Well our third house sit of this trip is in Fig Tree which is a part of Wollongong about an hour south of Sydney. It’s nestled beneath the Illawarra Escarpment which includes Mt. Keira and Mt. Kembla. Again like most of the Australian homes we’ve been to, everyday is a decision whether to up to the mountains or down to the beaches.
Two great ocean view walks were found in Wollongong and Kiama. We did a 5 kilometre walk in Wollongong almost five times a week, usually early enough to avoid the heat. We really enjoyed the views which included two lighthouses, vast beaches, rock pools, cafés and restaurants, and an active marina. A lot of people take in these views walking and taking photos along the way. It must be good for surfing as well because the waters were always busy with surfers. Another typical Australian bonus is the availability of toilets, water fountains and showers, benches, tables, and BBQ’s for anyone to use. It would be nice if the rest of the world would start doing this, especially the public toilets.
The Kiama walk was good too although when we did it it was too warm out. This area is home to two natural ocean blow holes that can be easily viewed along a marked trail. Like the Wollongong walks, the trails, stairs or sidewalks change elevations as they follow the ocean so it’s a pretty good workout too. The town of Kiama is smaller than Wollongong but it has a great little main street with shops, cafés and restaurants as well. We’d definitely recommend either of these two areas for sightseeing.
The days we chose to go up to the mountains were more than worth it. Together we took a scenic, scary winding road one hour drive to Fitzroy Falls. The hills were really steep and most curves were those tricky hairpins, thankfully everyone drives with caution so we made it both ways without incident. The Falls area has many trails to choose from, some harder than the others. The actual Falls were better than expected, I assumed we’d be underwhelmed but we weren’t. From various lookouts you can see the Falls from different angles and you can really get an idea how far a drop 81 metres is. There’s also another Falls, a little less volume but it too can be seen from the trail. The area is like a forested canyon so the vistas are great so bring your camera. The park has a visitor centre and there’s displays of the animals and plants that can be found.
On my own I drove to the top of Mt. Kiera to get a view of the whole Wollongong / Illawarra area. This drive was only about 30 minutes and the road wasn’t as steep or curvy. From the lookout you get a clear 180⁰ view of the coastal area below. Australia has unbelievable scenery and this area is second to none, again don’t forget your camera.
Our Australian trip is nearing it’s end, one more house sit in Canberra before we say goodbye to this beautiful country once again.
Happy Trails… Mark and Linda