WOLLONGONG At A Glance
Wollongong has been busy redefining itself, moving away from its industrial and working-class roots and becoming a region where outdoor enthusiasts come to play. Situated an hour and a half south of Sydney, Wollongong is garnering a lot of attention for its thriving beachside city, rugged coastline, and the adrenalin-pumping activities on offer. This is a coastal city that packs a real punch.
Beachside living in a vibrant and evolving city that has a penchant for the arts.
Every Thursday there is Eat Street Market in Crown Street Mall – it’s a real foodie spot and they also have live entertainment.
Blue-collar industries are in decline and education, tourism and the fine arts are on the rise.
Colloquially referred to as “The Gong”, this vibrant coastal city has a distinct community-centric focus. Whether united through local sporting teams or their love of the harbour, surf beaches and rainforest-covered escarpment, this is a place where people and nature are seamlessly entwined.
Wollongong is a major port city, but away from bustling Port Kembla, the iconic Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse, foreshore parklands and beaches draw locals and visitors. Crown Street Mall is the go-to place for all things shopping and has vibrant weekly markets – Eat Street and Produce and Creative Markets.
Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Illawarra Escarpment, Wollongong is home to adventure sports. There is a string of beaches and 60 kilometres of cycle ways, including the popular 13 kilometre Wollongong to Thirroul Bike Track. Surfing, skim boarding, rock fishing, hang gliding and para gliding are all a way of life. Those seeking a different pace can head inland for bushwalking on nearby Mount Keira and Mount Kembla or motorbike riding at the Motocross Track on the escarpment west of Wollongong.
Wollongong is home to the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere, leading educational institutions and a train service that has commuters in Sydney’s CBD in under two hours.
Wollongong no longer sits in the shadows of the metropolis to the north. Instead, Sydneysiders are drawn to Wollongong for its slower pace and world-class amenities.
With deep-roots in heavy industry and port activity, Wollongong has long been home to blue-collar workers. In more recent years this has shifted – the city is becoming even more multi-cultural and attracting families and young professionals who are fleeing Sydney for more affordable housing in a laid-back beachside setting. The university and higher education institutions attract academics and a younger crowd, and professionals are finding it convenient to commute to Sydney.
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Land to sea, Wollongong’s love affair with the great outdoors is infectious. Whether you’re into thrill-seeking adventures, mellowed activities or basking in the sun, there is a team, organisation and place for it here.
WINE & DINE
Wollongong has a burgeoning foodie and small bar scene that’s evolving, with Eat Street Market and Globe Lane leading the charge, and locals can’t get enough of it.
Given the dramatic geographical setting of Wollongong, it’s no wonder that a thriving arts scene – music, theatre and visual arts – has become one of the seaside city’s drawcards.
Along with an abundance of public schools, including one of the state’s top performing high schools, Smiths Hill High School, Wollongong is also home to a leading academic institution, the University of Wollongong.
Wollongong’s skyline has been undergoing some changes. Contemporary (and highly sought-after) developments are sprouting up alongside older apartments and villas of all shapes and sizes. Wollongong is also known for its family homes on large blocks. There is a mix of original family homes, modern abodes and new beach shacks – all built to capture views (or at least glimpses) of the water.