Lilli Pilli is a small suburb on the south west corner of the Caringbah Peninsula on Port Hacking. Lilli Pilli was named for the Lilly Pilly, the native myrtles that grew prolifically on the point. Lilli Pilli is located on the north shore of the Port Hacking estuary, the suburbs adjacent to Lilli Pilli are Caringbah, Port Hacking and Dolans Bay. The villages of Maianbar and Bundeena are located on the opposite bank of Port Hacking.
Port Hacking is a tide dominated, drowned valley estuary located approximately 30 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district. Much smaller than Sydney Harbour, Port Hacking has its source in the upper reaches of the Hacking River and several smaller creeks. The waterway is the northern boundary of Royal National Park.
Port Hacking and the the suburbs and localities that surround it are in the Shire of Sutherland, and as a consequence the locals refer to the whole area as The Shire . Port Hacking effectively forms the southern boundary of Sydney s suburban sprawl. The southern bank is largely undeveloped land within the Royal National Park, although the small communities of Bundeena and Maianbar are found there.
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A pleasant nature reserve and one of the few public access points to the picturesque peninsula on the northern shore of Port Hacking. An easy, short walk through bushland and then along the water s edge commences off Korakan Road. The reserve, which overlooks Royal National Park, is a great secluded picnic area that is often protected from the wind. A rock ledge runs along the northern point up to Speed Alley. Many fishing spots can be found here, all the way to Little Turriell Bay. Numerous Aboriginal rock carvings and middens can be found around the tip of Lilli Pilli, particularly near Little Turriell Bay. location: Kamira Road, Lilli Pilli.
On The western side of the reserve there are some public baths and a fishing jetty. The baths are deep salt water baths that may be used by anyone that wishes to swim in the Port Hacking River protected by a net. There is a 20 metre hole just outside the baths where many fish swimming down river seem to gather and feed. The channel provides opportunities for catching fish on the changing tide. At low tide the channel can be swum and the sand bank can be walked on, almost the other side. Locals take their dogs across for play but are always careful about the rising tide which can pose problems if not watched.
Three groups of rock carvings and numerous middens have been recorded at numerous points around the Lilli Pilli peninsular, particularly the point which can be accessed by a walking track (they are not sign posted, however). Middens can also be seen at other points along the shores of the Port Hacking River, including Little Moon and Great Moon Bays, Yowie Bay, Gymea Bay, Beauty Point and Greys Point.
The neighbouring suburb of Dolans Bay, to the east of Lilli Pilli, occupies the south eastern section of the Caringbah peninsula. The suburb is named after the small inlet which opens onto the much larger Burraneer Bay. Houses overlook the bay and some line the water's edge together with boatsheds. Boats are moored in the bay, which provides protection from the southerly wind. Burraneer Bay features a private marina and slipway with full repair facilities.
Dolans Bay was named after a land owner in the area called Dominick Dolan. In 1858 Mary and Andrew Webster paid 108 pounds and 15 shillings plus a yearly peppercorn quit rent for their land in this area. The Websters sold their land to Dominick Dolan in 1863. The suburb is 26 km south of Sydney.
The Lilly Pilly, or Syzygium smithii (formerly Acmena smithii), is a summer flowering evergreen tree, belonging to the myrtle family Myrtaceae. It is commonly planted as shrubs or hedgerows. It features rough woody bark, cream and green smooth waxy leaves with flushes of pink new growth and white to maroon edible berries. It shares the common name "Lilly Pilly" with several other plants. Unpruned it will grow about 3 5 m tall in the garden. The trunk is sometimes buttressed. The bark is brown and scaled and flakes off easily. Its dark green shiny leaves are arranged oppositely on the stems, and are lanceolate or ovate and measure 2 -10 cm by 1 -3 cm wide. The cream-white flowers appear from October to March, occurring in panicles at the end of small branches. Berries follow on, appearing from May to August, and are oval or globular with a shallow depression at the top. They measure 0.8 to 2 cm in diameter, and range from white to maroon in colour.