Shellharbour is a lovely coastal village located between Wollongong and
Kiama approximately 106 kms south of Sydney and 25 km from the centre
of Wollongong. Sometimes spelt Shell Harbour it was named because
of the vast quantity of shells on the shores.
Shellharbour offers visitors sandy beaches, rolling
green pastures, a small shopping centre, pub, and post
Water sports are amongst Shellharbour’s
main recreational activities. There are fabulous
beaches as well as sandy family beaches around the
Shellharbour area. Lake Illawarra also provides numerous
water sport activities including sailing, fishing,
water skiing, wind surfing, canoeing, and boating.
Shellharbour is well known for its scuba diving and
snorkeling in its Marine Aquatic Reserve.
Shellharbour was originally 'Yerrowah'
by local Aborigines who used it as a meeting place.
In 1796 explorers George
Bass and Matthew Flinders became the first Europeans
to set foot in the area. In 1803 Captain Issac Nicholls
shipped the first cattle into the district looking
for relief from the drought in Sydney. In the 1820’s
a port was established in Shellharbour by the cedar
cutters. The cedar was floated out on wooden rafts
to ships, which waited off the coast.
Places to Visit
Bass Point Reserve
Bass Point Reserve offers some excellent fishing opportunities.
The reserve also offers several good picnic spots and
Blackbutt Forest Reserve
Blackbutt Forest Reserve located to the north of Shellharbour
is 100 hectares of coastal forest offering ideal
bush walks along several tracks as well as picnic
areas. As you walk along the tracks you are lead
through forests melaleuca, blackbutt, stringybark,
grey box, and red gum.
Shellharbour is well known for the Norfolk Pine trees
planted in 1895. The rock baths were established
at the same time as the pines to help attract visitors
to the area.
The oldest sandstone building in Shellharbour is Stella
Maris (1861) in Wentworth Street. The oldest building
is located at the intersection with Addison St is
the general store (1857). Other buildings of interest
include Allen's Store (1868), the courthouse and
gaol (1877), the council chambers (1865), Wesleyan
Chapel (1865) and 'Aronda' (1900), originally a school
Killalea State Recreation Area
One of the most beautiful areas in the Illawarra Killalea
State Recreation Area offers visitors beautiful unspoilt
beaches, and coastal wetlands. It is a favourite
with surfers who frequent the surf at Minnamurra
and Killalea Beaches. Killalea is also a good spot
to snorkel, scuba dive or fish.
Macquarie Pass National Park
The Macquarie Pass National Park is located on the
Illawarra Highway at Albion Park. The park ranges
from steep densely timbered ridges to rainforest
gullies. There are two walking tracks (the Cascades
Rainforest Walk and the Glenview Track) offering
some fantastic bush walking, The Cascades Rainforest
Walk is two kms and will take you to the ‘Cascades’ where
the water falls from a height of 20 metres. Whilst
the Glenview Track crosses a creek which plunges
over the Cascades 400 metres downstream.
On the western side of Windang Bridge a pathway leads
across to Picnic Island. Around 150 bird species
inhabit the island making Picnic Island the ideal
place for bird watchers. The island also offers 250-metre
bush walk and lookout.
The Illawarra Railway Museum located in Tongarra Road,
Albion Park has several nineteenth-century steam
engines trams and carriages on display. The museum
offers train rides around the 1-km bush land track
on the second Sunday of each month. There are picnic
and barbecue facilities also available.
Shellharbour has a very
mild coastal climate with temperatures averaging 17 degrees
Celsius in the winter and 27 degrees Celsius in the summer.
The main rainfall occurs between February and June.
Shellharbour is easily located by car from both Sydney
and Canberra. It is just over a 1 hour drive from Sydney
via the F6 freeway. Canberra is about 2.5 hours drive
via the Hume Highway to Moss Vale then the Illawarra
Trains depart approximately every hour from Central
Station in Sydney for the Illawarra and South Coast.
For timetables please visit the CityRail website
Coaches travel through Shellharbour connecting with
Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra on a daily basis.
For more information on coach services visit www.murrays.com.au, www.greyhound.com.au or www.mccaffertys.com.au
The closest domestic commercial airport to Shellharbour
is the Illawarra Regional Airport located at Albion
Park Rail. Commercial flights operate weekdays from
Melbourne. Sydney International Airport is located
just over 1 hours drive from Shellharbour.
offers a wide range of accommodation including motels,
hotels, guesthouses, villas, self contained apartments,
cottages and beach houses and charming bed & breakfasts.
For more information
about Shellharbour visit:
Shellharbour Tourism - www.tourismshellharbour.com.au/
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