Nestled between mountains to the west and the Tasman Sea to the East, Illawarra is a popular coastal wedding destination for locals, Sydney siders and those further down the South Coast.
With a range of amazing venues situated along the beautiful beaches, forests and the cliff sides, it’s no wonder so many couples choose to tie the knot there. Plus, being just a short 90 minute drive from Sydney, it’s an easy way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for something a little more relaxed.
So, if you’re considering the Illawarra for your special day, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite venues that are sprawled along the coastal region.
The Best Illawarra Wedding Venues
Whether you’d prefer something beachfront or something hidden within the beautiful forests and cliff sides, there’s something here for everyone. These are, in no particular order, our top wedding venues in the Illawarra.
1. Ravensthorpe Guesthouse
Location: Stanwell Tops
Ravensthorpe Guesthouse and Restaurant is a beautiful 19th century grand manor house that’s been purposefully restored to hold events and celebrations.
Featuring 3 acres of meticulously manicured gardens, an elegant marquee function space, accommodation and a personalised experience, it’s the perfect venue for your special wedding day.
2. Tumbling Waters Retreat
Location: Stanwell Tops
Set upon the edge of the iconic Illawarra Escarpment, Tumbling Waters Retreat is a luxurious hotel and venue catering for weddings of up to 140 guests. The entrance to Tumbling Waters is hidden amongst the backstreets of Stanwell Tops, but once you enter those gates, the ocean and rainforest views are breathtaking.
It is worth noting that wedding packages at Tumbling Waters Retreat only include soft drinks and select wines. You’ll need to supply your own beer or spirits if you’d like to provide additional options for you and your guests.
3. Greyleigh Estate
Situated within the rolling hills of Jerrara is Greyleigh Estate, one of the most luxurious wedding venues in the Illawarra and South Coast regions. A truly beautiful countryside venue within lush greenery and amazing seascape views.
200 acres in size, the venue offers a range of unforgettable locations for your ceremony and accompanying photographs. This includes the decedent reception area known as the Gables, the picturesque orchard, manicured lawns, the secret garden and the charming white gazebo.
4. Panorama House
Panorama House, situated on Bulli Tops cliffside, is one of the most iconic and well known wedding venues in the Illawarra region. It’s backed by a team with more than 30 years of experience in creating remarkable weddings and events.
The venue features a lush white gazebo that overlooks the whole of the Illawarra along with beautiful views of the endless ocean. However, it’s worth noting that the venue can be busy and they do offer a ceremony only service, so the gazebo is often booked out for back-to-back ceremonies on the same day.
5. The Woolshed
15 minutes south of Wollongong you’ll find the beautiful Yallah Woolshed. And while it might not come with the breathtaking coastal views that many of the other local venues do, It does have over 100 years of rich history and a beautiful rustic feel with its timber construction and grand exposed beams.
6. Altitude 1148
Location: Bulli Tops
Another venue offering panoramic views of the Illawarra, Altitude 1148 sits high upon the cliffside of Bulli Tops. While Altitude is a publicly accessible restaurant, cafe and function centre, exclusivity of the entire venue is available when booking for weddings of certain sizes.
7. Horsley Homestead
Horsley Homestead, built in 1842, is a stunning heritage listed residence located south of Wollongong in Dapto. Prior to its listing on the state heritage register in 2000 it had functioned as a museum between 1972-1985 and a function centre through to 1992.
The Homestead now functions as one of the most beautiful wedding venues within the Illawarra region, and perhaps ever the whole of NSW.
8. Crooked River Wines
Crooked River Wines is a family-owned working vineyard that’s won awards as the top winery wedding venues and their wedding planner has also been voted as one of the best in the Illawarra.
Featuring beautiful rolling hill backdrops and stunning vineyards, it’s no surprise that Crooked River is such a popular wedding venue.
Location: Mount Kembla
Fine dining meets historic wedding venue. Ruby’s is the perfect place to celebrate your big day if award winning food and a relaxed environment is more your style.
They have room for intimate weddings of up to 50 guests within the restaurant. For larger celebrations they have a beautiful silk-lined marquee that fits up to 120 guests along with room for 150 guests for a cocktail wedding.
10. Seacliff House
Rolling dairy hills meet the ocean.
Seacliff House is a unique wedding venue that offers a relaxed country vibe with beautiful views of the Tasman Sea.
Designed to cater to the style of each individual couple, Seacliff House makes it easy for you to make the venue your own. While they do have a romantic barn and multiple beautiful locations available, you’re also just as welcome to skip this and elect to do something such as setting-up your own tee-pees if that’s more your style.
The Best Wedding Venues In The Illawarra Region
While we’ve shared some of our favourite venues in the Illawarra, there are another handful of beautiful spots available to spend your big day. So if none of the above really catches your eye, let us know, we’d love to let you know about some of the other venues around the area.