Press pause & play
For many people driving from Sydney down the NSW South Coast, the town of Albion Park is just a place to get fuel or stop at McDonalds. But this town has quite a lot to offer. Spend a day enjoying rainforest walks, mountain bike trails and golfing, plus you can ride on a steam train and browse an impressive display of aircraft at an aviation museum.
The Historic Aircraft Restoration Society Aviation Museum has an extraordinary collection of military and commercial aircraft. Highlights include the Qantas 747-400 that made history flying non-stop from London to Sydney, a Catalina flying boat and a Lockheed Super Constellation.
At the Museum’s Tarmac Days, you can sit in the cockpit of some of the aircraft including the 747, and for an extra price, you can sign up for a wing walk. For even more derring-do, attend the Wings Over Illawarra air show to be dazzled by breathtaking aerobatics.
As the museum is located right next to the Illawarra Regional Airport, you can easily take to the skies yourself on a scenic flight over the stunning South Coast, or even have a flying lesson. There are several operators, including Touchdown Helicopters, Five Points Aviation and NSW Air Flight Training.
There are always plenty of places to get out and about in nature. Mountain bike riders of all skill levels will be thrilled with Greenvalleys Mountain Bike Park, in the foothills of the Macquarie Pass. Cascades Walk is a must when you visit Macquarie Pass National Park. You might be lucky along to spot lyrebirds in the rainforest and platypus in the babbling creek on this 2km return waterfall trail. Hikers will also enjoy the challenging Clover Hill trail, a 6km return walk on an old logging route to Rainbow Falls past a patchwork of open fields.
Ride & slide
There is a lot of family fun to be had around Albion Park. It is only 10 minutes away from the giant waterslides at Jamberoo Action Park or enjoy the rush of excitement at Australia’s highest zip-line at the Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures. It’s also home to the Illawarra Light Railway Museum where kids and big kids alike can experience a slice of history riding on steam, diesel and miniature trains.
Lovers of the little white ball can tackle the 18-hole Calderwood Valley Golf Course. This public course abuts the magnificent Illawarra Escarpment, which towers majestically over the whole region.
Where to stay
You’ll find a number of places to stay around Albion Park including motels, cottages and the elegant Ravensthorpe – a grand heritage guesthouse reminiscent of a small French chateau set on three acres of gorgeous heritage gardens.
Albion Park is a two-hour drive from Sydney along the spectacular Grand Pacific Drive. You can also catch a direct train from Sydney to the Albion Rail station and the journey takes about 2.5 hours. Or you can fly from Brisbane and Melbourne into Shellharbour Airport at Albion Park.
Shellharbour Airport is located at Albion Park and is the gateway to Shellharbour City. Flying to Shellharbour is the fastest way to enjoy everything the region has to offer from surfing at a National Surfing Reserve or enjoying a round of golf, to spectacular beaches, beautiful scenery, bush walking and more.