I am a 50 year old Mum of two, who has lived near Wollongong for over 14 years. My balance bike obsessed toddler has grown in to a Mountain Biking 10 year old and my teen girl is now a UOW student, opening up a whole new World of Illawarra adventures
Published March 3rd 2016
Park, grab a coffee, play, paddle and rock pool in Bulli
What is it: A playground just a few steps from the beach with an excellent café right next door, 20 minutes North of Wollongong.
Why you should go: There are a few reasons why I go to this playground. The first is it has the fantastic Bulli Beach Café right next door so we can grab takeaway and enjoy it at the picnic benches in the park. But I also go here because there's a car park right across the road, there's a good variety of play equipment but its small enough I can watch my son play from the benches, the play equipment encourages imaginative play, there are toilets and we can extend the visit with a paddle at the beach.
I went with my son Jake and we drove to get there. The car park is usually big enough to accommodate everyone, I can only think of a couple of occasions in the last five years that I haven't managed to get parked here (although on Sunday mornings in Summer it can be busy with nippers). You can also park on the road right next to the park, which can be a godsend if you are struggling to get your tired toddler out of the park and don't want to carry them too far.
We went in to the Bulli Beach Café first. The display case of cakes and yoghurts looks amazing and Jake was wide eyed. Fortunatly the yoghurts topped with berries were at his eye level so he chose a relatively healthy option. We ordered and paid at the till then waited on seats in the café for my coffee (large coffee $4.50). When the buzzer went we grabbed my coffee and headed to the park which is only a few steps away.
There are two lovely wooden picnic benches under a covered area. There isn't any other shade so this is my favourite spot but there is another picnic bench and a couple of seats around the park. The covered benches are big so usually families don't mind sharing.
Jake went off for a play and made a game of being the ice-cream man at the fun ice-cream van façade. He raced back and forth and I bought ice-creams with bits of monkey puzzle tree branches for money. Next he was off up the low steps to the low slide, which he loves even though he could now climb up the higher equipment.
Ice-cream! Ice-cream! Come and buy your ice-cream!
A group of children aged between six and ten were hanging out in the shade of the high horizontal tunnel chatting while their parents had a circle of camp chairs under the trees a little way off on the large grassy area to the South of the play park. Another family, a Dad and two boys were playing cricket on the grassy area. A few minutes later a Mum with a girl and boy aged about eleven came in to the park on bikes having cycled there from the cycle path which runs northwards to Sandon Point and Thirroul. This cycle path also runs south all the way to Wollongong and it passes right next to the park at Bulli.
After lots of fun in the Park we stopped for a loo visit at the public toilets below the café then had a quick paddle in the little sea pool directly below the café before showering off at the beachside shower and heading home.