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Wollongong City Council

Lake Illawarra

Lake Illawarra is one of the most picturesque spots on the coast. The lake has something for everyone, from parks and jetties along the foreshore to water-based activities like boating, fishing and snorkelling.

The lake provides a natural boundary between Wollongong and Shellharbour.

We manage Lake Illawarra in partnership with Shellharbour City Council and the NSW Government.

Wollongong City Council looks after several open spaces, pathways and stormwater outlets around the lake. Shellharbour City Council looks after similar items on the southern side of the lake.

Other structures like jetties, wharves, boat ramps and the bridge are managed by the NSW Government.

Report a problem at Lake Illawarra

If you need to report a problem at Lake Illawarra, contact the relevant agency.

If you’re not sure who to contact, email or call us on (02) 4227 7111. We’ll help if we can, or point you in the right direction.

Water quality is monitored regularly at 15 sites across Lake Illawarra.

Keeping an eye on water quality gives us a picture of the overall health of the lake. It can help us identify problems and track how our efforts to look after the lake are working.

These reports also help us in planning how to manage the lake.

The most recent water quality report can be found below.

The Lake Illawarra Estuary Management Committee provides advice, feedback and support to Wollongong City and Shellharbour City Councils on how to best manage the lake.

The Committee, with the assistance of both Councils and the NSW Office of Environment and heritage, has drafted a Coastal Management Program (CMP) for the lake. This strategic document outlines priority actions to protect valued aspects and tackle key threats to the lake.

The draft CMP has been on public exhibition. Staff from Wollongong and Shellharbour councils are now working with the consultant and the Lake Illawarra Estuary Management Committee to address concerns raised. We expect the updated and final document will be presented to the Committee in late February, and to the councils in early April 2020.

So far we've prepared a ‘Synthesis Report’ that pulls together detailed research and background information about the lake. We've also spoken with community and groups who use the lake. We've used this information to prepare a ‘Community Uses, Values, Threats and Opportunities Report’.

These reports will help us prepare a draft Lake Illawarra CMP. Once endorsed by Wollongong and Shellharbour Councils, the draft CMP will be referred to the State Government for certification. The final CMP will help us with future decisions and how we manage the lake.

If you’d like to know more about opportunities for the community to be involved in planning for the lake, email or call us on (02) 4227 7111.