Chatswood, New South Wales

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SydneyNew South Wales
Aerial View Chatswood to Sydney CBD.jpg
An aerial image looking south over Chatswood, with St Leonards and Sydney CBD in the distance.
Population24,913 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density8,590/km2 (22,200/sq mi)
Area2.9 km2 (1.1 sq mi)
Location10 km (6 mi) north of Sydney CBD
LGA(s)City of Willoughby
State electorate(s)Willoughby
Federal division(s)
Suburbs around Chatswood:
Roseville Castle Cove Middle Cove
Chatswood West Chatswood North Willoughby
Lane Cove Artarmon Willoughby

Chatswood is a major business and residential district in the Lower North Shore of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia, 10 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district. It is the administrative centre of the local government area of the City of Willoughby. It is often colloquially referred to as "Chatty".


The Cammeraygal people inhabited the area for at least 35,000 to 50,000 years prior to European arrival.[citation needed]

Victoria Avenue in 1900

Chatswood was named after Charlotte Harnett, wife of then Mayor of Willoughby and a pioneer of the district, Richard Harnett, and the original "wooded" nature of the area.[when?] The moniker derives from her nickname "Chattie"[2] and was shortened from Chattie's Wood to Chatswood.[when?]

Residential settlement of Chatswood began in 1876 and grew with the installation of the North Shore railway line in 1890 and also increased with the opening of the Harbour Bridge in 1932.[3]

Chatswood Post Office opened on 1 August 1879, closed in 1886 and reopened in 1887.[4]

By 1900, Chatswood was easily accessible by public transport. In 1898, the electric tram line, running along Willoughby Road and Penshurst Street, had reached Victoria Avenue, and in 1908, it was extended to Chatswood railway station. In 1903 the council chambers moved from Mowbray Road to Victoria Ave.

At this time Chatswood's history contained orchards and dairy farms on the west side of the train station as well as factories, such as Dairy Farmers Inc and Three Threes Pickle Factory on what was then Gordon Road (now the Pacific Hwy). Although now predominantly a commercial and residential area, Chatswood has an industrial past. Other factories included; Ferguson Transformers, after which Ferguson Lane is named,[5] and the Caroma factory (formerly Marshman Brothers), now converted to residential units[6] and a small garden park. In the eastern part of the suburb, along Scott's Creek, there were several tanneries; the last of these closed in 1992. There is still an area with some light industry in the eastern part of the suburb.

Chatswood was declared a town centre in 1983 and a city in 1989.

Heritage listings[edit]

Chatswood has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


Chatswood is one of the North Shore's major commercial and retail districts. The "Sydney global economic corridor", is used to describe a geographical "arch" of Sydney, home to international corporations. Many retail outlets are situated along Victoria Avenue and many office buildings are situated along Pacific Highway.

Corporate headquarters[edit]

The Australian headquarters of Smith's Snackfood, Abigroup, Carnival Australia, Coffey, PepsiCo and Carter Holt Harvey[10] as well as offices of Nortel Networks, Optus, Lenovo, NEC, Leighton Contractors and Huawei are located in Chatswood. A number of high-density residential towers are also located in Chatswood.

Victoria Avenue pedestrian mall known as Chatswood Mall, facing west towards Chatswood railway station

Retail and shopping[edit]

Chatswood has two major shopping centres: Chatswood Chase Sydney and Westfield Chatswood. There are also a few smaller shopping centres such as Mandarin Centre, Chatswood Interchange, Chatswood Place, Lemon Grove, The Gallery, Victoria Plaza and Orchard Arcade.

Outdoor markets[edit]

The Chatswood Mall Markets are held each Thursday and Friday in Chatswood Mall, Victoria Avenue and feature food and craft stalls, and live music.

Restaurants and cafes[edit]

Chatswood has a wide variety of restaurants and cafes and is known as a major dining destination in the Lower North Shore of Sydney. There are a large number of Chinese (including Cantonese), Japanese and Korean restaurants and eateries.[11]


There are many hotels in Chatswood. This includes The Mantra, near Chatswood railway station, The Sebel, near Westfield Shopping Centre, and as the Meriton Serviced Apartments Chatswood, built in 2015. The Chatswood Club, located on Help Street adjacent to Pacific Highway, is a venue hall which caters to weddings, birthdays, cocktail parties, and other age-appropriate festivities.


Chatswood railway station redeveloped with apartments above

Sydney Trains[edit]

Chatswood railway station is served by the T1 North Shore & Western Line and the T9 Northern Line as part of the Sydney Trains network. Southbound rail services run to the Sydney CBD before continuing to the western suburbs. Northbound rail services run to Hornsby and some peak hour services run to Gosford and Wyong. Before the conversion of the Epping to Chatswood railway line (opened in 2009) to part of the metro network, Chatswood Station served as a junction between that line and the North Shore Line.

Sydney Metro[edit]

The first stage of the Sydney Metro runs from Tallawong railway station in North West Sydney to Chatswood Station. An extension of the line to the Sydney CBD is currently (2019) under construction.

Sydney Buses[edit]

Chatswood is a major bus terminus with services to the city, North Sydney, Mosman, St Leonards/Crows Nest, Manly, Warringah Mall/Brookvale, Ku-ring-gai, Lindfield Precinct, Belrose, Narrabeen, Frenchs Forest, Mona Vale, Burwood, Top Ryde, Macquarie Park/Centre, Castle Hill, Norwest Park, Cammeray, Crows Nest, Killarney Heights and Willoughby.

An interstate bus service between Sydney and Brisbane via the North Coast stops at Chatswood.


Major roads through Chatswood include the Pacific Highway, Mowbray Road, Boundary Street, Willoughby Road, Eastern Valley Way and Victoria Avenue. The latter forms a pedestrian mall for the section running through the main retail area.


Historical population
Victoria Ave and Archer St, view towards Chatswood Station

In the 2016 Australian census, the total population of Chatswood was 24,913; 11,786 (47.3%) were male and 13,127 (52.7%) were female. 32.4% of all residents were born in Australia. The most common non-Australian countries and regions of birth were China (20.7%), South Korea (6.5%), Hong Kong (5.3%), India (3.5%) and Taiwan (2.8%). 33.6% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Mandarin (22.9%), Cantonese (12.3%), Korean (7.2%), Japanese (2.9%) and Hindi (1.4%).

The most common responses for religion were No Religion (42.6%) and Catholic (15.8%).[1]


The Concourse Chatswood

The Willoughby Spring Festival is held in Chatswood in September annually. It is the second-largest in Lower Northern Sydney and is intended as testimony to a modern, multicultural and prosperous Chatswood. It showcases music, theatre, live performances, outdoor events, kids' events and visual arts. Willoughby Theatre Company (formerly Willoughby Musical Society) is based in Chatswood. It specialises in musical theatre. Chatswood Musical Society also performs musical theatre, but their events are staged in Pymble. The Zenith Theatre stages both musicals and drama. The Willoughby Symphony Orchestra is based in Chatswood. Two dance companies share the Dance and Music Centre. A Chinese Cultural Centre has existed since 1996.[12] The Willoughby Historical Society runs the Willoughby Museum in Boronia, a Federation cottage in South Chatswood. The Concourse, Chatswood, a new cultural centre, was commissioned by Willoughby Council in 2007 and was completed in 2011. It includes the 5,000 m2 Chatswood Library, a 1,000-seat concert hall, 500-seat theatre, exhibition spaces, commercial spaces, cafes and restaurants. The Concourse was opened on 11 September 2011 by the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO.


High-rise buildings in the commercial area of Chatswood

Chatswood has both public and private primary and secondary schools. These include:

  • Chatswood High School (Years 7–12). Originally a boys' school with a Cadet Corps until the 1950s when it changed to a coeducational school.
  • Chatswood Public School (Years K–6). Opened in 1883.
  • St Pius X College (Years 5–12) (originally called Christian Brothers)
  • Our Lady of Dolours Catholic Primary School (years K–6)
  • Mercy Catholic College (years 7–12) (originally called St Catherine's)

The Mowbray House School operated in Chatswood from 1906 until its closure in 1954. The Church of England Girls' School Chatswood was also formerly located in Chatswood, having been closed since the 1940s.

Places of Worship[edit]

  • Grace City Church Chatswood (Doherty Community Centre)
  • LifeSource Christian Church
  • Our Lady of Dolours Catholic Church
  • St Paul's Anglican Church
  • Chatswood Baptist Church
  • Chatswood Presbyterian Church
  • Chatswood Church of Christ
  • Chatswood Seventh-Day Adventist Church
  • Chatswood Christian Science Church
  • Armenian Apostolic Church of Holy Resurrection
  • Salvation Army, Chatswood Corps
  • Chatswood Malayalam (Pentecostal) Church
  • IBAA Chatswood Buddhist Centre
  • Tibetan Buddhist Healing Practices
  • Hillsong Chatswood (Chinese Extension Service)
  • Church of Scientology Advanced Organization and Saint Hill ANZO
  • North Shore Temple Emanuel (Jewish)

Sports clubs[edit]

  • Chatswood Rangers Sports Club – football and netball
  • Chatswood Gypsies Cricket Club – cricket
  • Chatswood Rugby Club – rugby union
  • Chatswood Lawn Bowls and Croquet club
  • Chatswood Tennis Club
  • Chatswood Golf Course
  • Chatswood Scout Group
  • Chatswood Girl Guides Group


Climate data for Chatswood
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 26.5
Average low °C (°F) 17.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 106.3
Source: [13]


Chatswood Oval is located south of the railway station. Beauchamp Park, located on Nicholson Street, features a playground, an oval, a fenced dog area and a bike track. It was named after William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp, the Governor of New South Wales. In 2015 a memorial to the Armenian community was erected in the park. Another small but well-laid out park, with an industrial heritage theme, is the Mashman Park on Victoria Avenue at Septimus Street. This park pays tribute to the Mashmans brick and tile works that once stood there. Chatswood is close to Lane Cove National Park.

July 2016 saw the unveiling of Bartels Park in Chatswood West. Named in honour of the recently deceased former Willoughby Mayor Greg Bartels, the park is the former Edgar Street reserve.

The Garden of Remembrance, near the railway station, commemorates the fallen men of the suburb who fought in the Boer War, World War 1, World War 2, The Korean War and Vietnam War. The roses were all grown from original cuttings of briar roses taken from the Somme region of France where more than one million soldiers were wounded or lost their lives at The Battle of Somme in 1916. At the centre of the Garden stands the Willoughby Council Peace Tablet, which commemorates the signing of The Treaty of Versailles in 1918.

Notable residents[edit]

Many notable Australians who have contributed to Australian culture and society have lived or were educated in Chatswood. These include:


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Chatswood (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 10 October 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Chatswood - Chatswood". Archived from the original on 21 June 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  3. ^ Archived 22 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Willoughby District Historical Society
  4. ^ Phoenix Auctions History. "Post Office List". Phoenix Auctions. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Ferguson Transformers Pty. Ltd.; Sydney, NSW manufacturer in". Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  6. ^ "Victoria Gardens, Chatswood". Caverstock Group. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  7. ^ "Windsor Gardens". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment & Heritage. H00571. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Hilton". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment & Heritage. H00374. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  9. ^ "State Heritage Register". Archived from the original on 29 August 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Contact Archived 14 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine." Carter Holt Harvey. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
  11. ^ "Menulog lists 43 restaurants (Sep 2008)". Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  12. ^ Celebrate 15 years of the Chinese Cultural Centre (NSW) with Explorations, Cultural and Natural Archived 7 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Willoughby City Council Press Release, 23 August 2011.
  13. ^ "Weatherzone". Archived from the original on 16 October 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2009.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°48′03″S 151°10′47″E / 33.80077°S 151.17960°E / -33.80077; 151.17960