Neutral Bay is one of the inner Lower North Shore suburbs, situated around 5 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district. Neutral Bay remained dense bushland, except for a military road which passed through it, until the turn of the 20th century when subdivision and development commenced. Neutral Bay and Cremorne became alternative society suburbs , populated by the kind of people who were attracted to the Arts and Crafts architectural style that was in vogue at the time. This style was an attempt to get away from mass production and give homes the human touch . Notable examples soon appeared in the area. Brent Knowle, in Shellcove Road, was designed by Bertrand James Waterhouse and built in 1914.
The main shopping district of Neutral Bay, known as Neutral Bay Junction, is along Military Road, which is the main road that runs through Neutral Bay, Cremorne and Mosman. It features many quality shops, restaurants and cafes. The Oaks Hotel is an iconic and popular venue located on the corner of Military Road and Ben Boyd Road. It has been a popular meeting place in Sydney since 1885. The Oaks Hotel features a number of restaurants, bars, function rooms and an impressive beer garden with the main focal point an old oak tree that provides plenty of shade to patrons in summer.
MacAllum Pool is a clean, protected swimming area. Beyond the beach at the head of Shell Cove is a waterfall that has somehow managed to survive. The creek which feeds it is now a stormwater drain that flows under a house before dropping its water over the falls. Being fed only by run-off, the waterfall only functions after rain, but when it does it is quite a picture.