In pictures: the 6 best views in the Illawarra, according to 2NRS

In addition to bringing you The Sound of The Coast, we tasked one of our presenters, Tristan Black, with bringing you the views of the coast. We sent Tristan on what we’re sure was a truly laborious odyssey. From the mountains, to the sea, to the airwaves of 2NRS, he went exploring and also asked you, to come up with a definitive list of the best views in the Illawarra. Here’s what he found:

6. Flagstaff Point Lighthouse

Grab a coffee at North Beach Wollongong and walk along Cliff Road to Flagstaff Point. As a local, it’s easy to take this spot for granted. From mothers in activewear determinedly pushing prams with their Airpods in, to people enjoying a quiet takeaway fish and chips, a lot of people come here to enjoy the sunshine – and there’s a reason for that. Flagstaff Point offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy a view of the beautiful lighthouse against the backdrop of the ocean. And not only that, from the top of the hill, there are sweeping views of the Illawarra Escarpment, and the coastline extending to Clifton.

5. The middle of Lake Illawarra

In the interest of being thorough, I thought it would be best to check out the views in the centre of Lake Illawarra. Launching off from the boat ramp in Mount Warrigal in my inflatable kayak, trying my best not to puncture the PVC hull on an oyster shell, I set out on my journey. In the middle of the lake, it’s so quiet. There’s nobody there except for you and the millions of jellyfish that call Lake Illawarra home. On a clear day, you can see the mirror image of the clouds and the mountains in the distance.

4. Hill 60

A true hidden gem in Port Kembla, the Hill 60 lookout offers scenery and history. This was also the site of numerous fortifications and gunning positions, dating back to when Australia’s coastline came under threat of attack from Japan during the Second World War. If you’re not much of a history nut, and it’s scenery you’re there for, park the car, find a bench, and enjoy unimpeded views of Five Islands, and the coastline in the direction of Kiama. The lookout is accessible from Military Road.

3. Bald Hill

Only halfway down the list because it’s always so packed with tourists, Bald Hill at Stanwell Park is one of the best spots in the Northern Illawarra to look back down the coastline. If you look especially hard in a southerly direction, you may see them filming a car commercial on the Sea Cliff Bridge.

2. Mount Keira

The drive alone makes visiting Mount Keira Lookout worth it. Heading up Tourist Drive 11 on Mount Keira Road, you’ll be overwhelmed by the beauty of the dappled light greeting you through the treetops. Mount Keira is home to one of the most beautiful rainforest areas in NSW, and as you’re driving up to the lookout, it really feels like it. At the top is the best place to view the most you can of the Illawarra from one place. To your left, Thirroul, Austinmer, Scarborough and Clifton in the distance. In front of you, Wollongong, and the lighthouse I mentioned earlier. To the right, you can see all the way down to the steel works in Port Kembla, and even to Lake Illawarra and Shellharbour.

1. Sublime Point

This lookout at Bulli Tops really lives up to its name. At this lookout, you’ll be met with 180 degree views of the Pacific Ocean, and the whole of the Illawarra stretched out in front of you to the south. There’s a very popular little walking track up here as well. There are also barbecues and picnic shelters for the whole family to enjoy the area. I’m not sure what it is about this lookout that made it number 1, but I guess it’s just that, if you love the Illawarra, you can stand there and see everything you love right in front of you.

…and now for what you thought!

Tahnee from Thirroul

“This is kind of a secret little view, so I’m hoping there’s not too many people there next time I’m there, but in between Austinmer beach and Thirroul Beach, there’s a little hill, a hidden pathway, and right at the top there’s a little table. You can sit there and you can have your beer, your picnic. I love it because down by the beachside, tables full, restaurants full, but no-one knows about that little table. You can a sweeping view of the whole ocean.”

Steve from Austinmer

“When you’re going to do the Otford Walk, you drive up there where the National Parks are, and you look back down south towards Wollongong, that’s just an amazing, amazing view. You’re up really high, so that’s my favourite.”

Bree from Woonona

“I have to say driving down Bulli Pass coming from Sydney. I love that view because it always reminds me of when I used to live up in Sydney before I moved back down, of coming home to see my grandparents. If you’re driving, you’re not really meant to be looking, so it’s an even rarer view when you’re on the passenger seat and you can see out towards the ocean and you’ve got the whole escarpment there, it’s so beautiful…and those harrowing turns, they keep you awake.”