Wahroonga, New South Wales

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SydneyNew South Wales
(1)Marian Clarke Building Abbotsleigh School.jpg
Marian Clarke Building, Abbotsleigh School, Wahroonga.
Population17,371 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density2,118/km2 (5,490/sq mi)
Area8.2 km2 (3.2 sq mi)
Location18 km (11 mi) north-west of Sydney CBD
LGA(s)Ku-ring-gai Council
Hornsby Shire
State electorate(s)Ku-ring-gai
Federal division(s)Bradfield
Suburbs around Wahroonga:
North Wahroonga North Turramurra
Wahroonga Turramurra
Pennant Hills Warrawee South Turramurra
Grave of Gertrude Mary Appleton, last member of the Brown family, who played a large part in developing Wahroonga

Wahroonga is a suburb in the Upper North Shore of Sydney,[2] in the state of New South Wales, Australia, 18 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government areas of Ku-ring-gai Council and Hornsby Shire.


Wahroonga is an Aboriginal word meaning our home, probably from the Kuringgai language group.[3] In the early days of the British colonisation of New South Wales, the main activity was cutting down the tall trees which grew there. Wahroonga was first colonised by the British in 1822 by Thomas Hyndes, a convict who became a wealthy landowner.

Hyndes's land was later acquired by John Brown, a merchant and timber-getter. After Brown had cleared the land of timber, he planted orchards. Later, Ada, Lucinda and Roland Avenues were named after three of his children.[4] His name is in Browns Road, Browns Field and Browns Waterhole on the Lane Cove River. The last member of the Brown family was Gertrude Mary Appleton, who died in 2008 at the age of ninety-three. She is buried in the cemetery of St John the Baptist Church, Gordon.

After the North Shore railway line was opened in 1890 it became a popular place for wealthy businessmen to build out-of-town residences with large gardens. Wahroonga Post Office opened on 15 October 1896.[5] Much of this development occurred in the 1920s and 1930s.[6]


Wahroonga is known for its tree-lined, shady streets and well maintained gardens. Notable streets include Water Street, Burns Road, Iloura Avenue and Billyard Avenue.[7][8]

Heritage listings[edit]

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

Highlands, in Highlands Avenue, is a timber house designed by John Horbury Hunt and built in 1891 for Alfred Hordern. Hunt was a Canadian architect who used the Arts and Crafts style and the Shingle Style popular in North America. Highlands is listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register[9] and was listed on the (now defunct) Register of the National Estate.[20]

Architect William Hardy Wilson designed and built his own home, Purulia, on Fox Valley Road. Built in 1913, the home is in the Colonial Revival style and became, according to some observers, a prototype for North Shore homes. It is listed on the Register of the National Estate.[21]

Berith Park, in Billyard Avenue, was designed by F. Ernest Stowe for Alfred Smith, who bought the land in 1897. The house was finished circa 1909.[22]

Westholme, in Water Street, was designed by Howard Joseland in the Arts and Crafts style for John Bennett, one of the pioneer developers of Wahroonga. Bennett came from England but migrated to Australia with his wife and acquired property at Wahroonga in 1893. Westholme was built in 1894. Another house was added at the other end of the block, but this was demolished in 1991 after changing hands several times.[23]

The Gatehouse, in Water Street, was originally part of the John Williams Hospital. The hospital also includes the Federation mansion Rippon Grange, designed by Howard Joseland. The Gatehouse is listed on the local government heritage register.[24]

Craignairn, at the corner of Burns Road and Cleveland Street, was also designed in the Arts and Crafts style by Howard Joseland. The client was Walter Strang.

Joseland also built his own home Malvern two doors away from the Strang home in Burns Road. An example of the Federation Bungalow style, it has been described as "unpretentious and solidly comfortable."[25] Between Craignairn and Malvern in Burns Road, Joseland also built Coolabah, another fine Federation Bungalow example.[26]

The Briars, in Woonona Avenue, is built on land that was granted to John Hughes in 1842, and later divided into four estates. Jessie Edith Balcombe built The Briars on one of these estates in 1895. It is listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register.[27]

The Rose Seidler House, in Clissold Road, built by Harry Seidler between 1948 and 1950, was one of the first examples of modern residential architecture in Australia.

Commercial areas[edit]

The main shopping and commercial area is the Wahroonga Village located adjacent to the west side of the railway station. It has a variety of stores including several cafes, restaurants, health stores and boutiques as well as an IGA supermarket.

The smaller commercial centres are the Hampden Avenue shopping strip in east Wahroonga, and Fox Valley Shopping Centre on Fox Valley Road in south west Wahroonga.

There is also a commercial area at the intersection of Fox Valley Road and The Comenarra Parkway which contains the Sydney Adventist Hospital, Globalstar's Australian office, and the offices of the South Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists.


Wahroonga railway station is on the North Shore & Western Line of the Sydney Trains network, with frequent rail services to Central and Hornsby.

Wahroonga is the Sydney end of the M1 Motorway to Newcastle. The Pacific Highway connects Wahroonga by road with the rest of the North Shore and Pennant Hills Road’s northern end begins in Wahroonga and intersects the M1 Motorway at Pearce's Corner. The Comenarra Parkway is a minor arterial road that stretches from Thornleigh to West Pymble via Wahroonga and South Turramurra.

Transdev NSW’s Upper North Shore services provide sporadic bus services to parts of Wahroonga.


Wahroonga Park is located to the north-east of the railway station, and features a significant number of well established introduced trees, a rose garden and a children's playground. The Glade, located near Abbotsleigh, has an oval, two tennis courts, a half basketball court and cricket nets. There is also a small Blue Gum High Forest, next to the tennis courts. Browns Field is a small sporting oval, formerly a historic logging area. Sir Robert Menzies Park is a small park located within Fox Valley.

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is located north of Wahroonga. It is the second oldest national park in Australia and is very popular, offering many walking tracks, picnic spots and Aboriginal sites with rock carvings. The park has a large proportion of the known Aboriginal sites in the Sydney area.



  • Wahroonga Public School
  • Waitara Public School
  • Prouille Catholic Primary School
  • Wahroonga Preparatory School
  • St Lucy's School for children with disabilities






According to the 2016 census, there were 17,371 residents in Wahroonga. 60.4% of people were born in Australia. The most common countries of birth were England 5.6%, China 5.6%, South Africa 2.6%, India 2.2% and New Zealand 1.9%. 71.7% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Mandarin (6.7%), Cantonese (3.1%), Korean (1.7%), Persian (1.2%) and Hindi (1.1%). The most common responses for religion in Wahroonga were No Religion 27.6%, Catholic 21.9% and Anglican 18.8%.[1]

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Wahroonga (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "The Wahroonga Guide". SitchU.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Word of the week: Wahroonga". 26 June 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  4. ^ Ku Ring Gai Historical Society
  5. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  6. ^ Book of Sydney Suburbs, Frances Pollon (Angus and Robertson) 1990, page 260
  7. ^ "Bloom baby boom". Fairfax. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Sydney's best streets". Fairfax. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Highlands". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00034. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Jack House". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01910. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Rose Seidler House". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00261. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  12. ^ "St. John's Uniting Church, Hall and Manse". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01670. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Purulia". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00184. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Evatt House". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01711. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Wahroonga Railway Station group". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01280. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Mahratta and Site". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00708. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Wahroonga Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 0124)". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01352. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Simpson-Lee House I". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01800. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  19. ^ "Briars, The". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00274. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  20. ^ The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p.2/26
  21. ^ The Heritage of Australia, p.2/33
  22. ^ Wahroonga:Retrieved 6 May 2008
  23. ^ Wahroonga:Retrieved 6 May 2008
  24. ^ "Gatehouse, The (to John Williams Hospital)". New South Wales Heritage Database. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  25. ^ A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture, Apperly (Angus and Robertson) 1994, p.147
  26. ^ Heritage Federation Houses: Wahroonga: Retrieved 17 March 2015
  27. ^ "The Briars". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H09/02148. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  28. ^ Abbotsleigh Website
  29. ^ Springwood Historians Retrieved 31 July 2012
  30. ^ "197109 [SBW Magazine Project]". sbw.ozultimate.com. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  31. ^ "Stuart Gerald Inder obituary". Sydney Morning Herald. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  32. ^ Howard Joseland, architect
  33. ^ Dumas, Daisy (19 November 2012). "Being dumb is almost cool with surprise advertising hit". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  34. ^ "Portrait of Harry Wolstenholme". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 29 December 2011.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°43′06″S 151°07′07″E / 33.7183°S 151.1187°E / -33.7183; 151.1187