Sylvania Waters, New South Wales

Coordinates: 34°1′23″S 151°6′42″E / 34.02306°S 151.11167°E / -34.02306; 151.11167
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Sylvania Waters
SydneyNew South Wales
Sylvania Waters
Population3,169 (2016 census)[1]
Elevation4 m (13 ft)
LGA(s)Sutherland Shire
State electorate(s)Miranda
Federal division(s)Cook
Suburbs around Sylvania Waters:
Sylvania Georges River Taren Point
Sylvania Sylvania Waters Taren Point
Miranda Miranda Caringbah

Sylvania Waters is a suburb in southern Sydney located in the state of New South Wales, Australia, 21 kilometres (13 miles) south of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of Sutherland Shire.


Politician Thomas Holt (1811–1888) 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, which took its name from the original wooded vegetation. The word "Sylvania" comes from the Latin word sylvan or sylva which means "forest land".

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 LJ Hooker in the 1960s, with much of the land reclaimed from the bay, effectively destroying the mangrove ecosystem to provide water frontages with boating facilities. James Goyen won the tender to design the estate, construct the houses, and promote the new suburb. Streets of the development were named after Australian rivers – such as Shoalhaven, Tweed, Murrumbidgee, Hawkesbury and Barwon – to emphasize the association with water.[2][3]

Commercial area[edit]

Sylvania Waters is mostly residential, with three small shopping strips located on Belgrave Esplanade: Sylvania Shopping Village near Box Road, Sylvania Shopping Centre near Murrumbidgee Avenue, and the Richmond Centre near Richmond Avenue. Doltone House is a function centre close to Sylvania Shopping Village.[4]


Sylvania Waters is home to the Sylvania Waters Athletics Track, a state-of-the-art facility which holds many local and state events. 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 then 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.


In the 2011 census, Sylvania Waters had a population of 3,125 people. The median age of residents was 41 years, slightly older than the national median of 37. Children aged under 15 years made up 18.3% of the population, and people aged 65 years and over made up 16.9% of the population. Almost one-third (32.3%) were born overseas, similar to the national average of 30.2%. The top countries of overseas birth were China 4.5%, England 2.2%, Hong Kong 2.0%, New Zealand 1.9%, and Egypt 1.8%. 62.7% of people spoke only English at home; the next-most-common languages spoken at home were Greek, 8.0%, Cantonese 5.4%, Mandarin 3.8%, Arabic 3.8%, and Italian 2.7%. The most-common responses regarding religious affiliation were Roman Catholic 29.7%, Anglican 16.7%, Eastern Orthodox 16.3%, no religion 13.8%, and Buddhism 3.3%. The great majority (78.9%) of households in Sylvania Waters are separate houses, 8.8% were semi-detached, row or terrace houses, townhouses etc., and 12.3% were flats, units, or apartments. The average household size was 2.9 people.[5]

Sylvania Waters


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Sylvania Waters". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 March 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Pollon, Compiled by Frances (1990). The Book of Sydney Suburbs. Australia: Angus & Robertson Publishers. p. 251. ISBN 0-207-14495-8.
  3. ^ The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8, page 251
  4. ^ "South Sydney Function Venue | SYLVANIA WATERS – DOLTONE HOUSE". Doltone House. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Sylvania Waters Demographics (NSW) Local Stats". Retrieved 20 December 2016.

34°1′23″S 151°6′42″E / 34.02306°S 151.11167°E / -34.02306; 151.11167

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