Place:Otford, New South Wales, Australia


Coordinates34.217°S 151.0°E
Located inNew South Wales, Australia
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names

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Otford is a former village, now satellite housing in the Otford Valley just 60 km to the south of the Sydney metropolitan area and north of the Illawarra and Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia. Otford is situated in the Otford Valley, north of Undola Ridge, Stanwell Park and Stanwell Tops. To the east of the valley is the coastal ridge and small community of Bulgo, also the name of a hill in the area and the former name of Otford. To the west, on the plateau, is the township of Helensburgh. To the north is the locality of Lilyvale and the Royal National Park. Otford is within the local government area of Wollongong City Council.

Otford has few remaining services but retains a public primary school, railway station on the CityRail South Coast Line, a volunteer Rural Fire Brigade and a pie shop that also serves as tax agent. Otford railway station, once had award winning gardens and picturesque buildings but is now a stark concrete and brick commuter stop. The railway station is used by bushwalkers accessing the Royal National Park. A local attraction is the Otford Valley riding farm, stables, horse agistment and equestrian centre. Otford's coastal ridge is home to the Otford Lookout on Lawrence Hargrave Drive which has similar views south over the Illawarra as does its southern neighbour Bald Hill.

The town is on the southern tip of the Royal National Park and features many native plants in its bushland like the Dendrobium Lilly. The trees of the bushland are mostly of the dry Eucalypt variety but the valley slopes support tall open Eucalypt forest and rainforest along the creek and in gullies.

The landscape is mostly hillside, and the Hacking River runs through the valley to the north. The highest points around Otford reach over 250 metres above sea level, at Bulgo and Otford Hills. The Bulgo Range of coastal hill headland is the northern extension of the Illawarra escarpment as it gradually turns into coastal cliffs.

One of the current most important aspects of Otford is its Bushfire Brigade. All members are village based volunteers who protect the town and district from the severe bushfires that threaten the town. It is an integral aspect of the local community. The local school is the other community focus of this small family and community oriented Australian village. The school has been open again for many years.

Otford is just 60 km south of Sydney but considered a real "bush" community and despite its proximity to Australia's largest city, Sydney, it is a small community with a focussed traditional Australian way of life.

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