YellowtailStay accommodation is situated in a bush (rural?) setting at Stanwell Tops at the top of the Otford Valley, the start of The Illawarra Escarpment, opposite Bald Hill hang gliding launching area, 5 minutes from Stanwell Park Beach and on the edge of The Royal National Park. All this and more, and only an hour from the Sydney CBD and 30 minutes from Sutherland. Our holiday letting is available for overnight accommodation or longer.
YellowtailStay is in a handy position for wedding venue accommodation. A variety of wedding venues are close by. These include; Tumbling Waters a 5 minutes’ drive, Lillyvale 8 minutes’ drive, Panorama House and Sublime Point about 15 minutes and Audley and Wollongong venues a little further. So if you need an alternative to Tumbling Waters accommodation, YellowtailStay may be a good choice.
‘The Tops’ at Stanwell Tops caters for a range of camps and retreats during the week and on weekends. It has its own accommodation but some people choose alternative accommodation to The Tops, such as YellwotailStay while attending a conference or while their children are on camp. We are only a 5 minutes’ drive away.
Short, long, hard, easy, very long, spectacular, bush, road, rainforest, cliff face, romantic and heritage, there is almost unlimited variety of walks using Yellowtailstay as your accommodation base.
• Close by; a stroll along The Otford Way from Bald Hill to The Otford Pantry – 800 metres through some littoral rainforest and some spectacular ocean views. You can then add a short steep walk down to the heritage huts of Bulgo with accompanying rock pools and secluded waves or, from our fence a 200 metre drop down to the sand stone vent of the abandoned Otford Tunnel.
• For the romantics, there is the Princess Marina Walk that takes take you to Kelly’s Falls.
• Figure 8 Pool is a beautiful 6 km walk from along the famous Coast Track - 28 km from Otford to Bundeena, with a new addition to the track starting at Bald Hill on the doorstep of YellowtailStay. So if you are looking for start or finish Coast Track , accommodation (or 'The Coastal Track') or Figure 8 pool accommodation, YellowtaiStay may be a good choice. Wedding Cake rock is further on towards Bundeena.
• A truly spectacular and little known walk is The Forest Walk – 11 km along The Illawarra Escarpment overlooking the hamlets of Scarborough, Clifton and Coal Cliff as well as the abandoned industrial estae of 'Illawarra Coke', and then dropping down to the coffee shops and refreshing beach of Stanwell Park.
• A short drive takes you to the tracks to Karloo Pool in The Royal National Park and on the other side of the highway, to Kingfisher Pool in The Heathcote National Park.
• Lady Carrington Drive is an easy grade 10km walk (or pushbike ride) from near Waterfall, to Audley. It winds along the Hacking River through rainforest, where you are almost certain to see Lyre Birds.
• There are many coastal walks around Wattamolla and Garie Beaches.
• Maddens Falls is a short easy walk in our newest National Park, Dharawal NP near Darkes Forrest.
• Yelllowtailstay is on the proposed route of ‘The Grand Pacific Walkway’.
Some Road Walks
• The Sea Cliff Bridge (part of The Grand Pacific Drive), is a spectacular must sea walk and/or drive that is best seen at dawn.
• There is a maze of walks through the beautiful township of Otford and the fire trails of the lush Otford valley along The Hacking river.
These walks and many more are just near your accommodation at Yellowtailstay.
Notes and printable maps for all of the main bushwalks -
Stanwell Park beach is a five minutes’ drive away from your accommodation at Yellowtailstay. It is patrolled beach from September School Holidays to ANZAC Day in April. There are lagoons and large picnic areas at both ends of the beach with an extensive children’s playground and electric bbqs. On a good day, you may have to keep your eye out for landing hang gliders. The golden sands are complimented by the cliffs of the Illawarra Escarpment that hugs the township.
To the south of our holiday letting stretches string of uncrowded beaches, rock pools and rock platforms going all the way to Wollongong. This is a beautiful, and to many, an unknown strip of stunning coastline. Coalcliff, Scarborough, Wombarra and Austimer all have great beaches with Sandon Point at Bulli, a mecca for surfboard riders. There are many rock pools along the way with one next to Sharkies (dog friendly) Beach. ‘Wild Swimming’ spots abound as well.
Secret and not so secret rock fishing places are dotted along the Northern Illawarra Coast.
Well if you ever plan to motor south, travel my way, The Grand Pacific Drive, that’s the best.
Well it winds from Sutherland to past The Gong, 140 km all the way. And it runs right past the accommodation at Yellowtailstay. This does make for some noisy motor bikes on the weekend but this is compensated for by the convenience, the beauty and spectacular vistas nearby. The Grand Pacific Drive starts at the entrance to the Royal National Park, near Sutherland and heads over the Sea Cliff Bridge towards Wollongong and beyond.
So if you are choosing to motor south, and need Grand Pacific Drive accommodation, YellowtailStay may be good choice for a layover.
Hang Gliding and Paragliding - Bald Hill Stanwell Park.
Australia's premier coastal flying site. Stanwell Park have an unrivalled history stretching back to some of the first ever successful experiments in flight done by Lawrence Hargrave in the late 19th Century. Today, as then, we have the privilege of flying a beautiful stretch of the coastline between Sydney and Wollongong.
When the conditions are right, you can launch off Bald Hill and fly high over the beautiful coastline with one of the many companies offering tandem flights. Your hang gliding accommodation at Yellowtailstay is 30 metres from the launch site.
Symbio is one of the best wildlife parks in Australia. Its range of Australian and exotic animals includes, koalas, pythons, meerkats, tigers, lemurs and cockatoos and farmyard animals. You can stroll around, have a picnic, watch some of the many shows, feed a lamb, play with a python or hug a koala. There is a range of keeper presentations and behind the scenes encounters organised daily. Stay at Yellowtailstay and get there early and beat the crowds.The accommodation is a 5 minutes’ drive away.
Horse riding, pick your own fruit and great cider, Darkes forest is a 12 minutes’ drive from Yellowtailstay. The Appleshack at Glenbernie Orchard is home of the famous ‘Darkes Cider’. This may change your view of ciders. At Darkes Forest there is also horse riding and walks into the Dharawal National Park.
Across the road of our accommodation is a new ‘Flying High’ take away coffee shop, with the most spectacular view from any coffee shop you are ever likely to visit. It is at Bald Hill and just up from the famous ice cream van. Both have the view of The Seacliff Bridge and the beaches and Illawarra Escarpment all the way to Wollongong.
Helensburgh is Yellowtaailstay’s local shopping centre and has a selection of coffee shops and restaurants as well as the Tradies club. Down the coast the coffee shops and restaurants start at Stanwell Park and build up in number and variety towards Thirroul, Austinmer and Wollongong. On the way are two of The Illawarra’s iconic hotels. The Scarborough Hotel and The Headlands Hotel. Both have beautiful cliff and beach views. The Headlands is brand new with many venues within the one facility.
For market goers, there The Foragers Market Bulli every Sunday morning among others.
The famous ‘Otford Pantry’, is an 800m walk for breakfast and coffee on weekends and holidays -
A variety of Christian Churches and meeting places abound from Helensburgh to Thirroul but the most local place of worship to Yellowtailstay is the Hindu Temple - Sri Venkatewara at Stanwell tops. It has intricate carvings and frescos and its large white towers can be just seen on the hilltop opposite Yellowtailstay. It has great vegetarian food on weekends - all welcome.
Govinda Valley Retreat and Education centre is 2km from the accommodation at Yellowtailstay.
The beautiful Nan Tien Temple is a half hours drive down the freeway. It is the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere.
Cycling The Royal National Park and Wollongong loops is probably the most popular pushbike riding area in Australia. Yellowtailstay is convenient accommodation for a group of cyclists or family to explore the area. Pull off the road and down our driveway and have a well earned overnight break.
YellowtailStay can be a good choice for Royal National Park accommodation.
There is an extensive network of cycling tracks leading along the coast to Wollongong.
As well as road cycling, the local area and The Royal National Park is interlaced, with mountain bike trails. Stay at Yellowtailstay and head off the beaten track.
Just 10 minutes’ drive from your Yellowtailstay accommodation is the beautiful Boomerang Golf Course. This, along with the Helensburgh Driving Range and mini golf course and the many other Wollongong golf courses should satisfy all levels of golf enthusiasts.
The Otford Farm horse riding trail runs along the boundary of our backyard (and partially through it, but we don’t mind). It is one of a number of establishments that cater for equine enthusiasts. It has hour and two hour rides through lush rainforests an up to waterfalls as well as holiday camps and agistment. The kids can stay at the camp and you can be nearby at Yellowtailstay. Maybe you could embarrass them by waving as they ride by your accommodation. Other horse riding pursuits include Darkes forest, Otford valley Farm for with its equestrian areas, and Helensburgh Pony Club.
Get spooked in one of the many abandoned tunnels in the area. Mushroom farms have given way to glow worms in some of the tunnels. The Waterfall to Thirroul rail line was abandoned after about 30 years and replaced in 1920. This left a series of tunnels stretching for about 40 km north and south of Yellowtailstay. One runs along our boundary. The Otford Tunnel (tunnel No. 7) is the most significant. It runs from Otford to Stanwell Par and at 1550 metres, was the longest tunnel in NSW. Entering it is officially not allowed but the southern access is easy. It is a beautiful brick arch with a sandstone flagging floor. The Helensburgh tunnel is famous for its glow worms. It was partially blocked at one entrance to form a weir for the Helensburgh Coal Mine so, after it rains, it becomes a local kayak course lit with an eerie green glow.