Neutral Bay, New South Wales

Neutral Bay, New South Wales
Neutral Bay
SydneyNew South Wales
Neutral Bay Wharf
Population: 10,277(2006)[1]
Postcode: 2089
Area: 1.6 km² (0.6 sq mi)
Location: 5 km (3 mi) north of Sydney CBD
LGA: North Sydney Council
State District: North Shore
Federal Division: North Sydney, Warringah
Suburbs around Neutral Bay:
Crows Nest Cammeray Cremorne
North Sydney Neutral Bay Cremorne Point
Milsons Point Kirribilli
The Oaks, Neutral Bay

Neutral Bay is a harbourside suburb on the lower North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Neutral Bay is located 5 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of North Sydney Council.[2]

Neutral Bay takes its name from the bay that sits on Sydney Harbour. Kurraba Point is a locality in Neutral Bay. Surrounding suburbs include North Sydney, Cammeray, Milsons Point, Cremorne and Cremorne Point.



The name "Neutral Bay" originates from the time of the early colonial period of Australia, where different bays of Sydney harbour were zoned for different incoming vessels. This bay was where all foreign vessels would dock, hence the name neutral.[3]

The Aboriginal name for the area was 'Wirra-birra'. In 1789, soon after the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney, Governor Arthur Phillip declared this bay a neutral harbour where foreign ships could anchor and take on water and supplies.[4] Neutral Bay was far enough away from Sydney Cove to discourage convicts from escaping on these vessels and to keep possible enemy ships at a distance from the main settlement.[5]

By the beginning of the 20th century, Neutral Bay and Cremorne were developing as "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.[6] 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, Neutral Bay, was designed by Bertrand James Waterhouse and built in 1914.[7] It influenced home design in the area for at least the next fifteen years.[8]

Another notable example of the style was The Cobbles, also in Shellcove Road. Designed by Peddle and Thorp and built in 1918, it made great use of natural stones and pebbles to achieve the "hand-made" look. The Gables, in Spruson Street, was another Waterhouse design and was built in 1920. It was influenced by the "shingle style" which was brought to Sydney by Horbury Hunt, and featured prominent gables and extensive use of shingles. More Waterhouse designs appeared in Shellcove Road in the vicinity of The Cobbles and Brent Knowle.[8]

Commercial area

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 Big Bear shopping centre is a shopping mall that features a supermarket and grocery shops.

The Oaks Hotel is a well-known 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.


There are two operating ferry wharves at Neutral Bay, serviced by both public Inner harbour ferry services and private ferries. The Neutral Bay wharf sits at the end of Hayes Street and the Kurraba wharf on Kurraba Point can be accessed by Kurraba Road.

The Warringah Freeway runs along the western border of Neutral Bay, providing links south to the Sydney CBD and north to Chatswood. Military Road has been a prominent local electoral issue, due to issues relating to the heavy traffic congestion on the road.

Parks and recreation

The Norths Pirates Junior Rugby Union Club is the local village Rugby Club, the former Club being known as Cammbridge Bay. This Club taking its name from Northbridge, Cammeray and Neutral Bay. The Pirates play home games at Tunks Park Cammeray and train at Primrose Park in Cremorne and Anderson Park, Neutral Bay


  1. ^ "2006 Census Community Profile Series : Neutral Bay (State Suburb)". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Accessed 31 October 2009.
  2. ^ Gregory's Sydney Street Directory, Gregory's Publishing Company, 2007
  3. ^ The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollen, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8, page 185
  4. ^ Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Sites - Macquarie
  5. ^ Naming North Sydney Image Library
  6. ^ Sydney Architecture, Graham Jahn (Watermark Press) 1997
  7. ^ A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture, Apperly (Angus and Robertson) 1994, p.142
  8. ^ a b Sydney Architecture

External links

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