Imagine spending a week’s holiday in the beautiful Illawarra for just £3 – well in 1906 that’s exactly how much it would have cost you! That price included your train fare from Sydney (second class, of course), your accommodation, tours to the famed Bulli Pass and lookouts, and incidentals. Pretty good bargain, I reckon! The Sydney Sunday Times spruiked Bulli as a summer holiday destination on Sunday, December 23, 1906:
NOW that the holidays are close upon us, it becomes a very important question where to spend them, and as New South Wales offers so many places of interest, one is somewhat puzzled. I consider that the most suitable place for a month’s holiday is Bulli, which is a picturesque little town, 42 miles from Sydney, on the South Coast, and situated at the foot of the Illawarra Range. It is of easy access, either by rail, steamer, or ,road. By rail is the most convenient and comfortable way, because you get a better view of the country as the train passes along.
The scenery, embracing both the mountain and the sea, is magnificent, especially after passing Stanwell Park. Here you see the ocean, just below, and the mountains just above. Good accommodation can be obtained, as there are several comfortable boarding houses and hotels. They are within easy ‘.distance of both the beach and the mountains. Trains run daily three times to and from Sydney. Coaches meet every train,and convey tourists to the principal places of interest. A coach runs between Bulli and the township of Wollongong every morning. What to do on arrival, and where to go,is very easily determined.
The first place of interest to visitors is the ocean, with its lovely sandy beach. For those who care to bathe there is a bathing place, most picturesquely situated on what is known as Floyd’s Point.The beach can be reached by going through the public park, the grounds of which extend to the beach, affording visitors a delightful place for a day’s outing. Many happy hours can be spent among the rocks, searching for shells and marine curiosities.
The next place of interest is the Bulli Pass. Visitors have the option of walking, or being conveyed by coach. For pedestrians this is a lovely walk, as the roads are kept in good condition. David Christie Murray, writing on Illawarra scenery, described the Pass as a ‘Home of Beauty,’ and truly it is. Visitors from New Zealand and other parts of the world have said that there is no place to compare with the Pass. On ascending you notice on either hand the beautiful vegetation, consisting of palms, cabbage trees, birds nest, and tree ferns, Bangalo palms, cactus, staghorns, beside many smaller varieties, which will afford much pleasure to the fern hunters.
On arriving at. the top of the pass, which is called the first Look-out, one is struck with the wonderful panoramic view. On a clear day the coastline as far as Port Hacking to the north and to Kiama on the south can be seen quite distinctly. There are two more look-outs from which fine views are also obtainable. You then pass on to the Loddon Falls, and see the flow of dear water, which helps to supply Sydney. This spot has every convenience for a day’s picnicking, and numerous wild flowers and ferns are obtainable.
Another place of interest is Broker’s Nose, which stands 1.400 feet above sea level. It can only be reached by a good deal of hard climbing, but you are rewarded by a lovely view. In fact, the views from any part of the mountains are admirable…
Too much cannot be said of the beauties of Bulli. It is the ideal spot for those who are in need of a thoroughly good holiday, and the cost is small considering the vast amount of pleasure and benefit which one obtains.
The expenses for a week would be about £3, namely, train fare 5 shillings (second class), board £1, 10 shillings, sight-seeing and incidentals £1, 5 shillings, total £3.
– J. O’CONNOR.
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