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Wollongong harbour is situated on the south coast of NSW and is an iconic feature of the Wollongong City foreshore and has significant heritage value.

Construction of the harbour began in 1837 and involved 300 convicts who were directed to dig a protective basin from the foreshore and to construct a pier on the northern side of the basin. In 1856 a second pier was built and in 1861 workers deepened the old basin and formed a breakwater for protection of the outer harbour.

Since its construction in the 19th century, the harbour and surrounding area has been progressively developed up until recent times with activities such as the breakwater lighthouse refurbishments in 1999 and the Brighton Lawn upgrades in 2008.

Historically, the Harbour is recognised as essential to the development of Wollongong and was the focus of Wollongong's commercial, administrative, judicial and social activities from the early 19th century until well into the 20th century.

Heritage Conservation Management and limited development

The Department in conjunction with Wollongong City Council has been considering limited development within Wollongong Harbour to increase tourism and recreational potential and provide historical interpretation of the area.  To better understand the position of the local community the Minister for Lands established the Wollongong Harbour Consultative Committee in 2008 to look at the potential for limited development.

In early 2010, the department exhibited a draft “Guidelines for Limited Development of Wollongong Harbour”.  The document was prepared by Mr Chris Johnson who previously held the position of NSW Government Architect and was aided by the considerations of the Harbour Consultative Committee.

At the same time, the Heritage Council of NSW put on public exhibition a proposal to list Wollongong Harbour on the State Heritage Register.  The listing was supported and the Wollongong Harbour Precinct was registered as a place of State Significance.

The listing gives a special status to the harbour and makes the Heritage Council a joint approval body for any new works within the precinct.  The Heritage Council in determining the state listing also acknowledged that limited sympathetic development could occur within the precinct.

Following the inclusion on the NSW Heritage Register in May 2010, the department commissioned the preparation of a Conservation Management Strategy (PDF, 8669.96 KB) to guide the future conservation and ongoing use of the Wollongong Harbour Foreshore Area (WHFA) which is part of the larger Wollongong Harbour Precinct.

With completion of the CMS, the department has also finalised the “Guidelines for Limited Development of Wollongong Harbour” (PDF, 276.74 KB).  The CMS and the guidelines define where development can take place to revitalise the harbour in a way that is sympathetic to the heritage values without threatening the feel of the place.

Harbour Features

The harbour has retained most of its original features and is maintained as a reminder of our maritime heritage.  Historic features within the harbour include the breakwater lighthouse (c1871), Belmore basin (block walled harbour, curved basin and Central Pier, bollards and mooring rings), Pilots slipway, T Jetty Crane Pedestal (c1880) and Outer Harbour (rubble mound breakwaters).

Other features include restaurant/café, visitor berths, slipway and boat maintenance area, boat ramp and parking.

Fresh local seafood is also available from the fishermen’s cooperative.

The harbour has linkages to Flagstaff Hill, Belmore Beach and Wollongong CBD.


For berths, tenures and development opportunities please contact us.

Casual berths

Wollongong Fishermans Cooperative - M: 0431 174 777

Roads and Maritime (Port Kembla) - T: 02 4274 7914

Wollongong Slipway Services - T: 02 4229 1545

Marine Rescue NSW (Wollongong) - T: 02 4229 3434



Commercial fishing - unloading & berthingYes
Charter vesselsYes
Recreational & visitors berthingYes
Slipway & boat maintenanceYes
Car parkYes
Vessel sewage pumpoutNo
Fuel - dieselNo
Waste oil collection & storageNo
Water & electricityYes
Boat launching ramp & car parkYes
Public toiletsNearby
Fresh fish outletYes
Retail food & beverageYes
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