Photo: AIRPHOTO Australia

Coastal and Geographical Features: Port Hacking

Port Hacking: North Shore



Port Hacking: named by Matthew Flinders in 1796 after Port Jackson pilot Henry Hacking. Hacking had told Flinders of a large river south of Botany Bay which First Fleet midshipman of HMS Supply, James Aicken, had discovered. Originally named Port Aicken (alternatively Akin or Aken) after James Aicken.
Henry Hacking was a quartermaster on HMS Sirius of the First Fleet. He returned to England after the wreck of HMS Sirius at Norfolk Island. He came back to Sydney in 1792. Between 1792 and 1800, he was involved in several explorations including an attempt to cross the Blue Mountains and was with the party that discovered the "lost cattle". Port Hacking was named after him by Matthew Flinders in 1796. In 1800-01 Hacking was pilot at Port Jackson. In November 1801, he was sent to Hobart in disgrace for having shot and wounded a woman and later for robbing ship's stores. Both times he was condemned to death but reprieved by Governor King for his previous good conduct. In June 1804, he was appointed coxswain of Hobart and was appointed superintendant of the Port of Hobart in 1819. He died at Hobart on 21st July 1831, aged 81.



Bass & Flinders Point: Place where explorers George Bass and Matthew Flinders came ashore during their survey of Port Hacking in March 1796.

Salmon Haul Bay: recalls a catch of salmon once made here.

Hungry Point: origin unknown.


Gunnamatta Bay

Gunnamatta Bay: Derived from Goonamarra, the Aboriginal name for the area from Cronulla to Kurnell. Probably named by Lord Audley when he made the first official survey of Port Hacking and the Hacking River in 1863-64. In 1880, developer James Murphy tested for coal here. Three bores were sunk, the last one at 732 metres hit a 3.4 metre thick seam but in the process ruined two drilling machines. The coal was deemed uneconomical to mine.


Burraneer Bay

Burraneer Point / Bay: Burraneer is an Aboriginal name meaning 'point of the bay'. It was first recorded by assistant surveyor-general Robert Dixon when he surveyed Botany Bay and Port Hacking in 1827. He elected to use the Aboriginal names for geographical features rather than give new names. Originally spelt 'Burrameer'.

Gogerlys Point: early settler K.I. Gogerly, an eccentric journalist who received a two year sentence for libel. After his release, Gogerly took to the bush and became a squatter in the area which bears his name, living off the land. In 1863 the authorities granted him two blocks of land.


Dolans Bay

Dolans Bay: recalls an early settler, Patrick Dolan, who purchased two parcels of land on the shores of Burraneer Bay in January 1857.

Little Turriell Bay / Point; Great Turriell Bay: recalls Tyreal House, which was the home of William Simpson at Cabbage Tree Point. Simpson made it a holiday resort, renaming it Simpson's Hotel. 'Turriell' may be a corruption of 'Tyreal', which is believed to be the Aboriginal name of this location. It was a camping ground and the place where the Port Hacking River was crossed by south coastal tribes on their journey noth to visit the Sydney basin tribes. In 1918, Harry Simpson, a boat proprietor, uncovered a large cave here while blasting. The cave, which contained many human bones and weapons, appeared to have collapsed, killing a whole tribe. This would account for the difference in the number of aborigines recorded by Cook in 1770 and then by Gov Phillip in 1788.


Lilli Pilli Point

Lilli Pilli Point: Aboriginal name referring to the Lilli Pilli plant that was once plentiful in the area. 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.


Gannons Bay

Gannons Bay: recalls early settler, Irishman Michael Gannon, a carpenter and joiner who became involved in timber getting and charcoal manufacture in the St George district in the 1840s.

Willarong Point: takes its name from Willarong Road, which was named by James Murphy, manager and a shareholder of Holt-Sutherland Estate. The word is of Aboriginal origin but the meaning is unknown. The suffix "ong" in Aboriginal nomenclature signifies a 'place' or 'place of'.


Alcheringa Falls, Yowie Bay

Alcheringa Creek: Of Aboriginal origin, meaning unknown. Alcheringa Creek Creek flows into Gymea Bay. Alcheringa Creek flows over a waterfall at the head of Yowie Bay.

Yowie Bay / Point: from an Aboriginal word "yowie" or "ewie" meaning "echo". Named in 1827 by Surveyor Dixon and spelt by him as Ewey. A source in 1890 records that it is an Aboriginal form of "cooey", as the aboriginals when travelling north used to "cooey" from the southern shore of Port Hacking to this prominent point on the north shore to gain the attention of other aboriginals, so they could be brought over in canoes, the only conveyance at their disposal at the time. Land was originally released here as the Village of Weeroona in 1889. It may be a coincidence of names, but it has also been suggested that ewey is a corruption of 'ewes' (female sheep) - see Eyey Bay below.


Yowie Bay

Ewey Bay: Sheep were bred here by Thomas Holt (1811-88) in the 19th century, and he employed some shepherds from Yorkshire, England. This has led to speculation that Ewey is a corruption of 'ewes' (female sheep). 'Yowie' is also a Yorkshire word for lamb.


Gymea Bay

Gymea Bay: Aboriginal name for the red flowering giant lily. The plant is believed to have been named by Government Surveyor W.A.B. Greaves in 1855. Gymea Bay is an indent on the eastern side of Neals Inlet on Yowie Bay.


Coonong Creek

Coonong Creek: Origin unknown, possibly Aboriginal. Coolong Creek flows into Gymea Bay.



North West Arm: descriptive of the location of this arm of Port Hacking.

Dents Creek: Origin unknown. 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. The Creek flows into North West Arm.


A waterfall on Savilles Creek

Savilles Creek: Origin unknown. Believed to have been named after an early settler. Believed to have been named after an early settler. Savilles Creek flows into Dents Creek.

Temptation Creek: The creek flows into Savilles Creek.

Mansion Point / Bay: origin unknown. Mansions Point is at the head of Port Hacking. Upstream from Mansion Point the watercourse is known as the Hacking River.


Grays Point

Grays Point: from the feature, which was possibly named after settlers Samuel William Gray or John Edward Gray. William Gray owned 50 acres of land here. An alternate suggestion is that the location's name recalls John Edward Gray who was a, early ranger for the Royal National Park and a well known local identity who lived at Gundamaian.


Pool Flat, Hacking River, Royal National Park

Hacking River: The river and the inlent into which it flows were named after Henry Hacking, quartermaster HMS Sirius of the first fleet, who was the Port Jackson harbour pilot. He discovered the waterway on a kangaroo hunting trip in 1788. Thus named by George Bass and Matthew Flinders in 1796. Lady Wakehurst Drive follows the Hacking River on its north-eastern bank through Royal National Park. The head of the river is to the north-east of Stanwell Tops Lookout.

Port Hacking: South Shore


Leg of Mutton Bay

Leg of Mutton Bay: descriptive of its shape.

Danger Point: descriptive.

Lightning Point: origin not known - possibly descriptive of a time when lightning struck or was seen there.

Farnell Bight: named after Hon. James Squire Farnell, Premier of NSW in 1877-8, and appointed a trustee of the National (now Royal National) Park in 1881.

Wants Point: recalls George Frederick Want, an auctioneer, was one of the original trustees of the National (now Royal National) Park in 1879.

Dark Bay: origin unknown, possibly descriptive.

Carruthers Bay: named after Joseph (later Sir Joseph) Hector Carruthers, who regularly visited the area in the 1890s, and was appointed a trustee of the National (now Royal National) Park in 1891. He became Premier of New South Wales in 1904.

Grahame Point: origin unknown.


South West Arm pools

South West Arm: descriptive, being the south west arm of Port Hacking.

Gooseberry Bay: origin unknown.

Costens Point: named after William Costen, an early settler in that location.

Red Jack Point: origin unknown.


Yennabilla Point from Lilli Pilli

Yennabilla Point: the Aboriginal name for the location, which was first recorded by assistant surveyor-general Robert Dixon when he surveyed Botany Bay and Port Hacking in 1827. He elected to use the Aboriginal names for geographical features rather than give new names.

Bells Point: origin unknown,

Fishermans Bay: origin unknown.

Deeban Spit: ecorded as the Aboriginal name for port Hacking by surveyor Robert Dixon in 1827. Jibbon (Head) is a derivative of the same Aboriginal name.


Constables Point

Constables Point: nearby land (portion 10) was granted to Marmaduke Constable.

Simpsons Bay: Harry Simpson who ran Simpson's Hotel and ran a boat hire business at Little Turriell Bay in the 1920s.

Cabbage Tree Point: named for the profusion of cabbage trees growing at that location.

Horderns Beach: Sydney retailer Anthony Hordern, who owned an allotment fronting the beach.



Bundeena Bay: Aboriginal name said to be a Dharawal term for 'noise like thunder'. It probably refers to the roar of surf breaking on the beach and may have referred to a coastal beach nearby as Bundeena Bay does not have surf.

Gunyah Beach: from the Aboriginal name 'gunyah', a hut or dwelling.


Jibbon Head

Jibbon Head: also known as Port Hacking Point. Port Hacking Heads were known as Port Aiken Heads in 1870 (see Port Hacking above). Jibbon is believed to be the Aboriginal name of the location. Originally recorded as Deeban.

The Cobblers: origin unknown.


Little Marley Bay and Little Marley Point

Little Marley Bay; Marley Beach / Bay / Head: believed to be the Aboriginal name of the location.

Providential Point: Matthew Flinders and George Bass, in March 1796 found shelter in a violent storm in a nearby cove (Wattamolla).


Martin Head, Wattamolla

Martin Head: named after William Martin, the boy who sailed with Bass and Flinders. The bay was named Providential Cove by Matthew Flinders and George Bass, in March 1796 as it was here they found shelter in a violent storm.


Wattamolla Falls

Wattamolla: an Aboriginal name which either means 'place near running water' or was the Aboriginal name of Wattamolla Creek which enters the ocean here.



Curracurrong / Curracurrang: believed to be the Aboriginal name of the location. Curracurrong is home to the most spectacular waterfalls in Royal National Park (there are two of them) - two creeks flow straight off the edge of the cliff face into the ocean. On a windy day, the strong winds at the foot of the cliffs blow the water back up again, which is quite a memorable sight. The only access is via walking tracks from Wattamolla, Garie or Sir Bertram Stevens Drive. The walk to the falls from each location is around 40 minutes.

Eagle Rock: A unique rock formation near Curracarong, about halfway down the length of the park on the coast. It is a large rock outcrop that looks like an eagle's head when viewed from the side.


Garie Beach

Garie North Head / Garie Beach: first recorded as Garrah, the name of a 130 acre grant here to Andrew Byrne in 1831. There are three theories to its meaning: 1. Aboriginal word meaning: 'sleepy'; 2. Geera, Garie or Geara: not believed to be Aboriginal in origin; 3. Named after a bushranger, William Geary, who is said to have camped here while on the run in 1818.

North and South Era beaches: origin of the name, see 'Garie' above. Other sources indicate Era may have been the Aboriginal name of the location. Camping at North Era campground overlooking North Era beach in Royal National Park is allowed. North Era's bush campsites are perfectly located for an overnight stop while walking the Coast Track.


Werrong Beach

Werrong Beach: the name is of Aboriginal origin but its meaning is unknown. Werrong is the only legal naturist beaches in the park. It faces east towards the Tasman Sea. The hill behind the beach is covered in trees and undergrowth. Those who camp overnight can be woken at dawn by wallabies wandering around the campsite or a Ranger who might fine you for illegal camping.

Clarie's Beach: now known as North Era, it was thus named as cattle belonging to a local settler of that name grazed his cattle in the gully.


Semi-Detached Point and South Era from Thelma Head

Thelma Head: origin unknown.

Semi-Detached Point: origin unknown.


Burning Palms Beach

Buring Palms: a beach at the southern end of the Royal National Park's coastline. One kilometre south of Era is an open, 500 m wide steep sided valley drained by four small creeks. Running along the base of the slopes is Burning Palms Beach. It is only accessible on foot from the 200 m high Garawarra car park, 2 km to the west. About 20 shacks occupy the northern slope. Camping is restricted within the Royal National Park and bookings are essential. This is a relatively popular surfing beach, but hazardous for general bathing. The wide bars, rips and persistent waves can combine to produce good beach breaks.



Figure 8 Pools: The Figure 8 Pools are considered the jewel in the cluster of rock pools that line the coast in Sydney's Royal National Park. Only accessible about two hours either side of low tide, they are found on the rock platform two headlands south of Burning Palms Beach, which means a bit of a hike however you come in. The National Parks & Wildlife Service warns that visitors have to be aware that rogue waves wash across the rocks and that access to the pools is only possible when it's safe - at low tide. You also need to be a bit daring to take a dip as the variety of sea life will make you feel like you are dunking in an aquarium. To get to the pools, follow the rocky track that hugs the cliffs of the coastal escarpment from Garrawarra Farm car park or the Burning Palms Track. It's a steep climb back up to the car park so be prepared before you venture down to the pools.

Bulgo Range / Beach: of Aboriginal origin. The locality of Otford was originally named Bulgo.

Australia For Everyone: Ph: 0412 879 698 | Email
Content © 2017, Australia For Everyone

v