Port Kembla, New South Wales facts for kids

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Port Kembla
WollongongNew South Wales
Port Kembla From Hill 60 Park.jpg
View of Port Kembla from Hill 60 Park looking North West at Sunset
Population: 4,884
Postcode: 2505
Time zone:

 • Summer (DST)

AEST (UTC+10)

AEDT (UTC+11)

Location: 112 km (70 mi) S of Sydney
LGA: City of Wollongong
State District: Wollongong
Federal Division: Cunningham
Suburbs around Port Kembla:
Cringila Coniston Tasman Sea
Warrawong Port Kembla Five Islands Nature Reserve
Kemblawarra Primbee Tasman Sea

Port Kembla is a suburb of Wollongong 8 km south of the CBD and part of the Illawarra region of New South Wales. The suburb comprises a seaport, industrial complex (one of the largest in Australia), a small harbour foreshore nature reserve, and a small commercial sector. It is situated on the tip of Red Point, first European sighting by Captain James Cook in 1770. The name "Kembla" is Aboriginal word meaning "plenty [of] wild fowl".

History

Before Port Kembla was an industrial suburb of Wollongong, it was a town with a remarkably self-sufficient society, a growing commercial centre, and a vibrant civic life. Town subdivision began in 1908, and by 1921 there were 1622 residents. Economic expansion propelled further population growth. Port Kembla derives its name from its proximity to Mount Kembla.

Industrial change

A copper smelter and refinery, the Electrolytic Refinery and Smelting Company of Australia, began production in 1908, followed by the opening of Metal Manufactures in 1917 and finally the arrival of the Hoskins Iron and Steel Works in 1927. The works became Australian Iron and Steel the following year.

By 1947 the town's population has increased to 4,960 with smaller satellite suburbs such as Cringila and Lake Heights, mushrooming on its fringes. That year, 1947, marked the climax of a local campaign for municipal autonomy which was ultimately thwarted by the creation of a Greater City of Wollongong. In the post-Second World War period there was an inexorable decline of a 'Port Kembla' society as local town boundaries were slowly but surely absorbed into a more Wollongong-focused or regional identity.

Multiculturalism

Despite the decline from the heyday of the 1920s, the town experienced major social and demographic change in the 1950s and 1960s. Waves of migrants, mostly from the United Kingdom, Italy, Macedonia and Germany, moved to the town. During this period, Port Kembla was on the cusp of changes affecting Australian society generally as new ethic and cultural influences found a place in local society. With its long migration history accommodating waves of migrant workers and their families, Port Kembla is still one of the most culturally diverse suburbs in New South Wales.

Hill 60

Port Kembla's highest point, Hill 60, overlooks the Five Islands and Red Point. Hill 60, originally the site of an Aboriginal settlement, was used by the army during World War II to make a coastal gun emplacement known as Illowra Battery. In September 1942, Aboriginal inhabitants were forcibly evicted from the area. It has remained in the army's ownership and is now a public lookout reserve, despite a vigorous campaign to return some of the land to its Aboriginal owners. Although not technically open to tourists, the tunnels are open, and can be explored by foot. The entrance to the tunnels is located almost under the coastguard tower on Hill 60, and can be seen down the left when standing at the information board, facing southeast.

Climate

Port Kembla has a warm oceanic climate (Cfb) with humid summers and mild, crispy winters. The suburb enjoys abundant sunshine, getting 111.4 clear days, annually.

Climate data for Port Kembla (1957-1976)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 41.9
(107.4)
36.1
(97)
39.4
(102.9)
32.5
(90.5)
29.4
(84.9)
25.6
(78.1)
25.8
(78.4)
28.3
(82.9)
35.0
(95)
35.0
(95)
39.2
(102.6)
39.8
(103.6)
41.9
(107.4)
Average high °C (°F) 24.1
(75.4)
24.4
(75.9)
24.1
(75.4)
22.4
(72.3)
19.4
(66.9)
17.5
(63.5)
16.7
(62.1)
17.3
(63.1)
19.2
(66.6)
20.7
(69.3)
22.4
(72.3)
23.4
(74.1)
21.0
(69.8)
Average low °C (°F) 18.4
(65.1)
18.7
(65.7)
18.0
(64.4)
15.7
(60.3)
12.7
(54.9)
10.9
(51.6)
9.8
(49.6)
10.3
(50.5)
11.8
(53.2)
13.7
(56.7)
15.3
(59.5)
17.1
(62.8)
14.4
(57.9)
Record low °C (°F) 13.3
(55.9)
13.0
(55.4)
10.6
(51.1)
10.0
(50)
5.6
(42.1)
5.3
(41.5)
1.1
(34)
2.2
(36)
2.2
(36)
7.2
(45)
9.2
(48.6)
10.0
(50)
1.1
(34)
Precipitation mm (inches) 116.1
(4.571)
157.5
(6.201)
183.7
(7.232)
92.9
(3.657)
89.0
(3.504)
140.3
(5.524)
62.6
(2.465)
87.7
(3.453)
55.0
(2.165)
108.0
(4.252)
94.3
(3.713)
90.4
(3.559)
1,260.6
(49.63)
Humidity 75 76 74 68 62 61 57 57 61 67 67 72 67
Avg. precipitation days 11.6 12.5 13.4 9.1 8.0 9.7 7.4 9.5 8.2 11.2 11.1 11.0 122.7

Sports and leisure

Sporting teams

Port Kembla has both junior and senior teams in local popular sporting leagues such as:

  • Port Kembla Rugby League in the Illawarra Division Rugby League

Home grounds are Noel Mulligan Oval

  • Port Kembla Cricket Club in the Cricket Illawarra Competition

Home grounds are King George V Park

  • Port Kembla Soccer Club in the Illawarra Football Association

Home grounds are Darcy Wentworth Park Home grounds are Kully Bay Park.

Port Kembla Rugby League, Port Kembla Soccer Club and Port Kembla AFL home grounds are not located in Port Kembla, they all play in parks across Warrawong.

Parks and beaches

Port Kembla has a number of parks, nature reserves, beaches and a Saltwater Olympic pool:

  • King George V Park

A foreshore park located in walking distance from Port Kembla Beach. Used in summer for Port Kembla Cricket Club home games.

  • Hill 60 Park

A popular take off area for hang gliders and para gliders, Hill 60 Park has BBQ facilities as well as picnic shelters, seats and tables positioned to enjoy the scenic views.

  • Port Kembla Beach

An award winning beach, seasonally patrolled from September to April and home to the Port Kembla Surf Life Saving Club.

  • Fishermans Beach

A small sheltered beach at the bottom of Hill 60's eastern side facing the Five Islands Nature Reserve.

  • North Port Kembla Beach

Also known by locals as MM Beach for its close proximity to the Metal Manufacturers site on Gloucester Boulevard. Remnants of a tidal rock pool are still standing near the southern end of the beach below the headland.

Public transport

Train

Port Kembla has two railway stations on the Port Kembla branch of the NSW TrainLink South Coast Line.

Port Kembla railway station is the terminus of the branch line, and serves the residential area of Port Kembla. Port Kembla North serves the industrial area of the suburb. The station is the nearest to the BHP Billiton site in the area.

Both stations have a one sided platform, with the platform at Port Kembla used for terminating trains. The stations are served by approximately one train per hour, usually a local service to Thirroul, but extra direct trains to and from Sydney are provided in the peak hours.

Bus

Premier Illawarra runs three routes to and from Port Kembla railway station:

Images for kids


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