A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published November 9th 2015
For 'seanery', stories and seafood
I recently collated my outdoor discoveries in the coastal city of Wollongong. Last weekend I wandered over to the beautiful Belmore Basin and it's definitely going on this list of must-see locations. Check it out when you're in the area and indulge in some South Coast scenery, history, and recreation.
Enjoying sun on a wharf in the basin.
The Basin is where the Gong's large fishing fleet was established back in 1860, and where it continues to call home. The construction of this along with the break-wall, and lighthouse in 1869, was a challenging feat. The picturesque port, which is pivotal in Wollongong's early development, has since grown into a hub of leisure and entertainment.
The Belmore Basin lighthouse was originally a red lantern at the end of the pier - which took its time traveling from England, drawing the process out until 1872. Although no longer active, this piece of South Coast heritage remains, and I have to say, it's pretty neat seeing such a landmark dating back to over a century ago. Also, for the record, this is the only point on the east coast of Australia to have two lighthouses. Find the second up on the headland immediately south of the Basin.
It is a haven for water-babies. The port extended its mooring to sail boats, essentially painting the scene in leisure. It was so soothing to simply sit back and bask in the sun on one of the wharves. One is spoilt for choice when it comes to where to go for a dip. Will it be the quaint cove sheltered by the port (ideal for toddlers), or along the golden stretches of neighbouring beaches?
If you feel like a coastal walk, travel up North Wollongong beach to find Stuart Park, the lagoon at the mouth of Para Creek, and a nature board-walk. Alternatively (or additionally, if you have energy to burn) head south via the Head Lighthouse. Kids will love the playground beside the Basin, and the pelicans. Oh, and keep eye out for the large stingrays that are regularly sighted here - fascinating, but don't fancy a close-up swim.
Waterside dining, not to my surprise, has taken off in this scenic location. The Harbour Front restaurant is boasted about and earned the title of best seafood south of Sydney in 2012. Sounds like we're in for a treat of fresh, local seafood, in an intimate ocean-side setting. Another popular lunch idea is to grab some good old fish and chips from the seafood market. Alternatively, bring your own set of refreshments and set up at one of the picnic tables by the beach.
Whether you are looking for relaxation, waterfront dining and recreation, or to experience a place with cultural tales to tell, you are sure to enjoy this piece of Wollongong. It is a beautiful hang out in summer, and if you are in the area for Australia Day be sure to visit as this is the heart celebrations.