Tucked away in Sydney's south, Thirroul is just 10 minutes north of Wollongong. It has always boasted a brilliant coastline and beaches, but has recently sprung to life with a set of great new eateries and boutique stores.
Flanagans Dining Room
Flanagans has been around for more than a year and specialises in seafood caught locally. Sitting right by the ocean in a 1940s Art Deco-style building, the atmosphere is peaceful and elegant.
Thirroul Beach Promenade, The Esplanade, Thirroul
(02) 4268 1598
The Shack (which used to be called The Tin Shed) cafe is the place to go as soon as you arrive for an all-day breakfast in the lush garden out back. It prides itself on its coffee, using organic, fair-trade beans from Sydney’s Galleria. Pair it with something sweet from its extensive bakery inside and you'll come back in the afternoon for another one.
364 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul
At Plume you’ll find a well-organised array of goods from top international and Australian designers including Kate Sylvester, Camilla & Marc, Alice McCall and Maison Balzac candles. Keep an eye out for this boutique’s frequent sales; it often has excellent ones that are worth the trip down in itself.
Shop 3271 Lawrence Hargrave Drive Thirroul
(02) 4268 5691
Retro Wombat Antiques and Restorations
This place is a haven of hard-to-find antiques and relics. Finding the good stuff requires a committed search – the building is packed floor to ceiling with antique fittings and vintage homewares. The treasures extends out the back where you can find old timber boats and miscellaneous parts of Volkswagen combies.
228 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul
(02) 4267 1322
Starting out primarily as a small surfboard store, Finbox has expanded with a vinyl store upstairs run by Spunk Records, and a cafe. Its aim is to “supply you with everything you need to express and enjoy yourself in and out of the water”, so come here to browse the boards and grab your post-paddle coffee.
269 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul
(02) 4268 2050
Hop on the train
The train trip down to Thirroul is one of the best ways to visit. The route is scattered with water and bush views and from Central it’s only an hour and a half.
Visit the pool
Thirroul Olympic Pool was built in the 1930s, is parallel to the ocean and the water is pumped in from the sea. The car park and pool are free so swim at your leisure between the pool and the ocean as you please.