Wollongong and Kiama with my sister in a Toyota

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Hello. I am a big fan of the road trip. However long, or short, the km’s, there is so much to discover and enjoy in simple, unexpected ways. Mini breaks are a fantastic way to focus on one area, or as in this trip, two. Sister and I flew to Sydney, picked up a Toyota and drove to Wollongong. We lodged for the evening at Quality Suites Pioneer Sands -Wollongong. The one bedroom apartment was clean,quiet and spacious, with a good sized shower. There is a very nice breakfast area if you don’t want to utilise the kitchen.

 

Towradgi Beach Hotel  can be accessed via the back of the property. It is huge, with several different areas to sit and relax and have a couple of wines, and a huge feed. We arrived late in the afternoon, starving, and sick of driving, so the fact that the kitchen was open and had a selection of meals between lunch and dinner service was brilliant.

Crispy chips are my downfall…and the house wine was refreshing and perfectly chilled.

It was Friday night, we decided to drive into the Wollongong CBD for a look around – the shops began shutting at about 5.30. We had a quick look around before were locked out in the street. No late night shopping.

The Wollongong foreshore has a sinister feel on a clear day. In the distance, the steel works with it’s powerful presence provides a sense of tension.

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Wollongong Nymphs, frolicking in the wash on the breakwater. I had to capture their exuberance, and sheer delight in a simple pleasure – with their permission of course.

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As the sun began to set, the golden reflection cast over the breakwater was magical.

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The walk along the main beach is long enough to provide some exercise. As night fell, the restaurants lit up along the beach, the foreshore looked beautiful. We stayed out well into dark, and enjoyed the benefit of the warm evening. Next time I visit Wollongong, I will definitely reserve a table overlooking the water and enjoy a leisurely dinner. It was lovely.

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And return to Wollongong I did. A month later I had dinner Harbourside at Level One. Under dressed as we were, they were gracious enough to allow us to dine in thongs and casual gear – we promised to be out before their 7pm booking, which suited us just fine, we wanted an early dinner and back to the motel to relax. It had been a long day of travel.

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The food at Level One was excellent, I chose a couple of entree’s instead of a main and followed with a delicious dessert. The entrees are decent sized portions, enough to share. Topped with a couple of glasses of house white, we were satisfied and pleased with our choice. Recommend Salmon Bruschetta and Creme Brûlée.

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Low tide accentuates the seawalls, built to hold back an at times, ferocious ocean.

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Harbour in the early evening sunshine. View from Level One. Lovely way to dine.

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After a leisurely breakfast on the balcony of our apartment – the sun came out in all it’s glory, giving us a brilliantly blue sky, –  we headed to Kiama.

I love Kiama. I stop there almost every time I head south from Sydney. It is always busy, car parking can be challenging, but with the big clean, grassy park, and the fabulous walk along the waterfront, it is worth circling for a while until a parking space becomes available. We always get a spot, usually up near the blow hole, where the turn over of visitors is relatively quick. The main street has plenty of choice of cafes and eateries but for a cheap and tasty lunch, and a glass of wine, I recommend the The Grand Hotel. They have a comfortable courtyard, and the steak sandwich or BLT, only costs $6.00!!! I didn’t get a photo of our lunch, but l would like to try the Schnitty on the specials board one day. Check out these prices.

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Thar she blows. Great booming blow hole. Never lets us down. I have read that the Kiama blowhole is the biggest  in the world. I don’t know if this is true, but I would like to think it is.

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Kiama sea pool. Beautiful. I believe the pool is formed by natural rock formations, so it is irregular in shape, has variable depth, and a natural rock floor. Beware the stubbed toes and scraped knees.

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Aaah. The sea pool water feels so soft on hot tired feet.

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Check out these beautiful crayfish. We passed these local guys unloading on our walk along the waterfront. The cray he is holding is tiny, in comparison to the big boys in the tub.

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Lucky to be in Kiama on market day, we had freshly made Turkish gozleme for lunch. Can’t recommend it enough. Yummy. And big enough for the two of us to share. Give it a try if you are there on the right day. Mmmmmm.

We decided not to stay overnight in Kiama, as it was extremely busy and accommodation was scarce. We enjoyed the lovely day as long as we could, but it is a long drive back to Melbourne and we had to leave the sun and blue waters.  We headed home via Saddleback mountain and Jamberoo. A very pretty tourist drive. Much nicer than taking the Princess highway.

We drove through a town we had never seen before, and had to stop! It was the home of another giant Aussie ‘thing‘ for my collection.

Meet The Giant Potato – Robertson NSW

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After excitedly elbowing English tourists out of the way – although their children refused to move – we took a photo and resumed our Southward trip.

Another stop with a big thing, although this one is big in its actual size. Holbrook boasts it’s own submarine.

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And another BIG thing at Goulburn! The Big Merino.

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Ummm. Not sure this end was necessary…

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IMG_4721.JPGTry to take a toilet stop at Euroa, you have to check out the pretty doors of the cubicles.

 

 

 

 

 

Night fell as we neared Albury. We were ravenous, and walked up and down the streets, reading the menu’s in the many restaurants. There is no shortage of choice for dinner in Albury. We chose The Lounge Tapas Bar and Restaurant. We love share food, and the little individual bubbly bottles were so cute. Nice glasses to sip from.

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And for dessert…Yumm. Cold Rock Ice Creamery. I couldn’t resist the coffee ice cream.

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We arrived home in Melbourne,around 1.30am. Tired but happy. It was a short but enjoyable road trip.

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