The Entrance, New South Wales
Central Coast, New South Wales
|Population||2,632 (2006 census)|
|• Density||1,880/km2 (4,870/sq mi)|
|Area||1.4 km2 (0.5 sq mi)|
|State electorate(s)||The Entrance|
The Entrance is a district centre and town of the Central Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. It is part of the Wyong Shire local government area. At the 2006 census, The Entrance had a population of 2,632 people.
The town occupies an area of land that is bounded by water on three sides. The Entrance gains it name from the channel that runs along much of its northern border that is the entrance to The Tuggerah Lakes. The Entrance has been a very popular holiday destination for many people since the first guest house was established in 1885.
The area is currently experiencing enormous growth as a result of small holiday cottages that dominated The Entrance for most of the 20th century being replaced by multi-storey apartment blocks. The region's main tourist attractions are its beaches, lake, town centre, and the nearby Terrigal and Ettalong Beach.
Settlements at the entrance
Although the area was previously inhabited by the Darkinjung people, the local Indigenous Australians, it is believed Europeans first discovered it in 1796. It was found by Governor of Tasmania, Colonel David Collins, who had arrived on the First Fleet during the search for an escaped convict woman, Mary Morgan, who was said to be living with the Aborigines to the North of the Hawkesbury River.
The area now known as The Entrance was occupied by Henry Holden in 1828. He occupied 640 acres (259 ha) and was bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the eastern side, Tuggerah Lake on the northern and western sides and extended all the way to the current Toowoon Bay Road. Holden named the property Towoon. In 1835 the deeds were issued to John Edye Manning and he sold the land for £200 to Thomas Cade Battley who renamed the property Terilbah.
In 1850, ownership was transferred to the Taylor Family and it was referred to as Tuggerah Beach. The land remained privately owned until about 1900 when it was divided up among the twelve children of Richard Brown Taylor and Norberta Maria Gertrude (née Watkins). The Taylors donated land to the Roman Catholic Church, The Church of England and The Entrance Public School. Many streets in the area are named after them including Taylor Street, Richard Street, Norberta Street and Victoria Street.
On 15 December 1910, Karagi Receiving Office was opened. Karagi, meaning the entrance, was the Aboriginal name for the point on the south bank of the channel at the Pacific Ocean, a name which has since been officially adopted. On 1 June 1911, Karagi Receiving Office was designated a Post Office. The name Karagi was not popular locally and on 15 November 1911, the English interpretation was adopted.
In 1889 the railway line was completed from Sydney to Newcastle and tourism began to develop in the area during the late 19th century following the construction of several guest houses. The first guest house in the area was built at The Entrance North by Mr and Mrs Walter Denniss in 1885 and was called Dunleith Guest House. Bayview Guest House was the first to be opened in the Entrance and was opened in 1900 by Mr and Mrs Dening (née Taylor). Pinehurst Guest House was another that was constructed in 1903 by Les Taylor and was by far the largest at that time. By 1912, members of the Taylor family were operating four guest houses at The Entrance.
In March 1920, 200 parcels of land were auctioned after it had become clear that the land in the township needed to be subdivided. Each block of land averaged a selling price of £60 to £80, although some blocks closer to the water sold for as much as £200. Immediately holiday houses began to be built rapidly. It also resulted in a total of 15 guest houses operating soon after, including Lakeside built by Rene Johnson (née Taylor) that was the most exclusive. Although competition was fierce, the guesthouses had high occupancy rates in the booming times. Bayview Avenue and Ozone Street are both named after guest houses that were located at The Entrance.
Despite the growth, the area was still isolated and access was restricted to a wagon on the bush track from Gosford or by a ferry from Wyong. The area was popular among fishermen and prior to 1908 the majority of boats that travelled to The Entrance used Tuggerah Jetty, the remains of which, still exists on the shore of Tuggerah Lake between the entrances to Wyong River and Ourimbah Creek. When Wyong River was dredged in 1908, the boats would take their catch into Wyong.
The construction of Wyong Wharf allowed greater access to The Entrance and the demand for ferry transport boomed. Numerous operators took advantage of the demand and ferry's such as Wyong, Waiwera, Loongana and Maheno were making regular journeys across Tuggerah Lake. In 1922, the bush track to Wyong was opened as a road. By the end of the nineteen-twenties the ferry's were rendered obsolete by buses that could reach The Entrance quickly and cheaply.
The Entrance Bridge links The Entrance with The Entrance North over The Entrance Channel as part of Wilfred Barrett Drive. It was originally a wooden single lane bridge with bypass bays that allowed traffic travelling in the opposite direction to pass. It was opened in 1934. The original bridge was adequate until 1965 as it only served traffic travelling as far as The Entrance North.
By the end of 1965 the traffic flow over the old bridge at The Entrance increased to such an extent the structure was under constant repair. Work began on the current two lane, concrete structure on 17 July 1967 after a successful tender by Transbridge Pty Ltd. The bridge was opened to traffic on 20 December 1968 and officially opened by the Premier of New South Wales, the Hon. Robert Askin on 18 April 1969.
The Entrance is serviced by Red Bus Services, and the town is the major terminus, with several routes terminating and beginning in Torrens Avenue. Generally, Red Bus Services run every 30 to 60 minutes from 5am to 12am.
The Entrance Cinema is another well-known icon. It is located on the corner of The Entrance Road and Bayview Mall. The cinema was opened as The Prince Edward Theatre in 1934 and was immediately popular due to the fire that burnt the other cinema in The Entrance, the Wintergarden Theatre in the same year. The Prince Edward Theatre closed in 1977 but was reopened in 1981 when it was purchased and converted into a smaller cinema. A second screen was added in 1988. The cinema achieved notoriety in 2006 when it refused to screen the film, The Da Vinci Code as it was contrary to the owner's beliefs.
In 1999, The Entrance waterfront was named 'The Pelican Capital of Australia' by Wyong Council to coincide with the opening of a pelican feeding platform as part of the waterfront redevelopment. The daily practice attracts 20,000 visitors annually. The Entrance is the perfect place for fishing. There are many species of fish that can be found in the area such as whiting, flathead, bream, and blackfish.
The Entrance town centre is located on The Entrance Road, extending from Dening Street (named after the original owners of Bayview Guest House.) to The Entrance Bridge. Lakeside Shopping Centre (locally called by its former name Lakeside Plaza) is located on the corner of The Entrance Road and Dening Street. The main street of the town (The Entrance Road) has approximately 200 shops and services. Legal, medical and political offices are also located on the main street. At the bottom of the main street the stores focus on the needs of tourists with fashion, fishing equipment and restaurants.
To celebrate the start of the summer tourist season, on the first full weekend in December, The Entrance holds its annual Mardi Gras festival. The first Mardi Gras was held in 1950. Mardi Gras is the major event of the town and district for the year. The festival is named Mardi Gras after the spirit of the carnevals and Mardi Gras of Europe. The event contains a number of events including fun runs, concerts, fire works and displays. The highlight is the parade. This contains numerous floats from local organisations.
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