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Bald Hill is a scenic viewpoint, with stunning views of the escarpment, the rainforest and the coastline south towards Wollongong, aka the Gong. It’s also the launch pad for hang gliders and paragliders. A statue of Lawrence Hargrave, inventor of the box kite, marks the importance of the Stanwell Park in aviation history – down on the beach, Hargrave’s experiments that paved the way for human flight. Bald Hill is a beautiful spot to enjoy an ice-cream and view. At sundown, this is also a top spot to watch the full moon rise over the ocean. Road works and improvements to parking and the toilet block at Bald Hill are set for completion at the end of 2016.
Bald Hill, Lawrence Hargrave Drive
Helensburgh is a historic coal-mining town founded in the 1880s, when European settlers discovered coal and the Illawarra rail line was built, linking the area to Sydney. Helensburgh is said to be named either after Helen, daughter of the first mine manager Charles Harper, or after the Scottish town of the same name. The Metropolitan Mine continues to operate today but the town no longer pins its prosperity on ‘black gold’. Today ‘the Burgh’ has become a commuter town, with families moving here to enjoy the joys of raising children in a close-knit community with bushland on their doorsteps and beaches down the road – all an hour south of Sydney. The town has a thriving cafe culture, a free public pool, many active sporting groups (including rugby league’s Tigers and Tigerlillies) and makes a great base for outdoors types, who can take their pick of bush walking, mountain biking, hang gliding, swimming, surfing and horse riding. Abandoned old train tunnels, including one with a colony of glow worms that famously shine in the dark like the Milky Way, provide scenic locations for photographers, trainspotters and ghost tour operators. The small town has two surprising big tourist attractions. Built on […]
Glenbernie Orchard is a beautiful, fourth-generation fruit farm in Darkes Forest. It’s famous for its apples – you can visit the orchard and pick your own! (From about late January to May – keep an eye on its Facebook page for picking tours.) T he Illawarra’s home-grown Darkes Cider is made from Glenbernie’s apples – you can try some at the Apple Shack, Glenbernie’s farm store, which is open daily. The Apple Shack also sells fresh fruit in season, apple juice, dried apples, apple cider vinegar, bush honey, jams, relishes and more!
259 Darkes Forest Road, Darkes Forest