Shellharbour, New South Wales

Coordinates: 34°35′S 150°52′E / 34.583°S 150.867°E / -34.583; 150.867
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New South Wales
Shellharbour is located in New South Wales
Coordinates34°35′S 150°52′E / 34.583°S 150.867°E / -34.583; 150.867
Population3,520 (SAL 2021)[1]
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST)AEDT (UTC+11)
LGA(s)City of Shellharbour
State electorate(s)Shellharbour
Federal division(s)Whitlam

Shellharbour (also known as Shellharbour Village) is a suburb located in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia. It also gives its name to the local government area, City of Shellharbour, and its central business district, Shellharbour City Centre.

The suburb is centred on the small recreational harbour named Shell Harbour. It has two main beaches: Shellharbour Beach, which runs to Barrack Point and Shellharbour South Beach, which runs toward Bass Point.[2]

Shellharbour hosts Harbourside Markets on the fourth Sunday of the month, in Little Park.[3]

History and culture[edit]

The area was inhabited by indigenous Australians for thousands of years. European habitation began from about 1817 onwards.[4] Shellharbour was originally known as Yerrowah and later as Peterborough.[5]

Shellharbour's coastline is littered with 9 shipwrecks, and other historical sites like Bass Point which is home to various Aboriginal archaeological evidence.[6] The shipwrecks date back to 1851, and are all protected under the State NSW Heritage Act 1977 & Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976.

Shipwrecks include:

  • Alexander Berry – Wrecked at Bass Point on 1 July 1901.
  • Amphitrite – Ran aground at Shellharbour on 15 May 1851.
  • Bertha – Wrecked in a gale on 9 September 1879.
  • Cities Service Boston – Went ashore at Bass Point on 16 May 1943.
  • Comboyne – Wrecked off Bass Point on 27 November 1920.
  • Echo – Wrecked near Long Point on 21 March 1863.
  • Franz – Wrecked near Lake Illawarra on 9 September 1879.
  • Our Own – Ran aground at Bass Point on 21 August 1880.[7]


Shellharbour is undergoing extensive development with the construction of many new retail outlets and home-units. The main street is Addison Street, with many footpath cafés and shops and the Roo Theatre Company, running through the town and ending with the Ocean Beach Hotel opposite the harbour. Adjacent to the harbour is the Beverley Whitfield saltwater swimming pool[8] and across from the Shellharbour Beach facilities is the Beverley Whitfield park, containing the Tom "Scout" Willoughby cricket oval.[9]


According to the 2016 census of population, there were 3,561 people in Shellharbour.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 2.8% of the population.
  • 75.9% of people were born in Australia. The next most common country of birth was England 4.9%.
  • 85.2% of people only spoke English at home.
  • The most common responses for religion were Catholic 29.7%, No Religion 23.6% and Anglican 19.6%.[10]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "Shellharbour (suburb and locality)". Australian Census 2021 QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Shellharbour Area". Destination New South Wales. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Shellharbour Village Harbourside Markets | Shellharbour Event". Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Our History". Shellharbour City Council. Retrieved 16 March 2008.
  5. ^ "Shellharbour". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 23 October 2006. Edit this at Wikidata
  6. ^ "Shellharbour – Accommodation, Maps, Attractions & Events". Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  7. ^ Shipwrecks – Shellharbour. Parramatta: Maritime Archaeology Unit. ISBN 1 876415 44 4.
  8. ^ Whitfield, Neil James (10 January 2010). "Shellharbour 2 – Beverley Whitfield Pool". Neil's Wollongong & Sydney. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Sporting Facilities within the Shellharbour Local Government Area" (PDF). Shellharbour City Council. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  10. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Shellharbour (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 14 July 2017. Edit this at Wikidata

External links[edit]