New South Wales
|Population||6,383 (2016 census)|
|Elevation||200 m (656 ft)|
|Location||45 km (28 mi) south of Sydney|
|LGA(s)||City of Wollongong|
Helensburgh is a small town in New South Wales, Australia. Helensburgh is located 45 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district and 34 kilometres (21 mi) north of Wollongong. Helensburgh is in the local government area of Wollongong City Council and marks the northern end of the Illawarra region. It is approximately halfway between Sydney and Wollongong, at the southern end of the Royal National Park.
The town is on the Woronora Plateau. It is separated from Otford to the south by a high hill and Otford Road. It is separated from Waterfall by tight twists of railway descending from the South Coast Line's highest point at Waterfall to Helensburgh Station. To the south of the line are the two segments of the Garrawarra State Conservation Area, managed by the Office of Environment and Heritage, Parks and Wildlife Group, and to the north the Royal National Park. Waterfall is considered Sydney's most southern suburb and the city train service stops here.
Correspondingly, Helensburgh is the northernmost suburb of the Wollongong Local Government Area and is considered the northernmost point, politically, of the Illawarra region, though geographically this is generally considered to be Bald Hill. Helensburgh has an uncrowded, friendly, carefree, and close-knit community with proximity to the beach and overall quiet, unpolluted bush surroundings.
Originally called Camp Creek, it was established as a workers' camp in the 1880s to accommodate coal miners, who worked in the coal mine in the area. Helensburgh Post Office opened on 1 December 1886.
Although it is not confirmed, the naming of Helensburgh is likely related to emigration from Scotland to Australia; as there is a Scottish town located by the Clyde river which is also named Helensburgh.
The duplicated curved platform is a rare remainder of early railways. The old Helensburgh railway station was covered in earth until recent years but has been partially uncovered for historical purposes. The old railway line was serviced by steam trains.
East of Helensburgh is the locality of Lilyvale a one-time mining community, now mostly part of the Royal National Park. Lilyvale once had a railway station but this was closed after mining ceased in the area. A mural depicting miners is at the starting point of the old line.
Helensburgh has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 6,383 people in Helensburgh.
Helensburgh Public School opened in 1887 and currently has a student population of 460.The Holy Cross Catholic Parish Primary School was founded in 1900. There is no high school in Helensburgh, and the closest are in Bulli and Heathcote.
Helensburgh railway station is on the South Coast railway line, linking Sydney to Wollongong. Owing to the steep drop from Waterfall to Helensburgh, a series of almost hairpin turns are created along the railway line.
Helensburgh is surrounded by the bushland of the Royal National Park, the Garawarra State Conservation Area and the water catchment of the Woronora Dam and adjacent Heathcote National Park, so is environmentally sensitive, though picturesque and naturally bound. This bushland location also makes Helensburgh susceptible to damage from frequent summer bushfires. The dry sclerophyll bush is home to several walking tracks and lyrebirds are not uncommon nearby. The Helensburgh Skate Park opened in July 2007.
One of the most popular local events is the annual Helensburgh Lions Club Fair which is held in the month of October and is attended by the majority of the locals every year. Other local events include the Holy Cross and Helensburgh Primary School Fetes are well supported by the community. The Sri Venkateswara Hindu temple holds festivals and special days.
Helensburgh is traditionally a Labor-voting area, as from the late 1950s a large amount of public housing and large unit blocks were erected. Many of these have been removed or purchased privately. The town is now part of the federal electorate of Cunningham, held by Labor's Sharon Bird, and the state electorate of Heathcote, held by Liberal MP Lee Evans.
Weather conditions in Helensburgh are generally fairly mild throughout the year, much like the majority of the New South Wales coast. Day temperatures average between 24 °C and 29 °C in the summer months, and rarely go above 33 °C. Average day temperatures during winter months are between 6 °C and 12 °C, and rarely dip below 2 °C. Night temperatures tend to be much cooler, dropping off anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees after the sun goes down.
Helensburgh often seems like it has its very own climate compared to neighbouring locations, with visitors to the area often commenting that Helensburgh seems to be a couple of degrees colder than Sydney or Wollongong on the same day (especially in winter). Helensburgh also has a higher rainfall than its neighbours, although locals would claim that the difference between Helensburgh's rainfall rate and Sydney's or Wollongong's rainfall rates seems greater than what official sources would indicate it to be. Commuters can often be heard to complain about seeing clear blue skies in every other suburb on a rainy day in Helensburgh.
The reason for this microcosm of climate lies in Helensburgh's altitude. Although it doesn't appear to be particularly mountainous, Helensburgh is surrounded by coastal suburbs located virtually at sea level, while Helensburgh itself, due to an odd quirk of geography, is not. So while you would expect Helensburgh's weather to be more similar to Sydney's or Wollongong's, given their relative closeness to the north and the south, the fact that Helensburgh is around 250 metres higher above sea level than either of them does have a noticeable effect on its climate and weather patterns.
On the flip side, extreme weather conditions affecting Sydney or Wollongong generally aren't felt in Helensburgh. In recent years, several famously severe hailstorms and/or windstorms in both Sydney and Wollongong all left Helensburgh virtually untouched.
For the most part, Helensburgh reflects Australia's reputation for mostly fine weather, with moderate average temperatures, and wetter summer months with comparatively dry winters.
Heathcote National Park is a protected national park that is located in the southern region of Sydney, New South Wales in eastern Australia, and is situated on Dharawal country. The 2,679-hectare (6,620-acre) national park is situated approximately 35 kilometres (22 mi) southwest of the Sydney central business district, west of the South Coast railway line, the Princes Highway and Motorway, and the suburbs of Heathcote and Waterfall.
Waterfall is a small suburb in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is 38 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district in the Sutherland Shire. It is the southernmost suburb of Sydney in the eastern corridor, bordering the Illawarra region.
The Sutherland Shire is a local government area in the southern region of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The Sutherland Shire is colloquially known as "The Shire" and it has been featured in several reality television series.
The South Coast railway line is a commuter and goods railway line in New South Wales, Australia. Beginning at the Illawarra Junction, the line primarily services the Illawarra and South Coast regions of New South Wales, and connects Sydney and Bomaderry through Wollongong and Kiama.
Loftus railway station is located on the Illawarra line, serving the Sydney suburb of Loftus. It is served by Sydney Trains T4 line services and limited NSW TrainLink South Coast line services.
Otford is a village in the Otford Valley just 60 km to the south of the Sydney metropolitan area and north of the Illawarra and Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia. Otford is within the local government area of Wollongong City Council.
Stanwell Park railway station is located on the South Coast railway line in New South Wales, Australia. It serves the seaside village of Stanwell Park opening on 23 December 1901, relocating to its current location on 10 October 1920.
The South Coast Line is an intercity rail service operated by NSW TrainLink that services the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia. The service runs from Central, and runs the entire length of the eponymous South Coast railway line to Bomaderry. The service also runs along the Eastern Suburbs railway line at peak hours and the Port Kembla railway line to Port Kembla. It is operated with NSW TrainLink H sets and Sydney Trains T sets, with Endeavour railcars operating the service on the non-electrified line between Kiama and Bomaderry.
Barden Ridge is a suburb in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Barden Ridge is located 29 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of the Sutherland Shire. Barden Ridge is colloquially known to locals as 'The Ridge'.
Loftus is a suburb, in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Loftus is 29 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Sutherland Shire.
The Hacking River is a watercourse that is located in the Southern Sydney region of New South Wales in Australia. For thousands of years traditional owners called the river Deeban, however the colonial invaders renamed the river after Henry Hacking, a British seaman who killed Pemulwuy and was a pilot at Port Jackson in colonial New South Wales.
Heathcote is a suburb, in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Heathcote is located 36 km south of the Sydney central business district in the Sutherland Shire. Heathcote is bordered by Engadine to the north and Waterfall to the south. It is bounded by The Royal National Park to the east, and Heathcote National Park to the west.
Helensburgh railway station is a heritage-listed railway station located on the South Coast railway line in New South Wales, Australia. It serves the town of Helensburgh. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.
The Woronora River is a perennial river of the Sydney Basin, located in the Sutherland Shire local government area of Greater Metropolitan Sydney, approximately 22 kilometres (14 mi) south of the Sydney central business district, in New South Wales, Australia.
Lilyvale railway station is a former railway station on the Illawarra railway line in New South Wales, Australia.
Stanwell Tops is an exurban locality between the cities of Sydney and Wollongong on the New South Wales, Australia coastline. It lies northwest of Stanwell Park and southwest of Otford.
Lilyvale is a locality most of whose area is within the Royal National Park, south of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Helensburgh railway station was within the southern populated part of the locality. A Lilyvale railway station was open from 1890 until 1983.
Lilyvale railway tunnels are heritage-listed railway tunnels on the Illawarra railway line at Lilyvale, City of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed and built by the then-New South Wales Government Railways. The property is owned by RailCorp, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.
The Stanwell Creek railway viaduct is a heritage-listed railway bridge on the Illawarra railway line at Stanwell Park, City of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed by the New South Wales Government Railways and built in 1920 by day labour. The property is owned by RailCorp, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.
The Helensburgh Glow Worm tunnel is a disused rail tunnel in Helensburgh, New South Wales that has become a popular tourist attraction due to its haunted history, and most notably, its glow worm population. It is owned by Crown Lands and managed by a community group Helensburgh Landcare who, in early 2019, restricted access to the tunnel for the conservation of the glow worm colony. As of 9 February 2020, the tunnel was closed for an indefinite period due to excessive flooding and to help the glow worm population recover.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Helensburgh, New South Wales .|