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Introducing Wollongong

The 'Gong', 80km south of Sydney, is the envy of many cities. Sure, it has restaurants, bars, arts, culture and entertainment, that's easy enough. But it also enjoys a laid-back beachside lifestyle. Just to rub it in, Sydney is easily accessible by local rail.

There are 17 patrolled beaches and a spectacular sandstone escarpment that runs from the Royal National Park south past Wollongong and Port Kembla. Grand Pacific Dr makes the most of the landscape and the whole combination makes for a host of outdoor activities: excellent surf, safe beaches, bushwalks and sky-high adventures to name a few. Our only complaint? Distant factories belching out smoke scar the middle distance along the main town beaches.