Wongawilli Colonial
Dance Club Inc.

PO Box 17,
Albion Park,
NSW, 2527
 

email

Secretary
David De Santi
0409 57 1788

 WHERE IS WONGAWILLI?

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Looking west towards the Illawarra escarpment with the Eleoura Colliery in the middle and the Hall at the bottom right hand side. Photograph from the Illawarra Coal website.

Wongawilli is situated at the foot of the Illawarra escarpment and 10km south-west of 
Wollongong and 2 km west of Dapto and Kembla Grange. Wollongong is situated approx. 90km from the centre of Sydney.

The village has only one street, West Dapto Road and has an access to the Eleoura BHP Coal Mine, formerly the Wongawilli Colliery established in 1915.

 

There is a private BHP rail line to the mine and early in the century had a Coke Ovens battery.

The surrounding district is prime dairy cattle and farming country.

Picture right: A worker on a Electric Wire Trolley Loco at the entry to the Wongawilli mine, from Illawarra Coal website.

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WONGAWILLI COMMUNITY HALL

The Community Hall was built in the 1950s on BHP Land and since 1990 has been the home base of Wongawilli Colonial Dance Club Inc, which holds weekly bushdances on Wednesdays from 8pm.

The Hall is also the venue for some Illawarra Folk Club events and is also available for hire.

The hall is managed by Wongawilli Colonial Dance Club Inc. forWollongong City Council.

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View of the Hall at the base of the Illawarra Escarpment, Elouera Colliery behind. Sketch by Kathy Orton

WONGAWILLI - THE NAME

There is a local beleif that the name Wongawilli is Aboriginal and means 'windy gully'. The term Wonga is used as a description for a large Australian pidgeon and 'willi willi' is a small cyclone or wind gust, so there is some connection to the local meaning.

Picture: Miners travelling on the transport car
up to the mine on the escarpment

wong_map.gif (11490 bytes) MAPS

Directions:

From Sydney - travel past Wollongong on the Southern  Freeway (F6) and turn off after passing the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple at Berkeley onto Northcliffe Drive. Turn right towards escarpment and travel to Princes Highway. Turn left ontop Princes Highway and turn right onto West Dapto Road about 500m down the road. Entry to Kembla Grange Racecourse is on left. Travel to end of road (heading for Colliery on the escarpment).

From the South - travel along Princes Highway passing Albion Park Airport. Turn off to Dapto after Yallah. Travel into Dapto, passing Showground and turn left onto Bong Bong Rd (Dapto Pub on corner). Travel along Bong Bong Rd to Shone Ave and turn right. Travel to West Dapto Rd and turn left into Wongawilli. Travel to end of road (heading for Colliery on the escarpment).

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Some historical facts about Wongawilli

The Primary School, now a residence, operated between June 1927 to December 1976 (1).

The first coal washery was established at Wongawilli in 1920 by BHP. (2).

References:
1. Talking History, Memories from Dapto, Wollongong College of Technical and Further Education, 1990
2. Illawarra Coal website www.illawarracoal.com

 

 
Copyright © 2002 - 2009 Wongawilli Colonial Dance Club Inc. All Rights Reserved