Wollongong means the sound of the sea in the native Aboriginal language and it’s not hard to realise why.


With so many wonderful attractions that entwine Wollongong with the ocean, water lovers will relish in all their time spent in this city. Wollongong was founded in 1816 as a village highly dependent on dairy farming, lumber trade, and grazing. As the industrial revolution took full speed, steel manufacturing and coal mining prospered.

The history of the University of Wollongong can be traced back to 1951. Nowadays, it is ranked in the top 200 universities in the world regularly. The university brings life to the town every school term with regular events and gatherings to entertain thousands of students from across the world.

Wollongong is young, it’s fun and there is always something happening if you know where to look! RedBalloon has ample activities for the keen traveller to experience.


Private or group surfing lesson


Choose your own adventure

Women learning how to surf with Illawarra Surf Academy on Corrimal Beach near Wollongong, © Destination NSW


Get some one-on-one time out on the water with a private surfing lesson (or group lesson) on Seven Mile Beach. Whether this is your absolute first time trying to surf or you’re a little more experienced and want to refine your practice, some good old-fashioned guidance from an expert will never go astray.

From paddling techniques to etiquette amongst the waves, you’ll be supplied a wetsuit and surfboard to get wave ready… cowabunga!


Skydive the beach


Choose your own adventure

Thrills all round on a skydiving experience with © Skydive Australia, Sydney – Wollongong.


Ok, this is not for the faint of heart. Free-falling from 15,000 ft directly over Wollongong beach sounds scary on a good day, but then imagine free-falling for a whole 60 seconds.

There is some respite in knowing you will be strapped in with an experienced guide who will release the parachute with expert timing, and you will both gently glide through the clouds back down to earth. If you want to relive the stomach-churning excitement, you can purchase photos and DVD packages on the day. How good?


Seacliff Bridge scenic helicopter flight


Choose your own adventure

Choose your own adventure with a $500 RedBalloon voucher. © Touchdown Helicopters scenic flight over Wollongong Harbour.


If you’re anything like me, remaining in the helicopter is a number one priority – this time, at a 1000ft height. Soar over the coastline to the jewel of Wollongong and fly north around the Seacliff Bridge. The mountainous Illawarra escarpment meets the oceanic tides below, allowing you to see quite the pretty picture from the comfort of a helicopter. If you’re lucky, you will be able to spot marine life from a bird’s eye view as well as the myriad of the city below.


Jervis Bay boom netting dolphin cruise


From December to the end of March, ocean lovers can chill out in a massive water hammock (of sorts). A net on the back of the boat will glide through the crystal-clear waters of Jervis Bay as you listen to commentary from your friendly skipper. Dolphins have been known to frequent around the net, so this is one of the more personal interactions you could have with a pod of wild dolphins. The boom net is lowered into the water so guests can cool off and have a splash.


Deep-sea reef fishing charter


Depart for the deep blue on a fishing charter experience that will have you casting lines for seven hours. You’ll have all the gear and plenty of ideas as you stare off into the distance waiting for that bite. The waters in the South Coast of Australia are known for bountiful and big fish. All equipment and supplies are already on board the vessel and whatever you do catch (in legal sizing) can be taken home for dinner!


Where to stay?

If you’re looking for a place to rest your head after a big day then you can’t go past Choice Hotel’s Quality Suites Pioneer Sands. Located on the northern side of Wollongong, the Towradgi hotel is situated amongst first-class beaches, world-class restaurants and many of the attractions mentioned above.


Choose your own adventure

Quality Suites Pioneer Sands © Choice Hotels


There is free Wi-Fi in all rooms, secure parking, an outdoor pool, and a gym on-site. There is even a lounge and bar area where you can grab breakfast before you head out or stop in the afternoon for a well-deserved drink. Most rooms also include a fully equipped kitchen so if you do come home with a catch from the deep-sea fishing charter feel at ease knowing you’ll be able to take it back to the room for a freshly caught feast.


Choose your own adventure in Wollongong

A bedroom at Quality Suites Pioneer Sands © Choice Hotels


The rooms are modern and stylish that appeal to many guests travelling to Wollongong for both business and leisure. Wollongong skyline can be seen from many of the apartment balconies. The appreciation for the ocean, city and Wollongong lifestyle is perfectly captured at the Quality Suites Pioneer Sands.


Choose your own adventure

Inside one of the rooms at Quality Suites Pioneer Sands in Wollongong © Choice Hotels


Book your stay here.

Can’t wait to get out and explore again?


We’ve teamed up with Choice Hotels™ and RedBalloon to give eight lucky readers the chance to choose their own adventure anywhere in Australia. The prize includes 2x nights free accommodation at any Choice Hotel around the country PLUS a $500 RedBalloon voucher to spend on an unforgettable experience.


Want to be in the running? Enter here.



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