Bongin Bongin Bay

Mona Vale

A residential suburb in Sydney's Northern Beaches area, Mona Vale has developed into an administrative and commercial centre for the region, with most business activity centred around the intersections of Pittwater Road with Mona Vale Road and Barrenjoey Road.

Location: 28 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district, to the immediate south of Pittwater and Barrenjoey Peninsula.

Mona Vale sits at the southern extremity of Pittwater, a large ocean inlet with sits to the south of Broken Bay and west of Barrenjoey Peninsula. Pittwater Road follows the southern shoreline of Pittwater through the picturesque suburbs of Bayview and Church Point, with Scotland Island across the water. Beyond Church Point the road becomes McCarrs Creek Road, and follows a twisty, narrow, but very scenic route up through McCarrs Creek valley to Terrey Hills. The access road to the main entrance to West Head in the eastern section of Ku-Ring-Gai Chast National Park is off McCarrs Creek Road near Lower Gledhill Falls a few kilometres from Church Point.

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Mona Vale Beach: Protected from suburbia by a golf course, this beach is popular with families as there are many facilities for children. Rips are commonplace so swimming between the flags is essential. Otherwise, swim in the sheltered rock pool between Mona Vale and Bongin Bongin beaches. Bacteria levels are the highest of all the beaches of the peninsula, particularly after rain, because of a nearby stormwater outfall.
Facilities: patrolled by lifesavers, changerooms, toilets, showers, shops at cnr Mona Vale and Pittwater Rds. UBD Map 138 Ref L 6. Surfview Road, Mona Vale.
Public transport: train to Milsons Pt.; bus No. L84; or train to Chatswood, bus No. L60; or bus No. L84, L85 from Wynyard. Alight at cnr Barrenjoey Rd & Darley St. Walk east down Darley St East to beach

Basin Beach: Also known as Bongin Bongin, a well protected ocean beach on Bongin Bongin Bay which generally has low swell and is therefore ideal for less strong swimmers. Rips are rare here though the water depth does increase sharply as you move away from the beach. An ocean pool is located on the rocks at the southern end of the beach. UBD Map 138 Ref N 3. Surfview Road, Mona Vale.
Facilities: not patrolled by lifesavers, changerooms, toilets, showers, park, shops at cnr Mona Vale and Pittwater Rds.
Public transport: train to Milsons Pt.; bus No. L84; or train to Chatswood, bus No. L60; or bus No. L84, L85 from Wynyard. Alight at cnr Barrenjoey Rd & Seareach Ave. Walk east down Seareach Ave. to beach.


Pittwater is a wide inlet to the south of Broken Bay and the entrance of the Hawkesbury River, and is located some 30 kms north of Sydney. A boat owner's paradise, it is now part of the Sydney metropolitan area. The suburbs built on its shores are all fashionable residential areas which benefit from expansive views towards Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park on its eastern shore and the inlet's calm waters. To its east is the Barrenjoey Peninsula, to its west, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. Ferries, hire boats and houseboats make the park s intricate shoreline totally accessible, its deep waters being ideal for boating. Small communities made up primarily of of holiday shacks, cling to the shoreline.

Prior to British colonisation, the Pittwater region was occupied by Kuring Gai-speaking Aborigines. Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park contains the largest collection of aboriginal art in the Sydney region. Over 200 groups of engravings are recorded. The Port Jackson and Broken Bay Aborigines had developed considerable skills in canoe-making, utilising the bark from Bangalay trees to make canoes.

Sighted by Lieut James Cook in 1770, Pitt Water was earmarked though never used by Capt. Arthur Phillip as an alternative settlement site for the First Fleet if Botany Bay proved impractical. It did, but on his way to Pitt Water, he discovered Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) which Cook had not bothered to explore, and chose Sydney Cove as the site for the new colony. Phillip explored the area in February 1788, describing it as "a great inlet ... the finest piece of water I ever saw, which I have honoured with the name of Pitt Water." Pittwater's name recalls William Pitt the Younger, Prime Minister of Britain when it was named by Gov. Phillip in 1788.

Winnererremy Bay

Known amongst locals as Winnererremy Bay Park, it is also known as Flying Fox Park because of the Flying Fox Cafe located near the playground. Facilities include electric BBQs, picnic shelters, toilets, walking track, enclosed playground with a dry creek bed/adventure trail that contains stone carvings of sea creatures, flying fox, space net, skate areas, snakes and ladders, spica poles and spring rockers. The play equipment is suitable for toddlers as well as older children. The southern inlet at the head of Pittwater, once known as is Pitt Inlet, is today known as Winji Jimmi , itself a corruption of the native name of Winnereremy.

Katandra Bushland Sanctuary
A reserve dedicated to the study and preservation of native flora and fauna, particularly in the Sydney region. It features 10 ha of pockets of rainforest, open forest and heathland. The reserve is open for bushwalks every Sunday July, Aug, September & October and every 3rd Sunday of March, April, May and June.
UBD Map 137 Ref Q 2. Lane Cove Road, Foley's Hill.


Immediately north of Mona Vale, at the southern end of Pittwater is the blue-ribbon residential suburb of Bayview. Whoever named it couldn't have picked a more apt name - it perfectly identifies the major reason why anyone would want to live here. Climbing up the hillside to the high ground above the southern end of Pittwater, the views from most residences are quite spectacular - the view north is along the length of Pittwater towards Lion Island and Broken Bay in the distance.

Named in August 1882, settlement began in the 1820s with timber getting, shingle making and shell digging, followed by farmers and orchardists. Bayview became a holiday destination when the coach service from Manly extended there in the 1880s. It was also reached by boat from Sydney. Visitors stayed in guesthouses. Bayview's development as a suburban area came gradually after World War I.

History of Mona Vale
The area was known as Bongin Bongin by Aborigines. The first land grants in the district of Pittwater were not made until the 23 April 1813. The land that now comprises Mona Vale was granted to Robert Campbell (1769-1846), and was surveyed in May 1814, and was originally part of 700 acres (2.8 km2) that extended from Mona Vale to the end of Newport beach. The village grew around the intersection of Mona Vale Road and the road to Palm Beach and became a centre for market gardens established in the area in the 1850s. Among its early settlers was a Mr. Foley, who took over Robert Campbell's original grant. The area's first market gardener, he enjoyed great success, Mrs. Foley's butter being in great demand at the Sydney markets.

The name Mona Vale first appeared about 1858 and these events were referred to as the Mona Vale outrages. These were a reference to a series of robberies, cattle theft, accidental death and even murder occurred in the district beween 1849 and 1870 arising from disagreements between Foley and another local farming family, the Collins. The victim of numerous thefts, Foley informed the police who made an arrest, but before the trial, Foley was fatally shot and the trial was abandoned. Foley's farm remained abandoned until James Therry, the nephew of Rev. JJ Therry, began working it. Therry had his horses stolen, his cattle shot, and an attempt was made to burn his house down. Sergeant McGlone, somewhat of a hero for his part in the capture of a bushranger named Gardiner, was put on the case and he soon found and arrested the man responsible.

The Shaw family had a boat-building and blacksmith shop at the head of Winnererremy Bay. At Machons timber yard in Waratah Street enormous locally felled trees were milled. Sir Edward Hallstrom was a member of the Taronga Zoo Park Trust from 1941 to 1959, its president from 1948 to 1959 and honorary director until 1967. He believed that animals should have fresh food of the highest quality and to ensure this, in 1947 he purchased 40 acres of farm land at Mona Vale for which he paid 32,000 pounds. The land fronted Bassett Street, Mona Street and Darley Road. The farm each year produced tons of green feed, such as lucerne, corn, elephant grass, banana shoots, clover, oats, sweet potatoes and carrots, all to feed the zoo s herbivorous animals. Sir Edward had his personal sanctuary of animals and birds, the area with many koalas and at one time had nine white kangaroos, all albinos and two rare sets of white wallaby twins.

Some of the Zoo Farm paddocks retained names linking them then with their former owners  for instance Blackman s Block  and Chinaman s Paddock . Analysis of the production and transport costs had led to the conclusion that the operation of the farm was uneconomic and farming finally ceased at the end of 1976. The land was sold off in a series of subdivision sales until the final parcels were disposed of in 1984. Reminders of the farm today are streets on the site named Taronga Place and Hallstrom Place and in Bassett Street near the bridge over the stormwater drain is a stone plinth with a plaque.

Mona Vale became a residential and commercial suburb in the second part of the twentieth century. In 2005, Mona Vale became the administrative centre of Pittwater Council after the council chambers moved from Warriewood. Many streets in some subdivisions of Mona Vale are named after scientists.

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