The Coal Coast is defined by its long and winding coastline, where the lush green escarpment meets the dazzling blue sea. And while we’d all agree that our region is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, it’s all too easy to become immune to its charm. Micro-adventures like these will allow you to rediscover all the Illawarra has to offer with fresh eyes – no baggage fees or airport parking necessary.
Snorkel Shell Cove
Slip into the calm and contained waters of Bushrangers Bay, Shell Cove, and immerse yourself in the ebb and flow of the underwater world. Bushrangers Bay is an aquatic reserve where the conservation of fish and marine vegetation is a top priority, making it a true underwater wonderland. So grab your snorkel, pop on your flippers and explore all the life and colour that this marine microcosm has to offer! To ensure that Bushrangers Bay remains the pristine marine environment that it is, remember to take your rubbish with you and avoid touching, disturbing or removing anything from the ocean.
SUP on Lake Illawarra
Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) seems to divide its participants into two major groups: those who can balance and those who most definitely cannot. Regardless of which group you fall into, stand-up paddle boarding on Lake Illawarra can make for a hilarious day full of splashes and wobbles. The skilled instructors at SUPShellharbour will help you to find your feet (for a few minutes, at least) leaving you to focus on the vista and the inevitable burn in your arms and abs. Flat water, exposed water and surf locations are available.
Shark dive in Shellharbour
You don’t have to travel to South Australia to cage dive with sharks. In fact, you can swim with them freely in Shellharbour’s Bass Point Reserve. Bass Point Reserve is a 72-hectare heritage-listed site surrounded by extensive aquatic habitats. Shellharbour Scuba Centre operates in various dive sites within the reserve, some of which are home to the Grey Nurse Shark. If spotting sharks in the wild isn’t really your thing, there are dives for all levels of experience that offer you the chance to observe some equally as impressive
– but much smaller – marine animals.
Fly over the sea at Stanwell Park
If you ever dreamt of flying when you were young, then this is the perfect way to satisfy your inner kid. Imagine launching yourself off Bald Hill, in northern Stanwell Park, and soaring out over the steep, jagged cliffs. As you look down over the ocean, a great white-bellied whale rolls and dives in the deep blue water beneath you. Sounds pretty awe-inspiring, right? And it’s not an uncommon sight for those game enough to go para-gliding over Stanwell Park. You’re most likely to spot a whale between June and August, as they migrate north, or between September and November, as they return south. But rest assured – seeing the world from up there is incredible at any time of the year, whales or not.