Out & About

Fun Things To Do For Free In The Illawarra This Weekend

Save some money and have some fun!

Keep the wallet in the pocket and your money in the bank with this list of fun things to do for free in the Illawarra!

1 // RIDE IT

Get out and explore the Illawarra on two wheels.

The 10B Bike Trail in Dharawal National Park is a medium-level bike trail that’s fun for tweenies and up, [for younger kids consider going partial distance or letting them hitch a ride on the kids’ seat].

For something for all ages, head over to Reddall Reserve for some lakeside/ beachside riding followed by a play in the fantastic park attached.


Dapto skate park is a favourite with locals of all ages. Refurbished in 2022 there’s plenty of space to roll about.

Holborn Park in Berkeley is also really popular, so join the throng of parents and carers with their fold-up chairs and picnic blankets spread out around the skate park watching the kiddos let loose.


Did you know that the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere is right here in the Illawarra? And admission is free?

The Nan Tien Temple is a gorgeous temple with calm and relaxing gardens to explore [we love the koi fish pond], and they often hold fun cultural events throughout the year that are worth a visit.


Who needs the Louvre (Pfft!) when you’ve got the fab galleries of the Illawarra?

Many of our galleries have free entry and regularly host amazing exhibitions.

Be sure to include the Wollongong Art Gallery in your list as one of the leading regional galleries in all of NSW.

5 // GO BUSH

Surely one of the best things about being surrounded by national parks and forests is all the incredible bush walks available for us to do.

There are plenty of family-friendly walks like the Cascade Trail near Albion Park or if you’re more hardcore and like to push the envelope a bit, there’s plenty of that too – read about our experience doing the challenging Drawing Room Rocks hike.

Here are some other walking adventures to get you started.


Who else has to run their kids around like greyhounds?? Well, there are plenty of playgrounds in the Illawarra to burn off all that energy!

Boongaree Rotary Nature Play Park in Berry is absolutely epic and has play equipment to suit all ages and abilities. There’s sensory play, a flying fox, bridges, tunnels, a cubby house, sand and water play areas, climbing nets, slides, accessible play equipment, amenities and an exercise zone for adults. There’s even a pump track, skate park and off-leash dog area for your fur kids.

Check out our other awesome playgrounds around the Illawarra here.


Raid the pantry, fill up the picnic hamper, grab a blanket and head out for a picnic at one of these spots.

The Illawarra is a wonderful place for picnics most of the year round [let’s not talk about those blasted spring rains].

It’s always awesome to get off the screens and into the green… don’t forget the sunscreen, frisbee and mini sangas.


Some would argue we’ve got one of the greatest free things in the world right at our doorstep. BEACHES.

There are so many incredible beaches and ocean pools along the coast here that we’re just so lucky to call ours. Perfect on warmer days for having a dip and on colder days for some blustery beach walks.

Check out the list of beaches in the Illawarra here and ocean pools here. Oh, and don’t forget Port Kembla pool which is technically not an ocean pool but sits right by the beach, is free and totally awesome.


Got a little road rage? Been a bit stressed at work? Then try forest bathing. Yep, it’s a thing.

It’s so good for our well-being…. the heart rate slows down (bye-bye road rage), blood pressure decreases, stress levels lower and our immune systems get stronger! Very cool.

And all you have to do is head out into one of our national parks or forests and just sit amongst the trees for however long you think is necessary.

Breathe it in, baby!


It’s peaceful, it’s easy and it’s free. Drop a line at one of the popular spots around Lake Illawarra including Windang and Reddall Reserve or try your hand at beach fishing at one of the fishing spots along the coast.


Wollongong LGA has 6 libraries, Shellharbour LGA has 5 libraries and Kiama has 2, woah!

Not only are libraries an incredible source of FREE books and services, but they also run loads of awesome and [usually] free fun events and activities throughout the year for all ages and interests.

Keep an eye on our events page for what’s on at the libraries throughout the year.


Haven’t heard of geocaching?

It’s a family-friendly outdoor recreational activity that uses GPS to hide and seek ‘geocaches’ at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.

And there is plenty to find in the Illawarra from the top to the bottom and everywhere in between.

Head to the Geocaching Australia website and enter a place to go a-hunting!

So let’s get out and have some free fun in the Illawarra.

Hannah Castelli Author Bio

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