Nowra is a city in the South Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. Located 125 kilometres (78 mi) SSW and about 160 kilometres (99 mi) by road south of the state capital of Sydney, With its twin-town of Bomaderry, Nowra has a population of 34,479. It is also the seat and commercial centre of the City of Shoalhaven. Geologically, the city is situated in the southern reaches of the Sydney basin.
The region around Nowra is a farming community, sustaining a thriving dairy industry and a number of State forests, but is also increasingly a retirement and leisure area for Canberra and Sydney. The naval air station HMASAlbatross is located about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south-west of Nowra. The name Nowra, originally written by Europeans as 'nou-woo-ro' (pronounced Nowa Nowa by the Aborigines of the area), is an Aboriginal word for black cockatoo.
New South Wales
Nowra area from Cambewarra Lookout
The Nowra region, south of Bomaderry Creek was inhabited by the Wodi-Wodi tribe of the Yuin nation who were later invaded by the yama lama tribe from out west while north of Bomaderry Creek was inhabited by the Dharawal Aboriginal people prior to European arrival. Around 1824, ex-convict Mary Reibey applied for a land grant in the Burrier area, on the southern side of the Shoalhaven River. The Nowra township was officially recognised in 1852. Less than ten years later, in 1861, a postal service was established. Also in that year, the racehorse 'Archer', trained in Nowra by Etienne de Mestre, won the first Melbourne Cup. By 1885, Nowra was declared a town.
A major landmark in the area is the house Bundanon, which began as a single-storey weatherboard structure built about 1840. In 1866, a two-storey sandstone house, made of locally quarried stone, was built immediately in front of the weatherboard house. The sandstone house features timber verandahs and is now listed on the Register of the National Estate.
Nowra has three public high schools : Nowra High School, Shoalhaven High School and Bomaderry High School. There are also several non-government schools, which are all denominational; a K-12 Christian-based school located in South Nowra, Nowra Christian School; a K-12 Anglican college in Bomaderry, Nowra Anglican College; and a Catholic systemic high school, ST John THE Evangelist High School on the outskirts of Nowra.
The Catholic high school is linked to St Michael's Catholic Primary School located in Nowra. There are seven public primary schools in the Nowra area as well: Nowra East Public School, Nowra Public School, Bomaderry Public School, Illaroo Road Public School, North Nowra Public School, Nowra Hill Public School and Terara Primary School. University of Wollongong also has a campus in Nowra, and there is a campus of TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute located in Bomaderry.