Wollongong is located east of the Illawarra Range, 82 km south of Sydney. The rail connection to Sydney was completed in the late 1880s and the local coal mining industry commenced .The metropolitan area of Wollongong includes several urban centers, lying in an area of coal mining and dairy farming. Port Kembla is a deep-sea port and industrial center (BHP), and iron, steel, and coke are produced here; Bulli and Woonona are coal-mining towns; and Thirroul is a rail center. Bricks, textiles, apparel, and food products are also manufactured. The metropolitan area of Wollongong also includes many beach-resort areas. The University of Wollongong is in the city. The entire coastal region may be viewed from Mounts Kembla and Keira. Settled in 1815, Wollongong was established as a town in 1834 and as a municipality, the first in Australia, in 1859. In 1947 various nearby communities, including Port Kembla, were merged into the greater city area of Wollongong. Population (2003 estimate) 270,600.
The city is made up of a multiculturally rich population that celebrates all year round with a fascinating calendar of cultural events. Colourful and inspiring, these festivals attract and entertain visitors of all nationalities from near and far.It also boasts the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere.
Wollongong's has 17 beaches plus lagoons and other waterways are some of the best in all of Australia.