A small village packed with plenty to do and located among the foothills of the picturesque Illawarra escarpment, Balgownie is about community and family with beautiful surroundings.
- Population: 9162 (Balgownie/Tarrawanna/Fernhill)
- Highlight: 32% of households are made up of couples with children
- Housing: 69% of households own their home
Whether you’re looking for a cottage or larger houses, or you’re interested in giving the kids space they need to roam in the yard, there’s plenty of choice for buying and selling property in Balgownie. The suburb is famous for its village lifestyle and escarpment backdrop while being a short drive from Wollongong and major transport routes.
The original inhabitants and traditional custodians of the land are the Dharawal people. Some sources say the town was named after the Scottish town of Balgownie, while others say it was named after a bridge over the River Don in Aberdeen, Scotland. Early settlers had orchards and farms, but the development of Balgownie resulted from the opening of Mount Pleasant Coalmine in 1861. Some Historic buildings still exist in the area, including Balgownie Hotel (1904) and the “Butchers Shop” (1889). For a full history, see Wollongong City Council’s website.
It’s just a short drive to access Mount Ousley Road and Memorial Drive, the main roads connecting the suburb with Wollongong and Sydney. Buses are available to get you around the area and to nearby suburbs. For commuters, the South Coast rail line provides regular services from stations in the nearby suburbs of Towradgi and North Wollongong.
Things to do
It’s just a short drive up the mountain to picnic at the beautiful Rhododendron park, and the walking tracks in the escarpment offer amazing coastal views. Balgownie doesn’t disappoint when it comes to options for dining out, with several cafes and restaurants, including Collegians Leagues Club offering a range of options. The suburb is synonymous with the “Bally Hotel”, operating since 1899 and surviving several attempts to redevelop the site. It still serves as the social hub of the village. Balgownie is also home to several sporting clubs, including the Balgownie Rangers Football Club, which started playing in 1883.
Shopping and services
Balgownie has all your services close to hand, including a chemist, post office, veterinary clinic and service stations. In the village, you’ll get the chance to get to know your grocer, butcher and baker in Balgownie, and get all of your daily essentials from the local convenience stores. It’s just a short drive onto the nearby Princes Highway for options of Woolworths, Coles, or Aldi for those stock-up weekly shops.
- Balgownie Public School
- Pleasant Heights Public School (Mount Pleasant)
- Keira High School (North Wollongong)
- Wollongong High School (Fairy Meadow)
Use the NSW Government’s School Finder to see which school catchment you might be in.