Lake Illawarra - Heart of the Region
|LGA(s)||Wollongong City, Shellharbour City, Kiama Municipality, Shoalhaven City, Wingecarribee Shire|
|State electorate(s)||Wollongong, Kiera, Shellharbour, Heathcote, Kiama|
|Federal Division(s)||Cunningham, Throsby, Gilmore|
Illawarra is a region in the Australian state of New South Wales. It is a coastal region situated immediately south of Sydney and north of the Shoalhaven or South Coast region. It encompasses the cities of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, the town of Kiama and the shire of Wingecarribee. The central region contains Lake Illawarra. The west of the region is referred to the Illawarra Escarpment, which leads up to the south-west fringe of metropolitan Sydney (also known as the Macarthur region) and Southern Highlands region. It is also known as Metropolitan Wollongong which covers Wollongong City Council.
Metropolitan Wollongong Covers Wollongong City Council from Helensburgh to Windang. Although, Shellharbour City Council is a city, it is still classified as regional and not Metropolitan like Wollongong.
The region consists of a coastal plain, narrow in the north and wider in the south, bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the east and the mountainous, almost impassable Illawarra escarpment (forming the eastern edge of the Southern Highlands plateau) to the west. In the middle of the region is Lake Illawarra, a shallow lake formed when sediment built up at the entrance to a bay. The district extends from the southern hills of the Royal National Park in the north to the Shoalhaven River in the south, and contains the city of Wollongong, the third-largest urban area in New South Wales. North of Wollongong the plain narrows to a small strip of land between the coast and the escarpment. At Coalcliff and Stanwell Park small valleys are formed allowing further settlement. To the south it widens, and becomes increasingly hillier before reaching Stockyard Mountain, a long divide between the main plain and the Jamberoo Valley, which stretches until it reaches Kiama. South of Kiama is Saddleback Mountain and south of that the Shoalhaven plains and the outcrop of Coolangatta Mountain.
The main industries in the area have traditionally been farming, coal mining and steel making. Australia's largest steel-works, BlueScope Steel, operates at Port Kembla. The area, especially around Port Kembla and Wollongong, was once known for its mainly industrial jobs, but since the 1990s commerce has played an increasing role in the city, overtaking industry in many areas.
The Illawarra region is linked to Sydney by several passes and a motorway (Southern Freeway) and electric railway (see South Coast railway line); to the west by the Illawarra Highway and Picton Road; and to the south by the Princes Highway. At Albion Park Rail the Illawarra Regional Airport serves the region.
- Lake Illawarra
- Stanwell Tops
- Stanwell Park
- Fairy Meadow
- Port Kembla
- Albion Park
- Albion Park Rail
- Oak Flats
- Shell Cove
Local Government or Councils
- Wollongong council is the northernmost council, ranging from Helensburgh to Lake Illawarra, with northernmost coastal suburb Helensburgh and southernmost suburbs including Windang, Yallah and Haywards Bay.
- Shellharbour City Council is south of Wollongong, and ranges from Albion Park Rail in the north, west to Macquarie Pass near the escarpment, south to Dunmore near the Minnamurra River, and bordered on the east by ocean stretching from Lake Illawarra, Warilla, Barrack Point and Shellharbour.
- The Kiama LGA's (local government area) northern border is the Minnamurra River,west border is Bald Hill, and south covers all the area to about 4 km south of Gerroa.
- The Shoalhaven City Council covers the southernmost reaches of the Illawarra, and further south to Ulladulla.
- The Wingecarribee Shire covers the western most reaches of the Illawarrra, and further on becomes part of the Southern Highlands.
Illawarra cattle were originally bred in Illawarra and are now Australia's 3rd largest breed in population. They are large Dark red cows sometimes with white patches. They produce large amounts of high butter fat and high protein milk and are really durable and suited to the Australian climate.
The Wollongong Hawks have represented the region (previously known as the Illawarra Hawks) since the foundation year of the NBL, 1979. They won the NBL championship in 2001 defeating the Townsville Crocs 2-1 in the best of 3 finals. They also finished as runners-up in 2005 and 2010 seasons.
The Wollongong Wolves participated in the now defunct NSL, winning back to back premierships in 2000 and 2001. The Wolves were not selected for the NSL's replacement, the A-League, and instead chose to compete in the New South Wales Premier League under the name Wollongong FC. The Wolves organisation collapsed in 2008, and was taken over by Wollongong Community Football Club.
The Illawarra Steelers Rugby League Football Club played in the NSWRL rugby league competition, then the NRL, from 1982 to 1998, and currently forms one half of the St George Illawarra Dragons joint venture. They are the premier sports side in the Illawarra and play half of their regular home games at WIN Stadium in Wollongong City.
Many famous footballers, such as Bob Fulton, Graeme Langlands, Mick Cronin, Rod Wishart, Paul McGregor, Craig Fitzgibbon, Luke Bailey, Steve Roach, Garry Jack, Warren Ryan, and the Stewart brothers Brett and Glenn, have come from the Illawarra region.
Cricket has also been played in the Illawarra for more than sixty years.
As of 2012 and 2014 the clubs Highland Sambo based in Mittagong and Southern Sambo based in Woonona have fielded athletes at the World Sambo Wrestling Championships.
- Illawarra Escarpment
- Lake Illawarra
- Electoral district of Illawarra, a seat in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
- Illawarra Coke Company
- BlueScope Steel
- Australian Regional Rivalries
- "Northern Illawarra". NorthernIllawarra.com.au. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Illawarra.|
- "Satellite and Aerial Video of the Illawarra and Wollongong"
- "Northern Illawarra Chamber of Commerce"