Balmoral, New South Wales
Sydney, New South Wales
Southern end of Balmoral Beach
|Location||8 km (5 mi) north-east of Sydney CBD|
|LGA(s)||Municipality of Mosman|
The locality is mostly known for its beach, officially divided into Balmoral and Edwards Beaches. Expensive residential real estate on the surrounding "Balmoral Slopes" benefits from the views and beach proximity. The naval depot HMAS Penguin is situated at the eastern end of Balmoral Beach. It houses a naval hospital and is accessed from Middle Head Road.
Balmoral is named after Balmoral Castle, the large estate house in Aberdeenshire, Scotland known as Royal Deeside and a favourite summer royal residence. The Star Amphitheatre, an open air temple constructed by the Theosophical Society-related group, was built in 1923-1924. Intended as a platform for lectures by the expected "World Teacher", believed by the Theosophists to be Jiddu Krishnamurti, it was demolished in 1951, and its foundations used for an apartment building that still stands on the site.
The Balmoral Beach Conservation Area is heritage-listed. The area includes Edwards Beach as well as Balmoral Beach, plus the promenade, esplanade, rotunda and Bather's Pavilion, which date back to the 1930s.
As the Balmoral area developed, it became the location for many examples of the Federation architectural styles that predominated from 1890 to 1915. There are many fine examples of these styles in the area. Balmoral is also the location of Noonee, a heritage-listed home designed by Alexander Stewart Jolly. The house was built 1918-19 and drew on elements of the American hunting lodge.
Former tram services
The Balmoral line opened as a branch of the Georges Heights line in May 1922 and was one of the last tram lines to be opened in Sydney. Services ran to Wynyard, Lane Cove, Athol Wharf (now Taronga Park Zoo wharf) and Chatswood, making it one of the busiest lines on the North Sydney system.
Upon departure from The Esplanade Terminus, at the corner of Mandalong Road, trams travelled south-East along The Esplanade. After passing Botanic Road, the line swung right onto Henry Plunkett Reserve. From this point, the line went off road onto its own reservation through a narrow rock cutting (now public walking track). After a steep ascent through the reserve, the line crossed several small residential streets such as Mulbring, Gordon, Plunkett, and Beaconsfield Streets, before once again entering onto Gordon Street where the line swung right onto Middle Head Road. Services ceased to operate in June 1958.
Balmoral features Balmoral and Edwards Beaches, both of which are separated by the outcrop of Rocky Point. Both beaches are usually referred to as simply Balmoral. The locality has views across the entrance to Middle Harbour to North Head, Manly, and Clontarf. The harbour beaches face north east and is sheltered from ocean swell by Middle Head. The entire beach is listed on the Register of the National Estate as the 'Balmoral Beach Conservation Area'. The conservation area includes the promenade, the esplanade, the Rotunda and the Bathers' Pavilion, which date back to the 1930s.
A number of eateries are situated along The Esplanade, the main thoroughfare along the beach, ranging from take away to restaurant dining. The Balmoral Rotunda is the home of Shakespeare By The Sea, a summer outdoor event. Other notable events include the annual Mudgee Wine Festival and the annual Carols By Candlelight hosted at the Rotunda in December. The Rotunda and Rocky Point Island are also popular for wedding ceremonies and photographs.
Organisations and facilities include Balmoral Oval, a substantial netted swimming area (Balmoral Baths), Balmoral Sailing Club, a sea scout troop, and two swimming clubs.
- Gregory's Sydney Street Directory, Gregory's Publishing Company, 2007
- By the 1870s. Balmoral Beach had joined the list of popular harbourside resorts. The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8, page 16
- The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p.2/45
- D Keenan: The North Sydney lines of the Sydney tramway system. Transit Press November 1987 ISBN 0-909338-05-1
- Public Plaque, Mosman Council
- Gregory's Street Directory circa, 1955, Map 58, 59, 60, 75
- The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981
- Guide to Sydney Beaches
- "Sand in our Souls - the Beach in Australian History" Leone Huntsman, MUP, 2001
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