Located on the northern outskirts of Wollongong, the chic coastal village of Bulli in the Illawarra region of NSW entices with pretty beaches, colonial streetscapes and mining heritage. The dramatic Illawarra Escarpment and sparkling blue waters of the Pacific Ocean set the scene for gorgeous picnics, swimming, cycling and surfing adventures.
Beaches & ocean pools
The tranquil Bulli Beach is 900m long, and perfect for swimming and surfing. It’s backed by a large park ideal for family picnics. At the northern end of the beach, there’s also an Olympic-sized ocean pool dating back to the 1930s and an adjoining toddler pool. Stroll north to Sandon Point Beach, another gem with a pretty grassed area.
The mining of coal – nicknamed black diamonds – began in Bulli in the 1860s. Learn the stories of the coal miners, mining tragedies and underground heroism at Bulli Black Diamond Museum Heritage Centre, found in the heritage-listed Bulli Railway Station, which was built in 1887.
Bulli’s heritage also comes to life on the streets through well-preserved pubs, churches, timber cottages and public buildings. For a hearty feed or cold drink, drop into the grand three-storey Bulli Heritage Hotel, which has been serving thirsty locals since 1889.
Things to do
The Southern Gateway Centre is located on top of the Illawarra Escarpment above Bulli and is home to the Wollongong Visitor Information Centre, restaurant Altitude 1148 and a gelato shop. Here you can also take in the incredible views of Illawarra and the South Coast from the Bulli Lookout.
For more breathtaking views, walk to the top of Sublime Point lookout, a little farther north. Check out the events calendar for markets and festivals, like the Illawarra Folk Festival and the Illawarra Festival of Wood. The Sunday Foragers Market on the second Sunday of the month is the place to pick up local organic produce and handmade artisan goods.
Bulli is located just south of Sydney, with the drive taking around 1h 15min. You can also catch a train from Sydney, which takes around 80min. You’ll find a number of places to stay in Bulli, including holiday houses and oceanfront campgrounds at Bulli Beach Tourist Park.