Although it’s New South Wales’ third-largest city, WOLLONGONG has more of a country-town feel; the students of Wollongong University give it extra life in term time and it also enjoys a big dose of surf culture as the city centre is set right on the ocean. Some 80km south of Sydney, it’s essentially a working-class industrial centre – Australia’s largest steelworks at nearby Port Kembla looms unattractively over Wollongong City Beach – but the Illawarra Escarpment, rising dramatically beyond the city, provides a lush backdrop.

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