Celebrated English author D.H. Lawrence immortalised Thirroul - an old coal mining village on a spectacular stretch of coastline about 20 minutes or so by car north of Wollongong - in his book Kangaroo. Lawrence lived in a cottage here for a while in the 1920s while he wrote the book.
Despite the fact that these days, the town is almost a northern suburb of Wollongong, it remains an atmospheric place. There’s the short beach and the wide sea to the east, and to the west the towering Bulli Mountain and the Illawarra escarpment, with its rainforests and towering native trees, which once included that much favoured but now rare building timber, red cedar. The Bulli Pass, completed in 1868, was a massive engineering feat which considerably reduced travelling times between Wollongong and Sydney.
Sandon Point is a fine surfing location. You can walk along the beach and up to a lookout with extensive views up and down the coast. Thirroul Beach is a food family beach, with a children's playground, swimming pool and cafe.
Seaside and Arts Festival (April)
Things to do:
In the area:
- Surfing - Sandon Point is the best place locally
- Beach - Thirroul beach has a playground, swimming pool and kiosk
- Lookout - Bulli Lookout at the top of Bulli Pass has great coastal views
- Lawrence Hargraves Memorial and Lookout - near Stanwell Park, site of Hargraves' pioneering flight attempts, now a popular spot for hang-gliding
- Symbio Wildlife Gardens - at Stanwell Tops, for native wildlife and animal shows