The name "Neutral Bay" originates
from the time of the early colonial period of Australia, where different bays of Sydney harbour were zoned for
different incoming vessels. This bay was where all foreign vessels would dock, hence the name neutral.
The Aboriginal name for
the area was 'Wirra-birra'. In 1789, soon after the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney, Governor
Arthur Phillip declared this bay a neutral harbour where foreign ships could anchor and take on
water and supplies.
Neutral Bay was far enough away from Sydney Cove to discourage convicts from escaping on these vessels and
to keep possible enemy ships at a distance from the main settlement.
The main shopping district of
Neutral Bay, known as Neutral Bay Junction, is along Military Road, which is the main road that runs through
Neutral Bay, Cremorne and Mosman. It features many quality shops, restaurants and cafes. The Big
Bear shopping centre is a shopping mall that features a supermarket and grocery
The Oaks Hotel is a well-known
and popular venue located on the corner of Military Road and Ben Boyd Road. It has been a popular meeting place
in Sydney since 1885. The Oaks Hotel features a number of restaurants, bars, function rooms and an
impressive beer garden with the main focal point an old oak tree that provides plenty of shade to
patrons in summer.