Grays Point is a small suburb with picturesque views of the Port Hacking estuary. It is adjacent to the Royal National Park and the suburbs of Gymea Bay and Kirrawee. There is only one road available for vehicular access however multiple walking and mountain bike tracks link it with locations such as Audley in the Royal National Park, Engadine and Heathcote. This, in turn, contributes to the exclusive atmosphere of the suburb. Grays Point is well known for having some of the most expensive real estate in the area with properties being highly sought after, especially with access to the surrounding waterway.
Situated on the North West Arm of Port Hacking to the south east of Gymea Bay. Little of the suburb's history is known, except that it abounded in birdlife - not even the origin of its name was recorded. It may have been named after Samuel William Gray who owned land on the point, or perhaps after John Edward Gray, a resident National Park ranger in the 1890s who was a well known local identity.
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This peaceful grassed reserve is popular for picnics. It has a barbeque (electric, free), toilets, tables and seats. There is a small shallow boat ramp suitable for launching trailer boats, canoes and kayaks. The Swallow Rock wetland area is home to a large variety of wildlife resides in Grays Point, including possums, sugar gliders, Mopoke owls, deer (an introduced species), wallabies, magpies and kookaburras. The tip pf the point itself is also a reserve but has no facilities.
On higher ground of Swallow Rock Reserve, a lookout was built many years ago to appreciate the sweeping views down the river to Gymea Bay, but the growth of trees over the years has partly obliterated the view.
Savilles Creek forms the north western boundary of Royal National Park in Sydney's south. A pretty watercourse which drains into the North West Arm of Port Hacking, it passes through a series of small rapids and races before tumbling over a 4 metre high falls which is quite spectacular after heavy rains. There is no direct access to the falls via a walking path but the bush around it is relatively easy to pass through so it is not difficult to reach. Drive to and park at the end of Bligh Ave., Kirrawee and walk the short distance down the hill to the creek. Cross the creek as soon as possible (there is no bridge but it is easy to ford) and walk downstream for about 10 minutes to reach the falls.
The heritage listed natural stone bridge over Dents Creek
Savilles Creek flows into Dents Creek, which in turn flows into North West Arm of Port Hacking. Dents Creek forms the borner between the suburbs of South Kirrawee and gymea Bay. The origin of the creek's name is unknown, but is believed to have been named after an early settler. In 1887, three unsuccessful bores were sunk beside the creek in search of a mineable coal seam.
This Reserve in Gymea Bay is an award winning remnant bushland area maintained by Sutherland Shire Council and volunteers. Its walking tracks link with the Old School Park and Gymea Bay Baths Reserve. A pleasant walking path through the reserve follows Coonong Creek as it wends its way over through the light undergrowth and over rocks on its way to Gymea Bay.
The suburb of Gymea Bay takes its name from the small bay on the north side of the Port Hacking estuary (also known as the Port Hacking River). Gymea is a native name, describing the gymea lily which are still seen in abundance in the area. The locality of Gymea Bay is on the southern shore of the Coonong Creek estuary where it flows into Gymea Bay and where Gymea Bay Road once reached the river (now a private road). 27 km south of the Sydney central business district, Gymea Bay shares the postcode 2227 with the adjacent suburb of Gymea.
Kirrawee is a nearby suburb located 25 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district. Kirrawee lies between Sutherland, to the west, and Gymea and Grays Point, to the east. Kirrawee's southern border is formed by The Royal National Park, while Kareela and Jannali form the northern border. Kirrawee railway station is on the Cronulla line which links Sydney's southern suburbs to the CBD. Kirrawee is approximately 40 minutes by train to the CBD. Kirrawee was one of the last remaining single platform stations in Sydney. Duplication of the train line from Sutherland to Cronulla was completed in 2010.
Kirrawee is split between commercial and residential areas. Approximately half of the area to the north of the train line is occupied by commercial and industrial properties, while almost all of the area south of the train line is residential. South Kirrawee, which extends from the train line in the north to the Royal National Park in the south, has many houses on quiet roads with beautiful bush outlooks. North Kirrawee is predominantly a commercial/industrial zone containing small to medium-sized factories housing local businesses. It is also home to a number of petrol stations, car dealerships and a fast food chain outlet. However, the most northerly and western sections of this part of Kirrawee are residential, with some parts also with bush outlooks.
Kirrawee is part of the southern Sydney region inhabited by the Dharawal people at least 8,500 years prior to European settlement. Early non-indigenous development of the area was connected to the non-indigenous development of nearby Sutherland. It was not until the 1950s that Kirrawee became heavily settled, with many families looking to resettle after World War II. In
There are two possible origins for the suburb's name. The first is that it derives from an Aboriginal word meaning 'lengthy'; the second is that it derives from a Dharawal word, "gi(a)rrawee(i)" (alternative spelling "garrawi"), which means 'place of white cockatoos' or 'sulphur-crested cockatoos'. Signage erected by the local Council uses 'place of white cockatoos' as the accepted meaning for the suburb name. The name was adopted in 1939 with the opening of the Sutherland-Cronulla railway line.
kirrawee brick pit redevelopment proposal
Kirrawee Brick Pit: Kirrawee's long-disused former brick pit is a 4.5ha site just north of the main shopping village, and its future has been the source of much debate by local residents, politicians, potential developers, and media in the locality. Used for industrial purposes between 1912 and 1979, the land was owned by various brick manufacturers. Sydney Water Board acquired the land in 1974 for water-storage purposes, but instead it became an equipment storage facility. Over many years, the pit had become half-filled with water, making a natural lagoon. The remainder of the site was covered with overgrown trees and plants and had become home to many diverse species of animals, most notably bird life, which could be seen nesting and swimming on and around the water. The threatened Grey-headed Flying Fox has been observed drinking from the lake.
Wattamolla beach and headland
Royal National Park is the second oldest National Park in the world. A railway station between Loftus and Bundeena on the suburban Illawarra line provides easy access to the park. Alternatively, a ferry operates from Cronulla near the railway station to Bundeena. Over 150 km of walking tracks give access to the park. Walk the coast for magnificent clifftop views, or experience the diversity of habitats, including heath, rainforests, open woodlands and estuarine systems. Enjoy historic landscapes, picnic in one of the many shady, peaceful areas and stroll to lookouts with spectacular views over the park. Wattamolla, Garie and Burning Palms are among the most beautiful beaches in Australia. Hire a row boat at historic Audley and take a leisurely paddle up Kangaroo Creek.
Kirrawee contains several important remnants of Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest, a critically endangered ecological community. STIF is distinctly different from the surrounding plant communities that grow on sandstone soils, as it typically grows on clay soils derived from Wianamatta Shale. Kirrawee's small patches of Ironbark Forest vegetation is part of the original forest which extended from between Sutherland to Wooloware before residential development.
Although this type of forest remains, for the most part, only as heavily fragmented patches or even isolated trees surviving amongst suburban dwellings. Small remnants yet survive and can be seen growing around Kirrawee - in protected sites such as Flora Street Reserve, and Pollard Park on Kirrawee main street; and in long-undeveloped sites such as the old Kirrawee Brick Pit and the Telstra depot (also a former brickpit). These latter sites are at risk as they are now subject to urban development plans. The Sutherland Shire Council and Bushcare volunteers maintain a Plant Nursery that sells native plants sourced from local species, and its website includes a native plant selector that encourages locals to purchase and protect species suited to the local ecosystem.