train arriving at Coal Cliff station

Day Trip: Sydney to Wollongong, across to Moss Vale and back to Sydney

This day trip from Sydney has to be one of the best. It takes you by train down through the Royal National Park, then onto views of the ocean as it passes through Stanwell Park and Coalcliff on its way through to Wollongong.

From Wollongong you change for a coach which takes you up to the little town of Robertson on the Illawarra escarpment and then across to Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands. You’ll have time for a bite to eat here and then catch the train back to Sydney. All in a day.

The cost for Gold Opal Card holders is $2.50 for the whole day.

Sydney to Wollongong

Catch the Opal service with the destination Kiama that leaves Bondi Junction station daily at 09:13 Town Hall station at 09:24 and Central at 09:27. Alight at Wollongong, where the train should arrive at 11:00. If you want more time in Wollongong, catch an earlier train. There’s one that leaves Bondi Junction at 07:59. The full South Coast Line timetable is at

Wollongong to Moss Vale

You’ll find the coach waiting for you at the entrance to Wollongong station. The service number is 754 with the destination Moss Vale. The departure time is daily at 11:30. Tap on using your Opal card as you board the coach. The full Wollongong to Moss Vale timetable can be found at

The coach will take you up through the Macquarie Pass to the small town of Robertson and then on to Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands.

Arrival at Moss Vale is at 13:05. Don’t forget to tap off before you alight the coach.

Moss Vale to Sydney

There is an Opal service every hour from Moss Vale back to Sydney M-F up until 8pm in the evening. Trains leaving around the arrival of the coach from Wollongong are (M-F) 13:06, 14:02, 15:06 and 16:07. The trip back to Central on any of these services takes approximately two and a half hours.

This gives you plenty of time for lunch in Moss Vale. Here’s a map of cafes close to Moss Vale station.

Since you don’t have to drive home, for those who enjoy a glass of vino or beer with their lunch, the Moss Vale Hotel is a short walk from the station. I’ve not eaten there (yet) but from the pictures on their website, it looks like a great place to be on a wintery afternoon in the beautiful Southern Highlands.

Porterhouse Bistro – Moss Vale Hotel

Coles is also close by.

Here’s the timetable for Opal services to get you back to Sydney

Enjoy your day out.

Photo by Dana Cetojevic from Pexels. Image of coastline near Stanwell Park and Coal Cliff NSW
Photo by Dana Cetojevic from Pexels of the Illawarra coastline between Coalcliff and Stanwell Park
Posted in Explore Sydney.

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