It would be hard to find a prettier seaside town in the whole country than Bulli in the Illawarra region of NSW. Sitting at the northern edge of Wollongong and dwarfed by the dramatic Illawarra Escarpment, Bulli’s main streets of colonial buildings face out on to quiet beaches and the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. The mining of coal – nicknamed black diamonds – began in Bulli in the 1860s. Learn the stories if the coal miners, mining tragedies and underground heroism at Bulli Black Diamond Museum Heritage Centre, in the heritage-listed Bulli Railway Station, built in 1887. Bulli’s heritage comes to life on the streets through well-preserved pubs, churches, timber cottages and public buildings. Drop in to the grand three-storey Bulli Heritage Hotel, which has been serving thirsty locals since 1889.