Wollongong: Australia’s Eighth Most Liveable City

I suppose you could say we are now entering the “relegation places” in my series about Australia’s most liveable cities. Only 11 cities were included in this survey and today’s city came eighth, so it’s certainly at the lower end.

It’s known by some as the gateway to the south; I’m not sure I agree with that one, maybe it should be known as the gateway to the deep south. For me, anything south of Brisbane is south. So I would prefer it to be simply known as by its name, which in itself is pretty cool; it’s called Wollongong.

Wollongong, New South Wales.

The view from Bald Hill

The view from Bald Hill

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Wollongong is another one of those cities that I drove through during my Australian road trip, but I didn’t stop to take a look. For that reason, I’m as interested as you are to see how today’s post goes.

For those who do not know, Wollongong is about 80 kilometres south of Sydney, which makes it close enough to commute into the big city I would imagine. That, in itself, is an attraction, but what of Wollongong itself?


What Wollongong residents like about Wollongong:

  • It has good roads and very little traffic congestion;
  • It’s affordable allowing for a good standard of living;
  • The weather.

Wollongong residents were not so keen on:

  • The employment and economic opportunities;
  • The look and design of the city;
  • Its maintenance, cleanliness and the pollution.

And so to YouTube. Searching Wollongong threw up a lot of videos about skateboarding, skydiving, spearfishing and hang gliding; is Wollongong the adrenaline capital of Australia?

Just a thought.

So, time to take a look at Wollongong. We will start with a pictorial tour of the area…

… and continue with that, but this time with panoramas…

But what about the city? Well, apparently a guy called Beau knows Wollongong, I don’t know Beau, but then I don’t know Wollongong either. So it’s lucky that Beau does know Wollongong, because he can now tell us about it. The video is called, you guessed it, Beau Knows Wollongong…

The people of Wollongong like the weather there, but it’s not always good…

Anyway, fancy skydiving?

Yes, it may be in the lower third of our 11th city list, but it still looks like a very liveable city to me. Do you live in Wollongong? Tell us about it below in the comments…

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{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Gone Bust March 13, 2017, 2:11 pm |

    Well where to start, we moved to the Illawarra from Qld in 2006 with the view to opening a business and settling down, so we closed a good business we had in QLD, moved down and bought a house, all was good at the start.
    Worked about the place a little but found the wages to be under award or employers offering cash in hand, I was a bit taken back by all this so decided to reopen our business down here. when we moved one of the first things that I was very impressed by was the Illawarra convey for the kids, top stuff, I looked at the overwhelming community support and thought, now this is the place to be, I could not have been more wrong.
    In 2012 we opened and have regretted it ever since, zero support from the local community, zero support from the larger organisations in our industry, overall very disappointing, we have struggled for the last 5 years, lost the house and haven’t made a single bit of profit at all, highway frontage, signage, the lot and a lot of money to set up, to barely make a small wage, on average over 5 years ive taken around $200 a week and exhausted the life savings money in hope and expectation.
    We are now broke completely broke and will be declaring bankruptcy, the worst mistake in our whole life was moving to the Wollongong areas, I cannot believe the level of arrogance and lack of community spirit here, no one helps anybody, not a bit.

    • BobinOz March 13, 2017, 9:14 pm |

      Sounds like a nightmare, I’m sure Michelle who commented below to ask about businesses here will find this information interesting. As for you and your family, I hope things perk up soon.

  • Michelle May 29, 2016, 10:27 am |

    Is there anyone who can shed light on the social and business culture of Wollongong and shed some light on the employment status, in general of this city. We have lived in several cities around the world. I loved Sydney but we moved to Brisbane and we have not settled in well and even after 9 years it still does not feel like home. We are thinking of relocating to Wollongong before our child starts school but are reluctant to take the plunge if it’s just going to be the same mindset and culture as Brisbane. Wollongong appeals to us because it’s close to Sydney but more affordable and it is surrounded by beauty and a slightly slower pace of life (which is now more important to us with a young family). Any advice or insights would be much appreciated. Thanks

  • Aaraju January 20, 2016, 4:09 pm |


    I am from Nepal, planning to be there at Wollongong within 15th Febuary. I got my visa for UOW two days ago. I would like to know about the weather of Wollongong, have to do shopping so just wanted to know about the climate over there. Do I need to pack up with warm clothes or just plain cotton type clothes? My husband is accompanying me.

    Thank you in advance.

    • adarsh February 13, 2016, 1:05 pm |

      im applying for UOW this july..plz can u give me any tips and suggestions..thnx in advance

  • Leanne September 20, 2013, 4:08 am |

    I’ve been offered a job in Shoalhaven, it will be near jervis bay. Any info would be great..! I’m from the north east of England so will be leaving the cold winter here and heading to sunny aus!

    • Nick September 20, 2013, 7:54 am |

      I went to Jervis Bay for an afternoon. Driving around a empty national park. Wallaby and kangaroo spotting. And swimming in calm clear waters. Surrounding Huskisson is beautiful. I had some of the best fish and chips there. Further up the road is seven mile beach if you prefer conditions more suited for surfing.

      Inland you can explore Kangaroo Valley which is very picturesque. I’m currently working there to gain my second year visa.

      An hour or so north and you can visit the magnificent Kiama blowhole and Shellharbour square for some good retail therapy.

      • Leanne September 20, 2013, 4:04 pm |

        Hey! Thanks for the info! That sounds like the type of thing we want as a family. We really didn’t want the hussle and bussle of the city but have the option of experiencing it the odd day! 😀
        Ill look into those places you mentioned!
        Thank u!

    • BobinOz January 20, 2016, 9:46 pm |

      Check the weather chart on my Sydney page under Australian Cities in the main navigation menu above, weather where you’re going will be very similar.

  • obi August 23, 2013, 12:15 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Your blog is amazing and continues to inspire me about Australia. I am finding it difficult to choose the best place to live because anywhere seems wonderful coming from you. But I think I will let my future work there decide (I haven’t tried applying yet though). We are still waiting for our visas to be granted but we plan to end the year here in our home country. That is also of course to maximize the bonuses we will be receiving this Christmas which we can add to our allowance to start anew there. We hope things will not be that hard for us in our endeavor.

    • BobinOz August 23, 2013, 9:49 pm |

      Thanks Obi, glad you are enjoying my blog. Hope your planned move here goes smoothly, if it does, it could be your last cold Christmas 🙂

      Cheers, Bob

  • Valter Russo August 17, 2013, 4:20 pm |

    Hi Bob

    Before i find your blog, the first place i want to live when moving to OZ was actually Warilla, a bit above Wollongong, it seamed a pretty nice place…
    but than i find Bobinoz.com and well, brisbane it is.haha

    Cumpts M8

    • BobinOz August 19, 2013, 2:02 pm |

      So it’s Warilla vs Brisbane? Decisions, decisions…

      Cumpts back atcha!

  • Nicholas Clark August 17, 2013, 11:06 am |

    I live here currently over from the UK been in the ‘Gong for 8 months now. (Love your site Bob)

    I really like it here, lovely natural sites. Great beaches, mountains, waterfalls, countryside and coastal beauties.

    Beautiful weather, such a treat coming from south west of England.

    Great food, and I found a job almost straight away.

    Agree with the poll, the actual shopping town centre of Wollongong could rellay do with a makeover, but currently work is underway and I’m excited to see what that brings.

    An express train to Sydney would practically make the location perfect. The train to Sydney is very cheap (Compared to a similar trip in the UK). However almost every little area gets a train station on route, therefore making for a slightly longer than expected trip.

    • BobinOz August 19, 2013, 1:03 pm |

      Good to hear from you Nicholas, sounds like you are giving “The Gong” a big thumbs up. Seems the place has ticked a lot of boxes for you, and as for the weather, yes, it is difficult for us Brits to come anywhere here in Australia not like the weather 🙂

      Hope you continue to enjoy living in Wollongong.

      Cheers, Bob

      • Aami July 21, 2016, 12:50 pm |

        hi bob, we moved from Melbourne to regional nsw 4 years back but it’s too far away from any beach or sydney. we have two little kids so we want to relocate closer to big city and beaches. we are looking for the business as well but have no idea which place to choose. could you give us any suggestions as we never been to sunshine coast or wollongong. how is the sunshine coast for business and finding a job?

        • BobinOz July 21, 2016, 8:25 pm |

          I don’t know much about Wollongong, so hopefully someone else can help you out about that one. I do know the Sunshine Coast is beautiful, it would be a great place to live, but it is also known as somewhere that’s difficult to find ‘work’.

          That said, sounds like you’re not looking to find work, you’re looking to start a business. Sunshine Coast is really a holiday destination as well as somewhere where people like to go when they retire. If you can find a way to start a successful business there, or take one over, it would be a great place to live.

          Good luck, Bob

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