Affectionately referred to as ‘The Gong’ among locals, the Wollongong City area covers townships from Helensburgh in the north to Shell Cove in the South. It is the third largest city in New South Wales, after Sydney and Newcastle. It is a fascinating contrast of heavy industry and breathtaking natural beauty. The local steel industry began in 1927 and was the main catalyst for the city’s growth for many decades and laid the foundations for its economy, lifestyle and culture. While still proud of its industrial roots, Wollongong is actively supporting a burgeoning arts and youth culture, along with government investment in the modernistic University of Wollongong and Science Centre. The retail hub of Wollongong has reflected this changing demographic with new boutiques, cafes and restaurants popping up alongside larger and more established counterparts.