A major road on the NSW South Coast is closed for extensive repairs and construction work until the run-up to Christmas – but it will open at the end of this month for Radiance of the Seas, the Royal Caribbean International cruise ship.
Not that the ship will sail along the road. That’s impossible. The road is the Bulli Pass, elevation 283 metres, located northwest of Bulli and north of Wollongong. Situated on the Illawarra escarpment west of the Illawarra coastal plain, the Bulli Pass was built during the 19th century for use by loggers and locals transporting goods to and from Sydney.
Now a major road highway, the Bulli Pass gives access to some of the best attractions of the Illawarra, which is why it will open for Radiance of the Seas.
The Royal Caribbean mega liner will bring in 2400 guests each time it docks at Port Kembla for day trips, injecting AUD 890,000 into the local economy.
RCI regional vice president Gavin Smith committed to an ongoing relationship with his company and the Illawarra.
“Including Port Kembla on our itineraries will provide our guests the opportunity to sample all that Wollongong and the South Coast has to offer,” Smith said.
“At the same time, it will give us the chance to investigate Port Kembla as an alternative home port, as an overflow to congestion in Sydney Harbour.”
The ship will spend a day in port, giving tourists from Australia and around the world the opportunity to explore the Illawarra’s beaches, towns and attractions through day trips, courtesy buses and planned activity options.
The Princes Highway traverses the Bulli Pass from the Illawarra plain in the south-east to the Woronoa Plateau in the north-west. The pass has been closed since early this month while new safety fencing is installed, following a history of slips and rock falls. A major slip in 2008 required slope stabilisation works that closed the road for seven weeks. That intensified after a serious rock fall in 2015, when a rock landed on a vehicle.
“The road will reopen in both directions on the weekend of 29-30 October for the arrival in Port Kembla of the Radiance of the Seas Royal Caribbean cruise ship and on the weekend of 5-6 November for the MS Sydney to Gong annual bike ride,” officials confirmed. It’s scheduled to open permanently in early December.
Written by Peter Needham