Hurstville, New South Wales

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SydneyNew South Wales
Hurstville building 2.JPG
Hurstville library
Population 26,040 (2011)[1]
 • Density 6,200/km2 (16,060/sq mi)
Established 1887
Postcode(s) 2220
Area 4.2 km2 (1.6 sq mi)
Location 16 km (10 mi) south of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) Hurstville, Kogarah
State electorate(s) Kogarah, Oatley
Federal Division(s) Banks
Suburbs around Hurtsville:
Beverly Hills Kingsgrove Bexley
Penshurst Hurtsville Carlton
Hurstville Grove South Hurstville Allawah
Location map of Hurstville based on NASA satellite images
Memorial Square, Forest Road, Hurstville
Forest Road, Hurstville

Hurstville is a suburb in southern Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is 16 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district and is part of the St George area. Hurstville is the administrative centre of the local government area of the City of Hurstville.

Hurstville has become a central business district for the southern suburbs of Sydney. It is a large, multiethnic suburb with a multitude of commercial buildings and high-rise residential buildings dominating the skyline. Hurstville's residential developments are a mixture of low-density housing, medium-density flats, and high-density apartment buildings. As a commercial centre, it features branches of many retail shops as well as numerous banks and other financial institutions.


The name "Hurstville" is derived from the English "hurst", meaning "a wooded eminence", and "ville", "town".[2]

Aboriginal culture[edit]

Although it is unknown when they first settled in the Hurstville area, the first inhabitants were Australian Aborigines. At the time of the arrival of the First Fleet, the Aborigines residing in the area were of the Eora tribe, whose numbers spanned along the Georges River, from Botany Bay to present-day Liverpool.

European settlement[edit]

The first sustained contact, on 20 January 1788, between members of the First Fleet and the Eora, occurred within the boundaries of the present City of Hurstville at Lugarno and Oatley, at Lime Kiln Bay on the Georges River, as recorded by Lieutenant Philip Gidley King in his diary (P.G. Fidlon and R.J. Ryan, eds. The Journal of Philip Gidley King, 1787-1790, Sydney, 1980). While Governor Philip explored the south side of the Georges River around Como, King with a party of one other officer and three marines in a six-oared rowboat aimed for the highest point they could see on the north side, probably at Lugarno, and landed at a place they named Lance Point. Although first contact with the Aborigines led to a small altercation where a spear was thrown and a shot fired, later in the day when the party rowed up Lime Kiln Bay towards present day Mortdale they were greeted in a friendly manner by both men and women, and what could only be described as Australia's first picnic took place as food and drink were shared between the two peoples. After a long summer afternoon of mutual contact and conviviality the British sailors rowed back to their ship moored at Botany Bay (see Haworth R.J. 2012, Journal of Australian Colonial History, vol. 14 pp. 1–28, for a reconstruction of King's boat journey and likely route).

The land of the Hurstville region was granted by the government of the new colony of New South Wales to two men; Captain John Townson and his brother Robert Townson in 1808. Captain John Townson was granted 1950 acres (7.9 km²) of land which is now occupied by the suburb of Hurstville and part of Bexley. Robert Townson was granted the land which is now occupied by Penshurst, Mortdale and parts of Peakhurst. In the same year, in the area now known as Riverwood land grants were made to Jane Trotter, Mary Shepley, Charles Doudall, and James Ryan. Later in 1816 another land grant in the same area was given to Mary Redman.

In 1809, Captain John Townson was granted an additional 250 acres (1 km²) in the area now occupied by Kingsgrove and Beverly Hills. The Townson brothers were not happy with the land that they were given because it was not suitable for the farming of sheep for wool and it is likely that the brothers never occupied their land. In 1812, a wealthy merchant named Simeon Lord bought the land of Captain John Townson and named it Lord's Forest. When Lord died, the land became the property of John Rose Holden and James Holt of the Bank of NSW.


A dam with a roadway on top was constructed on the Cooks River at Tempe in 1839. In 1843, the road that was to become known as Forest Road was extended from the dam to a hand-winched punt in Lugarno. On the other side of the river, the road continued all the way to Wollongong; however, it was only suitable for travellers on horseback. The new road opened up the Hurstville region and created a settlement at Bottle Forest, now known as Heathcote.

In 1850, the Lord Forest estate was purchased by Michael Gannon (1800–61), who subdivided it into small farms along what is now Croydon Road and three larger farms that were purchased by Dent, Peake, and Ibbotson.[citation needed] The area became known as Gannon's Forest. The land originally granted to Robert Townson was purchased by John Connell in 1830 and, following his death in 1849, the estate was inherited by his grandsons, Elias Pearson Laycock and John Connell Laycock.

The Gannon's Forest post office opened in 1881. The local school was named "Hurstville" by School Inspector MacIntyre when it was established in 1876. When the railway station opened on 15 October 1884, it took the name Hurstville, from the school. Hurstville municipality was incorporated in 1887 and, in 1988, Hurstville was declared a city. The Centenary Bakery on Forest Road is a historic building that has been preserved and once housed a museum. The St George Regional Museum is now located in another historic building in MacMahon Street.[citation needed]

The Hurstville train crash on 3 August 1920 resulted in five people killed and fifty injured. It involved the collision of two steam trains, one arriving from Central plunged into the back of the other bound that was stationary at Hurstville railway station, bound for Sutherland.[3]

Hurstville Westfield

Commercial area[edit]

Hurstville's commercial area is centred on the main street, Forest Road, on the northern side of Hurstville Railway station. The commercial developments also extend to surrounding streets concentrated from Queens Road to The Avenue and on the southern side of Hurstville Railway station, around Ormonde Parade. The commercial developments extend further along Forest Road, west towards Penshurst and east towards Bexley.

Westfield Hurstville is the largest shopping centre in the St George area. It is built over three blocks and stretches from Forest Road over Crofts Street, Park Avenue to The Avenue. Hurstville Central (formerly the 'Hurstville SupaCentre') is a small shopping centre on top of Hurstville Railway station, which has recently undergone total refurbishment. It links Forest Road with Ormonde Parade.

The administrative offices of the City of Hurstville are located in the Hurstville Civic Centre in MacMahon Street. This street also features a number of historic buildings such as the Friendly Pharmacy, old Fire Station, Ritz Hotel and the St George Regional Museum, which houses the cake decorating collection formerly held at the Australian Cakes and Sugar Art Museum. Hurstville City Library is located nearby on Queens Road.

Hurstville railway station entrance, Forest Road

Arts and culture[edit]

The St Clair Recording Studio operated for about a year from December 1965 to December 1966 and recorded the Bee Gees among other musicians.[4] AC/DC played at the Hurstville Civic Centre in 1977.

A karaoke place opened in 2011 near the Meridian Hotel, the first ever one in Hurstville.


Hurstville railway station is a major station on the Illawarra line of the Sydney Trains network. All Suburban and all Intercity trains stop at Hurstville. Hurstville is 20 minutes from Sydney Central railway station on the express service. Hurstville is a major bus interchange with bus services departing from Forest Road and Ormonde Parade. Hurstville is also serviced by St George Community Transport, a HACC funded transport service for the Frail Aged, people with disability and their carers.[5]


St Georges Anglican Church, St Michaels Catholic Church, Hurstville Presbyterian Church], [Hurstville Church of Christ], Hurstville Uniting Church, Hurstville Seventh-day Adventist Church, Hurstville Assemblies of God, Salvation Army, Church of the Living God.



  • Hurstville Civic Centre, Hurstville Entertainment Centre, Hurstville City Library, St George Regional Museum, Park Plaza Apartments


  • Kempt Field, Woodville Park, Hurstville Park, Thorpe Park, Doyle Gardens.


Apartments in Forest Road


The first European settlers in the area were mostly of British and Irish ancestry. From the late 1960s, Hurstville, like many surrounding areas, became home to migrants from all around the world. The first wave of migrants included Greeks and Italians who began moving south from Sydney's inner-city suburbs. They were followed by more European migrants, including many from the former Yugoslavia, such as Bosnians and Macedonians.

From the 1990s, the Chinese community within Hurstville has grown considerably. Much of this was related to significant migration from Hong Kong during the 1990s and migration from Mainland China during the 2000s. Many local businesses are operated by people of Chinese background, the interests of which are advanced by the St. George Asian Business Association. Hurstville is a hub for Asian groceries, food and services.

According to the 2011 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population, there were 26,040 residents in Hurstville. 68.4% stated they were born overseas, with the top countries of birth being China (34.2%), Hong Kong (4.6%), and Nepal (2.7%). English was stated as the only language spoken at home by 21.8% of residents and the most common other languages spoken were Mandarin (26.7%), Cantonese (20.4%), Greek (3.7%), and Arabic (3.6%). The most common responses for religious affiliation were no religion (35.6%), Catholic (15.0%), Buddhism (10.0%) and Orthodox (7.5%). The largest ancestry group was Chinese, reported by 47.5% of respondents, followed by English (7.6%), Australian (6.8%), and other or undeclared ancestry (38.1%).[1]

Notable residents[edit]

Sister cities[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Hurstville (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  2. ^ City of Hurstville - History of Hurstville
  3. ^ Pollon, F. (1990.) The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Angus & Robertson Publishers, Sydney, p. 130.
  4. ^ Hurstville City Council - The St Clair Recording Studio
  5. ^
  6. ^ Wikipedia
  7. ^ a b c d Australian Dictionary of Biography
  8. ^ [1] Shiroishi home page

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°58′05″S 151°06′15″E / 33.96811°S 151.10408°E / -33.96811; 151.10408