Out & About

Guide To Dapto

There’s so much to love about this Illawarra town

Mention Dapto to anyone outside of the Illawarra and they might just say ‘Is that where the Dapto Dogs come from?’ or ‘Isn’t that where Koala Man is kind of set?’ and to that we say yes… but also Dapto is so much more.

A thriving town centred around the Princes Highway and Bong Bong Rd, we just can’t wait to share with our readers all the awesome things that Dapto has to offer!

Here’s The Fold’s guide to this special town in the Illawarra.

Great Outdoors

Just a 5-minute drive from downtown Dapto you will find Kanahooka Lakeside Reserve, as well as a super fun playground for the kiddos, there is a walking track that snakes right along the lake out to Kanahooka Park. The whole stroll offers stunning views of the lake and a really zen calm feel.

The Mullet Creek catchment is another body of water that makes its way around Dapto and the surrounding suburbs. You can picnic alongside the creek at William Beach Reserve and there are even two BBQs in the area to make it a whole day thing.

Retail Therapy

Dapto Mall is right in the heart of town and has all the big boppers. With Big W, Coles and Woolies as well as over 60 specialty stores you can shop your heart or wallet out.

Outside of the mall, you will also find lots of little boutiques and local stores running along the main road. House 2 Home is a giftware, variety and homewares store that is a literal Narnia of goodies. Wilson’s Bike Hub stocks all the leading brands in bikes, scooters, parts and accessories as well as a fully stocked workshop to keep those 2 wheels rolling.

In the mood for a bit of pampering? Grab a freshly barbered cut at Kingsmen Hair in Dapto Mall, get that smooth skin feeling at Enchanted Skin & Beauty and sweat it out at City Cave Dapto.
Self-love = bliss.

Wining & Dining

Start your day with a hot cup of java and a filling brekkie at Chasey Boy [hot tip: they’re also open for lunch every day and dinner Tues to Sat], sip on a healthy smoothie or refreshing tea at Recharge Nutrition and snack on tummy warming nosh at Dapto Pies.

For Italian, we just love Kitchen 42 for their scrummy pizzas and pasta and if it’s Thai you’re craving then defo head to Ban Chiang restaurant for one of the best plates around.

We also adore The Mill at Dapto Leagues Club for its elevated pub fare and outstanding cocktails as well as The Tap House @ Groundz Precinct for its chill as beer garden with alternating food trucks and super cool bar.

Arts & Culture

If you like live music and events then Dapto is your guy. The Mill at Dapto Leagues Club hosts regular shows including comedy and live music. Diamond Dogs Music Lounge & Bar is a venue that really has something for everyone from Drag Music Bingo to Old School Punk Shows and even Karaoke nights [better start warming up those vocals]!

For something else, loads of community activities are held inside the Dapto Ribbonwood Centre. If you’ve ever been interested in joining a club [camera, vintage cars, craft…you name it] then the Ribbonwood Centre’s calendar is worth checking out.

Step Back In Time

Dapto town has a history of dairy farming and way back in the late 1800s there were even 2 dairy trains that ran all the way from Dapto up to the big smoke of Sydney. The train tracks and station are also what we give thanks, for the town that sprouted up around it and these days it is still one of the busiest stations along the south coastline.

A Lot of the older buildings and history are gone now in Dapto in place of newer buildings, however, ‘Old Pub’, the red brick pub that stands in the centre of town has been going strong since 1939.

For a different type of history, The Australian MotorLife Museum in the adjoining suburb of Kembla Grange is a treasure trove of vehicles and vintage cars as well as motoring memorabilia, motorbikes, bicycles and other bits of historical technology.

Just for Kids

Tabatinga at The Dapto Leagues Club is one of the ultimate destinations for ankle biters. With areas for toddlers, climbing structures, ninja courses, bumper cars, craft rooms and a cafe the whole fam can have a blast. They even offer a book in advance, ‘Dine and Drop’ so parents can treat themselves to a couple of hours of grown-up time at The Mill below.

For the little skaties, Dapto SkatePark has recently been refurbished and is ready to rock and roll, and for the water babies, Dapto Heated Pool is open all year round for them to get their splash on.

Special Events

The annual Dapto Country Show is held in September every year and has all the best things you expect from a regional show. Think dog shows, wood chopping, sheep shearing, horse events, face painting and of course everybody’s fave – SHOWBAGS! As always, there will be plenty of food stalls and vans to keep tummies full and tix can be purchased online or at the gate by EFTPOS.

Craft lovers can also rejoice as the Dapto Anglican Annual Quilt, Art & Craft Show takes place in October and is a total celebration of all things crafty, creative and talented.

Dapto also has a long history of markets and the Illawarra Market at the Groundz Precinct is no exception. Spend the first Sunday of every month perusing the stalls and perhaps even popping into the Tap House for a cheeky drinky-poo.

What’s nearby

Dapto is surrounded by smaller neighbouring suburbs each with its own unique feel. Head to Kanahooka for strolls around the lake and the famous Licorice Shop for tasty treats.

Smiths Ln Dairy in Wongawilli is only a 7-minute drive from the town centre and serves up mighty fine coffee and great seasonal fare courtesy of the local farmers.

And to work on your ‘A’ game stop in at Kembla Grange for The Grange Golf Club, a championship golf course that is considered one of the best on the South Coast of NSW.

There are some fab local businesses in Dapto, and our Business Directory is the place to find them! From mechanics to medical centres, landscapers to legal services, beauty salons to builders…The Fold’s Business Directory has got you covered.

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