Coomaditchy Lagoon and Surrounds | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Coomaditchy Lagoon and Surrounds

Item details

Name of item: Coomaditchy Lagoon and Surrounds
Other name/s: Coomaditchie Lagoon
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Parks, Gardens and Trees
Category: Lake/ Pond
Primary address: Cowper Street, Port Kembla, NSW 2505
Local govt. area: Wollongong City
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Cowper StreetPort KemblaWollongong City  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Coomaditchy Lagoon and its surrounds are of significance for the local area for aesthetic, scientific and cultural reasons. The Lagoon is rare as one of the largest lagoons in Wollongong populated with seagulls, swans and pelicans. It presents a rare and important wildlife habitat. Coomaditchie Lagoon also has high significance for the Aboriginal community.
Date significance updated: 22 Dec 14
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Physical description: Lagoon with abundant bird life.
Further information: Could be improved by some shoreline planting. Requires Plan of Management that highlights the need for restoration of endemic species, suggest providing artificial islands for nesting waterbirds.
Current use: Public Reserve
Former use: Natural Area


Historical notes: (The following has been abridged from Vegetation Plan of Management for Coomaditchy Lagoon By Jenifer Neil Treecreeper Indigenous Land Management):
Coomaditchy Lagoon is all that remains of a series of lagoons and seepages that once formed a water, wetland and sedge land mosaic across the floodplains of Lake Illawarra. In the 1970’s, the huge sand dunes of the Port Kembla area were removed for sand mining. This was followed by industrial and domestic wetland filling, and then industrial commercial and urban development that destroyed the hind dunal lagoon and wetland complex that once characterized the landscape.

These wetlands were an important and valuable part of the environment having the ability to act as a water filter and cleanser and slowing down the passage of water. These wetlands helped to reduce the impact of floods and maintain an even supply of water by storing excess water and slowly releasing it to both surface and ground water.

Unfortunately this wetland cannot be restored, but some artificial wetland could be considered as a high value for water quality and habitat protection.

Aboriginal Heritage (
The Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation (CUAC) was established in 1993 and since that time has provided an opportunity for dozens of young Aboriginal people to benefit from training and find employment. The Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation is based in the old Kemblawarra Community Hall just south of Wollongong New South Wales. This is an ideal location for us as we are able to continue the role of our forefathers as the custodians of the Coomaditchie lagoon which is within our immediate environment.

Adjacent to the Coomaditchie Lagoon is the Coomaditchie Mission. Many of our mob lived up on Hill 60 – not far from here, till the war broke out. The army needed Hill 60 for strategic purposes and so we were moved. Many people set up camp in the sand dunes along Port Kembla beach and around Coomaditchie lagoon. They lived in sugar bag shacks and in any kind of shelter they could create. Later many people slept in their cars. Eventually the mission houses were built and people could move into little weatherboard houses. It wasn’t till 1989 that the brick houses that are on the mission today were finally built.

Our hall has historic significance. The Aboriginal Advancement League with all our Elders started in the hall. It was also where dances and Christmas parties and wakes were held. Now it is our studio gallery – and we still hold many important meetings here.”

Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation has been supporting and implementing community education, conservation and restoration programmers, in and around the Lagoon since 1991.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The item has landscape and aesthetic value.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The item has scientific and natural value.
SHR Criteria f)
The item has rarity.
SHR Criteria g)
The item has representative value.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Plan of Management is required, which should include measures to improve shoreline planting, restoration of endemic species, and assist with management of nesting waterbirds.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanCoomaditchy Lagoon and surrounds642426 Feb 10 2010-76 
Local Environmental Plan  07 Jan 00 1/200069

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
City of Wollongong Heritage Study1991L23-SWMcDonald McPhee Rogers Conacher FullartonRob Gansi No
Review of heritage items in Wollongong LGA20136424Zoran PopovicZoran Popovic Yes

References, internet links & images


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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2700738

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