Central mall in Wollongong

Overlooking Kiama

Historic Cottage in Nowra

Beautiful harbour at Shoalhaven

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Centred on Wollongong, south of Sydney, the Illawarra Region is one of Australia's largest steel producing areas surrounded by beaches, mountains and national parks.
The history of this can be seen at Industry World at the BHP Steel Visitors Centre, Springhill Road Coniston NSW 2500 Ph: (02) 4275 7023 which is is home to one of the largest concentrations of manufacturing industry in Australia. With the innovation and effort on environmental improvement shown by this industrial centre since the 1970's it blends well into one of the most scenic and lifestyle pleasing cities in the country.
It opens up the day to day activities of one of the Southern Hemisphere's most dynamic industrial centres and offers a variety of experiences based on heavy industry and the operations at Port Kembla. Visitors can marvel at the magnitude of the industrial complexes, encompassing powerful machinery, gigantic bulk carriers and mountains of raw material.

The Illawarra area is bordered to the north by the Sydney Suburbs and Royal National Park, to the west by the Southern Highlands and to the south by the South Coast, all major scenic areas within a short drive.

Wollongong is also noted for its art & culture. Many famous artists have found the Illawarra region an inspiration including such famous names as Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Norman Lindsay, Banjo Patterson, Brett Whiteley and Eugene Von Guerard. The Wollongong City Gallery is one of the largest regional art galleries in Australia and forms part of the cultural precinct. It is recognised as the best regional gallery in Australia for its innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions and programmes.

The Wollongong Conservatorium of Music is located in one of the regions most enchanting buildings, Glennifer Brae Manor House. Built in the 1930's by steelworks founder Sidney Hoskins, the house, with its gothic style windows and winding chimneys, provides an inspirational setting for budding musicians and composers. Outdoor recitals are often presented in the manor grounds, amid sweeping views of the botanic garden. The performances attract large audiences for both the quality of the music and the magnificent views. The manor house also serves as a multi-purpose function centre.

The Conservatorium is only one of Wollongong's iconic centre for the arts, home to Merrigong the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre attracts some of Australia's finest productions and has a full calendar of performances that you can enjoy all year around. Enjoy the soothing music of Wollongong's own Symphony Orchestra at the historic Anita's Theatre in Thirroul.
The Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, located in the heart of central Wollongong, is the region's major venue for the performing arts. The centre's comprehensive program encompasses a wide selection of in-house, local and touring productions featuring opera, drama, musicals, comedy, ballet and concert performances.

Festivals and Cultural Events
Wollongong's rich multicultural background has been the breeding ground for many amazing and colourful festivals and cultural events.
The annual Viva La Gong Festival celebrates and showcases the region's cultural and performing arts in novel and innovative ways. The diverse activities are well attended and range from concert recitals and song and dance spectaculars through to street parades and food fairs.
The Illawarra Folk Festival is one of Wollongong's longest running festivals. With a popular following the festival has grown from humble beginings to now attract thousands of visitors and boasts a jam packed pre-event calendar.
Other major events include the Illawarra Jazz Festival, Wollongong Eisteddfod, and Wollongong Garden Festival.

Wollongong and the Arts
The northern suburbs are a mecca for those interested in the visual arts. One of the best known is Articles Fine Art Gallery at Stanwell Park. Many of Australia's finest artists and crafts people exhibit here.
Other prominent galleries include Juanita Studio Gallery at Austinmer, Beach Art Galley in Bulli, Graham Gallery at Kembla Heights and Scarborough Fair Art Gallery & Y.M.T. Art in the Northern Coastal Villages.
PD Art Gallery & Roy Jewellery is located in Coalcliff with works by artist Pauline Denney and Jewellery designed by Master Jeweller Roy Wilson. With years of experience between them the PD Art Gallery & Roy Jewellery is definitely a place for everybody to enjoy while taking in the beautiful coastal sights of the Northern suburbs of Wollongong.

Explore our History
The Illawarra Museum in Market Square, provides an entertaining and highly informative insight into the earliest part of Wollongong's history. Be transported back in time as you visit rooms filled with artefacts from the past. Special exhibits include a turn of the century classroom, stockman's hut and blacksmith's shop - all authentically recreated.
Within easy walking distance of the museum is the Court House, the oldest surviving commercial building in the region, and well worth a look.
Also of note is Market Square itself, now beautifully restored to its former glory as a typical Victorian age public park, complete with band rotunda.

The Science Centre and Planetarium at Fairy Meadow is guaranteed to keep people of all ages entertained for hours. Extensive exhibits feature 'hands-on' participation. The Star Theatre is designed to thrill with planetarium shows and spectacular laser concerts to suit all ages. Visitors will also enjoy the daily science shows and Australia's largest Science Shop which stocks an excellent range of science-based novelties, toys and gifts.
Motorlife Museum
See a constantly evolving collection of cars, motorcycles and other automotive memorabilia at The Australian Motorlife Museum near Kembla Grange. The museum also houses an impressive collection of early typewriters, telephones and office equipment that aptly demonstrates how far technology has developed over the last hundred years or so.

  • Illawarra Fly: Wollongong
  • Royal National Park: Helensburgh
  • Science Centre and Planetarium: Fairy Meadow
  • Industry World: Wollongong
  • Morton National Park: Robertson
  • Fitzroy Falls: Robertson
  • Wollongong Conservatorium of Music: Cootamundra
  • Glennifer Brae Manor house: Wollongong
  • Macquarie Pass
  • Illawarra Peforming Arts Centre: Wollongong
  • Anita's Theatre: Wollongong
  • Illawarra Museum: Wollongong
  • Court House: Wollongong
  • Greyhound Racing: Dapto
  • Australian Motorlife Museum: Kembla Grange
  • Market Square: Wollongong
  • Lake Illawarra: Port Kembla
  • Articles Fine Art Gallery: Stanwell Park

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Information is available from the Visitor Centres in the district.


By rail or coach from Sydney. Daily Services.

Distances from:
Sydney 85 km

An easy 1 hour and 20 minutes drive to Wollongong via the Princes Highway (F6 Freeway) from Sydney CBD or 60 minutes from Macarthur in Sydney's west via the Westlink M7
Bateman's Bay 196 km
Canberra 243 km

About 2.5 hours drive time along the Hume Highway to the Picton interchange and the Picton Road/Mt Ousley Road, or to Moss Vale and the Illawarra Highway.
Melbourne 835 km
Nowra 78 km
Bowral 66 km

About 45 minutes drive time via either Mount Ousley Road/Picton Road and the Hume Highway (F5 Freeway) or Macquarie Pass/Illawarra Highway.

From the North:
By car along the Princes (1) Highway.
From the South:
Along the Princes Hwy from Melbourne through Eden, Bega, Batemans Bay and Ulladulla.
Fro the south east the Kings Hwy leads from Canberra and joins the Princes Hwy near Bega.
From the West:
Along the Illawarra Hwy from Bowral and the South Eastern Freeway.

Illawarra Regional Airport
Princes Highway, Albion Park Rail. Ph (+61) 2 4256 1977.
Regional Express operate flights to Wollongong from Sydney

  • Wollongong City Shuttle Dapto NSW
    Wollongong City Shuttle 29 Marshall St 2530 Dapto NSW Phone: (02) 4261 7393
  • Free GONG Shuttle
    The service operates between 7:00am and 10:00pm from Monday to Friday.
    Every 10 minutes during peak (7:00am - 9:00am & 3:00pm - 6:00pm) and every 20 minutes off-peak.
    The weekend service will operate every 20 minutes between 8:00am and 6:00pm.
    The Gong Shuttle travels in both directions starting at Wollongong University.

    All major coach companies operate daily services to major towns in the region.
    Getting Around in Wollongong
    A FREE Shuttle bus service operates in Wollongong covering the CBD North Beach, City Beach, Science Centre, Wollongong City Centre, cafe and restaurant precincts and city service areas including the University of Wollongong, Wollongong train station, Innovation Campus and TAFE.
    For more information about the Gong Shuttle visit www.131500.com.au

    Cityrail run commuter trains to and from Wollongong on a regular basis along the South Coast Line stations from Sydney and Nowra. Timetables and Information:
    City Rail, Ph: 131 500 www.131500.com.au

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    Culburra Beach
    Falls Creek
    Shoalhaven Heads