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Shellharbour City has a fantastic history and we want to share it with you!

The local Aboriginal people of Shellharbour the Wodi Wodi have been living in the area for at least 17000 years. They camped around areas with plentiful food sources like Bass Point, Minnamurra, Lake Illawarra and Macquarie Valley, and travelled up and down the escarpment seasonally.

In 1817 Governor Macquarie promised land grants in the Shellharbour disctrict. Two of the largest grants were the grant of Peterborough (Shellharbour) to D'Arcy Wentworth and Terry's Meadows (Albion Park) to Samuel Terry.

In 1843 Caroline Chisholm brought 23 families to settle at Shellharbour (Peterborough estate) on clearing leases. Captain Robert Towns (son in law of D'Arcy Wentworth) agreed for settlers to live on his land rent free for a period of six years, on the condition they clear the land of all trees and scrub.

Terry's Meadows estate operated as a horse and cattle breeding station.

The early European settlers turned mainly to dairying in the early years and goods were transported to and from the Sydney markets through shipping at the harbour.

Areas around Lake Illawarra became popular tourist spots in the early part of the 20th century with many people camping on the foreshore during the summer months. Growth of the lake towns increased at the end of WWII when many displaced European migrants came to the area to start a new life.

Today, Shellharbour City contains a number of urban townships/suburbs and rural localities. Urban townships/suburbs include Shellharbour Village, Barrack Heights, Flinders, Blackbutt, Shell Cove, Barrack Point, Warilla, Lake Illawarra, Mt Warrigal, Oak Flats, Albion Park Rail and Albion Park.

The newest urban suburb is Shellharbour City Centre located in the geographic heart of our urban area. Rural localities include Dunmore, Croom, Yellow Rock, Tullimbar, Calderwood, Tongarra and North Macquarie.


Boat store and jetty, Shellharbour Village c1900
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.

Albion Park Crossroads looking west c.1890
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.