Geographical Features: Sydney Harbour North Shore

Middle Head: central headland of Middle Harbour. Aboriginal name: Kub Kaba.

Obelisk Beach / Bay: derived from an obelisk erected as a steering mark on the shore.


Georges Head

Georges Head: honours King George III, who was the reigning monarch when the First Fleet set sail in 1787. Believed to have been named by Lt. William Bradley during an exploration of Port Jackson in 1788.

Chowder Bay / Head: the name recalls the seafood stew eaten by American whalers who set up a whaling station in the vicinity of Clifton Gardens in early colonial times. Aboriginal name for the bay: Koree; Aboriginal name for Chowder Head - Gurugal.


Taylors Bay

Taylors Bay: named after Lt. James Taylor in 1810.

Bradleys Head: cartographer Lt. William Bradley, who accompanied Phillip on the flagship of the First Fleet, HMS Sirius, in 1787-88. Aboriginal name; Burrogy.


Athol Bay

Athol Bay/Bight: thought to be named after John Murray, the 4th Duke of Atholl (1755-1830) of the Isle of Man. Athol Bay has deepwater anchorages, which were used during the 1939-1945 war by the giant troopships Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth while waiting for troops to embark.

Whiting Beach: once popular beach for catching whiting.


Little Sirius Cove

Little Sirius Point / Cove: flagship of the First Fleet, HMS Sirius, which was careened here in 1789.

Curraghbeena Point: said to be the Aboriginal name for the point between Mosman and Little Sirius Cove.

Mosman Bay: remembers whaling and shipping pioneer Archibald Mosman (1799-1863) who established his business activities here in 1831. Aboriginal name: Gorang bullagong.

Elbow Bay: a corner of Mosman Bay, thus named because of its shape.

Cremorne Point: originally named Careening Point as it was at the nearby bay that HMS Supply was careened in 1788. Thus named after an amusement park established here in 1856 which was modelled on and named after the Cremorne Gardens in London. The tip of the point is named Robertsons Point after the father of parliamentarian Sir John Robertson (see below). Aboriginal name: Woolloorigang.

Robertsons Point: named after father of Sir John Robertson, who was granted the point in 1829. Robertson was Colonial Secretary, Dec. 1885 - Feb. 1886; Dec. 1878 - Dec. 1881; Jan 1883 - Aug. 1882; Aug. 1877 - Dec. 1877; Feb. 1875 - Mar 1877; Oct. 1868 - Jan 1870.


Shell Cove

Shell Cove: so named due to its abundance of shells collected there to make builder's mortar.

Kurraba Point: aboriginal word for Hungry Bay or Shell Cove. First known as Thrupp's Point, after Lt. Alfred Thrupp.


Neutral Bay

Neutral Bay: the name is derived from the fact that Gov. Arthur Phillip identified the bay as neutral territory for visiting vessels to wait until it had been determined whether or not they were friendly.


Careening Cove (foreground) and Neutral Bay

Careening Cove: A bay set aside for careening vessels. It was later set aside for the whaling industry. First known as Slaughter House Bay and later Shairps Bay. Careening refers to a technique of putting ships as far up a bay as possible, so that when the tide goes out they are left dry, and work can be undertaken on the hull. Aboriginal name: Weeawya.

Wudyong Point: name of Aboriginal origin. Its meaning is unknown.

Kirribilli Point: the point and suburb either take their names from an Aboriginal word or from the name of settler James Milson's house, which he called Carabella. The latter may well have been a mispronunciation of the Aboriginal word which we now spell as Kirribilli.

Milsons Point: honours James Milson (1783-1872) who settled here in 1809 and began developing the area, quarrying stone and opening a farm and dairy. Aboriginal name: Wallumeda or Wallumatta, being the home of the Wallumedegal clan of Aborigines.


Lavender Bay

Lavender Bay: formerly known as Hulk Bay, as it has here that the hulk 'Phoenix' was moored in the early 1800s. It housed convicts awaiting transportation to Norfolk Island. Its present name honours the bosun of that ship, George Lavender, who took up residence nearby in 1837 and ran a ferry service from Dawes Point to Blues Point. Aboriginal name: Quibaree meaning 'spring of fresh water'.

McMahons Point: honours Maurice McMahon, a brush and comb manufacturer who took up residence here in 1864. A descendant of McMahon was one of the early mayors of North Sydney.

Blues Point: recalls Billie Blue, a Jamaican ex-convict who ran the first ferry service to the lower north shore in the early 1800s. He lived in a cottage on the point. Aboriginal name: Warrungarea.


Berry Island and Gore Cove

Berrys Bay / Berry Island: recalls pioneer settler Alexander Berry, a merchant and the business partner of Edward Wollstonecraft (1783-1832) who were leading businessmen in Sydney during the 1820s. Contrary to what one might expect, Berry Island is some distance from Berrys Bay.

Sugarworks Bay: a cove on the western side of Berrys Bay, it recalls a sugar works that was established on its shores in 1857. In the 1870s and 80s when the site of the sugar works was leased to the NSW Torpedo Corps as a depot, it became known as Torpedo Bay. The Corps was instrumental in the defence of Sydney Harbour in a period when it was feared Sydney may come under attack by Russia. The Corps relocated to Middle Head in 1880s.


Lavender Bay

Wollstonecraft Bay: recalls early settler Edward Wollstonecraft (1783 - 1832), who was granted a large tract of land here in 1819. He and partner Alexander Berry established their business operations here as well as partnering a pastoral property in the Shoalhaven district near the town of Berry.
Oyster Bay: the name given to Wollstonecraft Bay by the First Fleeters, probably because of oysters harvested here.
Kerosene Bay: the name recalls a kerosene works which operated here between 1906 and 1913. In 1913 it was converted to a gasworks, which operated under the name of the Oyster Bay Gasworks. During the gasworks' period of operation, the bay was known by both names. In the 1950s its shaped was greatly altered by much of it being filled in. In 1942, the Gregory's Street Directory showed the bay as Table Bay. Since the closure of the gasworks in 1987, it has been known as Wollstonecraft Bay.


Balls Head

Balls Head / Balls Head Point / Balls Head Bay: honours Henry Lidgbird Ball (d.1818), Lt. commander of first fleet vessel HMS Supply.

Gore Cove: recalls early settler William Gore (1756-1845) who took up land here in 1810. Gore was Provost Marshall during Bligh's governorship. The nearby locality of Gore Hill is also named in his honour.

Manns Point: Named after Captain Gother Mann of the Indian and Bombay artillery. Mann became the Civil Engineer and Superintendent of Cockatoo Island. The Parramatta River converges with Sydney Harbour at an imaginary line between Manns Point and Longnose Point.

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