Editorial July 14 2017

We are definitely living in a winter wonderland.

This region has a bounty of riches when it comes to beautiful scenery and a winter climate that still makes it conducive to getting outdoors and enjoying it.

On Thursday, July 13, our Illawarra Mercury editorial team sat on the balcony of the Novotel Northbeach and produced digital content for our website and social media platforms and the July 14 mid-winter special edition in print.

It was all done under the cover of nothing but a beautiful blue sky.

There was hardly a breath of wind as we overlooked the brave few getting their feet wet at North Beach and the hardy souls plummeting to earth towards Stuart Park only to be saved by their parachutes.

It was beautiful.

We did it flanked by a couple of hundred excited children enjoying the ice skating rink at the Novotel as part of the school holiday fun.

Novotel Northbeach general manager and Destination Wollongong board member Steve Savic believes passionately there is more our city can do together to promote itself as a winter tourism destination.

Mr Savic also believes the city must start to progress some of the larger activations long talked about for Mount Keira and it seems the public agrees.

”Build a chairlift up to Mt Keira and put in downhill mountain bike tracks, restaurant with the wonderful view, a luge. Things that actually attract visitors,” was one reader’s comment via our Facebook page.

“Get the mountain bike facility established at Mt Keira," another said.

A chairlift or a zip line down Mount Keira were popular choices.

We have so much range and versatility as a region, we now just need to start turning some of these big ideas into a reality.

We have a couple of people we need to thank for our special mid-winter edition.

Firstly to Steve Savic and the staff of Novotel Northbeach.

Thank you for going above and beyond in hosting us in your wonderful establishment.

Also we must thank out cover model Ash Cheadle who braved the ice cold water to be photographed by the Mercury’s award winning photographer Sylvia Liber.

Thank you Ashley for being a good sport.

You can see all the images and footage from the day online at www.illawarramercury.com.au.