Libraries

In addition to the traditional book, CD and DVD borrowing services the libraries are known for, the Wollongong Library services include home library services, computer and internet access, study rooms for students, family history help, online film and documentary screening and printing.

Wollongong Library also hosts many activities throughout the year including book clubs, kids program, adult and young adult programs, Comic Gong and many other events.

Wollongong has seven libraries throughout its area – from Helensburgh all the way to Dapto and Warrawong. Regardless of where you and your family decide to live in Wollongong you will be able to enjoy your local library nearby. Here is our list of libraries in Wollongong:

  • Wollongong Library – 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong
  • Corrimal Library – 15 Short Street, Corrimal
  • Dapto Library – 93-109 Princes Highway, Dapto
  • Thirroul Library – 352-358 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul
  • Warrawong Library – Level 1, 67-71 King Street, Warrawong
  • Unanderra Library – Crn Factory Road and Princes Highway, Unanderra
  • Helensburgh Library – 57 Walker Street, Helensburgh

To find out more about the many services that Wollongong City Libraries provide to the community visit their website. 

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Art Galleries

Wollongong Art Gallery

The Wollongong Art Gallery is one of the largest regional art galleries in Australia and houses a significant collection of the art of the Illawarra plus contemporary Australian, Aboriginal and Asian art.

The collection itself currently comprises of 2,969 works spanning across a diverse range of objects from Neolithic pots in the Mann-Tatlow Collection of Asian Art to Colonial and Early Australian Art from 1831, Indigenous Art from 1950 and Contemporary Art from 1960.

So there will be something to delight all the family and with constantly rotating exhibits you are sure to find plenty of art and culture to admire and be inspired by!

Visit the Wollongong Art Gallery website

Other Art Galleries in Wollongong

Following is a list of some of the other art Galleries we have in Wollongong:

Theatre

The local professional theatre company the Merrigong Theatre Company is located at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre.

Merrigong presents a diverse annual season of theatre, dance and children’s programming. It includes work sourced from Australia’s finest performing arts companies, self-produced work, acclaimed international productions, and innovative contemporary work from new companies.

Visit the Merrigong Theatre Company website 

Other locations where you will be able to enjoy theatre include:

Wollongong Conservatorium of Music

Wollongong Conservatorium of Music is one of the largest of the seventeen regional conservatoriums in New South Wales. It is a culturally rich resource and provides highly skilled and qualified teachers, performance opportunities and music education for students of all ages and abilities.

The Conservatorium also plays an important role in the community as a music presentation body with close to one hundred performances and events held every year. This includes more than a dozen professional concerts featuring significant Australian and international artists as well as performances by our local students.

Visit the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music website

Science Space

Do you have young, curious family members who just love science and technology? Wollongong has the only dedicated science experience in NSW and is a place where young and old can be inspired, marvel at how science affects our daily lives and show how amazing discoveries have become a reality. It is designed to inspire our next generation about what potential the future can hold and give them the tools to help guide that future in a direction that will improve the lives of coming generations.

The Wollongong Science Space contains Australia’s most digitally advanced Planetarium and allows the public to experience science and technology like never before.

So why not all be inspired at the Wollongong Science Space with over 100 interactive exhibits, Science Shows, Workshops and Australia’s #1 Planetarium!

Visit the Science Space website

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The Early Start Discovery Space

With the only dedicated children’s museum in Australia and the first-of-its-kind to be based on a university campus, The Early Start Discovery Space is operated and supported by the University of Wollongong.

Using play-based learning, the Discovery Space fills young minds with unforgettable learning experiences and nurtures all the family’s creativity. So, let the creativity of your youngest family members go wild and see where their young imaginations take them!

Visit the Early Start Discovery Space website

Our Museums

Museums are one of the more popular touristic attractions of any city. For each person the reason why they visit a museum varies. It may be to expand their horizons or they may wish to be inspired. For others it is because they find it enjoyable and like meeting like-minded individuals. Whatever your reason, you will have many museums to visit while living in Wollongong.
Below is an overview of a few of the museums in Wollongong:

Visit Wollongong Heritage and Stories website to find out more about the museums in Wollongong including their locations

Illawarra Museum

Bring your family to discover the Illawarra Museum that houses two-stories of furniture and objects from the Illawarra region that date between the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century.

Curious what life was like before modern conveniences? Then venture with your family into the courtyard and see how people lived in the Illawarra area before electricity in the kitchen and laundry exhibits. All visitors can experience rural and farming lifestyles with exhibits including the Stockman’s Hut, an Air Raid Shelter and a Working Blacksmith’s shop. The Farm Shed displays agricultural, dairy and farm tools as well as several horse drawn vehicles, a milk and bread cart and plows.

Showing off the lifestyles of yesteryears prosperous households is a bedroom and parlour that displays the glamor of the rich and famous.  Featuring furniture that was used and later donated to the museum by local families.

Find out more about the Illawarra Museum website

Balgownie Heritage School Museum

The Balgownie Primary School Museum is an important preservation initiative to catalog the history of Balgownie through the conservation of artefacts, documents, and photographs of the social and working lives of the community of Balgownie.

The museum also shows visitors the significant story of mining in the community and features a photographic display of the Mt Pleasant Coal Mine and equipment used there, including safety lamps which were used in the rescue of miners from the Mt Kembla disaster in 1902.

Find out more about the Balgownie Heritage School Museum 

Migration Heritage Project

Recognising the huge impact immigrants have had on the local area the Migration Heritage Project has collected a significant image database based on private collections and is an important resource that shows how immigrants shaped the Illawarra region and documents the personal family stories of many who now call it home.

The objects included in this virtual museum reflect the eleven themes of migration, explained and explored in the Migration Heritage Project publication Every Story Counts.

Visit the Migration Heritage Project website 

Itsowel Virtual Museum of Italian Immigration In The Illawarra

The aim of the ItSoWel virtual museum is to collect, protect and share the history and heritage of the Italian community in the Illawarra.

After receiving wonderful support from the local Italian community many stories have been collected and are displayed virtually. The issue of identity is one of the most interesting aspects of the virtual museum as migration makes people face the conflict between the identity of the country of origin and the identity of the country they migrated to. The result of the combination of those two identities is widely different and the project explores the different shades of it.

The virtual museum includes digitised journals, photos, documents, historic newspapers and articles.

Visit the museum from the comfort of your home – its virtual!

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Australia’s Industry World Visitor Centre

A unique combination of heavy industry with education and tourism – Inside Industry brings together heritage, culture, safety, environment, education and industry. The centre offers Steel Tours and Port Tours.
Hear the story of steel that dates back to 1928 and the formation for Australian Iron & Steel (AIS) by the Hoskins family or discover the fascinating history of Port Kembla port that was established in the late 1890’s to facilitate the export of coal from the mines of the Illawarra region.

Visit the Inside Industry website 

Mt Kembla Heritage Centre

The Mt Kembla mine disaster occurred on the 31st July 1902 when 96 men and boys lost their lives and remains the worst mining accident in Australia’s history. The Mt Kembla Heritage Centre houses a comprehensive exhibition that documents not only the disaster itself but also tells the personal stories of those who were involved and the impact the disaster had on the local and wider community and mining sectors.

Visit the Mt Kembla Mining Heritage Centre website

Australian Motorlife Museum

The Australian Motorlife Museum has a great national reputation within the heritage motoring community. The collection comprises thousands of antique and vintage vehicles and continues to grow at an astonishing rate.

Established in 1992 by a group of motoring enthusiasts, this attraction provides an insight into the history of motoring including vehicles and memorabilia. It also includes extensive and historically significant collections of gramophones, typewriters and telephones providing an intriguing snapshot into the progress of technology in the 20th century.

If you are simply curious or have a fascination with classic cars come down and meet other like-minded and friendly locals.

Visit the Australian Motorlife Museum website 

Breakwater Battery Military Museum

The Breakwater Battery Military Museum was established in 1988 to showcase the important military history of our region and our contribution to the security of the nation. The museum building was built in 1939 as the World War II headquarters and command post for the Breakwater Battery fort complex that overlooked and protected the Port Kembla harbour.

Visit the Breakwater Battery Military Museum website 

Illawarra Aboriginal Corporation Cultural Centre and Keeping Place

At the Cultural Centre and Keeping Place visitors can learn about the local indigenous community and see some of the arts and crafts that are created by local artists.

You can also learn more about the traditional landowners the Wodi Wodi people and their special connection to the land and region. Did you know that the name Wollongong originated from the Aboriginal word woolyungah and means five islands in the Dharawal language? Why not come down and discover even more about our local Aboriginal culture!

Visit the Illawarra Aboriginal Corporation Cultural Centre and Keeping Place website 

Bulli Black Diamond Museum & Heritage Centre

If you have an interest in the amazing stories of the local railway and want to marvel at local coal mining artefacts, then the Bulli Black Diamond Museum & Heritage Centre is for you! Located at the eastern platform of Bulli Railway Station, it was opened in 1989 and houses a collection of exhibitions of social history, unique stories of the region and artefacts from the railway and mines that have had such a big impact of shaping the history of the region.

Visit the Bulli Black Diamond Museum & Heritage Centre website 

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The Old Mine Surgery Museum

The museum of the Helensburgh and District Historical Society is located in the former surgery of Dr Cox, who was the mine doctor in Helensburgh for many decades. It contains a collection of items that belonged to Dr Cox and his family and tells the story of what life for a local doctor and their family is like. This rare building is highly significant to the community of Helensburgh.

Visit the Old Mine Surgery Museum website