Scotland Island, New South Wales

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Aerial view of a part of Sydney's Northern Beaches, with Pittwater and Scotland Island on the left

Scotland Island is an island in the north of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Church Point, Scotland Island's major mainland service locality, is located 32 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Pittwater Council.

Geography and geology[edit]

Scotland Island is located in Pittwater, off Church Point. The island is approximately 1 km in diameter and its highest point is about 120 metres above sea level. To the east is the suburb of Newport, west is Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, and south are the suburbs of Church Point and Bayview.

Around 18,000 years ago Scotland Island was a hill in a river valley. Following the last ice age, sea levels rose, flooding the valley, forming Pittwater and creating the island. There are many small beaches, consisting mainly of mud, mangroves and rocks. There are no rivers or cliffs, but some small caves towards the top of the island. The top of the island is sandstone and the lower part consists of shale.

History[edit]

European discovery and first exploration of the island was in 1788, shortly after the establishment of a penal colony in Sydney Cove. The island was originally named Pitt Island by Arthur Phillip, Governor of the colony, in honour of William Pitt, the British prime minister at the time. The first European settler to own land on Scotland Island was Andrew Thompson where he created a successful salt works. He renamed the island Scotland Island after his homeland. He built boats on the island until his death in 1810. The island was sold as a whole several times in the nineteenth century before being sub-divided and sold off in lots in 1906. Around 1900, salt was extracted from seawater near what is now known as Tennis Court Wharf. Using an oil burner, about 90 kg were extracted each week.[1]

Permanent residents took up residence in the 1960s and power connected to the island in 1967. Sheep farms were located on the island at one time but now the majority of workers commute to the mainland.

Community[edit]

Scotland Island is one of two inhabited islands in the Sydney area and according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the island is home to 642 residents.[2] The island is accessed by the Church Point Ferry and private vessels. Most of the island consists of bushland, with a residential zones of approximately 350 houses around the perimeter foreshore. There are no shops, cafes or industrial zones.

The non-residential buildings are a kindergarten, Community Hall and Fire Station. The Child Centre and Community Hall were built by the residents in the 1980s and 1990s and are used for various purposes. Community groups on the island include Island Thinking, which organises regular discussion groups, and a number of artists. In 2006, an arts and film festival was organised on the island by the community. A fire in an art gallery in neighbouring Newport destroyed a collection of artworks created by artists living on Scotland Island and the offshore communities of Pittwater.

There is no road access to the island, so the volunteer fire brigade fulfill a number of essential services normally performed by full-time emergency service personnel in other areas of Sydney. The Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade (SIRFB) is made up of volunteers: about 30 active (firefighting) members and about another 30 associate (non-firefighting) members.[citation needed]

Scotland Island is a renowned hub for Sydney artists and musicians. Notable residents include Continental Rob Suzs from 1980's Sydney soulsters, The Dynamic Hepnotics, and blues and roots singer Jackie Marshall.

Climate[edit]

Climate is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. Summers are usually somewhat wetter than winters, with much of the rainfall coming from convectional thunderstorm activity. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfa" (Humid Subtropical Climate).[3]

Climate data for Scotland Island, New South Wales
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 26
(78)
26
(78)
24
(76)
22
(72)
19
(66)
17
(62)
16
(60)
17
(63)
19
(67)
22
(71)
23
(74)
25
(77)
21.3
(70.3)
Average low °C (°F) 18
(65)
18
(65)
17
(63)
14
(58)
11
(52)
9
(48)
8
(46)
9
(48)
11
(51)
13
(56)
15
(59)
17
(63)
13.3
(56.2)
Precipitation cm (inches) 10
(4)
10
(4)
13
(5)
10
(4)
10
(4)
13
(5)
8
(3)
8
(3)
5
(2)
8
(3)
8
(3)
8
(3)
111
(43)
Source: Weatherbase [4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]