33 Things You Only Know If You Grew Up In Wollongong

Gong pride.

1. If you live within 30 km of Wollongong, you’re “from Wollongong”.

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2. Otherwise known as “about an hour and a half south of Sydney”.

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3. Otherwise known as “the Gong”, but only when talking to people who don’t actually live there.

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4. This is how you say it.

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5. At least one member of your family worked at the Steelworks.

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6. The best birthday parties happened at the roller rink.

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7. And the science centre was also fun.

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8. But the greatest place of all was Jamberoo Recreation Park, where you control the action.

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9. You felt so badass staying up past the time Prime Possum told you to go to bed.

Prime Network
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10. Your childhood ended the moment Sizzler shut down.

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11. When you skipped class, you’d go to the beach.

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12. You were really excited when you got your licence, coz it meant you could go through the Macca’s drive-thru by yourself.

davidneubert.com / Via Flickr: neubie / Creative Commons
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13. You support the Dragons, but you still secretly miss the Steelers.

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14. You don’t understand why people fish in Lake Illawarra. Surely they don’t eat that stuff?

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15. Nobody you know is Buddhist, but everyone visits Nan Tien Temple anyway.

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16. Computer Town Australia is at Windang-Road-Ah-Windang.

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17. The demolishment of the Port Kembla Stack was the most exciting thing to happen in the last 10 years.

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18. You don’t go to Dapto.

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19. It’s for the dogs.

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21. But Oak Flats is OK coz it gave the world Brett and Shane Lee.

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22. And Mount Warrigal is cool because Natalie Bassingthwaite is from there.

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23. Kiama is great for the ice cream.

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24. And the blowhole, if for no other reason than it provides something for visitors to do. For all of five seconds.

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25. No matter how much Stockland tries to rebrand this place, it will still always be Shellharbour Square to you.

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26. There are two lighthouses in Wollongong and you’re not sure why, but you’re quite proud of that.

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27. For a big night out, you go into “town”.

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28. And for a REALLY big night out, you go into the city.

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29. There’s a good chance you’ve seen someone get glassed at the Glasshouse.

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30. Even though everyone makes fun of Wollongong, they stick around.

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31. And if you do leave, you’re always drawn back.

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32. Because you know that it’s not perfect, but it’s still pretty bloody great.

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33. And there’s no place like home.

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Jenna Guillaume is a senior editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney.
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