Austinmer, New South Wales

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WollongongNew South Wales
Lookout from the Illawarra Escarpment above Wombarra over the northern Illawarra plain viewing Austinmer in the foreground, Thirroul, Bulli, Wollongong up to Port Kembla in the far distance.
Austinmer is located in New South Wales
Coordinates34°18′23″S 150°56′04″E / 34.306311°S 150.93451°E / -34.306311; 150.93451Coordinates: 34°18′23″S 150°56′04″E / 34.306311°S 150.93451°E / -34.306311; 150.93451
Population2,560 (2016 census)[1]
LGA(s)City of Wollongong
State electorate(s)Keira
Federal Division(s)Cunningham
Suburbs around Austinmer:

Austinmer is a northern village of Wollongong on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. It sits in the northern Illawarra region, south of Stanwell Park and immediately north of Thirroul.

The town's main beach is Austinmer Beach, a patrolled surf beach and a popular tourist beach. A second smaller and unpatrolled beach lies directly to the north of Austinmer beach. It is called Little Austinmer Beach, known locally as 'dog beach', as it is a popular off-leash zone for dog walking.

The main road through the town is Lawrence Hargrave Drive, which connects with the Princes Highway at Bulli Pass. Moore Street connects Austinmer railway station to Lawrence Hargrave Drive, and, along with a short stretch along Lawrence Hargrave Drive, constitutes Austinmer's commercial presence, as well as a police station, school, churches, and veterinary clinic.

The Headland Hotel to the north of Austinmer Beach was featured in the 2005/2006 television series headLand.

It is served by Austinmer railway station, on the South Coast railway line which runs electric double deck train services to Sydney and Wollongong.


By the 1860s the area was simply called "North Bulli". The name was later changed to Austinmere (later dropping the final "e", and pronounced as "mer" as French for 'by the sea'; Austin (the original mine owner/manager) by the sea) with the opening of the North Illawarra Coal Company's mine around 1887.[2] Some have suggested that the area was originally called Sidmouth, named after the Devonshire birthplace of Robert Marsh Westmacott who owned land that now includes Austinmer. It turns out that a future owner, one Biddulph Henning, named it Sidmouth after where he had been staying in 1891 just prior to his return to Australia and subsequent purchasing of the land in Austinmer. The name "Sidmouth" is unrecorded prior to Henning's purchase of the property.

Austinmer was the site of the Hicks Point coal jetty[3] from 1886 to 1915, when it was destroyed by fire.[4] Iron dowel pins that secured the timber uprights of the wharf to the bedrock and an iron mooring ring set into in the rock are all that remain of it today.[5]


In the 2016 Census, there were 2,560 people in Austinmer. 80.1% of people were born in Australia. The next most common country of birth was England at 5.5%. 89.3% of people only spoke English at home. The most common responses for religion were No Religion 41.5%, Catholic 20.6% and Anglican 14.9%.[1]

Glastonbury Gardens[edit]

Glastonbury Gardens, Austinmer NSW, Australia

Established in 1965, the park is a historical part of Austinmer as it was the site for colliery dam. Adjacent to the Lawrence Hargrave Drive, the public park consists of Sabal palms, Araucaria heterophylla and Phoenix canariensis. It was dedicated to Reg Glastonbury, the Wollongong City Council City Engineer from 1947-1962 and was named after him.[6]



Notable people[edit]

Notable people from or who have lived in Austinmer include:

  • Geoff Burton, cinematographer best known for films Storm Boy and Sum of Us.[8]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Austinmer (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 16 July 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Place names of the Wollongong region". Wollongong City Council. Archived from the original on 30 December 2008. Retrieved 11 January 2009.
  3. ^ Kerle, H. W. (10 October 2000). "Ocean Jetty". Minutes of proceedings of the Engineering Association of New South Wales. 2.
  4. ^ "Industrial history Mining metallurgy illawarra heritage trail - Hicks Point Jetty". Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Industrial history Mining metallurgy illawarra heritage trail - Hicks Point Jetty". Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Glastonbury Gardens". Office of Environment And Heritage.
  7. ^ "Iconic Newtown mural artist helps paint a picture of a different kind". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 19 August 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  8. ^