Little Bay, New South Wales

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"Little Bay" redirects here. For other uses, see Little Bay (disambiguation).
Little Bay
SydneyNew South Wales
The Coast Golf Course Little Bay.JPG
The Coast Golf Course, Little Bay
Postcode(s) 2036
Location 14 km (9 mi) south-east of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) City of Randwick
State electorate(s) Maroubra
Federal Division(s) Kingsford Smith
Suburbs around Little Bay:
Matraville Chifley Malabar
Phillip Bay Little Bay Tasman Sea
La Perouse La Perouse
Partially buried gun emplacement that formed part of Fort Banks

Little Bay is a suburb in south-eastern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Little Bay is located 14 kilometres south-east of the Sydney central business district and is part of the local government area of the City of Randwick.

Little Bay is a coastal suburb, to the north of Botany Bay. The suburb takes its name from the geographical formation called Little Bay, which also features a small beach. The Prince Henry Hospital, was a famous landmark once located at Little Bay.

History[edit]

The Little Bay area was first used as a makeshift camp during Sydney's smallpox outbreak in 1881-82, to isolate sufferers of the disease. At first, a "tent city" was established, but further smallpox outbreaks and a typhoid epidemic convinced the government to build a permanent hospital here to treat infectious diseases. Little Bay was an ideal location because it was isolated from settlements but still close enough to Sydney. The Coast Hospital was particularly valuable during the bubonic plague in Sydney of 1900 and then again when soldiers returning from Europe brought the influenza virus back in 1919. The Coast Hospital became Prince Henry Hospital in 1934. In 2001 services were transferred to Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney and the hospital site became available for residential use.[1]

Two landmarks still remain from the hospital days. One is the Coast Cemetery, situated south of Little Bay. Two thousand people are thought to be buried there, with the oldest graves being located further south, towards Cape Banks. The cemetery was taken over by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales when the Botany Bay National Park was created.

Another landmark is the Interdenominational War Memorial Chapel, which overlooks Little Bay. It was destroyed by fire in October 1981, but was subsequently restored. Outside the chapel there is an array of memorial plaques dedicated to former staff of the hospital.

Little Bay was originally called Yarra Junction but mail would end up in Melbourne (Vic) so the residents asked for the suburb's name to be changed. This was granted and changed to Phillip Bay Heights (Phillip Bay is a suburb located between Little Bay and Botany Bay) but as everyone called the area Little Bay this was the name that was eventually officially adopted. During the 1950s, much of the land was provided to returned servicemen via War Ballots.[2]

In 1969, the international artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude created the world’s largest sculpture at Little Bay called: "Wrapped Coast – One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia".[3] Many Australian artists and students volunteered to assist them wrapping 2.4 kilometres of coastline, which was 46 to 244 metres wide, up to 26 metres high at the northern cliffs, and at sea level at the southern sandy beach.[4] It introduced a radical work of art which at the time was controversial and polarised the community. It marked the beginning of a new chapter of contemporary art in Australia and today is considered a triumphant project. Christo and Jeanne-Claude went on to wrap cars, galleries, islands, and even the Reichstag building in Germany.

Little Bay Beach[edit]

In the stretch of coastline south of Sydney Harbour (Port Jackson), Little Bay Beach is the last significant sand beach before Botany Bay. Little Bay took its name from the obvious comparison to nearby Long Bay at Malabar. On the evening of 3 December 1797, George Bass, at the commencement of his first major voyage of discovery in the waters of southern Australia, anchored there in his open whaleboat with a crew of six,[5] referring to it in his journal as Little Harbour.

Little Bay beach is semi-circular in shape and enclosed by headlands to the south and north. Its narrow entrance provides significant shelter from prevailing sea conditions.

A ring-of-rocks bathing pool known as Little Bay Rock Pool or Little Bay Baths was created from beach rocks at the southern end of the beach in the early 1900s to provide safe shark-free bathing for nurses resident nearby at the Coast Hospital.[6] The pool is still partially intact.

Little Bay is not a surf beach and does not have an undertow or "rip" unless there is a strong sea from the south or south-east running into the bay. The beach is not patrolled by lifesavers. However surf lifesavers and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service attend to incidents. Rock fishing is very popular along the rocky coastline to the north and south of Little Bay, but it is also very dangerous with deaths occurring occasionally. Information on water safety at Little Bay is provided on the Little Bay Beach web site.[7]

Pollution[edit]

As the population of Sydney grew, the beaches south of the Malabar sewage treatment plant such as Little Bay, became increasingly polluted. By the 1980s, the water was brown and fat was deposited on the sand and rocks, making them slimy and smelly. After the Malabar Deep Ocean Outfall commenced operation in 1990, the beaches to the south became significantly cleaner within a very short space of time.[8] Today, Little Bay is consistently one of the cleanest beaches in Sydney, in terms of water clarity and bacteria counts.[9]

Landmarks[edit]

The north headland of Botany Bay (Henry Head) has a number of features, including two old gun emplacements at Fort Banks, and an unattended lighhouse and the wreck of the SS Minmi[10] on what is called Pussycat Island.[11] The older of the gun emplacements, known as the Henry Head Battery was originally built just after the completion of Bare Island to provide additional coverage of the entrance to Botany Bay.

Notable residents[edit]

Street names[edit]

Many street names in Little Bay were derived from Aboriginal words or eminent people, especially those associated with medicine through the presence of the former Prince Henry Hospital.

Name Derivation
Abbe Receveur Place Named after Louis Receveur, a Franciscan friar and scientist who sailed with La Perouse
Alkoo Avenue Aboriginal word meaning "visitor"
Anzac Parade Named to commemorate the occasion when the First Australian Imperial Force camped at Kensington Racecourse
Bega Avenue Aboriginal word meaning "large camping ground"
Binda Crescent Aboriginal word meaning "deep water"
Brodie Avenue Named after surgeon Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie
Budd Avenue Named after an early female resident
Bunnerong Road Aboriginal word meaning "sleeping lizard"
Clonard Way
Coast Hospital Road Named after The Coast Hospital, the original name for Prince Henry Hospital
Cove Circuit
Curie Street Named after Pierre and Marie Curie
Darwin Avenue Named after naturalist Charles Darwin
Dawes Avenue Named after Lieutenant William Dawes who was on the First Fleet
Dwyer Avenue Named after Matt Dwyer, former Mayor of Randwick
Esperance Close
Ewing Avenue Named after pathologist James Ewing
Fleming Street Named after bacteriologist Alexander Fleming
Gipps Avenue Named after Sir George Gipps, former Governor of NSW
Goora Street Aboriginal word meaning "long" or "tall"
Grose Street Named after Francis Grose, first Lieutenant-Governor of NSW
Gubbuteh Road
Gull Street Named after physician Sir William Gull
Harvey Street Named after physician William Harvey
Jenner Street Named after surgeon Edward Jenner
Jennifer Street
Lister Avenue Named after surgeon Joseph Lister
Little Bay Road Named after nearby Little Bay
Marconi Place Named after Guglielmo Marconi, Italian physicist who developed the wireless telegraph
Mayo Street Named after physician William Worrall Mayo
McMaster Place Named after Jean McMaster who established the Nurses' Training School at Prince Henry Hospital
Meyler Close Named after Mary Meyler, first matron of Prince Henry Hospital
Millard Drive Named after Dr Reginald Millard, medical superintendent at The Coast Hospital
Mirrabooka Crescent Aboriginal word for the "Southern Cross"
Murra Murra Place
Newton Street Named after Sir Isaac Newton
Noora Avenue Aboriginal word meaning "camp"
Nurla Avenue Aboriginal word meaning "plenty"
Pavilion Drive Named after the pavilion wards at Prince Henry Hospital that allowed fresh air to circulate around infectious patients
Pine Avenue Named because Norfolk Island pine trees were predominant in the grounds of Prince Henry Hospital
Reservoir Street Named because there is a water reservoir nearby
Woomera Road Aboriginal word – see woomera
Woonah Street

Adapted from: Street, Park & Place Names of Randwick City, Prince Henry Site at Little Bay: Road Naming Proposal and Streets in Little Bay 2036, NSW.

Transport[edit]

Little Bay is served by four different bus services operated by Sydney Buses:

Regular

service

Express

service

Limited stops

service

From To Via
392 X92 n/a Little Bay Circular Quay Chifley, Matraville and Eastgardens
393 n/a n/a Little Bay Railway Square Maroubra
394 X94 L94 La Perouse Circular Quay Maroubra
399 X99 n/a Little Bay Circular Quay Malabar and Maroubra

All routes pass Kingsford, the University of NSW and Kensington, although express services do not stop between Kingsford and the city.

Sport and recreation[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, ISBN 0-207-14495-8, p.155
  2. ^ Little Bay
  3. ^ Christo:
  4. ^ Christo and Jeanne-Claude - Wrapped Coast – one million square feet | Kaldor Art Projects - international contemporary art in Australia[dead link]
  5. ^ Estensen, Miriam The Life of George Bass: Surgeon and Sailor of the Enlightenment. Allen & Unwin, 2005 (hardcover ISBN 1-74114-130-3)
  6. ^ Little Bay Rock Pool[dead link]
  7. ^ Little Bay Beach web site
  8. ^ Weekly Southern Courier (newspaper) 30 October 1990
  9. ^ Beachwatch Program Data
  10. ^ Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
  11. ^ Shipwrecks of Randwick: SS Minmi[dead link]
  12. ^ Spinal Cord Injuries Australia
  13. ^ Ah&Mrc Of Nsw
  14. ^ PRINCE HENRY | at little bay
  15. ^ Latest Coastal Weather Observations Little Bay
  16. ^ Tingle, Greg. "Tony Rafty: Caricaturist and Australian National Treasure". mediaman.com.au. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  17. ^ Levi, Joshua (26 August 2008). "Saville hangs up shoes". Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  18. ^ Bunbury, Bill (30 March 2008). "Encounter". abc.net.au. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  19. ^ Rothfield, Phil (1 December 2013). "RUMOUR MILL". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  20. ^ Welcome to St. Michael's Golf Club
  21. ^ The Coast Golf Club

Coordinates: 33°58′50″S 151°14′35″E / 33.98054°S 151.24301°E / -33.98054; 151.24301