Nowra, New South Wales

Last updated

New South Wales
Cambewarra lookout.jpg
Nowra area from Cambewarra Lookout
Australia New South Wales location map blank.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 34°53′S150°36′E / 34.883°S 150.600°E / -34.883; 150.600 Coordinates: 34°53′S150°36′E / 34.883°S 150.600°E / -34.883; 150.600
Population37,420 (2018) [1]
 • Density184.88/km2 (478.84/sq mi)
Area202.4 km2 (78.1 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11)
Location160 km (99 mi) from Sydney
LGA(s) City of Shoalhaven
State electorate(s) South Coast
Federal Division(s) Gilmore
Localities around Nowra:
North Nowra Bomaderry Bolong
West Nowra Nowra Terara
Mundamia South Nowra Worrigee

Nowra /ˈnaʊərə/ is a town in the South Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 160 kilometres (99 mi) south-southwest of the state capital of Sydney (about 120 kilometres (75 mi) as the crow flies.) With its twin-town of Bomaderry, as at June 2018, Nowra had an estimated population of 37,420. [1] It is also the seat and commercial centre of the City of Shoalhaven. Geologically, the city is situated in the southern reaches of the Sydney basin. [2]


The region around Nowra is a farming community, sustaining a thriving dairy industry [3] and a number of State forests, but is also increasingly a retirement and leisure area for Canberra and Sydney. The naval air station HMAS Albatross is located about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south-west of Nowra. The name Nowra, originally written by Europeans as 'nou-woo-ro' (pronounced Nowa Nowa by the Indigenous Australians of the area), is an Aboriginal word for black cockatoo. [4]


The Nowra region, south of Bomaderry Creek was inhabited by the Wodi-Wodi tribe of the Yuin nation while north of Bomaderry Creek was inhabited by the Dharawal Aboriginal people prior to European arrival. Around 1824, ex-convict Mary Reibey applied for a land grant in the Burrier area, on the southern side of the Shoalhaven River. The Nowra township was officially recognised in 1852. Less than ten years later, in 1861, a postal service was established. Also in that year, the racehorse 'Archer', trained in Nowra by Etienne de Mestre, won the first Melbourne Cup. By 1885, Nowra was declared a town. [3]

A major landmark in the area is the house Bundanon, which began as a single-storey weatherboard structure built about 1840. In 1866, a two-storey sandstone house, made of locally quarried stone, was built immediately in front of the weatherboard house. The sandstone house features timber verandahs and is now listed on the Register of the National Estate. [5]

Heritage listings

Nowra has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


Nowra is on the Shoalhaven River, which formerly hosted the Australian National wakeboarding championships and is a popular fishing location. The river divides Nowra from Bomaderry and North Nowra, and is bridged by the historic Nowra Bridge. The Shoalhaven River is a salt water river, although the river itself does not flow into the sea. The Shoalhaven River meets the sea through the canal that joins the Shoalhaven and Crookhaven Rivers, which was dug by convicts under direction of local entrepreneur and pioneer Alexander Berry.

It is located near Berry, Jervis Bay, Kangaroo Valley, Culburra Beach, Greenwell Point, Huskisson, Shoalhaven Heads and Cambewarra.


With the warmest month's mean being just 22 °C (71.6 °F), Nowra has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) under the Köppen climate classification, making it the southernmost city on the coastal strip to be within this climate zone, albeit an isolated one — nearby coastal cities to the north, such as Wollongong and Kiama, have an oceanic climate (Cfb) as their warmest month's mean does not reach the 22 °C threshold. [8]

Climate data for Nowra (HMAS Albatross), elevation: 109 m, averages 2000-2019
Record high °C (°F)45.1
Average high °C (°F)27.6
Average low °C (°F)16.5
Record low °C (°F)8.6
Average rainfall mm (inches)65.8
Average rainy days10.811.812.412.19.211.910.
Average afternoon relative humidity (%)57635957555653464752565555
Source: BOM [9]
Marriott Park Nowra park.jpg
Marriott Park
Nowra Bridge Nowra Bridge.jpg
Nowra Bridge
Shoalhaven River at sunset ARiver.JPG
Shoalhaven River at sunset
Nowra Creek AMudgeeShot0010.jpg
Nowra Creek
Nowra area from Cambewarra Lookout AMudgeeShot0013.jpg
Nowra area from Cambewarra Lookout
Nowra shops (Junction Street) Nowra shops.jpg
Nowra shops (Junction Street)


The population of Nowra - Bomaderry was 37,420 at June 2018; [1] having grown gradually since 2005 when the population was 31,716. [10]

According to the 2006 census, 87.9% of the population of Nowra was born in Australia, with North-West Europe being the most common birthplace of immigrants at 7.5% of the population. 6.1% of the total population are Indigenous Australians. There are 11,386 households in Nowra. There are a total of 8,248 families, with 2,838 containing two Adults with children under 15 and/or dependent students, and 1,163 being one parent families with children under 15 and/or dependent students. [11]

The suburb of Nowra [12] [13] had a population of 9,193 at the 2016 census. [14]


In the Nowra-Bomaderry area there are several schools. Nowra Town Hall (built in 1948) is in the CBD which provides many services including banks, health services and library. There is a large retirement population with several village options in the area. Nowra has a growing tourist industry, especially in the summer months, when visitors (mostly from Sydney and Canberra) flock to the beaches, to enjoy swimming, surfing, fishing, relaxing in the restaurants and cafés and hunting for treasures in the shops and boutiques.

Nowra sits in the Shoalhaven region where there are several vineyards producing award-winning wines.


Nowra has three public high schools, Nowra High School, Shoalhaven High School and Bomaderry High School. There are also several non-government schools, which are all denominational; a K-12 Christian-based school located in South Nowra, Nowra Christian School; a K-12 Anglican college in Bomaderry, Nowra Anglican College; and a Catholic systemic high school, St John the Evangelist Catholic High School on the outskirts of Nowra.

The Catholic high school is linked to St Michael's Catholic Primary School located in Nowra. There are seven public primary schools in the Nowra area as well: East Nowra Public School, Nowra Public School, Bomaderry Public School, Illaroo Road Public School, North Nowra Public School, Nowra Hill Public School and Terara Public School.

The University of Wollongong also has a campus in Nowra, and there is a campus of TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute located in Bomaderry.


There are two hospitals in Nowra, the Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital, a hub for oncology services, and Nowra Private Hospital.


The four major codes of football in Australia are all popular in the Nowra area. Rugby union is represented by the Shoalhaven Rugby Club, the team plays out of Rugby Park in South Nowra. The club won the 2008 premiership in the Illawarra district competition, and has produced international and provincial players such as Andrew Walker and Alex Kanaar. Australian rules football is played by three clubs from the Shoalhaven area, with the Nowra Albatross Vikings playing at West Street Oval, and the Bomaderry Tigers at Artie Smith Oval. Further south, the Bay and Basin Bombers play at the Leisure Centre at Vincentia. These four clubs are all members of the South Coast AFL, fielding junior and senior teams. Rugby league has traditionally been represented by the Nowra Warriors and Bomaderry Swamprats. However, at the end of 2007 these teams merged to form the Shoalhaven Jets Rugby League Football Club. The Shoalhaven Mariners were established in 2006 and represent the area in the sport of baseball. The team plays home matches out of Fred Finch Park in Berkeley, Wollongong. Baseball has a new venue at the South Nowra Soccer Complex. [15] The Shoalhaven Tigers represent the area in the New South Wales State Basketball League and have won several championships from 1988 until 2007.[ citation needed ]

Archer was an Australian thoroughbred racehorse who won the first and the second Melbourne Cups in 1861 and 1862. He won both Cups easily, and is one of only five horses to have won the Melbourne Cup on two or more occasions, and one of only four horses to have won two successive Cups. Archer was trained in the Nowra area.

Public transport

Nowra Coaches operate services from Nowra to Bomaderry, Huskisson, Vincentia and Jervis Bay. [16] Shoal Bus operates services from Gerringong to Ulladulla. [17]

Although Nowra has no direct rail connection, the Illawarra railway line terminates at Bomaderry with NSW TrainLink operating services to Kiama and Sydney. [18]

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Coral and Tasman Seas to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2019, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

City of Shoalhaven Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

The City of Shoalhaven is a local government area in the south-eastern coastal region of New South Wales, Australia. The area is approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) south of Sydney. The area is located adjacent to the Tasman Sea. The Princes Highway passes through the area and the South Coast railway line traverses the northern section of the area and terminates at Bomaderry. At the 2016 census, the population of the City of Shoalhaven was 99,650.

Wollongong City in New South Wales, Australia

Wollongong, informally referred to as "The Gong", is a seaside city located in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia. Wollongong lies on the narrow coastal strip between the Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean, 68 kilometres south of central Sydney. Wollongong had an estimated urban population of 302,739 at June 2018, making it the third-largest city in New South Wales after Sydney and Newcastle, and the tenth-largest city in Australia. The city's current Lord Mayor is Gordon Bradbery AM who was elected in 2018.

Berry, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Berry is a small Australian village in the Shoalhaven region of the New South Wales South Coast, located 145 km (90 mi) south of the state capital, Sydney. It has many historical buildings which are listed on the New South Wales Heritage Register. Berry attracts many tourists who come to enjoy the diversity of landscapes, including coastal beaches, rich dairy farming, and forested mountains. The village hosts a local Produce Market which is held twice each month on the second Saturday and fourth Sunday. Together with Kiama 25 km (16 mi) to the north, Berry acts as a gateway through to other towns and villages along the South Coast of NSW via the Princes Highway and the South Coast railway line. Major highway building projects in and around Berry have now bypassed the village, creating uninterrupted motorway conditions for coastal travel south to Nowra and the South Coast and north to Wollongong and Sydney. This has resulted in the removal of all but local and visitor traffic within the village. Planning is underway to create a pedestrian-friendly precinct in and around Queens Street.

Kiama, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Kiama is a coastal town 120 kilometres south of Sydney in the Illawarra. One of the main tourist attractions is the Kiama Blowhole. Kiama features several popular surfing beaches and caravan parks, and numerous alfresco cafes and restaurants. Its proximity to the south of Sydney makes it an attractive destination for many day-trippers and people wanting to stay numerous nights.

Illawarra Region in New South Wales, Australia

Illawarra is a region in the Australian state of New South Wales. It is a coastal region situated immediately south of Sydney and north of the Shoalhaven or South Coast region. It encompasses the cities of Wollongong, Shellharbour and the town of Kiama.

Cooma Town in New South Wales, Australia

Cooma is a town in the south of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 114 kilometres (71 mi) south of the national capital, Canberra, via the Monaro Highway. It is also on the Snowy Mountains Highway, connecting Bega with the Riverina.

Bomaderry, New South Wales Suburb of Shoalhaven, New South Wales, Australia

Bomaderry is a town in the Shoalhaven council district area of New South Wales, Australia. At the 2016 census, it had a population of 6,661 people. It is on the north shore of the Shoalhaven River, across the river from Nowra, the major town of the City of Shoalhaven, of which Bomaderry is locally regarded as being a suburb of the city.

Shoalhaven River River in Australia

The Shoalhaven River is a perennial river that rises from the Southern Tablelands and flows into an open mature wave dominated barrier estuary near Nowra on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia.

Gerringong, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Gerringong is a town located about ten minutes drive south of Kiama in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia in the Municipality of Kiama. At the 2016 census, Gerringong had a population of 3,966. One theory says that the name derives from an Aboriginal word meaning "fearful place".

Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Suburb of City of Shoalhaven, New South Wales, Australia

Kangaroo Valley is a river valley along the Kangaroo River in the Shoalhaven region of New South Wales, Australia, located west of the seaside in the City of Shoalhaven. It is also the name of the small suburb within it, formerly known as Osborne, with a population of 879 in the 2016 census. The township is accessed by the Moss Vale Road, which links Moss Vale to the Princes Highway at Bomaderry a little north of Nowra via the B73 route.

Gerringong railway station

Gerringong is a single-platform intercity train station located in Gerringong, New South Wales, Australia, on the South Coast railway line. The station serves NSW TrainLink diesel multiple unit trains travelling south to Bomaderry and north to Kiama. Early morning and late night services to the station are provided by train replacement bus services. In the past, the station precinct also catered to freight trains carrying dairy products.

Bomaderry railway station

Bomaderry railway station is a heritage-listed single-platform intercity train station located in Bomaderry, New South Wales, Australia, on the South Coast railway line. The station serves NSW TrainLink diesel multiple unit trains to Kiama. Early morning and late night services to the station are provided by train replacement bus services. A siding near the station is used by freight trains operated by the Manildra Group.

Vincentia, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Vincentia is a town in New South Wales, Australia in the City of Shoalhaven, on the shores of Jervis Bay. It is roughly 25 kilometres (16 mi) southeast of Nowra, and approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) south of Sydney. At the 2016 census, the population of Vincentia was 3,290. It is also a tourist spot with a beach area featuring white sand and a number of motels.

South Coast (New South Wales) Region in New South Wales, Australia

The South Coast refers to the narrow coastal belt from Shoalhaven district in the north to the border with Victoria in the south in the south-eastern part of the State of New South Wales, Australia. It is bordered to the west by the coastal escarpment of the Southern Tablelands, and is largely covered by a series of national parks, namely Jervis Bay National Park, Eurobodalla National Park, and Ben Boyd National Park. To the east is the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, which is characterised by rolling farmlands, small towns and villages along a rocky coastline, interspersed by numerous beaches and lakes.

Group 7 Rugby League

South Coast Group 7 Rugby League is the divisional boundary drawn from the Southern Illawarra and South Coast regions of New South Wales, Australia and is governed by the NSWCRL. The main competition,, comprises ten (10) teams from across the region. Group 7 Rugby League also administers Reserve Grade, Third Grade and Under-18's competitions, Ladies League Tag, as well as looking over many junior competitions.

South Coast Australian Football League

The South Coast Australian Football League (SCAFL) is an Australian rules football competition in the Shoalhaven and Illawarra regions of New South Wales.

In the state of New South Wales, Australia, there are many areas which are commonly known by regional names. Regions are areas that share similar characteristics. These characteristics may be natural such as the Murray River, the coastline, or the Snowy Mountains. Alternatively, the characteristics may be cultural, such as a viticulture land use. New South Wales is divided by numerous regional boundaries, based on different characteristics. In many cases boundaries defined by different agencies are coterminous.

Nowra Warriors

The Nowra Warriors are an Australian rugby league football team based in Nowra, a coastal town of the South Coast region. The club is a part of Country Rugby League and previously competed in the South Coast first grade competition since its inception in 1914 until they merged with Bomaderry in 2008 to form the Shoalhaven Jets. The Nowra Warriors still field teams in junior rugby league competitions.

Premier Transport Group Australian commercial intercity bus company

Premier Transport Group is an Australian operator of bus and coach services in New South Wales and Queensland. Its origins can be traced back to December 1987 when John King purchased Nowra Coaches. It has since expanded through a number of acquisitions.


  1. 1 2 3 "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2008 to 2018". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2018.
  2. GIF map.
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  5. The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p.2/162
  6. "Graham Lodge". New South Wales State Heritage Register . Office of Environment and Heritage. H01699. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  7. "Meroogal". New South Wales State Heritage Register . Office of Environment and Heritage. H00953. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  8. Stern, H., de Hoedt, G. and Ernst, J. 2000. Objective Classification of Australian Climates. Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne.
  9. "NOWRA RAN AIR STATION AWS". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. August 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
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  11. National Regional Profile : Nowra-Bomaderry (Statistical Subdivision). Retrieved on 2016-01-02.
  12. "Nowra". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales . Retrieved 15 August 2017. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  13. "Nowra". OpenStreetMap. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  14. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Nowra". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 August 2017. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  15. Mariners start pre-season training. South Coast Register (2010-03-11). Retrieved on 2016-01-02.
  16. Home Nowra Coaches
  17. Timetables Shoal Bus
  18. "South Coast line timetable". Transport for NSW.