Skip to Content

Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Prohibited But Bridge Walk Is Still Epic

Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Prohibited But Bridge Walk Is Still Epic

The Sea Cliff Bridge is an iconic section of the Grand Pacific Drive located in Wollongong in New South Wales. Since opening in 2005, visitors have been able to walk along the Sea Cliff Bridge (AKA the Sea Cliff Bridge Walk), which offers superb coastal views. Around 2018, an unofficial viewpoint called the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout went viral on social media. This triggered more people to access the unfenced lookout positioned on a cliff edge.

Following deaths at the lookout, from people falling off the cliff, access to the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout is now prohibited. But, that doesn’t stop people from accessing the lookout nor does it discourage bloggers from promoting it.

In this article, we’re going to delve into the nitty-gritty details about the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout. Ultimately, we discourage anyone from accessing it because it’s prohibited and due to the risk of death. Hopefully, this guide will shed some more light on the matter. We’ll also talk about alternate ways to explore and enjoy Wollongong’s beautiful Sea Cliff Bridge.

Essentially, we recommend simply enjoying the epic drive along it and doing the picturesque Sea Cliff Bridge Walk. On top of that, we recommend visiting worthwhile attractions nearby, including excellent lookouts, walking trails and national parks. Below, we’ll detail all of these awesome things to do at Sea Cliff Bridge and places to visit nearby.

Read about the best waterfalls in Sydney

Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout: An Overview

Located south of Sydney, in Wollongong, the Sea Cliff Bridge is an engineering marvel and one of the most famous bridges and roads in Australia. The bridge, which is only around 650 metres long, majestically hangs away from the coastal cliff’s walls and above the ocean.

Looking For Things to Do in Wollongong?

Three people skydiving

Why not skydive over Wollongong? Dive from up to 15,000 feet for an unforgettable experience!

The bridge is just one small section of the Grand Pacific Drive, which is a 140km scenic coastal drive, stretching from the Royal National Park in Sydney to Shoalhaven on the South Coast. Undoubtedly, the bridge is an outstanding feature of the Grand Pacific Drive itself as well as a standout attraction to explore along the drive.

When the bridge opened in late 2005, the intention was that people would merely walk or drive along it. But, eventually, unofficial and unmarked trails leading to a precarious viewpoint were discovered. Offering sweeping views of the bridge and ocean, this viewpoint, known as the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout, inevitably did the rounds on social media.

By 2018, loads of people were visiting the lookout. When the lookout was all the rage, even Beck and I visited (pictured below). Devastatingly, deaths were eventually reported from people falling off the cliff edge at the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout. Understandably, access to the lookout was soon prohibited. To this day, whether by walking along the train tracks or by doing the unofficial Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Walk, access is prohibited. But, many bloggers online don’t include this detail in their blogs!

Dan arrives at a lookout called the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout, in Wollongong, after a walk
Accessing the lookout before it was prohibited

The ​​​​​​​’How to Find the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout’ Blogs

Just do a quick Google search on ‘how to get to the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout’ and you’ll find plenty of blogs written about it. These blogs will mention that accessing the lookout via the train tracks is forbidden and by doing so, you could be heavily fined. This is certainly true. Yet, many blogs claim that accessing the lookout via the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Walk isn’t forbidden. So, as long as you access the lookout via the walk and avoid the train tracks, the blogs say you’re okay to proceed.

So, what is the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Walk (map)? It’s a short but steep trail that starts from Lawrence Hargraves Drive near the south end of the bridge. Essentially, access is across the road from and near this unofficial roadside car park (AKA Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout parking). The walk itself is steep, unmarked and very sketchy.

So, are you allowed to do this walk? Out of curiosity, Beck and I recently revisited the bridge in late 2023 to find out. When we visited, it was very obvious that access to the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout, using any track, is strictly prohibited.

A bridge called the Sea Cliff Bridge is captured by a drone
The bridge captured by drone

DJI Air 2S

DJI Air 2S

Capture breathtaking aerial photography and videography with the DJI Air 2S. The DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo comes with all of the necessary accessories such as the remote controller, spare batteries and battery charger.

Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Walk Entrance: Access Prohibited

Whether you try to access the lookout via the train tracks or the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Walk, there are signs forbidding access. Indeed, it’s very clear that access to the lookout is prohibited. So, despite what the other blogs say, there are no walks that you are allowed to do to access the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout.

Of course, this often doesn’t deter people. But, at the very least, you should be informed before you go, knowing that access is prohibited. After all, people have died after falling from the dodgy lookout.

An entrance to a walk to a lookout called the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout

Is the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Illegal?

There are official signs prohibiting access to the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout. You’ll find these signs at two possible track entrances that lead to the lookout. Does this make accessing the lookout illegal? I’m not an expert in law, but it certainly seems as though access, at the very least, is prohibited by local authorities. So, in that sense, it’s illegal.

Can You Get Fined For Accessing the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout?

Most blogs mention that you can be heavily fined if you’re caught on the train tracks trying to access the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout. This is true – trespassing on the train tracks is punishable by fines up to $5,500!

What you’ll find is, that most blogs fail to mention that you can also be fined for doing the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Walk. At least, between 2018 and 2019, there were reports of people being fined between $400–500 for doing the prohibited walk. Of course, this doesn’t stop people from doing this walk and accessing the lookout. In recent times, we haven’t heard about people being fined and lots of people continue to go to the infamous viewpoint.

At the end of 2023, there were calls to fine more people following illegal trails to Belmore Falls and Gerringong Falls in the Southern Highlands. So, it’s possible that more fines could be issued at some point in time, but this is speculation. Nevertheless, do know, you may be fined for doing this walk.

Thankfully, there is an alternative!

Do the Sea Cliff Bridge Walk Instead

Instead of accessing the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout, you can simply enjoy the walk along the bridge itself. No, you won’t enjoy sweeping views of the bridge. But, at least you won’t risk falling off a cliff! And, there are still plenty of fantastic views to enjoy along the Sea Cliff Bridge Walk. Indeed, doing the walk is a memorable experience. It’s even possible to walk underneath the bridge!

Personally, I’ve completed the Sea Cliff Bridge Walk, in Wollongong, many times, and highly recommend it. Below, I photographed my sister and her partner while doing the walk with them. I’ve also completed the walk with Beck a couple of times too!

Two people doing a walk on a bridge called the Sea Cliff Bridge Walk in Wollongong

Sea Cliff Bridge Walk Details

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 1.5–2.5km
  • Time: 20–45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

Overall, the Sea Cliff Bridge Walk is an easy and flat walk that offers great coastal views. The time spent doing the walk and the distance covered all depend on exactly where you start! Below, we’ll look at the different options for parking.

Dan on a walk in Wollongong called the Sea Cliff Bridge Walk

Sea Cliff Bridge Parking

There are three parking options for doing the Sea Cliff Bridge Walk. The best place to park is at the unofficial roadside parking area. This is the closest parking area to the bridge, so it’s a logical choice to park. But, it only fits around a dozen vehicles or so. And, during peak times, like on the weekend, this parking area often fills quickly. This leaves you with two other options.

You can park near the unofficial roadside parking at a car park at Rube Hargrave Park. This car park has space for around 15 vehicles or so. This is the second best place to park. From there, you’re only around 350 metres from the south end of the bridge.

Otherwise, the next best option for parking is north of the bridge at the Coalcliff Beach Car Park. From there, you’ll follow the steps down to Paterson Road. You’ll then pass Leeder Park and Coalcliff Rock Pools, before reaching Lawrence Hargrave Drive. You’ll then walk around 250 metres to reach the north end of the bridge. By parking at this car park, you’ll walk an additional 1km or so to reach the bridge and return.

It’s also possible to walk to the bridge from a train station. We’ll cover this in more detail in the Getting There Using Public Transport section.

Two people walk towards stairs
Exiting Coalcliff Beach Car Park

Sea Cliff Bridge Walk Map

For your convenience, here is a map of the Sea Cliff Bridge Walk and the various parking options.

A screenshot of a map showing the Sea Cliff Bridge Walk

Sea Cliff Bridge Walk Highlights

The Sea Cliff Bridge Walk is a very straightforward walk with the obvious highlight being the splendid coastal views. At the south end of the bridge, you’ll find a viewpoint, where there are some information boards. This viewing area is a great place to enjoy views of the bridge ahead and it’s also a decent spot for whale watching.

By walking the length of the bridge, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the winding road above the Pacific Ocean. You’ll also enjoy views of the high cliffs of the Illawarra Escarpment. On a clear day, you’ll even spot the southern end of the Royal National Park.

One of the other highlights of the walk is actually going underneath the bridge!

Dan on a bridge doing a walk called the Sea Cliff Bridge Walk in Wollongong

Getting Under the Sea Cliff Bridge

Near the north end of the bridge, there is a gravel track that leads underneath the bridge.

Dan walks down a gravel track

After visiting the bridge several times over the years, we’d never ventured underneath it. Certainly, getting underneath the bridge allows you to appreciate its grandeur from a different perspective. Indeed, we highly recommend going underneath the bridge for a unique experience.

Dan underneath the Sea Cliff Bridge instead of viewing it from a lookout from above

Other Things to Know Before Visiting 

Other than doing the bridge walk, the other main way to enjoy the Sea Cliff Bridge is by simply driving along it. With this said, below, we’ll cover some practical tips and information to help plan your visit. This will also include details about awesome places to visit nearby.

An aerial view of Sea Cliff Bridge in Wollongong

How to Get to the Sea Cliff Bridge

Undoubtedly, the best way to experience the bridge is by driving along it. To get to the bridge, you’ll simply drive along the Grand Pacific Drive, which is a coastal tourist route.

From Sydney, you can follow the Grand Pacific Drive from its starting point at the entrance of the Royal National Park. Otherwise, the quickest way from Sydney is to drive south along the M1 past Helensburgh and then access the Grand Pacific Drive via Stanwell Tops and Stanwell Park. Indeed, this is the most direct route from Sydney.

Car Hire

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

Getting There Using Public Transport

It’s possible to use public transport to get to the Sea Cliff Bridge in Wollongong. You’ll simply jump on a train and alight at either Coalcliff Station or Scarborough Station. Given the bridge is located between these two stations, you can walk to the bridge from either station.

Those using public transport tend to alight from Coalcliff Station to walk to the bridge. That’s because it’s a slightly shorter walk to the bridge than from Scarborough Station. But, there isn’t much in it! Of course, from Sydney, you’ll also arrive at Coalcliff Station before Scarborough Station. So that’s another reason to alight at Coalcliff Station.

Best Time to Visit the Sea Cliff Bridge

The best time to visit the bridge is on a clear day with good weather conditions. For sure, it can get seriously windy on the bridge. So, for maximal enjoyment, try and choose a day that isn’t too windy. As well, the views are even better on a clear day with good visibility.

Also, the bridge can get very busy during midday on the weekend and during school holidays, especially the summer school holidays. To avoid the crowds, we recommend visiting during the week. Otherwise, if you’re visiting during peak times, it’s best to visit earlier or later in the day.

Things to Do Near the Sea Cliff Bridge

Other than visiting the bridge itself, there are many fantastic places to visit nearby in the south of Sydney, Wollongong and South Coast. Below, we’ll run through other great attractions to explore before or after you check out the bridge.

Other Lookouts in Wollongong

Do you have FOMO for not accessing the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout? Well, thankfully, there are loads of other awesome Wollongong lookouts. For sure, some of the other nearby lookouts in Wollongong are some of the best lookouts along the South Coast of New South Wales.

From both the Otford Lookout and Bald Hill Lookout, you’ll catch a glimpse of the bridge. Otherwise, there are other lookouts, which simply provide breathtaking views of the South Coast and Illawarra Escarpment. For your convenience, we’ll list these lookouts below.

Read more: 13 Best Wollongong Lookouts Including Lesser-Known Viewpoints

Dan at a lookout called Mount Keira Lookout
Mount Keira Lookout

Other Walks in Wollongong

Otherwise, by doing any number of coastal walks and rainforest walks in Wollongong, you’ll enjoy magnificent coastal views too.

Mount Kembla Summit Track

Scarborough Hotel

One of the most popular places to visit near the bridge is the iconic Scarborough Hotel. After all, you may have worked up an appetite after exploring the bridge.

Straight up, the Scarborough Hotel is an institution of the Wollongong area. The famous pub is beautifully located on the coastline with sensational views of the Pacific Ocean. The place itself is very spacious with a huge outdoor area. If you can manage to find a spot close to the bordering garden, you’ll be incredibly close to the ocean. With the elevated position, gorgeous views await you. There’s also a large indoor section with bars, a cafe and dining options.

Beck sitting a sheltered table at Scarborough Hotel

Royal National Park

Sydney’s Royal National Park isn’t too far away from the Sea Cliff Bridge in Wollongong. There are many beautiful walks to do, waterfalls to chase and beaches to explore in the Royal National Park. Below, we’ll list some of the most interesting places to visit and things to do in the national park.

Otherwise, read our Waterfalls in Sydney Guide for all of the best waterfalls in the Royal National Park.

Dan on the Royal Coastal Walk
Royal Coastal Track

Dharawal National Park

Another great nearby national park is the Dharawal National Park. It’s not as well-known as the Royal National Park, but there are still gorgeous natural attractions to visit in this national park. Below, we’ll list our Dharawal National Park guides.

A large swimming hole called Minerva Pool found along the Minerva Pool Walking Track
Minerva Pool

Killalea Regional Park

Located between Wollongong and Kiama, you’ll find the underrated Killalea Regional Park. It’s an exquisite coastal reserve featuring pristine beaches, a lagoon, a kiosk and a campground. Specifically, the park’s beaches (Killalea Beach and Minnamurra Beach) form part of a National Surfing Reserve, highlighting the epic surf breaks at these beaches.

Read more: Killalea Regional Park – The 8 Best Things to Do

A beach called Minnamurra Beach is surrounded by bushland on a partly cloudy day.
Minnamurra Beach


Kiama is a spectacular coastal town south of Wollongong. The popular holiday destination is well-known for its blowholes, stunning beaches and coastal walk. If you can’t squeeze in a visit when you plan to see the Sea Cliff Bridge, you’ll definitely have to visit Kiama another time!

Read more: Kiama Day Trip From Sydney – The Ultimate Guide

Aerial shot of Blowhole Point in Kiama NSW during a day trip from Sydney
Blowhole Point

More South Coast NSW Travel Guides

The South Coast of New South Wales is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Below, you’ll find loads of useful blogs about the best places to see along the South Coast.

Dan at a waterfall called Clover Falls in Macquarie Pass National Park
Clover Falls, Macquarie Pass National Park

Sea Cliff Bridge, Wollongong: FAQs

Below, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions about the Sea Cliff Bridge in Wollongong.

Where Is the Sea Cliff Bridge?

The Sea Cliff Bridge is located in Wollongong, which is south of Sydney.

How Far Is the Sea Cliff Bridge From Sydney?

As the crow flies, the bridge is around 50km south of the Sydney CBD.

How Long Is the Sea Cliff Bridge?

The bridge is around 650 metres long.

How Long Is the Sea Cliff Bridge Walk?

Depending on where you park, the return walk is between 1.5–2.5km long.

Where Do I Start the Sea Cliff Bridge Walk?

This depends on whether you drive or catch public transport. If you drive, there are three parking areas, where you can start the walk. For more information, read the Parking section. If you catch public transport, you can start the walk from either Coalcliff or Scarborough Station. For more information, read the Public Transport section.

Can You Walk On the Sea Cliff Bridge?

Yes, we highly recommend it!

How Much Did the Sea Cliff Bridge Cost?

It’s free to drive along and walk on the bridge.

Who Opened the Sea Cliff Bridge?

The bridge was opened by former NSW Premier Morris Iemma on 11 December 2005.

Leave us a comment below.

We acknowledge and respect the First Nations people as the Traditional Custodians of the land/water that we visited and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Daniel Piggott

Dan is a travel blogger, physiotherapist, hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *