A guide to fun nights out in Wollongong for any mood

From beaches to rainforest, Wollongong is known for outdoor adventures. But after dark there are still plenty of places to play. Whether it’s a beer or a boogie, here are the Gong’s best night spots.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Aug 2023 -
min read

For music & dance lovers 

If you’re keen to show off your moves on the dancefloor or sing along to your favourite tunes, Wollongong’s many live music venues and nightclubs offer fun nighttime dance sessions. Visit Wollongong’s live music mecca, La La La’s, for everything from hard rock to ‘90s throwback nights, comedy performances, burlesque and punk. Heyday is a popular place to dance, with two floors, a student's night every Wednesday, local bands and an epic rave cage. The Illawarra Hotel combines traditional Aussie pub vibes with acoustic sessions and DJ nights, and the UniBar at the University of Wollongong is known for hosting internationally renowned musicians and local bands in a relaxed atmosphere. 

Hockey Dad performing on stage at La La La's - Wollongong

Hockey Dad performing at La La La's, Wollongong - Credit: Samantha Quintal

For food lovers 

Whether you want to spend $10 or $100, Wollongong has a delicious dinner sorted. Head to Crown Street every Thursday evening for a tasting trail of the city’s local food producers at the Crown St Night Markets: donuts, banh mi, vegan Thai food, arancini and more, plus live music until 9pm. Crown Street is also the place to go for post-dancing late-night eats, with plenty of kebab stores, burger joints and grills – some open to the early morning. One of the Gong’s most popular burgers can be found at His Boy Elroy, try woodfired pizza at Da Orlando and Asian-inspired street food and delicious drinks at Dagwood, which serves up snacks until 11pm on the weekend.  

Selection of dishes from the menu at Dagwood Bar and Kitchen, Wollongong

Dagwood Bar and Kitchen, Wollongong - Credit: Dagwood Bar and Kitchen

For fancy nights out, seasonal and sustainable restaurant Babyface Kitchen and modern Italian eatery Restaurant Santino won chef hats in the 2023 Good Food Guide awards. Don't miss dessert via Sydney’s award-winning gelateria Cow and the Moon, who have a southern outpost on Wollongong’s Crown Street open until 10pm – don't miss their almond affogato flavour, voted world’s best gelato in 2014. 

Crab carbonara at Restaurant Santino, Wollongong

Restaurant Santino, Wollongong - Credit: Tom Opie

For drink lovers 

Wollongong’s locals are a friendly bunch, and some of the best places to meet them are at the city’s diverse range of pubs, bars and breweries. If you’re keen for a drink with beach views, head to Pepe’s on the Beach for California-inspired snacks and beachside cocktails. You’ll get good city views at Humber, a slick three-level venue with a palm-covered rooftop bar, DJs and $25 cocktail jugs.  

Rooftop terrace at Humber, Wollongong

Humber, Wollongong - Credit: Humber

Red Square serves up more than 169 vodka infusion drinks, infused with nostalgic lollies, fruits and snacks, and craft beer lovers should head to Five Barrel Brewing, a brewery and taproom that has tours, tastings and food trucks on Thursday to Saturday nights. If you prefer your boozy night out planned for you, join Let’s Roam’s Wollongong Bar Crawl Scavenger Hunt tour – as well as visiting the city’s best bars, there are competitions and games along the way. 

Friends enjoying a beer at Five Barrel Brewing, Wollongong

Five Barrel Brewing, Wollongong - Credit: Five Barrel Brewing

For sport lovers 

Home of the NRL’s St George Illawarra Dragons, Wollongong is a fiercely sport-loving city. Catch a rugby or football game at the 22,000-capacity WIN Stadium (one of the only stadiums that has views of the Pacific Ocean!), or sit back with a beverage at one of the Gong’s many sports bars: The Frisky Flamingo is a jungle-inspired, American-style, late-night sport lounge playing NBA, AFL and NRL live; and chic Crown Street bar Mr Crown offers multiple live TV screens in its upstairs sports lounge. If you prefer to get on the field, join one of the social teams at Urban Rec, offering fun competitions for basketball, netball, touch football and more. 

Crowd watching a match at WIN Stadium, Wollongong

WIN Stadium, Wollongong - Credit: WIN Stadium

For action lovers 

As an outdoor adventure haven, there’s no shortage of nighttime activities to get your adrenaline pumping. At Breakout Bar, not only will you find cool cocktails and all-ages karaoke rooms, but there are also five escape rooms for you and your mates to test your problem-solving skills: try to escape The Asylum, embark on a Medieval Quest, solve a murder mystery at Motel 666 and more. Gamers and nostalgia seekers will love a night out at B. Lucky & Sons, a cocktail bar packed with both retro and modern arcade games including Mario Kart, Daytona and NBA Hoops. If you prefer more physical exertion, climbing gym Hangdog is open until 9pm six nights a week – book in for a night of top rope and bouldering on their Tuesday uni nights, which comes with free pizza! 

Retro and modern arcade games at B. Lucky & Sons, Wollongong

B. Lucky & Sons, Wollongong - Credit: B. Lucky & Sons

For comedy & theatre lovers 

Wollongong has a thriving and young arts scene, with regular live shows, theatre and comedy. Merrigong Theatre Company stages dance, music, comedy, cabaret and more performances at their venues, including the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Wollongong Town Hall, The Music Lounge and even the Wollongong Botanic Gardens. The University of Wollongong’s UniBar hosts regular comedy nights with local comedians, and WIN Stadium’s entertainment centre hosts some of the world's biggest musicals and musicians. 

Crowd gathering on front steps at Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Wollongong

Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Wollongong - Credit: Tim Shaw

More articles by theme


You may also like...