The sale of the Peterborough Estate on the eastern side of Lake Illawarra in 1921, saw new towns emerge. The holiday season in 1927, saw over 2000 holiday makers camped on the shores at Lake South. At night, crowds would gather with flare lamps and lanterns, to go in search of delicious lake prawns, that could be scooped out with a bucket. In those days, the sand hills at the lake were up to 70 feet high, depending on the winds. Locals and tourists would spend hours skiing down the sand hills on cardboard or Masonite off cuts. In later years, some of the sand was used as infill during the building of the steelworks.

To cash in on the bumper tourist trade, Mr Harradine built a boarding house in Reddall Parade in 1929. Harradine’s Clermont Guesthouse included 40 rooms and a dance floor. Many socials were held at Clermont which became the cultural centre of the town. Mr. Albert Orange, also built a guesthouse Lake Illawarra House, and a jetty on the lake shore at Oak Flats. Albert’s tourist launch Lady Albion was registered by the Illawarra Ferry Company, and could take up to 70 passengers across the lake at a time. Holiday makers who arrived by steam train at Albion Park Rail, could hop aboard the Lady Albion at the Windang Street jetty before being taken for a tour of the lake; stopping off at Gooseberry Island before making their way to the guesthouse. With the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s, Mr Orange was forced to sell his famous guesthouse. The house was purchased by the Chambers family, who dismantled and transported it, piece by piece to Reddall Parade, Lake South, where it was rebuilt as The California.

Before Windang Bridge was built, travellers could only get across the lake entrance at low tide. The first Windang Bridge was constructed in 1938 as a result of these emerging lake towns which today are centres of great importance in the city.

Opening hours

Monday  9.30am–8pm
Tuesday 9:30am–8pm
Wednesday 9:30am–8pm
Thursday 9:30am–8pm

Friday 9.30am–5pm
Saturday 9am–3pm
Sunday 12pm–3pm

Shellharbour City Council acknowledges the traditional custodians of Dharawal Country and recognises their continued connection to the land. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and the contribution they make to the life of this city.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images or names of people who have since passed.