Famous in world aviation history, Stanwell Park is where Australian aeronautical pioneer Lawrence Hargrave first flew in his box kite on 12 November, 1894. Today, this picturesque village on the northern tip of Wollongong is an internationally acclaimed area for hang-gliding and paragliding.
Watch hang-gliders and paragliders soar above the cliffs and ocean from Bald Hill Lookout at the Stanwell Tops headland, which overlooks the village and beautiful Stanwell Park Beach. Or relax on the sandy beach or beachside park and gaze up as pilots perform graceful flying manoeuvres.
For the ride of a lifetime, try tandem hang-gliding and paragliding at Stanwell Tops, on Lawrence Hargrave Drive. Adventure tours offer tandem flights. Getting to Stanwell Park is easy, with the drive from Sydney about an hour and a scenic train trip from Sydney’s Central station only 70 minutes.
Stanwell Park is near the southern end of the Royal National Park and on the Grand Pacific Drive, a spectacular touring route through one of the world’s oldest national parks to Stanwell Park and south over the Sea Cliff Bridge, an engineering marvel, to Wollongong and the NSW South Coast.
Other wonderful things to do include a visit to Symbio Wildlife Park, a short drive northwest along Lawrence Hargrave Drive. You'll meet native and exotic animals and hand-feed kangaroos. There are exhilarating motoring tours with Cliff to Coast Sports Car Drives and Just Cruisin’ motorcycle tours.
Horseriding is popular, too. Otford Farm and Darkes Forest Riding Ranch offer trail rides for all levels of experience. At Glenbernie Orchard is Apple Shack, where you can buy fresh and dried fruit and taste ciders. There are several restaurants and convenient places to stay around Stanwell Park.