Dee Why

Dee Why, a suburb of northern Sydney, is located 18 kilometres north-east of the Sydney central business district. It is the administrative centre of the Warringah Council, and along with Brookvale is considered to be the main centre of the Northern Beaches region. Dee Why is contained in the drainage basin of Dee Why Lagoon.

The main commercial area in Dee Why is centred on either side of Pittwater Road, the main arterial road on the Northern Beaches, and continues down the streets leading to the beach as well as upwards along Fisher Road. The Strand, running along the southern Dee Why beach front, is a major commercial area, and features apartments, cafes, restaurants and bars overlooking the beach.

Public transport: ferry to Manly, bus No. 136, 159; or bus No. 176, E76 from Wynyard; or train to Chatswood, bus No. 136.


Dee Why Beach: Its broad expanse of clean sand and reputation as one of the safest of Sydney's northern beaches has contributed greatly to this beach's extreme popularity. Fortunately, the strip of sand is wide and backed by a variety of facilities for both surfers and families alike. A rock pool in the south is a haven for children and swimmers who don't want surf. UBD Map 178 Ref F 5. The Strand, Dee Why.
Facilities: patrolled by lifesavers, changerooms, toilets, grassed areas, picnic facilities, children's playground, shops, many restaurants and cafes nearby.
Public transport: ferry to Manly, bus No. 136, 159; or bus No. 176, E76 from Wynyard; or train to Chatswood, bus No. 136.

Long Reef Beach: Long Reef Beach is located at the northern end of Dee Why Beach. Long Reef is not as well known as other Northern Beaches locations. The beach is nestled between nature reserves and extends for almost 2km from the base of Long Reef Point to Dee Why Point and is backed by Dee Why Lagoon. The beach faces the southeast and picks up any east to southeast swell making it one of Sydney's higher energy beaches. The waves average 1.6 m being highest in the south and centre, decreasing north of the Long Reef surf club owing to waves breaking on the outer reefs. Between Long Reef surf club and Dee Why Point are usually eight strong rips, including the particularly hazardous rip that flows out against Dee Why Point. The rips and their feeder currents usually form a continuous trough with currents heading into the rips. A great place for a family picnic, pack a lunch and cook a BBQ on the free electric barbecues, situated between the beach and car park. Plenty of grassy areas available to set up and enjoy a quiet picnic or set up a game of friendly cricket.
Facilities: kiosk, public toilets, showers, viewing platform, picnic area, electric BBQs

Long Reef Point

Long Reef Point is a prominent 36 meters high shale headland that protrudes 2 km seaward, and is surrounded by wide intertidal rock platforms, with reefs extending to the north and south of the point. Located between Dee Why and Collaroy it comprises three protected areas: Long Reef Aquatic Reserve, Long Reef Wildlife Protection Area, and Dee Why Lagoon Wildlife Refuge. It is a popular spot for walkers and provides expansive views to the north as far as the central coast and the south to Manly.

At low tide you can walk over the rock platform and look in the rock pools. Long Reef Aquatic Reserve protects the point's two rocky shores. The northern rocky reef area is protected from southerly swells by the prominent eastern headland, while the larger eastern platform is more exposed. Different organisms occur in these two areas. Long Reef Aquatic Reserve protects the marine invertebrates on the rock platforms as well as subtidal marine plants and animals.

The lookout at the highest point is a popular spot for watching Humpback Whale migration between April and December each year. Years ago there was a tunnel cut through the rocks of the headland, ostensibly to mine for copper. The tunnel and long been closed over.
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Alleyne Avenue Reserve

A tiny reserve accessed from Alleyne Avenue which offers views across Narrabeen Peninsula, Narrabeen Lakes, the Collaroy Plateau and nearby beaches. UBD Map 158 Ref F 1. Limited facilities. Alleyne Avenue, Brookvale. Public transport: train to Pymble, bus No. 195 to steps off Pittwater Rd near Nareen Pde; or ferry to Manly, bus No. 156; or bus No. 184, 187, 190 from Town Hall station; or bus No. E84 from Wynyard; or train to Chatswood, bus No. L60 from Chatswood station.

Gov. Phillip Lookout

This lookout is located at the top of Beacon Hill, which is the highest point in the region of Sydney's northern beaches. Views of almost the entire eastern half of the Sydney region may be had from the summit which is approximately 152 metres above sea level. Views extend from the southern outskirts of Sydney, west to the Blue Mountains and north to Gosford and the Central Coast. The skyline of the city is seen to the south, ships, pleasure craft and occasional migratory whales can be seen out to sea in the east. The lookout is popular with locals on New Year's Eve when the firework displays across Sydney Harbour are clearly visible, approximately 11 kilometres to the south. UBD Map 177 Ref J 6. Gov. Phillip Lookout, Beacon Hill, Warringah Road, Brookvale.
Stony Range Botanic Garden

: Established in 1957 on the site of an old quarry and located just south of the Dee Why town centre. The garden, which contains plants from all over Australia as well as those indigenous to the area, has four main sections, the rainforest gully, the sandstone heath on the site of the quarry, the Federation Cascades built in 2001 to commemorate the centenary of the federation of Australia, and the primitive plant section, with examples of plant species that have survived for millions of years. The garden is open from 8am to 5pm every day except Christmas Day, and admission is free.

Dee Why Lagoon

Dee Why Lagoon provides habitat to a range of animals, including local and migatory birds. It is listed on the Register for National Estate for the Warringah area as being of local significance and was declared a wildlife refuge in 1973. It supports three endangered ecological communities; the Sydney Coastal Estuary Swamp Forest Complex, Sydney Freshwater Wetlands and Coastal Saltmarsh in the Sydney Basin. There is a nature trail through the refuge, around the back of the sand dunes, which allows visitors, residents and school groups to enjoy the birdlife that the wetlands support.

Bicentennial Coastal Walkway

The Bicentennial Coastal Walkway from Queenscliff to Palm Beach leads from North Curl Curl Beach in the south, along the cliffs of Dee Why Head and down to the southern end of Dee Why Beach. The track exhibits the coastal heath ecosystem that used to be spread all over the Warringah area, and has been extensively regenerated since 1991.


William Cossar was the first person to own land in Dee Why. Cossar was granted 500 acres north of Dee Why Lagoon and 200 acres south of the lagoon. Cossar sold the land to D Arcy Wentworth in 1825 and Wentworth then sold it to James Jenkins in 1825. Elizabeth Jenkins left her land to the Salvation Army upon her death in 1900 after setting up an agreement where they acquired her land in return for an annuity paid to her family until the last member died in 1930.

The Salvation Army developed the Dee Why land into an industrial farm, a boys home, a home for girls and a holiday home for ladies. From 1913 the Salvation Army started to sell off its holdings. The Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club opened in November 1914. The first general meeting held by the Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club was in 1913 and their first surf carnival was in February 1914. The Dee Why Post Office opened in 1915, a public school opened in 1922 and a Catholic School in 1935. Dee Why Hotel opened in 1926. The Dee Why RSL Club opened and operated as a sub-branch from 1937. In the 1920 2s Dee Why was mostly a holiday destination boasting many holiday cottages and a campground.

The origin of the name is unsure, though numerous suggestions abound. According to some, it is derived from the aboriginal word "diwai", a waterfowl said to have inhabited Dee Why Lagoon. Another suggestion is that it refers to the Spanish caravel, "Santa Ysabel", which went missing in fog off Calao, South America in 1595, and according to folklore, was wrecked here. The first recorded use of the name was in September 1815, when Surveyor James Meehan recorded in his field book, "Dy Beach - marked a honeysuckle near beach". Meehan recorded difficulty accessing the area because of the heavy brush and swamp, and it is most likely he was using an abbreviation of the Greek word "dysprositos", meaning "difficult to reach". If this were the case, the name, like that of Bare Island at the entrance to Botany Bay, was recorded more of a description than for use as a name.

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