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*'''A complete listing''' of all backpackers hostels can be found at http://www.greathostels.com
  
 
===Mid-range===
 
===Mid-range===

Revision as of 07:56, 14 June 2005

Wollongong is a city in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, a state of Australia some 70km south of the state capital Sydney.

Contents

Understand

The city and surrounding conurbation is located on a coastal plain and backed by a forested escarpment. It's modern origins are in coal mining and steel production, industries which persist, notably the BHP steel facility at Port Kembla to the south. A dedicated port exists for the transport of materials whereas private craft and fishing boats use a separate facility nearer the city centre in Belmore Basin.

The population of Wollongong is predominately young, due to the prominence of the University and the many young families living in the area. As a result, everything is reasonably priced.

It is not so much a tourist destination but a base, there being many interesting and beautiful locations within easy reach. The immediate area possesses some fine beaches and reasonable body surfing.

Read

Get In

Transport Infoline provides up-to-date information on train, bus and ferry travel statewide.

By plane

By car Wollongong is only 60 to 70 minutes south of Sydney's Kingsford Smith International Airport (SYD). There is a link by train to the main Sydney to Wollongong rail service and two private bus companies operate shuttle services from the airport to any destination door to door in the Illawarra / Wollongong region.

The grandly titled Illawarra Regional Airport is more often referred to as Albion Park Airport, and is located to the south of the city at the intersection of the Princes Highway (F6) and the Illawarra Highway. From June 6th 2005 onwards, Qantas will be running once and twice daily flights between Illawarra Regional Airport and Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport, which is about $150 per way. See http://www.qantas.com.au for full details on fares and schedules. The airport is still mostly used by private pilots, flying schools and possibly charter services. It is a base of the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) see See.

By car

From Sydney take the F6 south to Wollongong via Mount Ousley pass. There is an exit from this freeway to the Bulli Pass which throws itself straight down the escarpment (so don't take it unless you are immune to travel sickness). From the South Coast region, take the Princes Highway (F6).

An interesting alternative (if you are in no particular hurry) is to take the road through Royal National Park from Loftus to Otford, then drive through the seaside towns such as Stanwell Park and Coalcliff to Wollongong. Unfortunately rain has washed part of this road away so it will be closed to through traffic until 2007 when they will open a spectacular roadway built over the sea.

By train

The South Coast Cityrail line between Sydney and Nowra passes through Wollongong. This train is very crowded during the morning and evening peaks. The views of the ocean and rain forest from the train are spectacular so sit on the left hand side of the train (looking in the direction of travel) when travelling from Sydney or the right hand side travelling to Sydney.

By bus

By boat

Get around

See

  • BHP Australian Historical Flying Museum, Illawarra Regional Airport(intersection of the Princes Highway (F6) and the Illawarra Highway). A project was started to build an exhibition facility for the aircraft of the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society who have an existing base there. HARS recently completed it major hanger, part of an ongoing project.
  • Nan Tien Temple, Berkeley Rd, Berkeley, 4272 0600, (Postal Address: P.O. Box 1336, Unanderra, NSW 2526, Fax: +61 2 4272 0601 Email: <nantien@fgs.org.au>). Tuesday to Sunday: 9am - 5pm (open Mondays on public holidays). Opened in October 1995 it is a branch temple of Fo Guang Shan and the biggest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. "Nan Tien" in Chinese means "Paradise of the South". Received awards for lighting (yes, architectural lighting!!), gardening, architecture and tourism. The website contains comprehensive travel and tourist information.http://members.ozemail.com.au/~nantien/
  • WIN Sports & Entertainment Centres (the WEC) Corner of Crown and Harbour Streets, PO Box 3100 (southern end of the Central Business District), 4220-2800 (fax 4220-2801 email <Info@wec.org.au>). The Sports stadium hosts rugby league (Illawarra Steelers & St.George Illawarra), rugby union, and soccer (Wollongong Wolves) and has a capacity of 18,500 (11,000 seated). The Entertainment Centre is situated to the north of the stadium and hosts a variety of sports and special events. An AUD37m redevelopment of the ocean-side western stand is scheduled to complete in 2006 which will provide conference facilities, 100 room 4* hotel, replacement 2,500 seat grandstand, and retail outlets. http://www.wec.org.au/
  • Botanical Gardens Gwyneville

Do

Diving. Some of the best temperate water diving to be encountered anywhere can be found in Wollongong and areas to the south. Bass Point should be your stopping off point as it offers at least a dozen dives suitable to all standards of diver. Shellharbour SCUBA centre Shellharbour SCUBA Centreis a PADI 5 Star centre about three minutes drive from Bass point offering all facilities including boat dives, nitrox and courses.

Sky-Diving. Wollongong's amazing scenery is even more amazing seen from above. If the mountain lookouts aren't exciting enough for you, the option to sky-dive is yours. A number of companies operate out of Illawarra Regional Airport, one of these being the Bushsports group http://www.bushsports.com.au/skydiving

Learn

University of Wollongong NSW 2522 (main campus Northfields Avenue, Gwynneville, next to the Botanical Gardens, shuttle bus service operates from North Wollongong Station). 4221-3555 (fax 4221 4322, email for prospective students <uniadvice@uow.edu.au>). http://www.uow.edu.au/ Twice awarded the prestigious accolade of Australia's "University of the Year" and always highly rated in the Good Universities Guide, the University sits nestled below a sub-tropical rain-forest overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The campus is one of the most attractive in Australia.

Work

Buy

==Eat== The food! The choices! The price! Everything about Wollongong's eateries is excellent. People even flock from Sydney to get an 5 star meal at a great price. There is something for everyone...

Budget

  • Ahmed's (between North Wollongong station and the Crown Street Mall). A kebab shop run by a sometimes-professor for the University of Wollongong, named, surprisingly, Ahmed. Always open late, recommended is the regular chicken, extra extra extra hot.
  • Food World Just next to Ahmed's. Chinese/Vietmanese food, big meals and dirt cheap. Mains $6-$8. Great atmosphere.
  • Amigo's Mexican Restaurant A casual mexican place which does huge tasty mexican meals for fantastic prices. Recommended are the Lunchtime Special (meal and drink for A$8.50) and $3 Tacos (Tuesday nights, 5:30pm - 9:30pm), which is very popular with students. http://www.amigosmexican.com.au/

Mid-range

Splurge

Dunes Restaurant and Cocktail Bar A recently opened establishment which serves modern Australian cuisine and quality cocktails. A main meal costs $20 on average. The feature of Dunes is that it overlooks the famous North and South Beaches from Flagstaff Hill (http://larkin.net.au/flagstaff_hill/index.htm)

Drink

  • The North Wollongong Pub, or North 'Gong for short. (North Wollongong train stop). Featuring "Toss the Boss," a three-times-weekly and hour long game of chance with drinks as a shimmering reward. After ordering your imbibements (three is the limit for this game, unfortunately), the bartender grabs a shaker with two dice or coins and dumps the contents on the bar. Two heads (or T's on the dice) and your drinks are free. One of each and they're half price. The unlucky recipients of two tails (or H's) pays full price... but with essentially nothing to lose, lines form, especially in the final 15 minutes of the dwindling hour, to try their luck. Monday, Tuesday and Friday 5-6pm.
  • Hotel Illawarra
  • Cooney's Tavern
  • Rusty's
  • Glasshouse is a tavern and nightclub which is practically inhabited by young people on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. If you go before 10pm, you get cheap drinks and before 11pm free nightclub entry. Plays popular dance music, shows sporting events on a large screen tv (which you usually can't hear over the people and music) and serves any drink you can think of.

http://www.wollongongnightlife.com.au/

  • Oxford Tavern
  • Bourbon St
  • Five Islands Brewery, Win Entertainment Centre (for directions see above), 4220-2854 (fax 4220-2855, email <fiveislandsbrew@1earth.net>). Brew their own beer and the Sixth Island bar serves bar food and has a fantastic terrace (with BBQ); there is also an 80 seat restaurant. Sit and drink watching the surf roll in from the Pacific Ocean just 50 metres away. http://www.fiveislandsbrewery.com/

Sleep

Budget

  • YHA Hostel - on Flinders St

Mid-range

Splurge

  • North Beach Hotel
  • WIN Sports & Entertainment Centres (the WEC) Corner of Crown and Harbour Streets, PO Box 3100 (southern end of the Central Business District), 4220-2800 (fax 4220-2801 email <Info@wec.org.au>). A 100 room 4* hotel is scheduled to complete in 2006. It will feature rooms facing the sports stadium to enable guests to watch the match, a gym and a roof top plunge pool.

Contact

Stay safe

Cope

Get out

External links

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