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“Wollongong has an incredible setting between the ocean and the escarpment. We have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, rainforest and national parks all within minutes of home.”

— Robert De Dominicis, Group CEO and Managing Director, GBST

When it comes to choosing a city to establish your business, Wollongong offers you:

Affordable cost of living without compromising your favourite things

Wollongong offers a generally lower cost of living, particularly with residential housing which is currently priced around 35% less than the Sydney median (Domain 2019 – State of the market report, June quarter 2019).

At a closer (and more comparable) level, the below tables measures the difference between Wollongong’s average monthly householder payments for rent, mortgage and median house prices with similar locations (i.e. coastal housing) in Sydney.

The results are clear – residents who choose to live in Wollongong city can experience up to 51% savings in rental payments compared with similar Sydney suburbs.

They also avoid the congestion of Sydney yet enjoy the natural beauty of our escarpment surrounding them.

This results in reduced financial pressure and improved liveability as you and your staff’s discretionary income is increased allowing you to engage in doing the activities that adds to your and their lifestyle and wellbeing.

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Choose your style in Wollongong

Another unique feature of our vibrant coastal city is that residential choices are vast. You can live close to

  • The Illawarra escarpment
  • One of our northern coastal villages
  • Lake Illawarra
  • The CBD
  • One of our rural acreages further south or
  • One of our 17 patrolled beaches (and several dog beaches!).

You choose – because by and large – you will find it substantially more affordable than being based in Sydney or other major Australian cities.

“Don’t put up with the unaffordability, limited outdoor options or the lack of time you can spend with your family because of bad traffic in the major cities. In Wollongong you’ll find a place where you are five minutes from home, five minutes from the rainforest and five minutes from a beach.”

— David Laing, Senior Principal, Cardno

Travel costs are also significantly lower due to reduced commuting times to and from work. And you will be pleasantly surprised by our parking fees within the CBD – incomparable to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. The table below shows comparable expenses between Wollongong City and Sydney City, demonstrating that parking in Wollongong is more affordable in our CBD!

A coastal lifestyle with all the health benefits it brings

Located immediately south of the Royal National Park, Wollongong’s spectacular natural environment includes 17 patrolled beaches framed by the backdrop of the Illawarra escarpment, offering an abundance of recreational activities to enjoy.

We also have many off-leash beaches and dog parks where your family pet will be able to also benefit from your move to Wollongong!

Thriving festivals and music scene

Our arts, music and festival scene will impress even the most cultured individuals.

Wollongong has establishments where live music including international performances are regularly held including WIN Sports and Entertainment Centres, UniBar, Town Hall, Merrigong Theatre Company, Waves, Anita’s Theatre and our many pubs, hotels and bowling clubs.

Some of the artists our city has hosted include Elton John, Jimmy Barnes, Pnau, Angus and Julia Stone, SAFIA, Amy Shark, Pete Murray, Kasey Chambers and Peking Duk.

Wollongong is one of the best places to live if you love this scene, not only because we attract musicians of all sorts, but because your travel to the location and parking is easy when compared to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

Wollongong, lovers of good food and coffee

Wollongong’s food and drink options continue to rise with our coastal city experiencing a particular burst of activity within its small bar and café scene, with over 110 new venues opening since 2012. The foodie scene started about ten years ago and has been embraced by locals and visitors alike. You may start thinking you are in Melbourne when you experience the culinary options in our CBD. And our small bar options have expanded to include boutique wine, whisky and gin bars!

Whether you prefer fine dining, restaurants or cosy cafes, you will be excited with the many options from living and working in Wollongong. Indian, Italian, Modern Australian, Mediterranean, Turkish, Lebanese, Malay, Thai, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Korean, Mexican, American, Moroccan, Middle Eastern, German and Czech  – you name it, we likely have one or more eateries in Wollongong.

Vegan, vegetarian, and whole food options are also popular in our health-conscious city!

“Born in Tokyo, I’m a city girl at heart. It’s been very exciting to see the investment going into Wollongong CBD with more bars, restaurants and big name stores opening here.”

— Rin Gomura-Elkan, Owner, Sew in Love

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We love art, we love artists

The region also boasts a vibrant Arts Precinct home to the Wollongong Art Gallery, The Music Lounge within the Wollongong Town Hall, Speigeltent Wollongong  and the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre IPAC (the home of the Merrigong Theatre company) right in Wollongong’s CBD. The Merrigong Theater Company includes its own production and attracts national and international stars and production to our coastal city. Wollongong certainly is the cultural precinct of our region.

“It has been an amazing place to bring up our children.  We have many of the same opportunities as a capital city (including theatre, concerts, national and international sporting events) and these are also readily accessible in Sydney.”

— Warrick Shanks, Managing Partner, KPMG

The independently artist-run Project Contemporary Artspace is a not for profit initiative in Wollongong’s CBD. We also have public artworks in the form of wall murals, sculptures, light and sound within the streets and laneways of our CBD and in nearby Wentworth Street, Port Kembla. So look up – and enjoy the natural beauty of Wollongong surroundings alongside the man-made beauty in our galleries and on our streets.

The Illawarra region is also home to the Shoalhaven Regional Art Gallery in Nowra as well as smaller art galleries up and down the coast, including Shellharbour and Kiama.

And if you are a lover of Museums – visit our Arts and Culture page for a list.

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A sporty way of life

Wollongong is also known as an adventure city, with many high energy activities on offer. Our city stretches down the east coast of Australia and we also have an open and large coastal lagoon, Lake Illawarra in our city, this means that most of our population live within minutes of water. This has naturally resulted in a community that loves water sports.

Some of the water-based activities you can enjoy include swimming, surfing, SUPing, kayaking, dragon boat rowing, kite surfing, foil surfing, sailing, windsurfing and freediving. Fishing and whale and dolphin watching are other popular water-based activities on offer in Wollongong. Best of all many locals even enjoy these before or after work given their short commute!

Back on land the options continue with cricket, golf, football, hockey, rugby, soccer, archery, badminton, basketball, futsal, netball, martial arts, rock-climbing, slacklining, quidditch, roller derby, tennis, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, hiking trains, bird watching, mountain biking all on offer.

And in the sky above you will spot paragliders, hang gliders, parasailers, aerobatics, sky divers and hobby pilots.

And if you and your family enjoy watching live sports you will be able to watch some of the best state and national teams play at WIN Stadium, the home of Wollongong’s own NRL team, St George Illawarra Dragons and our local national basketball team, the Illawarra Hawks and our national soccer premier league team, the Wollongong Wolves Football Club.

“WIN Stadium holds an array of events, not only do we get the best sports teams from around the world battling it out here, we also get artists from all over the globe performing here such as Billy Ocean and Elton John.”

— Ben Hobby, CEO, Itree

By moving your business to Wollongong, and getting involved in healthy and bustling sporting culture – your personal and workplace wellbeing will benefit from it.

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Connectivity and critical infrastructure

Wollongong is a city that has quality health infrastructure including a major teaching hospital and a number of private hospitals and clinics.

Our education infrastructure includes a myriad of schooling options, a major TAFE institute and world-class and industry-focused university, the University of Wollongong.

We are also very close to Sydney – just an hour away – connecting us to Australia’s largest city, and the rest of the country and world through the Sydney Airport. We have our own regional airport and extensive public transport network.

“We were looking to find somewhere that had strong links to infrastructure, for example, access to Sydney and Canberra and to international air terminals.”

— Jez Seaton, Chief Information Security Officer, Twinkl Australia

And very important to many businesses in professional services, tech, digital businesses or those involved in medical science and technologies – the double and triple fibre redundancy options and NBN will cater for your needs to be based in our gorgeous city by the sea, yet service your clients around the globe. Even a family outing to Wollongong’s CBD will expose you to free WiFi in town.

Moving your professional services business, tech or startup business to our vibrant coast city, Wollongong will offer you, your family and your workforce with a great lifestyle, filled with recreational options, yet without the congestion and high cost of living of a major city.

Can you see why many in Wollongong vouch that this is one of the best places to live in Australia?

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