Bordered by Thirroul, Cataract and Woonona, Bulli is located in the Local Government area of Wollongong with an area of approximately 8 sq km. It boasts 14 parks, 4 child care centres, 3 primary schools, and a high school. For residents and visitors there are 5 clubs, post office, a swimming pool and four churches. Known for its amazing views and lookouts, The Sea Cliff Bridge was opened in 2005, a masterpiece of engineering that offers visitors a chance to get out of the car and is a great spot to ‘whale watch’. Bulli’s main attraction is its railway station located between the escarpment and surf beaches. It has an interesting museum which is open every Sunday. Also located in the heart of the historic district is the Bulli Heritage Hotel, C1889. The town has a small commercial centre is also home to The Illawarra Grevillea Park, an arboretum and botanic garden which opened in 1993. Containing plants native to Australia, its collections comprise grevilleas, prosthantheras and rainforest plants. It is staffed by volunteers and is open 6 weekends a year. Bulli beach is a popular surfing spot with the northern tip a venue for surfing competitions. Slacky Flat Park is home to some intact rainforest areas and numerous species of birds and marsupials. The Bulli Showground and Racing Complex hosts major events such as the Illawarra Annual Folk Festival.
In 2006 Bulli’s population was 5,902 with the majority being persons between 40-49 years old. The largest sector of the population is not in the labour force and those who are are professionally employed with most driving to work by car. There are approximately 2,062 dwellings, 79% being houses. 35.5 of properties are fully owned, 35.3% being purchased and 73% are owner occupied. Married couples represent 75% of the population and households in Bulli are mainly couples with no children. Currently the median sale price of houses, units and vacant land is $532,932 as opposed to $387,055 for the Local Government Area of Wollongong.
The area was originally inhabited by Wodi Wodi Aborigines. European woodcutters arrived in 1815. Bulli’s main historical feature is the railway station, situated between the escarpment and surf beaches. This station was the first on the south coast and contains an interesting museum. Also of historic note is the Bulli Heritage Hotel, opened in 1889. The Bulli coal company opened a mine on the escarpment and built cottages to house the workforce and their families. The coal was transported by rail from the mine to a jetty at Sandon Point where it was then loaded onto the waiting ships. The miners were paid on their production and not a set wage. The first trade union was formed by the Bulli miners in 1879 and management retaliated by firing and evicting those in the union and hiring non-union miners instead. In 1887 the areas worst mining disaster killed 81 men and boys. The mine has long since been levelled with concrete founding marking the position of the old office and other buildings. Hidden along the cliff behind the old foundations can be found the old entrances to the mines. These have been sealed off with concrete. The old railway line from the mine to the coast has been removed but upon driving south into Bulli you can see the bridge it was set in, now features a welcome sign for the historic “ Black Diamond” district
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