South Head: descriptive. Aboriginal name: (inner head) Burra-warra; (outer head) Tar-ral-be.
Lady Bay: The bay was used for bathing by the ladies resident at Macquarie Lighthouse, hence it was called Ladies Bay. In recent years it has erroneously been referred to as Lady Jane Bay.
Camp Cove: Gov. Phillip and a party of soldiers from the First Fleet camped here on the night of 25th January, 1788 during their expedition to find a more appropriate settlement site than Botany Bay.
Laings Point: recalls Edward Laing, the first landowner in the area who was granted 20 acres in the Watsons Bay area in 1793. Laing was a surgeon in the NSW Corps which overthrew Gov. Bligh in the Rum Rebellion. Aboriginal name: Mit-ta-la or Ku-bung-harra.
Watsons Bay: recalls Robert Watson (1756-1819), who was appointed Sydney's harbour pilot and harbourmaster by Gov. Macquarie in 1811 and superintendent of the Macquarie Lighthouse on South Head in 1816. Watson was granted land here in 1801 and built his home on the bay's foreshore. Aboriginal name: Kutti
Sow & Pigs Reef: its shape. Aboriginal name: Birrur Birah.
Gibsons Beach: commemorates the name of a family of standing in the area, long involved in maritime pursuits. The first Henry Gibson was a pilot for some 50 years and lived here from the late 1830's. Kutti Beach: Aboriginal name for Watsons Bay. Village Point: recalls the fishing village which grew up around the harbourmaster's cottage on Watsons Bay during Gov. Macquarie's term of office.
Parsley Bay: believed to have been name thus because of vegetation first found here which resembled parsley.
Vaucluse Bay / Point: recalls nearby Vaucluse House, a colonial villa built by Sir Henry Brown and enlarged by William Charles Wentworth in 1830s.
Shark Bay / Beach: named because of the large number of sharks seen and caught here in the 1800s.
Steel Point: honours Thomas Steele, Joint Secretary to the Treasury in England during the time of Arthur Phillip's governorship. Its former names of Shark Point and Burroway were discontinued on 3 September 1976 and on the same date Steele Point was assigned in their place. Aboriginal name: Burrow-way.
Bottle and Glass Rocks: named thus because the rock formations resemble a bottle and glass. The rocks are in fact a small island. Legend has it that their appearance was somewhat altered by the use of the island as a target for gunnery practice. The island is readily accessible at low tide. The peninsular follows the line of a volcanic dyke. Aboriginal name: Moring.
Hermit Bay: so named because hermits lived here in the 1800s.
Milk Beach: named thus because milk deliveries to nearby Strickland House were first made by boat via this beach.
Hermitage Foreshore: named because of its proximity to Hermit Bay.
Lady Martin's Beach: honours Lady Isabella Martin, the widow of Sir James Martin, three times Attorney-General (Premier) of NSW in the 1860s and 70s. Martin Place is named after him. When Mrs. Martin was widowed with 15 children, she leased nearby Woollahra House for some time after its original owner, merchant William Cooper left for England in 1888. The Martins resided at Clarens at Rushcutters Bay from 1853 to the mid 1870's. Known as Woollahra Beach until 1899 when the present name was adopted.
Rose Bay: the bay after which the suburb was later to be named honours George (later Sir George) Rose. It was named by Gov. Arthur Phillip after his friend and mentor who was the one responsible for recommending him to lead the First Fleet and become the first Governor of NSW. Aboriginal name: Pannerong.
Woollahra Point: Aboriginal name for a meeting place in the area. The name was adopted by Sir Daniel Cooper (1821-1902), a speaker in the NSW Legislative Assembly, for his property in the area.
Felix Bay: just who Felix was cannot be determined with certainty. There is a good chance it is named after Felix Beecroft, a Third Fleet convict who was sentence to seven years transportation in Somerset in 1790, and arrived in Sydney aboard Salamander on 18th October 1791. The name appears on early maps of Sydney and he was the only Felix in the colony for a number of years.
Point Piper: recalls Scottish born Captain John Piper (1773-1851), a military officer who arrived in Sydney in 1792 and built a mansion here. He was Commissioner of Customs under Macquarie's governorship. Originally it was known as Eliza Point after Captain Piper's wife, then renamed Elizabeth Henrietta Point after Governor Macquarie's wife, then finally as Point Piper. Aboriginal name: Woo-la-ra.
Blackburn Cove: recalls David Blackburn, master of First Fleet vessel HMS Supply.
Seven Shillings Beach
Seven Shillings Beach: thus named after an incident in which a Mrs. Busby gave an Aboriginal seven shillings compensation for his fishing rights to the bay. Another explanation states a nurse employed by Captain Piper lost a purse containing 'seven shillings' on the beach.
Double Bay / Double Bay Creek: the bay was recorded in 1796 as Keltie Bay, a name which honoured James Keltie, who sailed as mate on the First Fleet transport ship Fishburn. Between 1796 and the 1820s it was changed to Double Bay, a name which refers to the two small coves which form the one larger bay.
Darling Point: originally Mrs. Darling's Point, honours the wife of Governor Ralph Darling (Gov. between 1825 and 1831). Aboriginal name: Yarranabbee.
Rushcutters Bay: originally named Blackburn Cove honouring the Master of HMS Supply, David Blackburn. The bay was used by convicts to cut the 'rushes' used as roofing material in the early days of the colony. Aboriginal name: Kogerah.
Macleay Point: honours Alexander Macleay (1767-1848), Colonial Secretary during Gov. Darling's term of office. The Macleay family home, Elizabeth Bay House, was built at this location in the 1830s. Aboriginal name: Jerrewon. Aboriginal name: Yarradabby.
Potts Point: known originally by its Aboriginal name, Caragheen, it was then called Paddy's Point. After a dispute over land ownership, it was re-named Potts Point in 1829 after Joseph Potts, a land owner who was an official of the Bank of New South Wales. Aboriginal name: Derawun.
Elizabeth Bay/ Elizabeth Point: honours Governor Lachlan Macquarie's wife, Elizabeth. Aboriginal name: Jerrowan.
Mrs. Macquarie's Point: honours Governor Macquarie's wife, Elizabeth, who had a chair carved out of rock in 1815. She often came here to sit and watch ships enter and leave the harbour. It was earlier known as Anson's Point after John Anson, a carpenter, who held the lease to the farmlet in this area. The farm was stocked with grafted fruit trees, and advertised for sale in the Sydney Gazette of 5th May 1805. Aboriginal name Yarrandabby (bay); Yurong (point).
Woolloomooloo Bay: derived from the Aboriginal term 'walla-mulla', meaning a young kangaroo. The area was given this name by the first settlers as it was the haunt of the rare black kangaroo. The bay was originally known as Garden Island Cove then Palmer's Cove.
Farm Cove: thus named as land on the banks of a stream which empties into the bay was the site of a vegetable farm established by the First Fleet in 1788. Aboriginal name: Woggan-ma-gule; Farm Cove Beach: Cockaroo.