Just south of Sydney, the Shellharbour region is the perfect pit stop on your Sth Coast road trip. Here’s how to spend your time with the kids.
0-4 year olds
The Harbour is the beating heart of the region. Bobbing boats, grassy knolls and a fabulous children’s park make it an awesome place to wander around with young kids.
Collect shells at Shellharbour beach and picnic under the towering Norfolk Pines.
Fans of Thomas the Tank Engine will love visiting the Illawarra Light Railway Museum at Albion Park. The second Sunday of each month, the museum opens up train rides to the public on it’s historic steam locomotives and miniature trains.
5-8 year olds
Little Park is a fantastic parks for kids, designed by kids. The tree fort, rock climbing wall, rope bridge, flying fox and in-ground trampoline will keep young ones entertained for hours. The beachside park also accessible play equipment, grassy picnic spots and an ocean pool just steps away.
At Playmaze in Albion Park, kids can jump, climb, crawl, slide and bounce till their heart’s content. The multi-level maze, climbing caves, games room and jumping castle will fill in a few hours while parents relax at the cafe. Kids over 5 years old can also play a game of laser tag.
9-12 year olds
Bushrangers Bay is a great place to spend an afternoon in the sun. The inner bay is protected from the swell and is a fabulous place to have a snorkel. The rock pools are home to hundreds of sea urchins, tropical fish and corals.
Kids with energy to burn will enjoy exploring Bass Point Reserve. Discover waterfalls and wildlife along the network of trails. The area has immense Indigenous significance as archaeological evidence reveals Bass Point was an indigenous campsite 20,000 years before Europeans colonised Australia.
On a rainy day, Shellharbour Tenpin Bowl offers guaranteed fun for families. Score a few strikes and grab some lunch at the cafe or go along for Night Bowling on Friday and Saturdays.
Known by the locals as ‘The Farm’, Killalea Beach and Minnamuura Beach have the best surfs breaks along the coast. The surrounding area is an awesome place for teens to surf, swim, fish and bush walk.
Older kids can test their balance on a stand up paddle board at Illawarra Lake. SUP Shellharbour offers Learn-to-SUP packages for individuals and groups, and SUPSURF tours for confident paddlers ready to take on the waves.
Kids with a need for speed can do a few laps at C1 Speed Indoor Go Karting in Albion Park. The 400 metre track is the first electric indoor karting track in Australia and welcomes rev heads over 10 years old.
I was blessed with parents who really saw the value in travel. After our first family trip abroad to Thailand, I became obsessed. I was hungry for anything new and different. I yearned to be in the middle of a city on the other side of the world with a suitcase in one hand and google maps in the other, stumbling around trying to figure out where I was going; literally and spiritually.