Nestling on a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the leafy Illawarra escarpment, Wollongong is known for its coal mining, large beaches, and relaxed life. The city has become quite popular among Sydney Siders as a weekend getaway destination due to its proximity (a mere one-hour drive away). With everything from quick day trips to serene escapes available by car or train, it’s no wonder why so many people are taking advantage of this hidden gem. Nestled on a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the leafy Illawarra escarpment, Wollongong is famous for both its coal mining history and beautiful scenery. This town has become my favourite getaway locations during the pandemic. Since I do not have access to a car, I love hopping on the train every couple of months to still get away from Sydney’s hectic lifestyle. I recently spent a couple of days exploring the centre of Wollongong to see exactly what it had to offer and discovered that it is more than just its beaches and surf spots. It also offers various cultural attractions such as art galleries like Wollongong Art Gallery which shows contemporary Australian artwork in an open warehouse layout or quirky little museums like Taronga Western Plains Zoo where you can explore Australia’s diverse wildlife habitats up close (and personal). The city centre is bustling with street performers, parks and markets full of delicious yummies. Here are some of my recommended things to do in Wollongong on a two-day trip.