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Quick facts about Wollongong

📍 State

New South Wales

📆 Established


🌆 Area

684 km2

👪 Population


🌥 Climate

Temperate Climate

👋 Welcome to Wollongong

Wollongong is the third largest city in New South Wales after Sydney and Newcastle, and offers a easy lifestyle with its beaches and cafes. This seaside region offers a scenic view of nature with a coastline that stretches across almost unbroken and rain-forests in nearby Illawarra escarpment.

Here is a student guide about Wollongong. We hope you enjoy reading it.

Reasons to Study in Wollongong

🌤 Temperate Climate

One of the reasons to study in Wollongong is its sea climate which features warm summers (not too hot) and mild winters (not too cold) with rainfall evenly spread throughout the year.

💸 Cost of living

As a regional town, Wollongong is considerably cheaper than other major cities with lower accommodation and other costs of livings.

📌 Regional Area

Wollongong is the third largest city and economy in New South Wales (after Sydney and Newcastle) but is still considered as a regional area.

🌳 Natural surroundings

Wollongong is known for its natural surroundings including wildlife, birds, plants and ocean. You will never miss a dose of nature next to you when living in Wollongong.

🌎 World Class University

University of Wollongong is a world renowned university, especially for its research. University of Wollongong often ranks among Australia’s Top 10 universities.

🚍 Distance to Sydney

It just takes around 90 mins to reach Sydney from Wollongong by train or car. Many people travel to Sydney for work and leisure regularly from Wollongong.

💡 Did you know?

In Aboriginal language, Wollongong means the sound of the sea.

Universities and Vocational Education in Wollongong

🏛 Universities in Wollongong

Here is a list of Wollongong based universities in Australia:

University of Wollongong

University of Wollongong is premier university in the region and is also one of Australia’s Top universities. University of Wollongong is known for its research internationally.

University offers more than 300 programs to study with a multicultural student cohort from more than 160 countries.

Unversity has clear focus on innovation and entrepreneurship with healthcare also one of its key offerings with great training facilities.

✍ TAFE and other education providers

Tafe NSW offer various vocational education training programs in their Wollongong campus. The campus is located in the city centre close to many amenities like shopping, eating and easy access to University of Wollongong campus.

Tafe NSW also has partnership with University of Wollongong which allows students to easily transfer to university courses for further studies.

Transport in Wollongong

📌 How to get to Wollongong from airport?

The closest airport to Wollongong is Shellharbour Airport. You can easily take a domestic flight from other major cities to arrive in Wollongong through this airport.

But most of the international flights in New South Wales land at Sydney international airport. Although some people take flights to Canberra and then come from there to Wollongong as well.

Sydney is approximately 80 kms north of Wollongong city centre. The quickest way to reach Wollongong from Sydney airport is by catching a taxi or rideshare. But you can also take a train, bus or private coach to reach Wollongong.

Canberra is approximately 250 kms from Wollongong and it take around 3 hours to reach via taxi, rideshare or private coach.

University of Wollongong also offer a complimentary (Free) pick up from the Sydney International airport for students studying in Wollongong campus for the first time. You need to pre-book it.

🚌 Public Transport

Wollongong’s public transport is made up of trains and buses. Trains are great way to travel around Wollongong region and Sydney area.

There is a shuttle bus that offers free transfer from city centre to Wollongong railway station including stops at hospital, beach, university and Tafe campus. It runs at the interval of 10 to 20 mins during the day.

To get around Wollongong, you will be using the same ticket used in Sydney that is Opal card.

You can use this card on any of the public transport.

You will need to load this card with funds before travelling and “tap on and off” when getting on and off the public transport. 

The average cost of travelling on public transport can be between $45 to $50 per week.

🚖 Other Transport & Concessions

Wollongong is now among the 20 Bike cities around the world. So, if you like to peddle around, there are plenty of bicycle lanes for you to do so.

You can also hire a taxi or use the ride sharing services to travel around Wollongong.

Only overseas students who have received Australian Government scholarships or exchange places are eligible for concessions on public transport, while all other overseas students have to pay full fare.

Although, some tertiary institutes provide MyMulti passes offering up to 35 percent discount.

💡 Did you know?

Wollongong is also known “The Gong” among locals.

Key Events During The Year in Wollongong

🎪 May

Live Art Week

University of Wollongong organise this event to celebrate the art! It turns the university campus into creative paradise with live installations across campus, plus interactive workshops and lots more

🚲 September

UCI Road World Championships

The UCI Road World Championships are the largest annual road cycling Championships organised by the UCI and it includes road races, time trials, cultural events and other community activities.

🎭 All year

Live Music

There are lots of live music events that you can enjoy during the year in Wollongong

🎫 December

Sydney’s New Year’s Eve

Sydney’s New year eve is iconic event for the year and it is a world-famous event that you can’t afford to miss out.

🎧 June

Vivid Sydney

Witness this festival of lights, animation, and music in Sydney, the largest in Australia and famous all over the world.

Free Things to do in Wollongong

🌉 Nan Tien Temple

This serene temple is work of art with beautiful gardens all around and temple on the third floor. A place to relax for sure.

📷 Sea Cliff Bridge

Located on the iconic Grand Pacific Drive, this is one of the places you must have on your travel bucket list. Even if you are not studying in Wollongong.

🌳 Botanic Garden

Explore Wollongong’s Botanic garden with its exotic flora and fauna. You can literally spend hours roaming around this garden.

🤽 North Wollongong Beach

Right in the middle of the city centre you can enjoy hanging out at the beach. You can even take some surf lessons on the beach.

🏫 Wollongong Head Lighthouse

You can see the amazing view of the city from his lighthouse and if you are early morning person, then you can see the sunrise from here.

🏁 Other places to explore

Apart from the list above, there are many other places to explore and visit in Wollongong. Here are some of them:

Port Kembala Beach
Jembaroo Action Park
Symbio Willdlife Park
Science Centre and Planetarium
Illawarra Tree Top Walk
Eat Street markets
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