Pictorial History Wollongong covers the history of the city from Aboriginal to modern times. Located south of Helensburgh and the Royal National Park, Wollongong was first sighted by Captain Cook in 1770. The area was settled by various Aboriginal groups one of which encountered Bass and Flinders when they were beached north of Lake Illawarra.
The fertile coastline attracted Charles Throsby and other pastoralists in 1815 and soon a thriving township developed with an economy based on timber, crops, coal and cedar. Roads were soon cut into the treachorous ‘horrid steep descent’. When coal mining became widespread along the escarpment, small villages emerged around the pit heads and later along the south road. Bulli was the largest northern village. Mining was a difficult life and disaster struck on two occasions with the Bulli and Mount Kembla disasters. Shipping, rail and other transports grew around the mines enabling other industries to flourish. Kerosene was mined and Dapto had a smelting works; coke was a by-product of the coal industry. The district excelled in dairying and specific townships collected milk for butter and cheese manufacture.
The location on the coast with access to Southern Highlands limestone, coal and a sea port location attracted the Hoskins family who developed the industrial site of Port Kembla. By the early twentieth century Wollongong was a thriving town which grew into a city with post-war migration in the 1950s. Another source of growth was the coastal beauty of the area with the rainforest behind it.
Catherine Warne. 140 pages, b & w.