Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout – 2023 Complete Visitors Guide

Finding the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout in the Illawarra NSW has become one of the most popular things to do near Sydney. It was very much a secret until it went viral all over social media. With knowledge on how to get to the top exposed, and the track made public friendly and easily accessible, the lookout is now one of the most popular places to visit near Sydney, amongst the locals and tourists.

In this guide I have included everything you need to know about visiting the Sea Cliff Bridge and specifically the iconic lookout, including how to get there, best time to visit, things to know before you go, best way to reach the lookout and what to expect once you arrive there.

Also in this guide I have included some useful information on where to stay in the Illawarra – the surrounding region of the Sea Cliff Bridge.

Sea Cliff Bridge Aerial
Sea Cliff Bridge Aerial

WHERE IS THE SEA CLIFF BRIDGE

The Sea Cliff Bridge is located in the Illawarra region of NSW, in the suburb Clifton. It is approximately a 30 minutes drive from North from Wollongong CBD and is about a 1 hour drive from Sydney CBD.

The bridge is situated along the Grand Pacific Drive, which offers beautiful, oceanic views the whole way, making it the perfect Sydney day trip.

Click here to see the location on Google Maps.

HOW TO GET HERE

The most popular and common way to get to the Sea Cliff Bridge and the lookout is by private vehicle. Alternatively, there are plenty of places in the Illawarra and Sydney to rent a vehicle if required.

Another option is via the train, whereby the closest train station is either at Coalcliff, which is only about a 10 minute walk from the start of the Sea Cliff Bridge at the northern end, or if you would rather just see the lookout and not walk over the entire bridge, Scarborough train station is 10-15 minute walk from the south end of the bridge.

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BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best time to visit the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout would have to be in the mornings before 10am. You will get to experience the lookout with fewer people, or likely even have it to yourself. You can expect tourists to flock here shortly after 10am.

Since the lookout offers some of the best coastal views near Sydney and arguably Australia, I therefore specifically encourage you to hit up the lookout at sunrise if you are a photography enthusiast like myself.

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Despite it becoming a lot more public accessible and easier to reach the top, it is advised that you still exercise extreme caution when walking up. The track is very steep, uneven and can particularly be very slippery and muddy. I highly recommend you pack a good pair of walking/hiking shoes.

You can find toilet facilities at the south end of the bridge in Rube Hargrave Park and the north end at Coalcliff bridge

ARRIVING AT THE SEA CLIFF BRIDGE

When you arrive at the Sea Cliff Bridge, you are best to park on the south end, as this is where the lookout is. Along the road you will see parking on the side. If it is full, the nearest carpark is a couple hundred metres up at Rube Hargrave Park.

Sea Cliff Bridge Carpark
Sea Cliff Bridge Carpark

BEST TRACK TO THE SEA CLIFF BRIDGE LOOKOUT

There are a few different ways you can hike up to the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout, however for the purpose of this being a visitors guide, I will detail the easiest and most public accessible way. This method is quite short and usually only takes me 10 minutes maximum to walk up.

On the cliff side of the road, just before the Sea Cliff Bridge sign, you will see a small opening in the bushes with a danger sign next to it. Proceed through here. As soon as you enter, you will straight away see rope and yellow markings on branches guiding you through the track.

Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Walking Track Entrance
Walking Track Entrance
Start of Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Track
Start of walking track
Yellow markings along Sea Cliff Bridge Walking Track
Yellow markings along the track

After walking for a couple of minutes, you will come to a section where you are required to turn left and head directly up, climbing a very steep incline. Extreme caution is to be taken especially from here on. 

Follow the rope and markings all the way to the top until eventually you see the opening for you to enter the top of the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout.

Steep incline along Sea Cliff Bridge Walking Track
Steep incline along walking track
Last section before entering the lookout
Last section before lookout

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WHAT TO EXPECT

When you finally reach the top of the Sea Cliff Bridge lookout, you can expect to see plenty of space to walk around, chill, relax and admire the view of the stunning Sea Cliff Bridge. You will quickly see why it is regarded as one of the best lookouts in Sydney and surrounding regions.

Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout top viewing area
Top viewing area
Sunrise views of Sea Cliff Bridge
Sunrise views at Lookout

The lookout contains a few different areas, each with amazing views to take some beautiful photographs. Not only do the views show the Sea Cliff Bridge, but also the wider coastline, including the Royal National Park.

Interestingly, within the last year there has even been a seat placed at the lookout if you find yourself wanting to sit down on it.

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WHERE TO STAY IN THE ILLAWARRA

With the Illawarra boasting an abundance of beautiful beaches, sights and attractions to visit, this therefore makes it a popular tourist region. You can expect no shortage of accommodations to choose from that suit you.

Whether you are a luxury traveller or budget backpacker, I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in the Illawarra:

Luxury: Mantra Wollongong

Luxury: Headlands Austinmer Beach

Budget: Five Islands Hotel 

Budget: Lakeside Inn Wollongong

FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN THE ILLAWARRA, SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM

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MORE GUIDES

For years I have been adventuring to some of the most incredible places nature has to offer. From locations in my own backyard, to epic road trips, all the way to breathtaking travel destinations.

The goal of my blog is to ultimately inspire you to step outside of your comfort zone to get outdoors and immerse yourself in so much that mother nature has to offer.

You can check out my most recent blogs by clicking the links:

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout has quickly become one of the most popular places to visit near Sydney, providing a perfect Sydney day trip. With views of the iconic bridge and further views of the coast, it is no wonder that this is one of the best lookouts in Sydney and the surrounding regions.

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

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