Find out why things are oh so right in the ‘wong'!
Ok, we need to be honest here. It may not be known as the ‘wong' by anyone other than us but you can’t deny it’s a catchy headline!
Warrawong, situated around 15 minutes south of the Wollongong CBD is nestled up next to the shores of Lake Illawarra. With an estimated population of just under 5000 (4,752 to be exact), it’s home to one of the regions’ major shopping centres, Warrawong Plaza and is one of the few places along the Illawarra stretch where the city truly meets the sea (and the lake).
It may not be as well-known as some of its more Northern counterparts but Warrawong has a huge amount to offer young families. With a small community feel, access to beautiful coastline and within easy reach of all the amenities you’d usually need to travel to find, it’s a great spot for both Illawarra residents looking for a day out and families keen to relocate.
The hidden gems and highlights:
1. Warrawong Plaza – Recently given a makeover, Warrawong Plaza is now a community hub bursting with activities for the whole family. It has become The Place where you can wine, dine & recline with 6 new restaurants and a Hoyts luxury cinema, that has recliners for every seat. The home to Country Grocer, a foodies delight with the Illawarra's largest deli & butcher, plus major players like TK Maxx, JB Hi-Fi, Big W, Aldi, Target and Coles there's no need to trek into the Gong for your food or entertainment fix.
2. Howard Fowles Park – The perfect spot to burn off some energy, this park is a few streets back from the Lake with plenty of playground equipment, basketball courts, walking track and BBQ’s.
3. The Place restaurant precinct at Warrawong Plaza - From burgers to steak, dumplings & dessert it is a great spot for dinner, drinks
and a movie. Nothing beats the steak & ribs or schnitty & chips at Rashays and after dinner (or skip dinner altogether) make sure to try the
infamous bubble tea and churros fries at Sugar Rush. The churros are made fresh and are served crispy and golden, just like how they should be. If
neither of those take your fancy they also have thai, yum cha and Japanese inspired burgers & hot dogs all in the one place, plus it is right next
to Hoyts cinemas!
4. Reddall Reserve – Located on the banks of Lake Illawarra, Reddall Reserve is the bees knees for a family day out. With direct access to a safe swimming spot, walking and bike riding tracks and an all abilities playground, it’s perfect for picnics or a paddle during the warmer months.
5. Port Kembla Beach and Pool – While not strictly in Warrawong, Port Kembla beach and pool is a 5 minute drive away and is, in this writers humble opinion, the best ocean side pool in the Illawarra. The pool complex features three pools, including two shaded toddler pools, a café, fully equipped change rooms and direct access to Port Kembla beach. And it’s free (yep, really!)
The pros of Warrawong
A long established community, Warrawong is a multicultural and family friendly part of the Illawarra. Close to plenty of amenities and great primary and high schools, it has plenty of offer families of all sizes and ages. A hop, skip and a jump from Wollongong and Shellharbour, it’s got great transport links and employment opportunities as well.
The cons of Warrawong
Some areas of Warrawong are still quite industrial, owing to its steel industry heritage. While plenty has been completely gentrified, there are a few pockets that aren’t as appealing.
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