27 November 2012, 10.42 AM
Bald Hill is one of Illawarra, Australia’s best known and most popular lookouts, situated atop the hill of that name. Not only are the views excellent, the area is also internationally known as a major hang gliding centre. It was on the beach below Bald Hill that Lawrence Hargrave, an Australian pioneer of flight, experimented with box kites in the early part of the 20th century. A memorial cairn dedicated to him has been erected at the peak of the hill near the carpark.
The hill is actually a tall headland, forming the northern end of the Illawarra Escarpment. Stony Batter, just north of Bald Hill, forms a sandstone outcrop peak to the coastal ridge and has equally good views, reached by a track from Bald Hill Lookout that enters the Royal National Park to a small way in. The coastal ridge continues north, forming the Otford and Bulgo hill formations; the escarpment itself turns into the white cliffs of the Royal National Park.
From Bald Hill Lookout there is a 360-degree view. Northwest is Stanwell Tops and Undola Ridge, which Bald Hill is the eastern tip of, and the Royal National Park. The hills of the Royal National Park make way in the northeast for Stony Batter, accessed via a short track. To the far north from Stony Batter and Bald Hill views of the Royal National Park’s white cliffs are seen, and a sharp drop to the Pacific Ocean lies to the east. To the south is Stanwell Park and Mount Mitchell, about 290 metres above sea level, and the Illawarra Escarpment south to Saddleback Mountain and beyond to Jervis Bay.