Reading: The importance of Lake Illawarra to the Illawarra region


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The importance of Lake Illawarra to the Illawarra region


David Campbell

New South Wales Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small BusinessNone
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Lake Illawarra has been an important asset in the Illawarra region for a very long time, and has a rich and diverse history. Trying to fully understand the complex natural processes of the Lake from the standpoint of a mere 200 years of written history is a difficult task. This is, of course, further complicated by the fact Lake Illawarra has a physical and Aboriginal history far older than the little over 200 years of European impact to which it has, to date, been subject. The European history of Lake Illawarra also reflects the early history of European settlement in the Illawarra region. In March 1796, Matthew Flinders had written in his journal, “About noon we came off the entrance … it appeared to be a small stream which had made a passage through the beach; but we could not tell how it would be possible, even for our small boat, to enter it, as the surf was breaking nearly across, however, by following the native Dilba’s directions, in going sometimes close to the surf, sometimes to the side and sometimes to the other, we got in with difficulty; and rowed about a mile up a little more water than the boat drew against a very strong tide.”
How to Cite: Campbell, D., 2006. The importance of Lake Illawarra to the Illawarra region. Wetlands Australia, 21(2), pp.pp. 58–61. DOI:
Published on 28 Feb 2006.
Peer Reviewed


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