By John O'Reilly

Bound by the Illawarra Escarpment and the picturesque Austinmer beach, this is a hot spot for people seeking a relaxed yet connected lifestyle.
  • Population: 2708
  • Highlight: 39.2% of households are made up of couples with children
  • Housing: 75% of households own their home

Perfect for working couples who want their weekends to free of the hustle and bustle of the city with gorgeous beaches and a café lifestyle, but with convenient transport connections to both Wollongong and Sydney to continue their careers. Located just beside Thirroul, which offers everyday essentials, this is a suburb that also caters to families.

Brief history   

The original inhabitants of this land were local Dharawal communities of Aboriginal people. After settlement, the area was first named Sidmouth, and by the 1860s it was known as North Bulli. The name Austinmer was officially adopted in 1895. The town’s early industries were coal, salt, and blackberries before it became a tourism destination in the early 20th Century. Several historic buildings are still operating, including Austinmer Railway Station (1887), and the Austinmer Public School (1866). For a full history, see Wollongong City Council’s website.

Getting around

Perfect for commuters, Austinmer is accessible from both north and south. Memorial Drive is a short distance away and connects to Wollongong, while Bulli Pass puts you onto the M1 and Sydney-bound in no time.  The scenic Lawrence Hargrave Drive goes through the heart of Austinmer and North towards the Royal National Park. Sydney trains on the South Coast Line regularly stop at Austinmer Station, which is one stop away from Thirroul and its express services.

Austinmer beach at dawn.

Things to do

One of Wollongong’s most popular beaches is Austinmer Beach, an idyllic bay that sits between two low headlands and their extensive rock platforms. The southern end of the beach is home to one of the South Coast’s iconic ocean pools, which also has a pavilion and change rooms. Next to the beach are several options for food and drink, including local coffee shops and cafes, or the historic Headlands Hotel, with even more options in surrounding suburbs. For those seeking adventure, just up the road is the famous Sublime Point Lookout and the Sea Cliff Bridge.

Shopping and services

Located close to Thirroul, residents can access Coles or IGA for everyday shopping and the option to shop from local bakers, butchers and grocers. Thirroul also hosts a variety of cuisines and a local public library. The luxury of quiet living with convenient access to nearby suburbs makes Austinmer the ideal space to suit a relaxed lifestyle.

The popular Sublime Point walking track.


The historic Austinmer Public School sits to the western side of Lawrence Hargrave Drive for primary school students, and Bulli High School is a conveniently nearby public high school option.

Primary Schools

  • Austinmer Public School, K-6
  • Thirroul Public School, K-6

High Schools

  • Bulli High School, 7-12 (nearest high school)

Use the NSW Government’s School Finder to see which school catchment you might be in.

Looking to sell your property? Let John and the team look after you

I was born to be in sales. From a very early age, I was serving and helping clients in my father’s hardware business and giving them advice, which is scary. I love working with people, helping them get what they want, and pushing myself to excel. My friends and family that know me well laugh about all the jobs I have done over the years, but it was all to get me to this point in my life, a real estate agent.