The Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area protects a landscape with unique geology and climate. The landforms of the Illawarra escarpment dominate and characterise the Illawarra region.
Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area occupies nearly 30% of the Illawarra escarpment and a small section of the Woronora Plateau. The park is made up of 6 separate sections extending across more than 40 kilometres, from Stanwell Park in the north to West Dapto in the south. The 6 sections are located at Stanwell Park, Austinmer-Bulli, Corrimal, Mount Keira, Mount Kembla and Wongawilli.
Other areas of the escarpment surrounding the park are on private land or land managed by Wollongong City Council. The main land uses include recreation reserves, private dwellings and coal mining operations. Most of the land west of the escarpment forms part of the Metropolitan Special Area managed by WaterNSW to protect the drinking water supply catchment for Sydney and the Illawarra regions. The eastern boundary of the park is adjacent to the City of Wollongong and its suburbs.
First published in 2018; amended in February 2023.
The Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area plan of management was amended in 2023. The amendment enabled the establishment of accommodation as part of the Great Southern Walk. This iconic multi-day walk starts at Kamay Botany Bay National Park at Kurnell, crosses the peninsula to Cronulla, through Royal National Park from Bundeena to Bald Hill and then through the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area to the Southern Gateway Centre at Bulli Tops.
The amendment also allows for rock climbing and abseiling on cliffs north of Bulli Pass.
The Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area Plan of Management has been updated to include the 2023 amendments and to comply with contemporary Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water publication and accessibility standards.