Just South Of Sydney You'll Find The Perfect Retreat

Article Collaborators : Bird and Bee Photography

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Collaborators Bird and Bee Photography

From rugged headlands and stretches of sandy beach to historic towns and emerald lawns, the contrasting landscapes and shifting horizons south of Sydney create a beautiful setting for weddings.


Just a one-and-a-half-hour drive from the Sydney CBD, the Wollongong and surrounding Illawarra regions offer a short and sweet wedding break. With an eclectic mix of beaches, coastal towns, historic vineyards, and garden locations, the area has the scenery and services to cater for the best of weddings.

According to Jon Wellings from Bird and Bee Photography, the region’s unique clashing of environments creates some beautiful opportunities for photography.

“The region is fabulous for wedding photography because of the contrasting landscapes,” he says. “There are the obvious beaches, but there are also the gorgeous botanic gardens, which offer a more manicured and formal look, plenty of country roads for those charming pictures, and spots on the escarpments to get the perfect shot.”

In Wollongong you can get snap happy at the various beaches and also Belmore Basin, Stuart Park, Flagstaff Hill, Battery Park, the Botanic Garden, Glastonbury Gardens at Austinmer, Bells Point Park, and Sandon Point Reserve in Blackall Street, Bulli. 

Heading away from Wollongong, the seashore is dotted with quiet coastal towns, all of which have venues with stunning ocean views. For a touch of drama in your wedding photos, head down to Shellharbour’s Blackbutt Forest Reserve with remnant coastal plain vegetation. The quiet coastal town of Kiama has numerous photo opportunities at the famous Blow Hole, Hartwell House, the Cathedral Rocks, and Killalea State Park with the Little Blowhole off Tingira Crescent. Further south in Shoalhaven you’ll fi nd Jervis Bay, worldrenowned for its stunning coastline. This area has numerous secluded bays that are ideal for a romantic beach wedding.

Top Three Photography Locations

  1. Wollongong Botanic Garden
    If you’re looking for a beautiful outdoor garden setting for your wedding, Wollongong Botanic Garden is a wonderful choice. This magnificent parkland is home to a variety of individual gardens, all of which suit different tastes, seasons, and ceremony sizes. For bookings phone (02) 4225 2636.
  2. Cathedral Rocks
    Located three kilometres north of Kiama at the southern end of Jones Beach, this Cathedral Rock formation is a series of volcanic rocks overlooking sprawling wilderness, dry eucalypt forest, and granite outcrops. This location provides a fascinating backdrop for wedding photos and is particularly pretty in late-afternoon
    light or mist.
  3. Stanwell Park
    This picturesque coastal village, located in the north of Wollongong, has two lagoons from the village’s two creeks, Stanwell and Hargrave Creeks, and a beach running between headlands. There are also expansive parklands, the beautiful Kellys Falls, and historic architecture making for wonderful wedding photos. 

Top three all-in-one venues

  1. Tumbling Waters Retreat and Restaurant, Stanwell Tops
    Situated snugly on the headland at Stanwell Tops, the Tumbling Waters Retreat offers panoramic views of the South Coast for your “I dos”. Take your vows on the gazebo overlooking the ocean, then celebrate in the stunning sandstone ground-floor function area with 360-degree ocean and rainforest views, glass atrium, and dance floor. The picturesque location also offers on-site wedding co-ordinators and catering services.
    www.weddingreceptionvenuesouthcoast.com.au
  2. Seacliff Farm — Wilton House, Gerringong
    Hidden among five acres of green meadows, this Gerringong guesthouse lends opulence to any wedding day. Aside from the dual benefit of pastoral and coastal scenery — with sweeping seaside views of Werri Beach, Werri Lagoon, and the Tasman Sea — Wilton House also provides a complete tailored wedding package to suit every need.
    www.wiltonhouse.com.au
  3. Mount Keira, Wollongong 
    This unique mountain-top spot has a large sandstone platform for wedding ceremonies with breathtaking views of the Pacifi c Ocean and the surrounding rainforest. Mount Keira can also double as your reception venue with the first-class Mountain Top Restaurant right there near the lookout. www.mountaintopweddings.com.au

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