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”.

Flickr: steven-young / Creative Commons

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

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

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

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

7. And the science centre was also fun.

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

Flickr: 28853622@N02 / Creative Commons

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

Prime Network

10. Your childhood ended the moment Sizzler shut down.

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

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

13. You support the Dragons, but you still secretly miss the Steelers.

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


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

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

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

18. You don’t go to Dapto.

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

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

23. Kiama is great for the ice cream.

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

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

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

Flickr: proimos / Creative Commons

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

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

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

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

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

Flickr: lilcrabbygal / Creative Commons

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

33. And there’s no place like home.

Flickr: steven-young / Creative Commons

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Jenna Guillaume is Editor-at-Large for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney.
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