Sylvania Waters, New South Wales
Sydney, New South Wales
|Population||3,340 (2001 Census)|
Sylvania Waters is a suburb, in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia 21 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of Sutherland Shire.
Sylvania Waters surrounds Gwawley Bay on the southern side of the Georges River. Sylvania is a separate suburb to the west, and Sylvania Heights is a locality within that suburb. Much of the waterfront areas of Sylvania Waters were reclaimed from Gwawley Bay. Many streets and houses are built on artificial islands. The main road in Sylvania Waters, Belgrave Esplanade, essentially stretches from Tom Uglys Bridge to Captain Cook Bridge - two of the three main northern entry points for the Sutherland Shire across the Georges River.
The naming of Sylvania is unclear, but ‘sylvan’ which means inhabiting the woods, relates to the setting of this suburb. The existence of a Sylvan Street, off Princes Highway, seems to confirm this. Thomas Holt (1811–88) owned the land that stretched from Sutherland to Cronulla. Holt had built Sutherland House on the foreshore of Gwawley Bay in 1818, on the eastern side of Sylvania. He established the Sutherland Estate Company in 1881 and a village grew there, with a post office opening in 1883. The school opened in 1884 but closed in 1891 and was not reopened until 1925. Sylvania Heights Public School opened in 1955.
Sylvania Waters Estate was developed by L.J. Hooker in the 1960s: the land offered had water frontages with boating facilities. James Goyen won the tender to design the estate, to construct the houses and to promote the new suburb. Streets were named after Australian rivers to emphasise the association with water, such as Shoalhaven, Tweed, Murrumbidgee, Hawkesbury and Barwon.
Sylvania Waters is mostly residential with three small shopping strips located on Belgrave Esplanade. Sylvania Shopping Village is located near Box Road, Sylvania shopping Centre is near Murrumbidgee Avenue and the Richmond Centre is near Richmond Avenue. Doltone House is a function centre close to Sylvania Shopping Village. Sylvania Waters has the highest median sale price for houses in the Sutherland Shire Area - $1.4535 million (2004).
Sylvania Waters is home to the Sylvania Waters Athletics Track, a state-of-the-art facility, where many local and state events are held. Next to this is the Sylvania Waters Tennis Court Complex and the home ground of the Southern Districts Rugby Club.
Sylvania Waters was a 1992 reality television program which followed the lives of the Donaher family living at Macintyre Crescent. The suburb became infamous when the series screened across Australia and internationally.
One of the artificial islands in Sylvania Waters (James Cook Island) was used in the filming of the movie Superman Returns (2006) as the location of Lois Lane's house.
According to the 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population, there were 2,963 people usually resident in Sylvania Waters. 27.3% stated they were born overseas with the top countries of birth being China 3.8%, United Kingdom 2.4% Greece 2.1%. English was stated as the only language spoken at home by 62.2% of residents and the most common other languages spoken were Greek 8.5% and Cantonese 5.4% and Mandarin 4.0%. The most common responses for religious affiliation were Catholic 29.2%, Anglican 18.6% and Orthodox 15.8%.
- The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8, page 251
- Prices halve in three years in the reality TV suburb - National - smh.com.au
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