The Cronulla Surf Life Saving
Club, was one of the first surf clubs established in Australia in 1907. The club had very humble
beginnings in a tram carriage.
Cronulla beach came to
international prominence with the novel and film Puberty Blues.
The, film was based on the 1979 novel Puberty Blues, by Gabrielle
Carey and Kathy Lette and directed by Bruce Beresford. In
the film, the girls attempt to create a popular social status by ingratiating themselves with the "Greenhill
gang" of surfers.
Cronulla is derived
from kurranulla, meaning ‘‘place of the pink seashells’’ in the dialect of the area's Aboriginal
inhabitants, the Dharawal people. The beaches were named by Surveyor Robert Dixon who surveyed
here in 1827-28 and by 1840, the main beach was still known as Karranulla.
Matthew Flinders and George Bass explored and
mapped the coastline and Port Hacking estuary in 1796 and the southernmost point of Cronulla is named Bass and
Flinders Point, in their honour. Thomas Holt (1811–88) owned most of the land that stretched from Sutherland to
Cronulla in the 1860s.
The area around the bay was
subdivided in 1895 and land was offered for sale at 10 pounds per acre. In 1899, the government named the area
Gunnamatta, which means sandy hills. On 26 February 1908 it was officially changed to Cronulla and
Gunnamatta was used for the name of the bay, on the western side.