Deciding on a location for your wedding is the first point of call when planning a wedding, but we're guessing that the Illawarra region south of Sydney probably wasn't the first place that came to mind? Well it's time to start re-thinking. Sydney and Luxury Wedding account manager Liana recently visited the region and discovered it has a whole lot more to offer, from venues and catering to stunning beach side locations. Here's what Liana found...
First stop... Mercure Resort, Gerringong
If you're looking for the perfect wedding venue in the south of Sydney you can't go past the Mercure Resort in Gerringong. Kellie showed us around the stunning venue which is set on a massive property with views of the surrounding escarpment of Gerringong.Rooms are very spacious and have been recently refurbished. The resort surrounds a stunning pool area with a separate pool for adults. Their Day spa is second to none with only the best products used.
The function room is very spacious with a balcony to take in the magnificent views of the pool and valley. Food is to die for with a scrumptious menu selection for functions. There is a beautiful inside dining area and fireplace for those cold nights plus an outdoor dining area for the warmer months.
I had the beautiful duck for entree and mouth watering steak for Main with a glass of wine to match the meal. This venue is a perfect weekend getaway whether it's for a wedding or just a weekend away.
Coolangatta Estate has a unique 18th Century charm about it. It's set on 130 hectares with historic cottages to get you in the feel of the bygone-era. If you're thinking of having a picnic style wedding then the gardens here are magnificent or you can dine up in one of the historic rooms filled with vintage artefacts. I enjoyed a wine tasting with Coolangatta's own wine, using grapes grown on the premises. This place is unique and should be checked out for your next function or wedding.
Next stop was the Novotel Northbeach which is a stunning beach side venue featuring a range of spacious indoor and outdoor function areas that can accommodate up to 400 people. The rooftop terrace was my favourite, boasting spectacular ocean views over North Wollongong Beach. Dining under the stars would be something your guests would never forget!
Lagoon Seafood Restaurant
I experienced a lovely 3 coarse dinner at the award-winning Lagoon Seafood Restaurant. It has floor to ceiling windows with uninterrupted views onto the beach. This one is perfect for a beach wedding.
After a beautiful meal with stunning wine I stayed at the new ultra-modern Chifley Hotel which is located across the road from Wollongong beach. The views are amazing and I was very impressed with the room sizes and comfy beds. I woke to a decadent buffet breakfast which was held in a well lit room which opened out onto the terrace with views of the beach. The wedding facilities are first class and they can handle weddings of all sizes.
City Beach Function Centre
Day 2 and the next place to check out was City Beach Function Centre which overlooks Wollongong Beach's lighthouse and has stunning views down the coast. I stopped here for morning tea. There a 2 rooms to choose from both with amazing views and a balcony off each. Prices here are very reasonable so definitely worth checking out if you want value for money.
Culinarius by Monika
To my surprise, Culinarius by Monika organised a beautiful picnic lunch on the beach. We sat on a picnic rug and enjoyed the delicious gourmet food that was provided by Monika. I just wish we could of stayed there for the rest of the day in the beautiful warm sun watching the children playing on the beach.
Just Cruisin' Motorcycle Tours
Next stop was meeting the bad boy bikies at Austinmer Beach from Just Cruisin' Motorcycle Tours. We roared up the coast road as only a Harley can, over the Seacliff Bridge climbing the mountain then stopping at Bald Hill for the beautiful panoramic views and soaring hang gliders. We jumped back on the Hog and headed for Tumbling Waters Retreat. Arriving exhausted, but so exhilarated jumping off our Hogs and waving goodbye to our new bad boy friends. What an experience!!
Tumbling Waters Retreat
What a beautiful welcome from Sonja and the amazing Chef Thierry who had prepared afternoon tea delights! Tumbling Waters Retreat is truly an amazing venue for a unique and intimate wedding which is absolutely 5 star. The accommodation is fabulous and the view is breathtaking, perched on the edge of the Illawarra Escarpment at Stanwell Tops, it doesn't get any better. It's surrounded by rainforest, mountains and a 180 degree ocean view. Simply stunning and definitely a winner for me.
Here are some of my happy snaps!
For more information on weddings south of Sydney head to visitwollongong.com.au