skip to content
Travel Menu
Search Our Travel Archives
 
Business Links

 

Wollongong, Victoria

Two-Wheel Coastal Sightseeing's a Breeze

By David Ellis with Mike Smith

For as long as he likes to remember, Wollongong's Steve Melchior has had a passion for motor cycles, especially those with the Harley-Davidson badge.

With the wind whistling through his handle-bar moustache, Steve has little hesitation to announce "I just love this job".

And why not, when you consider that eight years ago he swapped an engineering maintenance job at Qantas to turn his love into a career, taking guests on chauffeured Harley-Davidson sightseeing rides along such spectacularly scenic routes as Lawrence Hargrave Drive linking Royal National Park with Wollongong, and the amazing Grand Pacific Drive.

Wollongong: View from Sea Cliff Bridge

Wollongong: View : Sea Cliff Bridge

Steve wasn't exactly born to be wild. However, he couldn't think of a better way to spend a day than to put on a helmet, don an ex-Police leather jacket, and go for a ride.

His company - Just Cruisin' Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Tours - has a selection of privately-owned bikes at its disposal for a ride on the back of, or in a sidecar. A Trike, if you are after a bit more stability, can also be booked for one of his informative and entertaining road trips.

With the NSW South Coast turning on a clear day we opted to take a Harley pillion ride behind Steve ($100 per hour) through the southern reaches of the Royal National Park. This is Australia's oldest national park, with shaded pockets of rainforest and breathtaking views from Bald Hill, site of a memorial to pioneering aviator Lawrence Hargrave who experimented with flying box-kites and other flying machines here in the 19th century, and popular today with hang gliders and paragliders.

Wollongong: Steve Melchior

Wollongong: Steve Melchior

Ideally located nearby is Pauline Smith's long established Otford Pantry, a popular spot for a coffee and her famous homemade apple pie.

A couple of minutes south is the jewel in the region's crown, the Sea Cliff Bridge, which meanders like a large serpent for 665 metres, jutting out over rocky platforms and the waters of the ocean - a far safer alternative to the previous cliff-hugging single lane highway that was regularly closed by rock falls and landslides.

On the southern side we park and jump off the bike for a leisurely walk across a section of the bridge as do many on a sun drenched weekend. To join Steve on his sightseeing ride is one of the pleasurable reasons to visit Wollongong and the scenic coastal strip.

Book a night or two at the centrally-located beach side retreat of Novotel Northbeach, and you will have the chance to experience a city which offers a lot more than at first meets the eye.

Wollongong Novotel Northbeach

Wollongong Novotel Northbeach

And maybe at some stage swap the motor cycle for a pushbike through such companies as Mobile Bike Rental, and so combine some exercise with sightseeing along a dedicated path from Wollongong north to Bulli, at times with the beaches just over your shoulder.

You may even try your hand at the tandem hang gliding from Bald Hill or skydiving from North Wollongong before or after driving to the top of the escarpment to walk along Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk with its far-reaching views of the coast.

While the views are many, so too are the dining options, including an inviting Samuel's at Thirroul, a smart boutique style restaurant where the service is warm and friendly and the dishes so varied and tantalisingly listed that the most difficult part is in the choosing.

Wollongong Diggies: Sunday Morning

The Diggies: Sunday Morning

In a prime location overlooking the protected waters of Wollongong Harbour and just a five-minute stroll from the lighthouse, is the renowned Harbourfront restaurant, its specialty of fresh Santorini prawns a highlight as an entrée, or try the tempura prawns and scallops.

A chilli and prawn linguini is also popular both as an entrée or a main course, and so too the black mussel and crab risotto. And, of the mains, the John Dory is a tasty choice - but be prepared to dine on portions more generously sized than you'll find in many a capital city restaurant of the same standard.

For breakfast, Diggies on the beachfront at North Wollongong is a favourite among locals, and doesn't burn a hole in the pocket. And to explore such eateries provides as much food for thought as joining Steve on his ride along the Grand Pacific Drive.

Details: Check out these sites:

  • www.tourismwollongong.com;
  • www.grandpacificdrive.com.au; &
  • www.justcruisintours.com.au

Wollongong Coast from Bald Hill

 


 

Accommodation In The Australian Capital Territory

 

 
Australia's own Web Wombat Search
Search 30 million+ Australian web pages:
 
Try Web Wombat's Advanced Search
 
Join WebWombat On ...
 

 

 
Featured Articles

Review: Begin Again begin again - movies on Web Wombat

A dejected music business executive forms a bond with a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan. It's terrible, here is why.. Read More ...

 

Musicals: Showboat showboat - musicals on web wombat

Renowned for pioneering the form of the Broadway musical, Show Boat fittingly explores the lives of travelling players on the Mississippi show boat Cotton Blossom. Read More ...

 

Food & Wine Spinach With Mushrooms Recipe : Food & Wine on Web Wombat

Serve your Spinach with Mushroom either on it's own as a vegetarian dish rich in iron or as a side dish to a succulent medium rare steak. Easy and quick to prepare. Read More ...

 

Music Video: Deja - Heart deja - heart - official music video

Here's your first look at the brand new video for 'Heart' by Deja. Directed by Zachary McSweeney the clip has a creepy alien vibe. Read More ...

 

Sia Performs Chandelier Live Sia performs "Chandelier" Live : Viral Videos on Web Wombat

At last count, the ofiicial music video had been viewed over 112 million times. It was only a matter of time before traditional media tried to cash in on the fad. Read More ...