Watsons Bay, New South Wales

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Watsons Bay
Sydney,  New South Wales
Watsons Bay - Camp Cove Beach, Sydney - Nov 2008.jpg
Camp Cove beach in Watsons Bay
Population850 (2016 census) [1]
 • Density1,420/km2 (3,700/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 2030
Area0.6 km2 (0.2 sq mi)
Location11 km (7 mi) north-east of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) Woollahra
State electorate(s) Vaucluse
Federal Division(s) Wentworth
Suburbs around Watsons Bay:
Clifton Gardens Manly
Mosman Watsons Bay
Vaucluse Vaucluse Tasman Sea
View of (The Gap), Watsons Bay, looking south Watsons bay, New South Wales 2.1.jpg
View of (The Gap), Watsons Bay, looking south

Watsons Bay is a harbourside, eastern suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Watsons Bay is located 11 km north-east of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Municipality of Woollahra.

Eastern Suburbs (Sydney) Region in New South Wales, Australia

The Eastern Suburbs is the metropolitan region directly to the east and south-east of the central business district in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Suburb Human settlement that is part of or near to a larger city

A suburb is a mixed-use or residential area, existing either as part of a city or urban area or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city. In most English-speaking countries, suburban areas are defined in contrast to central or inner-city areas, but in Australian English and South African English, suburb has become largely synonymous with what is called a "neighborhood" in other countries and the term extends to inner-city areas. In some areas, such as Australia, India, China, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and parts of the United States and Canada, new suburbs are routinely annexed by adjacent cities. In others, such as Saudi Arabia, France, and much of the United States and Canada, many suburbs remain separate municipalities or are governed as part of a larger local government area such as a county.

Sydney State capital of New South Wales and most populous city in Australia and Oceania

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

Contents

Watsons Bay sits on the end of the South Head peninsula and takes its name from the sheltered bay and anchorage on its western side, in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour). It provides views across the harbour to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Gap is an ocean cliff on the eastern side with views to Manly at North Head and the Pacific Ocean. Vaucluse is the only adjacent suburb, to the south.

Sydney Heads headlands around Sydney Harbour

The Sydney Heads are a series of headlands that form the 2 km (1.2 mi) wide entrance to Sydney Harbour in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. North Head and Quarantine Head are to the north; South Head and Dunbar Head are to the south; and Middle Head, Georges Head, and Chowder Head are to the west and within the harbour. The Heads are contained within the Sydney Harbour National Park.

Bay A recessed, coastal body of water connected to an ocean or lake

A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean, a lake, or another bay. A large bay is usually called a gulf, sea, sound, or bight. A cove is a type of smaller bay with a circular inlet and narrow entrance. A fjord is a particularly steep bay shaped by glacial activity.

Anchor Device used to connect a vessel to the bed of a body of water to prevent the craft from drifting

An anchor is a device, normally made of metal, used to connect a vessel to the bed of a body of water to prevent the craft from drifting due to wind or current. The word derives from Latin ancora, which itself comes from the Greek ἄγκυρα (ankura).

History

Aboriginal history

The original inhabitants of the area that is now known as Watsons Bay, were the Cadigal people. The Cadigal referred to the area as Kutti. This indigenous group of people fished and collected shellfish in the waters and bays off South Head. They acquired their resources from Camp Cove and carved rock engravings there, which have since eroded from the cliff faces and rock surfaces that line the coastline. [2]

The Cadigal, also spelled as Gadigal and Caddiegal, are a group of indigenous Australians whose traditional lands are located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The Cadigal originally inhabited the area that they called "Cadi" that lies south of Port Jackson covering today's Sydney central business district and stretches from South Head to Petersham with part of the southern boundary lying on the Cooks River.

Sydney rock engravings

Sydney rock engravings, or Sydney rock art, are a form of Australian Aboriginal rock art in the sandstone around Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, that consist of carefully drawn images of people, animals, or symbols. Many thousands of such engravings are known to exist in the Sydney region, although the locations of most are not publicised to prevent damage by vandalism, and to retain their sanctity, as they are still regarded as sacred sites by Indigenous Australians. There are two art environments in Sydney Basin, rock shelters and engraving sites.

European settlement

Watson's Bay was named after Robert Watson (1756–1819), formerly of HMS Sirius, when he had to beach his three vessels at Camp Cove for many years because of their being potentially sold by the Provost Marshal. [3] Watson was appointed harbour pilot and harbourmaster of the port of Sydney in 1811 and the first superintendent of Macquarie Lighthouse in 1816. [4]

Robert Watson (1756–1819) was a British sailor who arrived in Australia with the First Fleet as quartermaster of Sirius.

HMS <i>Sirius</i> (1786) flagship of the First Fleet

HMS Sirius was the flagship of the First Fleet, which set out from Portsmouth, England, in 1787 to establish the first European colony in New South Wales, Australia. In 1790, the ship was wrecked on the reef, south east of Kingston Pier, in Slaughter Bay, Norfolk Island.

Harbourmaster official

A harbourmaster is an official responsible for enforcing the regulations of a particular harbour or port, in order to ensure the safety of navigation, the security of the harbour and the correct operation of the port facilities.

The first grant of 20 acres (81,000 m2) was made to Edward Laing in 1793 in the Camp Cove Area. Watsons Bay was an isolated fishing village until development began in the 1860s. [5]

On the night of 20 August 1857, Dunbar a sailing ship became shipwrecked against the cliffs below The Gap, with 121 lives lost. The Dunbar had mistaken the bay of The Gap for the harbour entrance. In 1910, at Jacob’s Ladder, the anchor from the ship was recovered along with other relics and were placed in a museum behind the old Town Hall in Military Road by Vaucluse Council. The anchor was transferred to the cliffs of Gap Park by Ald. Coombes and a memorial was unveiled in August 1930. [6]

The Gap (Sydney) ocean cliff on the South head of Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia

The Gap is an ocean cliff on the South Head peninsula in eastern Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The area, which faces the Tasman Sea, is located in the eastern suburb of Watsons Bay, in the Municipality of Woollahra, near South Head. Although the cliff is a popular visitor destination, it has an infamy for suicides.

Today, The Gap is known as a notorious suicide spot. [7]

Trams

Former tram terminus, Gap Park, c1949 Watsons bay tram cutting gap park.jpg
Former tram terminus, Gap Park, c1949

The City to Watson's Bay tram line was extended from Edgecliff to Signal Hill Station, Watson's Bay in 1903 with further extensions to Gap Park in 1909. The latter extension included a new tram terminus adjacent to The Gap and a tram cutting cut into the rock face in Gap Park that ran above and parallel to Gap Road that gradually descended to street level before terminating. [8]

The line from the city commenced with a loop at the corner of Erskine and Day Streets near Wynyard station. It then proceeded south down Day Street before turning left into King Street passing through Queen's Square at St James station. It then made a right hand turn into College Street, and headed south before turning left into Boomerang Street. The line then continued left into William Street, through King's Cross and then along Bayswater Road and into New South Head Road at Rushcutters Bay. The line then followed the course of New and Old South Head Roads before turning right into Gap Park. After turning right into Gap Park a single track passed through narrow rock cuttings, low cliffs and rugged back-drops, turning its way down to the terminus at Watsons Bay.

The line had its own depot and city terminus and operated independently, although it was connected to the main Sydney tram network. In 1949, the line from Rose Bay to Watson's Bay closed, but reopened in 1950 due to public protest. In 1950, the line down King Street to Erskine Street closed and a new terminus constructed at Queens Square. The remainder of the line closed in 1960, the tracks were removed and in 1964 the Council re-vegetated the area around the former tramway cutting in gap park with the object of restoring the area.

When walking up the steps to The Gap at Watsons Bay, there is flat ground in between two sets of steps. This continues for a fair way in both directions, and is the old tram right of way.

The present-day State Transit route 324 follows the route of the former tram line as far as the point where the tramway turned off Old South Head Road into Gap Park. The bus and tram routes meet again near the terminus in Military Road. [9]

Sydney Harbour defences WWII

Foundations of the anti-sub boom net winch house Anti sub boom net sydney harbour.jpg
Foundations of the anti-sub boom net winch house

In 1942, during World War II, the Sydney Harbour anti-submarine boom net was constructed on Georges Head and was designed to prevent enemy submarines from entering into Sydney Harbour. The boom net spanned the entire width of Port Jackson and a boom net winch house was located on Liangs Point, Watsons Bay.

On the night of 31 May 1942, three Japanese midget submarines attempted to enter Sydney Harbour in what became known as the Attack on Sydney Harbour. [10] [11] One of the Japanese midget submarines became entangled in the boom net; and, after unsuccessful attempts to free the submarine, the crew detonated charges within the sub, killing themselves and destroying their sub in the process. [12]

During this period, Nielsen Park was used as an anti-aircraft base. The base had its own interim wooden barracks, searchlights and anti-aircraft guns. [13]

In Gap Park, a gun emplacement for a small calibre gun, which was never installed was also intended for use during World War II. [9]

Christina Stead

The novelist Christina Stead lived in 14 Pacific Street from 1911 to 1928, after which she went overseas. The house is marked with a plaque mounted in the footpath. Stead was the first writer chosen for the Woollahra Council Plaque Scheme, which was inaugurated in 2014. [14]

The house, known as Boongarre or Boongaree was built in the 1870s. It was owned by the Stead family from 1918 to 1980 and is sometimes known as Stead House. It was later acquired by the soccer player Mark Schwarzer. In 2011, Woollahra Council voted to confirm the heritage status of the house. [15] It is now listed on the council's heritage list. [16]

Population

In the 2016 Census, there were 850 people in Watsons Bay. 64.6% of people were born in Australia and 78.0% of people only spoke English at home. The most common responses for religion were No Religion 33.8% and Catholic 19.2%. [1]

Landmarks

Camp Cove, Watsons Bay Watsons Bay - Camp Cove Beach, Sydney 2 - Nov 2008.jpg
Camp Cove, Watsons Bay

Watsons Bay is a mostly residential area with some recreational areas and beaches, including Camp Cove and a legal nude beach located at Lady Bay. Some restaurants, cafes and a hotel are located here. The coastal walk with ocean views of the Gap along South Head make Watsons Bay a popular tourist attraction in Sydney. The Sydney Harbour Pilot Boat Station was located on the bay, and the naval training base HMAS Watson is located nearby at South Head.

Heritage listings

Watsons Bay has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Watsons Bay has a large number of heritage buildings, with the following buildings listed on the (now defunct) Register of the National Estate: [19] Many buildings and structures are also listed as heritage items by Woollahra Council. [16]

Events

Every Man and His Dog is an annual event held in Watsons Bay on Australia Day (January 26), where men and their dogs team up on the same stand-up paddle board and race other dog lovers. [21] Many of the participants dress up in matching dog and owner costumes. [21]

Attractions

Notable people

Notable people from or who have lived in Watsons Bay include:

Related Research Articles

Port Jackson Part of Sydney Harbour, Australia

Port Jackson, consisting of the waters of Sydney Harbour, Middle Harbour, North Harbour and the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers, is the ria or natural harbour of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The harbour is an inlet of the Tasman Sea. It is the location of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The location of the first European settlement and colony on the Australian mainland, Port Jackson has continued to play a key role in the history and development of Sydney.

Rose Bay, New South Wales Suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Double Bay, New South Wales Suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Macquarie Lighthouse lighthouse in New South Wales, Australia

The Macquarie Lighthouse, also known as South Head Upper Light, was the first, and is the longest serving, lighthouse site in Australia. It is located on Dunbar Head, on the Old South Head Road, Vaucluse in the Municipality of Woollahra local government area of New South Wales, Australia. The lighthouse is situated approximately 2 kilometres (1 mi) south of South Head near the entrance to Sydney Harbour. There has been a navigational aid in this vicinity since 1791 and a lighthouse near the present site since 1818. The current heritage-listed lighthouse was completed in 1883. The lighthouse and associated buildings were designed by James Barnet and built from 1881 to 1883.

Vaucluse, New South Wales Suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Municipality of Woollahra Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

Woollahra Municipal Council is a local government area in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Woollahra is bounded by Sydney Harbour in the north, Waverley Council in the east, Randwick City in the south and the City of Sydney in the west.

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<i>Dunbar</i> (ship) full-rigged ship wrecked in Sydney Harbour in 1857

The Dunbar was a full-rigged ship that was wrecked near the entrance to Sydney Harbour, Australia in 1857 with the loss of 121 lives. Now a heritage site, the Dunbar is a former maritime trade, troop ship and transport and now Gillies artefact collection, tourist attraction, anchor memorial, shipwreck and education facility located at Watsons Bay in the Municipality of Woollahra local government area of New South Wales, Australia. The ship was designed and built from 1852 to 1853 by James Laing & Sons of Sunderland, England. The site is also known as Dunbar Group. The property is owned by the Land and Property Management Authority, an agency of the Government of New South Wales and Woollahra Municipal Council. The site was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 17 October 2003.

Hornby Lighthouse lighthouse in New South Wales, Australia

Hornby Lighthouse, also known as South Head Lower Light or South Head Signal Station, is a heritage-listed active lighthouse located on the tip of South Head, New South Wales, Australia, a headland to the north of the suburb Watsons Bay. It marks the southern entrance to Port Jackson and Sydney Harbour, as well as lighting the South Reef, a ledge of submerged rocks. It is the third oldest lighthouse in New South Wales. Designed by Mortimer Lewis and listed on the Register of the National Estate and on the New South Wales State Heritage Register since 2 April 1999, with the following statement of significance:

A dominant Sydney landmark which appears to have been in continuous use since the 1840s as a controlling point for shipping entering and leaving Port Jackson. The building complex, designed by the Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis in the early 1840s, is an architectural important example of an early Victorian public work associated with port activities.

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New South Head Road, Sydney road in Sydney

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Old South Head Road, Sydney road in Sydney

Old South Head Road is a road in Sydney which goes from the suburb of Bondi Junction to Watsons Bay. It also passes through Bondi, Bondi Beach, North Bondi, Rose Bay and Vaucluse. It is historically significant because its earliest origins can be traced back to the early days of the colony. The road goes through the local government areas of Waverley Council and the Municipality of Woollahra. It is 6.8 kilometres long.

South Head General Cemetery

The South Head General Cemetery is a heritage-listed cemetery located at 793 Old South Head Road, Vaucluse, Waverley Municipality, New South Wales, Australia. It was built from 1868 to 1950. It is also known as Old South Head Cemetery and the South Head Cemetery. The property is owned by Waverley Municipal Council. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 25 August 2017.

References

  1. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Watsons Bay (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 30 October 2017. Blue pencil.svg
  2. "Watsons Bay". Dictionaryofsydney.org. 3 November 1927. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  3. Selkirk Provis, J.; Johnson, K. A. (1972). Cadman's Cottage. The life and times of John Cadman; In colonial Sydney; 1798 - 1848 (1st ed.). Privately published. p. 23. ISBN   0-9599711-1-4.
  4. Watson, Captain J. H. (23 November 1929). "The Watsons of Watson's Bay". The Sydney Morning Herald . NSW. p. 13. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  5. Pollon, Frances, ed. (1990). The Book of Sydney Suburbs. Australia: Angus & Robertson Publishers. p. 265. ISBN   0-207-14495-8.
  6. Jervis, J. (1960). Kelly, V. (ed.). The History of Woollahra, Sydney. Sydney: Woollahra Municipal Council.
  7. "Green light for Gap safety cameras". The Sydney Morning Herald . 29 March 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2008.
  8. Drain Grate, Rose Bay. Heritage, Roads and Traffic Authority. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
  9. 1 2 Gap Park History - NSW Government
  10. Gill, George Hermon (1968). Royal Australian Navy, 1942–1945, p 65
  11. Stevens, David (2005). A Critical Vulnerability, p 193
  12. http://www.combinedfleet.com/Tully/sydney42.html
  13. Walking Coastal Sydney
  14. Sydney Morning Herald, 11 September 2015, p. 15
  15. Woollahra Council Website
  16. 1 2 Woollahra Council Website
  17. "Dunbar Group". New South Wales State Heritage Register . Office of Environment and Heritage. H01675. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  18. "South Head Signal Station". New South Wales State Heritage Register . Office of Environment and Heritage. H01436. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  19. The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, pp.2/135-137
  20. «A zoological station» // «The Australasian Sketcher», Saturday 12 March 1881, p. 94
  21. 1 2 Kane, Dominique. "Every Man and His Dog: Stand Up Paddle Board Race" . Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  22. "Watsons Bay Tourism". 16 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.

Coordinates: 33°50′33.9″S151°16′52.5″E / 33.842750°S 151.281250°E / -33.842750; 151.281250