Discover Wollongong's Heritage & History
Before European settlement in the Illawarra, the region was home to the local Aboriginal people. This Aboriginal community had a well developed and complex society, and physical and cultural evidence of this remains today in the form of burials, middens and other sites. This Aboriginal history has also been preserved through traditional knowledge and dreaming stories which have been passed down through the generations.
European settlement of Wollongong began in 1815 when Dr Charles Throsby established the first cattle station in Wollongong. He built a stockman’s hut near Market Square, and this was a meeting point for the first Illawarra land grantees in 1816. In 1833 the area’s first school was established and the following year the township of Wollongong was laid out on property owned by Charles Throsby-Smith – the nephew of Dr Charles Throsby.
The original township was bounded by Crown, Keira, Smith and Harbour Streets. These remain major streets in our city centre today.
This trail provides an introduction to the historical sites of our City Centre. It includes some of Wollongong’s most significant and historic landmarks post European settlement.
The length of time totally depends on you. You can also break it up with a visit to Wollongong Art Gallery, the Illawarra Museum or one of the many cafés you’ll pass on the way.
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