Warrawee, New South Wales

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SydneyNew South Wales
(1)Pibrac in Warrawee.jpg
Pibrac, Pibrac Avenue
Population 2,912 (2011 census)[1]
 • Density 2,240/km2 (5,800/sq mi)
Established early 1800s
Postcode(s) 2074
Area 1.3 km2 (0.5 sq mi)
Location 21 km (13 mi) north-west of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) Ku-ring-gai Council
Suburbs around Warrawee:
Wahroonga Wahroonga Turramurra
Wahroonga Warrawee Turramurra
Wahroonga Turramurra Turramurra
Warrawee Public School
Chauntreys, Heydon Avenue.

Warrawee is a suburb on the Upper North Shore of Sydney in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Warrawee is located 21 kilometres north-west of the Sydney Central Business District in the local government area of Ku-ring-gai Council.[2] Warrawee is predominantly a residential area with few commercial entities. Notably its railway station provides no commercial activity (unique in this regard within the Sydney network).

This should not be confused with Wirawee, the fictional small country town in the Tomorrow series of books for young people by John Marsden and the film derived from the first book, Tomorrow when the war began.


Warrawee is believed to have come from an Aboriginal word meaning rest a while, stop here or to stand.[3]

The earliest significant homes were Pibrac (1888), Cheddington (1890) and Wirepe (1893), all very fine houses.

In 1888, the public servant and patron of exploration Frederick Ecclestone du Faur built his house Pibrac in Pibrac Avenue. The house was designed by John Horbury Hunt, a Canadian architect who settled in Australia and favoured the Arts and Crafts style, as well as the North American Shingle style, which he introduced to Australia. Later alterations were carried out by B.J. Waterhouse. The house is composed predominantly of timber, with extensive use of timber shingles, on a sandstone base. It is considered a good example of Hunt's work and is listed on the Register of the National Estate.[4]

Cheddington, the oldest home in established Hastings Road, is also attributed to Horbury Hunt, of brick and slate, with characteristic shingling.

Wirepe, designed by M.B. Halligan for architect Walter Traill, used deep verandahs and high ceilings to elicit a homestead atmosphere, with fine corbelled chimneys and cedar shingles. The brickwork is of Colonial Bond design, and the house sits at the heart of the Ku-ring-gai heritage precinct on Hastings Road.

Upton Grey (now Kooyong) was built in 1894 to a John Sulman design; its English features are a local landmark. Across the century it has served as a government social services home, a CSIRO field station, and a boarding house for Knox Grammar School. It is now in private hands and retains features replicated at Sulman's important Ingleholme.

As all North Shore suburbs with aboriginal names, Warrawee was the name of a railway station which became attached to the surrounding suburb.[5] Warrawee had developed in the 1900s as an exclusive residential district with no shops, offices, post office, public school, churches or through roads.[6][7] All the blocks were kept to between one and four acres and the form of houses tightly controlled.[6][8] Joseph Beresford Grant used his money to guarantee the exclusiveness of the development.[6][9]

The architect William Hardy Wilson built his home, Purulia, in Fox Valley Road in 1913. The house was relatively unusual at the time, but became a significant influence over the years. It is heritage-listed.[10]


The Pacific Highway is the main arterial road. Warrawee railway station is on the North Shore, Northern & Western Line of the Sydney Trains network. The railway station built in 1900 was the last one built on the North Shore Line before it was extended to North Sydney. Local residents had to fight the railway commissioners for a railway station, that is only one kilometre from Wahroonga.

At the 2011 census, 27% of employed people travelled to work on public transport compared to 10% average for all of Australia, while 51% travelled by car (either as driver or as passenger) compared to 66% nationally.


At the 2011 census, the suburb of Warrawee recorded a population of 2,912. Of these:[1]

Age distribution 
The distribution of ages in Warrawee was similar to the country as a whole. Warrawee residents' median age was 40 years, compared to the national median of 37. Children aged under 15 years made up 19.5% of the population (national average was 19.3%) and people aged 65 years and over made up 13.7% of the population (national average was 14.0%).
Ethnic diversity 
More than half (60%) of residents were born in Australia, compared to the national average of 70%; the next most common countries of birth were England 5.8%, China 2.8%, New Zealand 2.4%, and Hong Kong 2.1%. However, only 22% identify their ancestry as Australian; the largest ancestry group was English 28%, and the next most common were Irish 8%, Scottish 8% and Chinese 6%. Just over three-quarters (76%) of people only spoke English at home; other languages spoken at home included Mandarin 3.2%, Cantonese 3.2%, and Korean 2.1%.
The median weekly household income was $2,658, a little more than double the national median of $1,234. Real estate values were correspondingly high: the median mortgage repayments were $3,200 compared to the national median of $1,800.
The great majority (86%) of private dwellings were family households, 13% were single-person households and 1.3% were group households. Stand-alone houses accounted for 72% of dwellings, while 27% were flats, units or apartments and less than 1% were semi-detached.


Warrawee Public School is situated about 0.5 kilometres to the south of the station, on the Pacific Highway.[11]

Knox Grammar School is predominately in the suburb of Warrawee, and sits no more than 200m from Warrawee railway station. The school lists its address as Wahroonga as the Administration Office of the school has a Wahroonga address.

Notable residents[edit]

  • Joseph Beresford Grant (1877–1942), developer and investor in Warrawee as an exclusive residential area.[9] He lived from 1913 in Rowerdennan, Warrawee Avenue.[12]
  • Eleanor Cullis-Hill (1913–2001), architect and daughter of Joseph Beresford Grant
  • Sir Charles Mackellar and his daughter, poet Dorothea Mackellar
  • Olive Fitzhardinge, resident 1917–1937, breeder of the rose 'Warrawee' especially, lived with Dr Fitzhardinge at Bridge End, 1 Warrawee Avenue.
  • Kandiah Kamalesvaran known as Kamahl, singer


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Warrawee (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 November 2012.  Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Gregory's Sydney Street Directory, Gregory's Publishing Company, 2007, Map 222
  3. ^ The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8
  4. ^ The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p.2/33
  5. ^ Thorne, Les G; Jillett, Leslie (1968), North Shore, Sydney from 1788 to today, Angus and Robertson, retrieved 14 October 2012 
  6. ^ a b c Paul Davis, November 2010, Kuring-Gai Potential Heritage Conservation Areas North Review "HCA 23 – Warrawee" retrieved 16 April 2012.
  7. ^ Knox Grammar was founded at Earlston, a Warrawee property across the railway line, in 1923, senior school 1924.
  8. ^ Johnson, John. "North Shore Houses" (PDF). State Library of NSW, compiled for the Upper North Shore Architects' Network and the Institute of Architects. Retrieved 25 April 2012.  See especially p. 27.
  9. ^ a b "MR. J. BERESFORD GRANT.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 28 October 1940. p. 11. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  10. ^ The Heritage of Australia, p.2/33
  11. ^ Gregory's Sydney Street Directory, Map 222
  12. ^ "Grant, Joseph Beresford". Dictionary of Sydney. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°43′30″S 151°07′24″E / 33.72500°S 151.12338°E / -33.72500; 151.12338