on starting edible gardens, bread making and you are even able to buy the produce.

6. Food Scene

From Earth Walker cafe in Coledale, serving a fresh healthy menu to Rookie and Caveau in Wollongong serving out top notch fare. Wollongong has a vast variety of cafes and restaurants including some of our favourites Frank n Beans (East Corrimal), Stokes Cafe (Bulli), Yarnsys Cafe (Tarrawanna), Bill & James (Balgownie), Toro (Thirroul), Babyface (Wollongong), Coal Coast (Coledale) The Point Café (Bulli).

7. The Bar Scene

Close into the CBD of Wollongong but worth a mention. More than twenty small bars have emerged for those looking for something different. Throsby, Little Prince, Howling Wolf and Humber.

8. Cycle Way

A 20km cycleway From Bulli to Wollongong along the foreshore of the northern suburbs taking in breathtaking views of the beaches, rock pools, beach front real estate and architecture. Many cafes dot this route so it’s easy to stop for a bite to eat or refreshment.

Author: Chloe Bridger

Trever Molenaar
Trever has worked in the industry selling property for over two decades. This lifelong profession has enabled him to master the art of negotiation. Trever’s own personal values relate through to his professional life 
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