Set in the northern fringes of Wollongong, the village of Austinmer is characterised by rugged headlands and beaches guarded by stands of majestic Norfolk pines.
To the west of the township, thickly-forested slopes rise to the Illawarra Escarpment. The slopes are criss-crossed with walking tracks that snake to the top of cliffs where your exertions are rewarded with stunning views from Bulli Lookout and Sublime Point.
Eleven kilometres to the north, Stanwell Park, where the escarpment cliffs are a prime launching pad for hang-gliders, has historic links with the early days of aviation. A monument at Bald Hill honours Lawrence Hargrave whose inventive designs and models made an invaluable contribution to man’s first powered flights.
Austinmer is one of a chain of small townships hidden away off the main tourist routes - villages and hamlets that produce an amazing array of pottery, prints, paintings and antiques and fascinating crafts that produce the likes of federation furniture, toys, fairies and teddy bears.