Fairy Meadow

By Grant Reynolds

Fairy Meadow is where the city meets the suburb and has everything you: access, convivence, services, and of course, that famous Illawarra beachside lifestyle.
  • Population: 8022
  • Highlight: 24.1% of households are made up of couples with children
  • Housing: 54% were purchasing or fully owned their home

Fairy Meadow offers an affordable and convenient lifestyle all by the beach. Like many suburbs that sit next to urban centres, it has a commercial, residential, and lifestyle mix. The suburb has a diverse housing mix, with apartment developments offering options for commuters and university students. While houses on large blocks are highly sought after among families looking for more room and people searching for a property to renovate or rebuild. Proximity to the University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus, the Wollongong CBD, and major transport routes make it a popular suburb.

Brief history

The original inhabitants and traditional custodians of the land are the Dharawal people. After settlement, the well-grassed meadowlands, referred to as Para Meadow, attracted cattlemen to the district. The Mount Pleasant Coal Mine opened in 1861, attracting miners to the town looking for work and homes. The mine operated a private railway line to transport coal to Sydney until Fairy Meadow railway station was opened in 1888. The land where UOW’s Innovation Campus now sits was the site of the Wollongong migrant hostels, temporary accommodation for thousands of post-war migrants. For a full history, see Wollongong City Council’s website.

Getting around

It’s a short drive to the Wollongong CBD and the University by car, and the popular, free Gong Shuttle bus service loops through Fairy Meadow. The coastal cycleway runs almost beachside in Fairy Meadow, then along Squires Way into North Wollongong. Fairy Meadow train station is a stop on the South Coast line for regular connections to Sydney or south to Kiama.  

Things to do

Fairy Meadow beach is arguably less well-known than neighbouring North Wollongong or Towradgi. But that means easy access and long stretches of beach almost to yourself. Fairy Meadow Surf Club provides beach patrols and club competition for families. Fairy Meadow’s hub is becoming a mix of work and play, with several cafes and restaurants opening up along the Princes Highway strip. The ever-popular Fraternity Club is a favourite for food and drinks, and two hotels provide options for a schooner with friends. The coastal cycleway, sporting clubs, parks, and the nature reserve at Puckey’s Estate offer ample opportunities for the outdoors types. Children and adults alike enjoy the activities and displays at the Science Centre

Shopping and services

You’ll be spoiled for choice for everyday essentials with the option of Coles, Woolworths, or Aldi, all within a short distance. The hub of Fairy Meadow also has several services, including a post office. The Princes Highway strip also features several small businesses, from the bakery to the florist and more.

Schools

There are plenty of school options in the area for primary school and high school students.

Primary schools

  • Fairy Meadow Public School, K-6
  • Towradgi Public School, K-6
  • Mount Ousley Public School, K-6
  • Balgownie Public School, K-6

High Schools

  • Wollongong High School, 7-12
  • Keira High School, 7-12

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

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