“You get educated by travelling.” - Solange Knowles
I am travelling for work again and visiting the seaside city of Wollongong, located in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia. Wollongong lies on the narrow coastal strip between the Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean, 82 kilometres south of Sydney. Wollongong’s Statistical District has a population of 292,190, making Wollongong the third largest city in New South Wales after Sydney and Newcastle, and the ninth largest city in Australia.
The Wollongong metropolitan area extends from Helensburgh in the north to Shellharbour in the south. It sits within the Wollongong Statistical District, which covers the local authority areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama, extending from the town of Helensburgh in the north to Gerroa in the south. Geologically, the city is located in the south-eastern part of the Sydney basin, which extends from Newcastle to Nowra.
Wollongong is noted for its heavy industry and its port activity, having a long history of coalmining and manufacturing. The quality of its physical setting is unique, occupying a narrow coastal plain between an almost continuous chain of surf beaches and the cliffline of the rainforest-covered Illawarra escarpment. It has two cathedrals, churches of many denominations and the Nan Tien Temple, one of the largest Buddhist temples in the southern hemisphere.
The city attracts many tourists each year, and is a regional centre for the South Coast fishing industry. The University of Wollongong has around 22,000 students and is internationally recognised. Although other explanations have been offered, such as “great feast of fish”, “hard ground near water”, “song of the sea”, “sound of the waves”, “many snakes” and “five islands”, the name Wollongong is believed to mean “seas of the South” in the local Aboriginal language, referring to NSW's Southern Coast.