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


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.

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.

Get In[edit]

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

By plane[edit]

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. A number of unsuccessful attempts to introduce commercial services have been made, although this is not to say new initiatives have not been made since writing, so check. The airport is 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[edit]

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 the rain 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[edit]

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.

See[edit][add listing]

  • 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. Their website gives no information on progress since 2002.
  • Nan Tien Temple, Berkeley Rd, Berkeley, 4272 0600, (Postal Address: P.O. Box 1336, Unanderra, NSW 2526, Fax: +61 2 4272 0601 Email: <[email protected]>). 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.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • 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, suprisingly, Ahmed. Always open late, recommended is the regular chicken, extra extra extra hot.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • 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
  • Oxford Tavern
  • Bourbon St
  • Five Island's Brewery, Brew their own beer, table food and a sit down Restaurant. Part of the complex that is the Wollongong Entertainment Centre (the WEC) and Win Stadium. Sit and drink watching the surf roll in from the Pacific Ocean.

Get out[edit]

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