Shoalhaven's Location 

The Shoalhaven is located on the south coast of NSW with its principal administration and commercial centre Nowra 160 km south of Sydney.

The Area of the City

4,660 square kilometres (stretching from Broughton just north of Berry, southwards to North Durras just north of Bateman’s Bay) and comprising 49 towns and villages. An estimated 1,000 km of coastline when all bays and inlets are considered.

Major centres in the Shoalhaven

Nowra/Bomaderry; Milton/Ulladulla; St Georges Basin; Huskisson; Culburra; Sussex Inlet.


Climate of the Shoalhaven

Average Temperature

Summer: 16.1°c minimum to 25.8°c maximum
Winter: 6.2 °c minimum to 15.8°c maximum

Average Annual Rainfall

1,143.1 mm

Total Rainfall

130.4 days

For more detailed information  go to our Climate page.


Population of the Shoalhaven

87,650 2001
92,196 2006
98,758 2011
99,546 September 2012

Australian Bureau of Statistics - Estimated Resident Population

Annual population growth: Shoalhaven

2001-2006  2.2% or 1,803 per annum
2006-2011 .96% or 839 per annum

 Shoalhaven City Council has adopted a Revised Population Projection for the City (PDF 88kb)

You can also use Shoalhaven City Council's Community Profile, which uses data from the 2011, 2006, 2001,1996 and 1991 Census.

Labour Force

Total Labour Force and Employment Statistics: Shoalhaven

  June-11 June-12 June-13
Employed 34,342 34,890 33,515
Unemployed 3583 or 9.5% 3,327 or 8.4% 4994 or 13.0%
Labour Force 37,925 38,217 38,509


Source: DEEWR Small Area Labour Markets & SCC

Major Employment Categories: 2006 Census

Public Administration and Safety $223m
Manufacturing $176m
Construction $171m
Health Care and Social Assistance $169m
Education and Training $157m
Retail $141m
Professional, Scientific and Technical $ 93m
Accommodation and Food Services $ 80m

Source: Shoalhaven City Council


Major Manufacturers in the Shoalhaven

Australian Paper paper manufacture
Pentair (Tyco Flow Control) pipeline/irrigation/pumps/valves
Manildra Group starch/gluten/ethanol
Unicorn Cheese cheese manufacture
Milton Meats abattoir
Minova mining chemicals
NowChem chemical manufacturer
Ocean & Earth surfwear
Hanlon Group windows and doors
BAE Systems Australia aviation/avionics
Raytheon aviation/avionics

Other Manufactured / processed products

Timber; agricultural machinery; chemicals; foodstuffs; plastic injected products; steel fabricated goods; building frames and trusses; sporting goods; and defence systems.

Building Activity

Building Statistics for the Shoalhaven

Certificates issued

Dec 2008 (12 months)    
Commercial 111


Industrial 15 $8m
Residential (new houses only) 343 $80.6m


Dec 2009 (12 months)    
Commercial 106 $61m
Industrial 17 $2.3m
Residential (new houses only) 435 $99.3m


Dec 2010 (12 months)    
Commercial 136 $82.5m
Industrial 10 $179k
Residential (new houses only)




Dec 2011 (12 months)    
Commercial 144 $99.9m
Industrial 8 $2m
Residential (new houses only) 408 $106.6m



Dec 2012 (12 months)    
Commercial 93 $13.6m
Industrial 5 $1.43m
Residential (new houses only) 374 $89.2m


Source: Shoalhaven City Council


Transport options and linkages in the Shoalhaven

Rail - The South Coast line terminates at Nowra/Bomaderry from Sydney/Wollongong with daily passenger services to Sydney. To view the South Coast passenger timetable click here

Road - The Princes Highway runs north-south through the Shoalhaven linking Sydney to Melbourne including Wollongong or Batemans Bay. Links to the tablelands to the west can include:

  • Western Sydney - via Mt Ousley & Picton Rd or via Kangaroo Valley;
  • Hume Highway near Moss Vale - via Kangaroo Valley
  • Hume Highway at Goulburn - via Kangaroo Valley or via Main Road 92
  • ACT/Canberra & Monaro Highway - via Main Road 92 or via Kings Highway

Air - HMAS Albatross, a military airfield, is open to civil traffic, however, no regular passenger services operate.

Coach - Daily interstate services operate through Nowra to Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. To view the Premier Motor Service timetable click here.There are eight private bus and coach operators within the City that offer regular commuter routes and charter services.

Transport distances from Nowra and Ulladulla

From Nowra

Wollongong: 80 km -   1 hour by car
Sydney: 163 km - 2 hours by car
Canberra: 225 km - 2.5 hours by car (via Kangaroo Valley)
Canberra 187 km - 2 hours by car (via Main Road 92)
Melbourne: 810 km - 10 hours by car (via Hume Highway)
Melbourne 950km - 12 hours by car (via Princes Highway)
Batemans Bay: 120 km -  2 hours by car

 from Ulladulla

 Wollongong  160 km - 2 hours by car
 Sydney  240 km - 3 hours by car
 Canberra  250 km - 3 hours by car (via Kings Highway)
 Canberra  250 km - 3 hours by car
 Melbourne  800 km - 10 hours by car (via Hume Highway)
 Melbourne  870 km - 11 hours by car (via Princes Highway)
 Batemans Bay  45 km - 45 min by car



Land availability and type


Vacant residential lots vary considerably throughout the City ranging from $150,000 upwards, depending upon size and location. The choice is extensive - suburban lots, larger lots on the urban fringes, smaller rural lots, larger rural lots, farms.


Industrial Estates exist in Berry, Bomaderry, North Nowra, Culburra, Huskisson, Sussex Inlet, Milton, and Ulladulla. Lots range in size from 1000 m² up to several hectares. Sale prices range upwards from $50-$55 per m² for a fully serviced lot.

Vacant Industrial Land: Shoalhaven City Council Estates


Leasing rates within the central business district of Nowra range from $150-$300 per m² yearly for office space; $250 - $400 per m² yearly for retail; and up to $170 per m² for bulky goods. The availability differs from time to time but generally there is available space at most times throughout the year.


Education: Child Care to Tertiary

Child Care

A range of community based and privately operated child care facilities operate throughout the Shoalhaven. Shoalhaven City Council also coordinates a family day care service.

Primary Schools

23 scattered throughout Berry; Bomaderry; Culburra; Callala; Cambewarra; Falls Creek; Greenwell Point; Huskisson; North Nowra (2); Jervis Bay; Kangaroo Valley; Milton; East Nowra; Nowra; Nowra Hill; St Georges Basin; Sanctuary Point; Shoalhaven Heads; Sussex Inlet; Terara; Tomerong; Ulladulla; and Vincentia.


Five Government schools located in Bomaderry; Nowra; Shoalhaven; Ulladulla; and Vincentia.

Non Government

St Mary’s - Milton (primary and secondary); Shoalhaven Anglican College - Milton (primary and secondary); Christian Community - Nowra (primary and secondary); St John the Evangelist - Nowra (secondary); St Michael’s - Nowra (primary); Nowra Anglican College – Bomaderry (primary and secondary).


Illawarra Institute of Technology – Nowra/Bomaderry and Ulladulla; and a combined campus of TAFE and the University of Wollongong at Mundamia (West Nowra).

For more detailed information go to our Education page.

Health Services

Health services: Hospitals and Nursing Homes

Four Hospitals - Nowra (2); Milton (1); Berry (1).
Eight Nursing Homes exist, with two more proposed.

For more detailed information go to the Health Services page.


Shoalhaven's Natural Environment: National Parks, Forestry and River Systems

Major areas of Shoalhaven are NSW Forests, National Parks or NSW Crown Lands (3,000+ sq kms) representing 64.3% of the total Shoalhaven area. Jervis Bay is a major natural resource and tourist attraction, and the Shoalhaven River is a major natural supply resource to both Shoalhaven Water and Sydney Water.

For more detailed information go to our Environment page.


IRIS: Illawarra based regional statistical research company

IRIS, a research company, provides strategic consultancy services to government and industry in the areas of strategic planning, economic development and place marketing also publishes information about the Shoalhaven in their profiles. Go to IRIS Profile

Economic Profile




Contact Us...

02 4429 3388
PO Box 42
Nowra NSW 2541