Nowra, New South Wales

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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
Population35,795 (2016 census) [1]
 • Density176.85/km2 (458.05/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 the 2016 census, Nowra had an estimated population of 35,795. [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]

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 Tasman Sea 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 September 2018, 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.

<i>As the crow flies</i> idiom

As the crow flies, similar to in a beeline, is an idiom for the most direct path between two points. This meaning is attested from the early 19th century, and appeared in Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist:

We cut over the fields at the back with him between us – straight as the crow flies – through hedge and ditch.

A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Taiwan and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and historically in Jamaica.


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]

Canberra capital city of Australia

Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of 410,301, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney, and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne. A resident of Canberra is known as a Canberran. Although Canberra is the capital and seat of government, many federal government ministries have secondary seats in state capital cities, as do the Governor-General and the Prime Minister.

HMAS <i>Albatross</i> (air station) naval air station in Australia

HMAS Albatross is the main naval air station for the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm. The base, located near Nowra, New South Wales, was formally established in May 1942 as Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base RAAF Nowra, then was transferred to the Royal Navy as HMS Nabbington in 1944, and operated as a naval air station until it was decommissioned in late 1945. In 1948, the airfield was commissioned into the RAN as HMAS Albatross, as the primary shore base for the Fleet Air Arm. Since 2011, four squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm operate from Albatross. The current commander of the base is Captain Fiona Sneath, RAN.


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]


The ethnonym Yuin refers to a group of Australian Aboriginal people from the South Coast of New South Wales. All Yuin people share ancestors who spoke, as their first language, one or more of the Yuin language dialects, including Djiringanj, Thaua, Walbanga, Wandandian and Dhurga language

Mary Reibey Australian businesswoman

Mary Reibey née Haydock was an Australian merchant, shipowner and trader. Originally a convict deported to Australia, she was viewed by her contemporaries as a role model of success and became legendary as a successful businesswoman in the colony.

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.

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]

Bundanon is a large home near Nowra, City of Shoalhaven, New South Wales, Australia. It was the home of the painter Arthur Boyd.

The Register of the National Estate was a heritage register that listed natural and cultural heritage places in Australia that was closed in 2007. It has been replaced by the Australian National Heritage List and the Commonwealth Heritage List and various state and territory heritage registers.

Heritage listings

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

Graham Lodge

Graham Lodge is a heritage-listed former homestead, function centre and leagues club at Pleasant Way, Nowra, City of Shoalhaven, New South Wales, Australia. It was built from 1860 to 1861 by stonemason Charles Moore and carpenter Willet Burry. It was also known as Greenhills and Warragee during its homestead era, as Prague Lodge while it was a function centre, and later as the now-defunct Nowra Bomaderry Leagues Club. The property is owned by Shoalhaven City Council. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 4 June 2004.


Meroogal is a heritage-listed former residence and now house museum at 35 West Street, Nowra, City of Shoalhaven, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed by Kenneth Mackenzie and built in 1886 by Kenneth Mackenzie. The property is owned by the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.


Nowra is on the Shoalhaven River, which formerly hosted the Australian National wakeboarding championships, it is also 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.

North Nowra Suburb of City of Shoalhaven, New South Wales, Australia

North Nowra is a suburb of Nowra in the City of Shoalhaven in New South Wales, Australia. It lies northwest of Nowra. At the 2016 census, it had a population of 5,794.

Nowra Bridge

The Nowra Bridge joins the main area of Nowra to North Nowra and Bomaderry. It carries the Princes Highway over the Shoalhaven River and was originally intended to carry a double railway track, as part of the proposed extension of the South Coast line to Jervis Bay and possibly Eden. However, the railway was never extended past Bomaderry station where trains still terminate today, so the bridge was converted for road traffic, as the residents of Nowra wanted a road bridge that connected Bomaderry to Nowra. The bridge was designed by American engineer C Shaler Smith and is considered to be of historical significance. It is shadowed by a newer, concrete bridge built to support increased traffic flows in the area.

Alexander Berry Australian politician

Alexander Berry was a Scottish-born surgeon, merchant and explorer who in 1822 was given a land grant of 10,000 acres (40 km2) and 100 convicts to establish the first European settlement on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia.

It is also 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 doesn't 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 35,795 as at the 2016 census; [1] having grown consistently since 2005 when the estimated 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]


The town has a modern primary school, a town hall (built in 1948), a large retirement village and a tourist industry. Especially in the summer months, when visitors (mostly from Sydney and Canberra) flock to the beaches, to enjoy swimming, surfing, fishing and relaxing in the restaurants and cafés plus hunting for treasures in the shops and boutiques.

There are two vineyards producing award-winning wines,[ citation needed ] one with cellar-door sales. [15]


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. [16] 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. [17] Shoal Bus operates services from Gerringong to Ulladulla. [18]

Although Nowra has no direct rail connection, the Illawarra railway line terminates at Bomaderry with NSW TrainLink operating services to Kiama and Sydney. [19]

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

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 (51 miles) south of central Sydney. Wollongong had an estimated urban population of 299,203 at June 2017, 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.

Milton, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Milton is a town in the South Coast region of New South Wales, Australia, within the City of Shoalhaven. It was founded in 1860, named after the property of post master George Knight and became an important regional centre during the 19th Century. Today, Milton remains one of the two main commercial centres of the Milton-Ulladulla district, with a population at the 2016 census of 1,663. It is a popular stopping place for travellers on the Princes Highway which runs through the centre of town. In recent years, Milton has undergone a resurgence largely influenced by the local tourism industry and an influx of residents to the district seeking a seachange. Several new housing estates are being developed on the fringes of the village and new boutique stores, cafes and bed and breakfast type businesses have located in the town.

Ulladulla, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Ulladulla is a coastal town in New South Wales, Australia in the City of Shoalhaven local government area. It is on the Princes Highway about 230 kilometres (140 mi) south of Sydney, half way between Batemans Bay to the south and Nowra to the north. Ulladulla has close links with the nearby historic settlement of Milton and many services are shared between these towns.

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.

Jervis Bay bay in New South Wales, Australia

Jervis Bay is a 102-square-kilometre (39 sq mi) oceanic bay and village on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia, said to possess the whitest sand in the world.. It is surrounded by Jervis Bay and Wreck Bay.

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 Nowra, 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 Shoalhaven, of which Bomaderry is locally regarded as being a suburb.

Nerriga, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Nerriga is a small village in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia in Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council. It is situated at the edge of Morton National Park, on the Braidwood - Nowra road. The population of Nerriga and the surrounding localities at the 2016 census was 72.

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.

Electoral district of Kiama state electoral district of New South Wales, Australia

Kiama is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of New South Wales. It is represented by Gareth Ward of the Liberal Party.

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

The South Coast refers to the narrow coastal belt from Sydney 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.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wollongong is a suffragan Latin Rite diocese of the Archdiocese of Sydney, established in 1951, covering the Illawarra and Southern Highlands regions of New South Wales, Australia.

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.

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.

St Michael's, Nowra, is a parish of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wollongong in Australia. The parish takes in the northern Shoalhaven City region. It incorporates the Church Communities of St Michael, Nowra; St Patrick, Berry, Sacred Heart, Bomaderry; Mary, Help of Christians, Culburra; St Joseph, Kangaroo Valley; and Holy Spirit, Vincentia.

Tomerong Town in New South Wales, Australia

Tomerong is a village in the South Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. It is located approximately 180 kilometres by road south from the state capital Sydney and 20 kilometres south of the commercial centre of the City of Shoalhaven, Nowra in the County of St Vincent. The village is eight kilometres inland of the western shores of Jervis Bay. Its population at the 2016 census was 1,065.

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 Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "1024 (SUA)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 1 April 2018. Blue pencil.svg
  2. GIF map.
  3. 1 2 "Nowra Police Station Archived 6 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine ". NSW Police Regions and History. Retrieved on 29 April 2008
  4. "Travel: Nowra", Sydney Morning Herald , 8 February 2004. Retrieved on 26 April 2007.
  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.
  10. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2014-15: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2005 to 2015". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2015.
  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.
  13. "Nowra". OpenStreetMap. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  14. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Nowra". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 August 2017. Blue pencil.svg
  15. "Nowra Hill Vineyard". Halliday. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  16. Mariners start pre-season training. South Coast Register (2010-03-11). Retrieved on 2016-01-02.
  17. Home Nowra Coaches
  18. Timetables Shoal Bus
  19. "South Coast line timetable". Transport for NSW.