Walking along the Wollongong Coastal Walk from Coalcliff to Wollongong

The walk from Coalcliff railway station to Wollongong takes about 5 to 6 hours to complete. There’s some hilly spots at the start, but most of the walk is close to the sea level.

Wollongong Coastal Walk signage near Coalcliff railway station

The trek along the Wollongong Coastal Walk, from Coalcliff to Wollongong, is about 31 kilometres.

Wollongong Lighthouse

The route is part of the Grand Pacific Walk that is being developed by the Wollongong City Council.

The route also forms what is locally known as the Wollongong to Thirroul Bike Track.

Austinmer beach

We began our walk at Coalcliff so that we could experience the nearby Sea Cliff Bridge.

Sea Cliff Bridge

The bridge is part of the 140 kilometre drive along the Grand Pacific Drive which passes the coastal scenery from the Royal National Park and Loftus down to Nowra.

After more than 100 years of lobbying by the local community, Sea Cliff Bridge was opened by NSW Premier Morris Iemma in December 2005.

Illawarra Mercury — 1st June 1928

The walking path south of the Sea Cliff Bridge to Thirroul closely follows Lawrence Hargrave Drive.

On some occasions, you’ll find yourself sharing the road with passing vehicles.

The walk passes some of the best beach communities in the Illawarra — Clifton, Wombarra, Coledale, Astinmer, Thirroul, Bulli, Woonona, Bellambi and North Wollongong.

Coledale beach

The views are outstanding along the walk.

And you’ll enjoy the clear coastal air.

Along the route, you’ll walk straight past the Coledale RSL — it’s been newly refurbished — we sat on their new deck and enjoyed a meal during a break in our walk.

The walk route and the cycle route follow the same path. If you’re cycling past the Woonona Surf Club be aware of swooping magpies in August and September.

As you walk south, you’ll notice several rock pools and plenty of Norfolk Pine Trees.

The Norfolk Pine Trees near Park Road at Bulli — at Sandon Point Beach — were planted in the 1930s.

As you near Wollongong you’ll walk through Stuart Park at North Wollongong. This is a popular spot for families — close to the beach and the place where tandem sky divers land.

Near the end of the walk, you’ll pass through the Wollongong Tram Cutting to get to the Wollongong Lighthouse.

The best thing about the Wollongong Coastal Walk is that there are lots of places to eat, lots of public toilets and lots of places to stop and enjoy the view.

If you think the walk is too long, you can always head west of the track and catch a train north or south to where ever you want to go to.

A personal highlight on our walk was catching up with local rugby league identity Luke Potter — He officiated 120 games in the National Rugby League. You can listen to the podcast that I recorded with him below.

I would love to hear about your experiences on the track. I’m on social media at @BrendenWood.

#Wollongong #Illawarra

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