Fairy Meadow is a suburb in the City of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. Located in the Illawarra region and only 4 km from the city centre, it is a mainly low-density residential area, with a large strip of commercial and industrial properties along and off the Princes Highway.
Fairy Meadow is popular with tourists and surfers, due to its long beach (Fairy Meadow beach) and views of Mount Keira, and Mount Kembla. Fairy Meadow residents live mainly in older style houses, though apartments are now being built along the aforementioned strip. The main shopping area includes Coles, Woolworths and Aldi supermarkets and many smaller stores and boutiques. Guest Park which is located to the west of the Princes highway commercial strip has a skate park, tennis courts, netball courts and a large soccer pitch. A local historical building is the old Northern Illawarra Council Chambers.
To the southeast of Fairy Meadow in North Wollongong is Puckeys Estate Reserve, a bush reserve known for bird watching and coastal environment protection, open to the public for walking on the tracks, once site of a saltworks. The area is also bordered by a long beach which stretches from Towradgi Point in the north, to Wollongong in the south, interrupted only by the rocks at the Fairy Lagoon entrance.
North of Puckey's Reserve and east of Fairy Meadow is Fairy Meadow Beach, the picnic facilities, playground and toilets in 2007 went under upgrades along with several other beachside areas in the Illawarra. The beach is patrolled in summer and has a surf life saving club, established in 1951.
West of Puckey's Reserve is Brandon Park, a greyhound racing track and the Wollongong Science Centre and Planetarium complex as well as an area of university property. The science centre is known for its laser concerts. The science centre was opened on 15 May 2000 by MP Colin Markham. The centre building is overtly white and clearly visible from Wollongong's higher points. Outside the entrance there stands a sculpture called 'Southern Cross', featuring poles in the shape of the constellation with graphics on them. The science and planetarium centre contains two levels, including a laser theatre, observatory, dinosaur and fossil exhibit, electronics exhibit and other attractions such as a setup demonstrating solar power with a model railroad and a forest logging simulation game
According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 7,405 people in Fairy Meadow.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 1.8% of the population.
- 65.3% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were China 4.7%, Italy 3.1%, England 2.9% and Vietnam 1.5%.
- 67.9% of people spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Mandarin 4.4%, Italian 4.2%, Turkish 2.3%, Arabic 2.2% and Vietnamese 1.9%.
- The most common responses for religion were No Religion 28.7%, Catholic 28.2% and Anglican 11.9%.
The area is served by a railway station on the South Coast line, which is part of the NSW TrainLink railway network. The station is accessed via steps which climb to the road bridge on Elliot's Road that runs from Puckey's Estate/Fairy Meadow Beach Surf Lifesaving Club to Princes Highway.
Fairy Meadow is also located along Wollongong's free shuttle bus to North Wollongong railway station, and Keiraville University of Wollongong campus. The free shuttle bus service that serves Fairy Meadow includes City of Wollongong bus routes 55A and 55C.
The suburb hosts two primary schools – Good Samaritan Catholic Primary and Fairy Meadow Demonstration School – as well as two high schools: Keira Technology High School and Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts. Other nearby primary schools include Mount Ousley Public School and Towradgi Public School.
Fairy Meadow is home to University of Wollongong's – iC. The campus houses a large part of UOW's student population in the Campus East housing complex. The Innovation Campus is home to the university's . Among the iC campus' many features is the aforementioned Science Centre and Planetarium.
A TAFE site is also located adjacent to Keira high school.
Fairy Meadow has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Birthplace of cricketer Dave Gregory, captain of the first Australian cricket test team
- Birthplace of Dr Mary Puckey, the first female superintendent of an Australian hospital
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Fairy Meadow (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 16 July 2017. Material was copied from this source, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
- "Fairy Meadow – Local area information". Archived from the original on 8 August 2007. Retrieved 2 August 2007.
- Crossroads Christian Community
- Wollongong Christian Reformed Church
- "Welcome To Our School | Mount Ousley Public School". www.mops.nsw.edu.au. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
- "Towradgi Public School". towradgi-p.schools.nsw.edu.au. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
- "Balgownie Migrant Workers Hostel: Huts 201, 204 and 210". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01767. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
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