Cliff Road is considered the jewel in Wollongong’s premium beachside strip with its luxury apartments and killer views, but it’s not just for the well-heeled and famous.
Sure, it is home to some prominent names in business and industry and you won’t get much change from $2million for a spacious apartment.
But the component of Housing Department units and people who have held on to family properties try to keep it real.
Helen Tasses, for example, lives in a modest two-storey brick home her father Tom bought for £2000 before he married her mother Zora in the late ’40s.
‘‘I grew up here and left in 1970 when I was 18 but returned after my mother died in 2011,’’ Tasses says.
Her father bought it as a block of units but modified it to the family home.
It is easily recognisable by the blue florescent sign on the front that reads Florina, named after the town where he grew up in northern Greece.
‘‘This strip was much narrower when I was growing up but they widened it for the Queen’s visit in 1956, when people were forced to sell some of their front yards,’’ Tasses recalls.
‘‘It’s still a great place to live with a lot of passing traffic, which gives it a sense of vitality,’’ she adds.
A few metres north as the street rises lives Lorraine Donaldson, a retired fashion co-ordinator whose illness gave her access to a Housing Department unit with a bird’s-eye view over Belmore Basin and Wollongong Lighthouse.
‘‘Some people wait 10 years in the hope of getting something like this but I was lucky and only had to wait a few months,’’ she said.
‘‘I don’t swim any more but I enjoy the water views, specially when I’m out walking my dog,’’ Donaldson says.