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Wollongong ( WUUL-ən-gong), informally referred to as "The Gong", is a city located in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia. The name is thought to be derived form the word woolyungah in the language of the Aboriginal inhabitants at the time of settlement, meaning five islands. Wollongong lies on the narrow coastal strip between the Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean, 85 kilometres (53 miles) south of central Sydney. Wollongong had an estimated urban population of 302,739 at June 2018, making it the third-largest city in New South Wales after Sydney and Newcastle and the tenth-largest city in Australia by population. The city's current Lord Mayor is Gordon Bradbery AM who was elected in 2021.
The Wollongong area extends from Helensburgh in the north to Windang and Yallah in the south. Geologically, the city is located in the south-eastern part of the Sydney basin, which extends from Newcastle to Nowra.Wollongong is noted for its heavy industry, its port activity and the quality of its physical setting, occupying a narrow coastal plain between an almost continuous chain of surf beaches and the cliffline of the rainforest-covered Illawarra escarpment. It has two cathedrals, churches of many denominations and the Nan Tien Temple. Wollongong has a long history of coal mining and industry. The city attracts many tourists each year and is a regional centre for the South Coast fishing industry. The University of Wollongong has around 38,000 students.
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