Postcards from 100 years ago



Bays and Beaches - South of the Harbour

244 Bronte Beach

Strolling along Bronte Beach

  • Bondi Beach
    Bondi Beach. In the early 1800s swimming at Sydney's beaches was a controversial pastime. Convicts were forbidden from bathing in Sydney Harbour because of "the dangers of sharks and stingrays, and for reasons of decorum". By the 1830's sea bathing was a popular activity despite being officially banned between 9.00am and 8.00pm. .
  • Coogee Beach
    The name 'Coogee' (pronounced as "could gee") seems to have been derived from an Aboriginal word which means "bad smell". This would be of course due to the decaying seaweed which is washed up onto the beach - even in these modern times.
  • Cronulla
    Cronulla is derived from kurranulla, meaning ‘‘place of the pink seashells’’ in the dialect of the area's Aboriginal inhabitants, the Dharawal people.
  • Double Bay
    Double Bay takes its name from the bay situated on Sydney Harbour. It refers to the two geographical formations between Point Piper and Darling Point, which are interrupted by a miniature point in between. The eastern part is also known as Blackburn Cove. Double Bay is an affluent residential suburb. Because of its well heeled residents Double Bay earned the monicker 'Double Bay, double pay'
  • Darling Point
    What is now the Darling Point area was originally known as Eurambi, Yarranabbi, Yarrandabbi and Yaranabe by the local Aboriginal people. It was named Darling Point in recognition of Elizabeth Darling, the wife of New South Wales Governor Ralph Darling.
  • La Perouse
  • Maroubra Beach
    Maroubra is a local Aboriginal word meaning place of thunder.
  • Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay
    Potts Point is named for Joseph Hyde Potts, who was employed by the Bank of New South Wales. He purchased six-and-a-half acres of harbour side land in an area then known as Woolloomooloo Hill – which he renamed Potts Point.
  • Rose Bay
    Rose Bay was named after The Right Honourable George Rose (he was not knighted) who was joint Secretary to the British Treasury with Thomas Steele, after whom Steel(e) Point at Nielsen Park was named. The name Rose Bay was used as early as 1778 by Captain John Hunter.
  • Rushcutter Bay
    Rushcutters - Originally named Blackburn Cove. In the early settlement years the bay was used by convicts to cut the 'rushes' used as roofing material in the colony.
  • Tamarama
    On 17 April 1907 a public park known by the name of ‘Tamarama Beach’ was proclaimed for public recreation, and Waverley Council was appointed as trustee. About the same time, the Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club was established on the northern headland above Tamarama beach.
  • Vaucluse
    The original Vaucluse House, from which the area derived its name, was built by Sir Henry Browne Hayes, who had been transported to New South Wales for kidnapping the granddaughter of a wealthy Irish banker. This only helps to show that sometimes crime does pay.
  • Watsons Bay
    Watsons Bay was named after Robert Watson (1756-1819), formerly the quartermaster of the first fleet vessel, the HMAS Sirius. After two shipwrecks, Watson returned to Sydney where he became the harbour pilot and harbourmaster of the port of Sydney in 1811. In 1816 he became first superintendent of Macquarie Lighthouse.
  • Wooloomooloo
    Woolloomooloo was once the most desirable suburb in Sydney. Either from the aboriginal words Wallamullah, meaning place of plenty or Wallabahmullah, meaning a young black kangaroo. Woolloomooloo was once the most desirable suburb.


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