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Introduction and saying Hi! At the start of our journey


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Hi all


Just wanted to introduce myself and stop being a 'lurker' in the foyer:)

I am a South African doctor (specialist) and have secured a job in Nowra (shoalhaven) in NSW so we at the start of a very long proces of registering with the College and AHPRA and then hopefully getting our 457 visa.


Anyone else have any experience in Wollongong/Nowra/Kiama areas?


This forum has been very helpful so far.


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Hi @annebsmith


Firstly congratulations on the job!


What would tou like you know?


Wollongong is a largish town that relatable to South African cities would be more like East London. Largish town with good infrastructure, various universities and tertiary education buildings, largish homes where a lot of Sydneysiders move to because its cheaper than Sydney and the population is large enough to support living and working there in serveral fields. I even know one couple that commute between Sydney and Wollongong daily, an hour and a half each way, crazy, but seems to work for them.


Kiama is beautiful, one of my favourite seaside towns, a kin to J-Bay, small community that relies heavily on rental accommodation and the stores are geared more towards out of town visitors who come through in droves on the weekends to see the blowhole, lighthouse and take in the amazing views.


I've spent very little time in Nowra, but it's more remote/rural and its mainstay a bit of industry, but largely farming, in particular Dairy farming.


Hope that helps somewhat!

Kkind regards



Edited by AFreshStart
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Welcome @annebsmith! Wollongong was one of the places we first looked at to settle when we started out on this journey. We have since been there twice and really like it. Alas, I did not get a job at the university and the job market for my skill-set there is not too great. Since we've  been in Sydney I have worked with at least three different CEO's who actually live there and travel in to Sydney every day. Personally I would not do it but I think it gives you a fair idea of how sought after the area is. When you have some time, take a look at Bulli. It is close to Wollongong, has great schools and we found the property prices are a tad more manageable. All in all, good luck with the paperwork, hope it goes well for you!

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Welcome to the forum!

The South Coast is very pretty and laid back.  We’ve just returned from a weekend in Gerringong, just outside Kiama and it was just gorgeous! The surrounding villages are also all very pretty.  Berry is not right at the beach but a gorgeous little village (quaint, very arty farty with lots of tourism) – we love going there! We’ve also been to Gerroa – another lovely seaside village!  You would not go wrong settling in any of these and you’ll have an amazing life away from the rate race in the city.  It’s an awesome place to raise kids.

Nowra itself is located more inland and from driving through it a couple of times, looked to be a bit more industrial and less pretty.  If you’re happy to commute about 20 mins from Berry, 30 mins from Gerroa/Gerringong or 45 mins from Kiama, you’ll find yourself in a very beautiful place to stay. 

I can’t comment on Wollongong as we always only drive past on our way to the South Coast, but it’s the biggest of the towns and about 70 mins drive from Nowra.

Population by town/village:

Wollongong 208 000

Kiama 21 000

Nowra 9 600

Gerringong 2500

Gerroa 800

Community Profiles:

Wollongong http://profile.id.com.au/wollongong/home 

Kiama http://www.communityprofile.com.au/kiama 

Nowra http://profile.id.com.au/shoalhaven/about?WebID=230 

Gerringong http://gerringong.localstats.com.au/demographics/nsw/south-coast/south-coast/gerringong 

Gerroa http://gerroa.localstats.com.au/population/nsw/south-coast/south-coast/gerroa 

Gerringong and Gerroa falls under the Kiama Council so their population figures are probably included in Kiama.  The Kiama community profile page would cover them both too but I've found some info specific to them which you may find interesting.

Hope this helps!


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