Luxury, Romantic and Boutique Accommodation in the Illawarra

Spirited seaside towns dot a spectacular stretch of coastline.

Spectacular seascapes and sleepy towns, with a side of boutique accommodation in the Illawarra

As you drive down to the Illawarra from Sydney, it’s not hard to figure out when you’ve arrived – as you navigate the winding road of the Grand Pacific Drive, the sweeping coastline is laid out before you, with waves crashing against rocky outcrops and seaside towns clustered against golden beaches. The 665-metre Sea Cliff Bridge at Stanwell Park opened in 2005 and offers a fantastic vantage point of the scenery.

The Illawarra region covers a beautiful section of New South Wales' South Coast, from Stanwell Park in the north to Gerroa in the south. Wollongong is the main regional centre of the Illawarra, and has come alive in recent years with a raft of new cafes, restaurants, bars and luxury accommodation. Known for its pristine beaches and water activities, it also offers a few more unexpected sites, such as Nan Tien Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere. There is Wollongong accommodation to suit every taste and budget, including cosy B&Bs, self-contained suites, hotel rooms and holiday houses.

When you are ready to continue the journey to the Illawarra's south, a bounty of sleepy seaside towns and villages await. Shellharbour is a great base for seeing Lake Illawarra. The lake's foreshore is popular for picnics, cycling and walks, and watersports - windsurfing, waterskiing, sailboarding, jetskiing - are go-tos for adventure-seekers. Macquarie Pass National Park is located to the west of Shellharbour. 

Continue southwards and you'll arrive in Jamberoo, close to the beautiful Minnamurra Rainforest Park; Kiama, famous for its blowhole; Gerringong, a haven of pristine beaches and rolling hills; and Gerroa, where you'll find the spectacular Seven Mile Beach. Any of these townships makes a great weekender, with plenty of boutique accommodation to choose from. You might opt to spend a couple of nights in each town, soaking up its unique charms and atmosphere, or you might choose to make one your central base and branch out into the Illawarra area with regular day trips.

To get you on your way to a luxury escape, look through our collection of Illawarra accommodation. Then when you're ready, move onto our NSW accommodation picks