Nielsen Park

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Coordinates: 33°51.048′S 151°16.006′E / 33.850800°S 151.266767°E / -33.850800; 151.266767

Shark Beach at Nielsen Park

Nielsen Park is a part of Sydney Harbour National Park at the suburb of Vaucluse in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, Australia.[1] It is a popular recreation area and beach, known as Shark Beach,[2] on Port Jackson. The kiosk is dated from 1914.

History and description[edit]

Previously part of the Wentworth Estate, the area which became Nielsen Park was once owned by William Wentworth. It was disused since 1898 after the death of Wentworth's last surviving unmarried daughter Eliza Sophia Wentworth, at a time when little of Sydney Harbour's foreshore was accessible to the public. From the 1890s, pressure built to buy back private land, and following agitation by the Harbor Foreshores Vigilance Committee (sic), the New South Wales state government took control of 22.9 acres (9.264 ha) of the Vaucluse estate on 6 July 1910. Known as Vaucluse Park,.[3] It was soon renamed Nielsen Park after the Hon. N.R.W. Nielsen, the Secretary (Minister) for Lands, from 1910 to 1911,[4] once an additional 51 acres (20.65 ha) were added in 1911.[3]

The historic 1851 residence Greycliffe House lies within its grounds, and after 1911 served as a neonatal hospital and mothercraft residence before its eventual function as an office for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and visitors centre for the Sydney Harbour National Park.[5] Nielsen Park is part of the traditional land of the Eora or Birrabirragal people. Shell middens lie on the walk west of Nielsen Park towards Rose Bay.[6]

Rare flora and fauna[edit]

The last mainland eastern quoll specimen was collected as roadkill at Nielsen Park on 31 January 1963.[7]

The rare Nielsen Park she-oak was originally identified here in 1986 from ten specimens. Those original plants have since died. However, efforts to propagate and reintroduce the species began from the time it was identified, and plants were planted at several locations around Nielsen Park and nearby Gap Bluff and Hermit Point. Fifty-four of these remained alive in 2000.[8]



  1. ^ "NSW Environment, Climate Change & Water". Sydney Harbour National Park. 
  2. ^ National Parks and Wildlife Service
  3. ^ a b Hughes, Joy (2006). "'A pond in a privately owned paddock'". Historic Houses Trust. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Nielsen Park". Woollahra Municipal Council. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Greycliffe House and Gardens". Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife. Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Attenbrow, Val (2010). Sydney's Aboriginal Past: Investigating the Archaeological and Historical Records. Randwick, New South Wales: UNSW Press. p. 171. ISBN 1-74223-116-0. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Australian Museum (2003). "Sydney mammals database, Eastern Quoll". Australian Museum. Retrieved 12 February 2007. 
  8. ^ Matthes, Maria; Nash, Sharon (2000). Allocasuarina portuensis Recovery Plan (PDF). NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. ISBN 0-7313-6145-8.