Austinmer Police Station

35 Moore Street
Phone: 02-4267-1088

Thirroul Small town, now a northern suburb of Greater Wollongong, where D.H. Lawrence stayed and wrote ‘Kangaroo’

Thirroul lies on the coast 69 km south of Sydney. The name derives from an Aboriginal word, ‘Thurrural’ said to mean ‘the Valley of the Cabbage Tree Palms’. Once a coalmining settlement it is now a transitional area between the escarpment ‘villages’ to the north and the true suburbia to the south.

Thirroul has long been a beach resort although its proximity to industrialised Wollongong meant that it was largely ignored until the arrival of the electric train service in 1987. As it is the major train stop of the Illawarra’s outer northern suburbs it has become a focal point for the growing legions of Sydneysiders who now commute from an increasingly desirable, and expensive, commuter region.

This area was originally inhabited by the Wodi Wodi Aborigines and it is from their language that we received the word ‘Thurrural’, said to mean ‘the Valley of the Cabbage Tree Palms’. When Captain James Cook sailed up the eastern coast of Australia in 1770, the ship’s botanist, Joseph Banks, confirmed the presence of the Aborigines and the predominance, in the area, of this tree type:

‘The country today again made in slopes to the sea…The trees were not very large and stood separate from each other without the least underwood; among them we could discern many cabbage trees but nothing else which we could call by any name. In the course of the night many fires were seen’.

The first Europeans to live in the district were escaped convicts.

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