Eat, Explore and Experience
Only the best make the list.
The Scarborough Hotel
With their Fort Cafe, Horizon Balcony, Quarry Room, Seacliff Garden and even an art gallery, The Scarborough Hotel offers plenty of choice. We can recommend a luncheon excursion to this hotel beginning with a stroll along the Seacliff Bridge followed by a walk up to the hotel. At the hotel you will enjoy both a great view and a wonderful garden atmosphere with a wide selection of foods to choose from. There are galleries to explore along the way as well. Due to the popularity of the Scarborough Hotel, bookings are recommended.
For some romance or a special dinner celebration, “Dining on the Edge” restaurant at Tumbling Waters is an ideal venue.Open to the public on Fridays and Saturday evenings. From here you’ll be treated to a seasonal Modern Australian Chef’s choice menu overlooking truly stunning views of Stanwell Park Beach and the rainforest. Bookings are recommended.
16 Feet Espresso
Described as a “lovely little cafe in paradise” (Tripadvisor Review), 16 Feet Espresso is one of our personal favourites. With great coffee and home-baked goodies, many people take a pit stop here on their Pacific Drive adventure. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and licensed, 16 Feet Espresso is a must-visit (or eat!) in Stanwell Park. Follow their Facebook Page for entertaining updates and menu specials.
The Beach Kiosk
On first sight, The Beach Kiosk may look like just another beach shack, but for us it’s a little treasure. Set in parkland surrounds this restaurant has a great outdoor area, which is especially suited to active children with a ball to kick around. The Beach Kiosk offers a Greek inspired menu with a relaxed atmosphere.
Red Nectar is a cosy restaurant located in Helensburgh. The Award Winning Chef is inspired by the natural surroundings and takes pride in showcasing local produce as well as Native Australian ingredients. The menu is Contemporary Australian and reasonably priced. We found the food to be delicious!
Stanwell Park Beach is one of the most photographed beaches in Australia from Bald Hill. Having said that, it can also be quite hazardous for inexperienced swimmers. We encourage all of our visitors to have a look at the Beachsafe website and to always swim between the flags. For your safety the beach is patrolled during Spring and Summer by Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Surf Life Saving Club – one of the oldest in Australia! Set yourself up under a beach umbrella and chill or organise a spot of fishing, a surf, or take the kids to the nearby playground and have a BBQ.
Symbio Wildlife Park
Symbio is an award winning zoo located in Helensburgh, just 5 minutes drive away. They have some great tours and experiences with Australian native animals as well as the more exotic. Get up close and personal with Meerkats, Red Pandas and Monkeys or sign up to the “Keeper for a Day” experience. This is a wonderful day out for the kids – and for the adults! Symbio offers a family discount to patrons of Stanwell Park Beach Cottage.
Nan Tien Temple
Nan Tien Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern hemisphere and has won several tourism & architectural awards. It is a must-see for anyone visiting the Wollongong area and is easily accessible from Stanwell Park . You can take a guided tour of the temple or register for meditation classes. Last month, the temple even hosted a ceremony down at Stanwell Park Beach so check their website for upcoming events.
Articles Fine Art Gallery
You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy a visit to this amazing local gallery. Set up by John Vander, an incredible artist himself, Articles Fine Art Gallery features a collection of paintings, pottery, ceramics, jewellery and sculptures. Pictured here is one of John Vander’s oil paintings, “The Headland, Austinmer”.
Otford Farm Trail Rides
At Otford Farm you’ll experience a peaceful farm atmosphere. For over thirty years this family-owned business has prided itself on offering country hospitality for the whole family. Their trail rides are suitable for all ages and take in a mix of mountain scenery, waterfalls & rain forest. The farm itself has stables and an array of farm animals for the kids to meet.
Fly at Bald Hill Look Out
The views are spectacular at Bald Hill Lookout and if you are prone to enjoying some adrenalin sports, this is the place for you. In fact, it’s internationally renowned as a top place for hang-gliding. There are several companies offering hang-gliding experiences so be sure to check out their offers and get flying.
Hiking the Wodi Wodi track
With picnic areas and rest stops along the way, hiking the 14km Wodi Wodi Walking Track is an all-day experience. Named after the Illawarra Coast Indigenous Australians, this hike takes in several hiking tracks and is one of this region’s best walks. The walk is a moderate to hard hike, so be sure to do your research and pack plenty of snacks, drinks (lots of water) and blockout for your journey. We recommend ending your day with a dip in the ocean or lagoon to cool off.
Seacliff Bridge Walk
If you think Grand Pacific Drive, it is the images of Seacliff Bridge that are most likely to spring to mind. This very popular walk is 665 metres along the bridge. Bring your camera for some magnificent photo opportunities. Also, if it’s the right season, you may even spot a migrating whale.