Wollongong is the first and only major city on the coast south of Sydney. In fact as is the case with Newcastle to the north, Wollongong has a high commute factor to Sydney, both by train and rail.
Wollongong is an industrial city; initially, coal mining and at then steel construction has ensured Wollongong’s future. Wollongong is noted for its numerous surfing beaches, scenic lookouts and botanic gardens.
The first Europeans to visit the area were the navigators George Bass and Matthew Flinders, who landed at Lake Illawarra in 1796. The first settlers in the region were cedar cutters in the early nineteenth century; today Wollongong has a distinctly multicultural population. Many migrants were attracted to the area by the job opportunities at the Port Kembla steelworks in the post-war period.
Like all large cities Wollongong is not easy to navigate, but that said once on foot is a likeable downtown precinct. Allow a few days to enjoy.