Article three: Lookouts
From the Coast to the Cliff tops.
While there is no shortage of things to do, see and experience in and around Shell Cove, some of the most spectacular vantage points on the East Coast are located within a 20-minute drive and offer sweeping views of the Illawarra.
Here is a list of our must-do lookouts – some require a little more effort than others, so whether you’re looking to work up a sweat or enjoy it from the comfort of your car, there is something for all ages and abilities.
Saddleback Mountain, Jamberoo
This is the closest and offers the clearest views over Shell Cove. Located only 10 minutes from the Town Centre, this is a lesser known lookout, but offers incredible views!
From Shell Cove, you can head west to Jamberoo via Swamp Road and begin the drive-up Saddleback Mountain. For those looking to really test their fitness, this is a popular road for endurance – for runners and riders – and offers a wonderful reward at the peak!
Can you spot your house…
Jamberoo Mountain Lookout, Budderoo National Park
This lookout is often overshadowed by its northern counterparts but as far as panoramic views go, it’s unbeatable – and easily accessed, you can see it all from the car.
From Shell Cove, the quickest route is driving straight up Jamberoo Mountain Road. Once at the peak, keep your eyes peeled for a subtle sign that points you to spectacular views.
This is definitely a ‘day-trip must do’ and while you’re up there, you can stop into the Illawarra Fly which is just up the road, cool down in Nellie’s Glen or enjoy a number of waterfalls and walks the Southern Highlands has become synonymous for.
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith Lookout, Gerroa
Located just a short 15-minute drive from Shell Cove is The Sir Charles Kingsford Smith Memorial Lookout which boasts sweeping panoramic views of Seven Mile Beach and the National Park, as well as magnificent views of the southern coastline.
And for the aviation enthusiasts, the memorial is in the shape of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith’s famous aircraft called the ‘Southern Cross’, with a plaque on display near the outline of the aircraft. It commemorates his historic and record-breaking flight on January 11, 1933 across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand.
DID YOU KNOW… Seven Mile Beach was selected for the take-off area as it allowed a long, smooth take-off for his heavy-laden aircraft.
Hill 60, Port Kembla
This is a true hidden gem of the Coast and if you pick the winds, not only will you experience spectacular views you will also be able to watch Hang Gliders soaring off the edge or go explore – there is some spectacular history lessons to be learnt here and while the tunnels are closed to the public, there’s still plenty to see. You can’t drive right to the peak here, but you can get pretty close. It’s only short – albeit steep – walk to the top but there is a range of access points nearby offering equally as amazing views.
And while you’re in ‘Port’, be sure to go check out the Pyramids – one of the most unique ‘left overs’ from WWII. If you know, you know…
Mt Keira, Wollongong
The regions north is home to a number of more known lookouts, and one of these is the spectacular Mt Keira. Offering unparalleled views over the Illawarra, Mt Keira is easily accessed by car, you can choose to lace up your joggers and experience the best of the escarpment by foot.
Sublime Point, Wollongong
While this is a little further to the north again and accessible by car, we’ve chosen to highlight Sublime Point for thrill of climbing the mountain. You begin the walk from Foothills Rd, Austinmer (near Ibah Day Spa) and within moments you’re immersed in lush rainforest and before long scaling a series of ladders and stairs as you begin the ascent to the peak. Disclaimer – this walk is steep and we recommend doing the research beforehand – it’s not suitable for everyone and if you don’t think you’re up for the walk, it’s definitely worth a day-trip by car.
But wait, there’s more – so many more
- Bald Hill and the world-class Seacliff Bridge
- Mt Kembla
- Brokers Nose
- Gosangs Tunnel
- Point Perpendicular
- Pigeon House Mountain