Warrawee, New South Wales

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SydneyNew South Wales
(1)Pibrac in Warrawee.jpg
Pibrac, Pibrac Avenue
Population3,098 (2017 census)[1]
 • Density2,380/km2 (6,170/sq mi)
Establishedearly 1800s
Area1.3 km2 (0.5 sq mi)
Location16 km (10 mi) north-west of Sydney CBD
LGA(s)Ku-ring-gai Council
State electorate(s)Ku-ring-gai
Federal division(s)Bradfield
Suburbs around Warrawee:
Wahroonga Wahroonga Pymble
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 17 kilometres north-west of the Sydney Central Business District in the local government area of Ku-ring-gai Council.[2] Warrawee is predominantly a small residential suburb with few commercial entities. Notably, its railway station provides no commercial activity which is uncommon in the Sydney train 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 suburb is rich in architectural history, with a number of houses designed by prominent architects.

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.

"Exley House" at Finlay Road Warrawee, was designed by Harry Seidler in 1957 for Cecil Exley – an engineer with the Sydney Water Board – and his wife. The three bedrooms, two bathroom home is the only red-brick single storey dwelling that Harry Seidler ever designed and the only one still in its original condition.

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, and also ensured that there were no shops around the area.[6][9]


The Pacific Highway is the main arterial road. Warrawee railway station is on the North Shore & 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 67% nationally.


At the 2016 census, the suburb of Warrawee recorded a population of 2,995 people.[1] Of these:

  • Age distribution: The median age of Warrawee residents was 41 years. Children aged under 15 years made up 18.6% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 15.5% of the population.[1]
  • Ethnic diversity: More than half (60.9%) of residents were born in Australia, compared to the national average of 66.7%; the next most common countries of birth were England 7%, China 5.6%, South Africa 2.9%, Korea 2.6% and India 2.2%. The most common ancestries in Warrawee were English 27.8%, Australian 19.8%, Chinese 8.9%, Scottish 8.1% and Irish 7.8%.[1]
  • Finances: The median weekly household income was $3,085, more than double the national median of $1,438. Real estate values were correspondingly high: the median mortgage repayments were $3,000 compared to the national median of $1,755.
The majority (84.6%) of private dwellings were family households, 13.7% were single person households and 1.6% were group households. Separate houses accounted for 70.2% of dwellings, while 29.8% were flats or apartments and less than 0.0% were semi-detached.[1]


Warrawee Public School is a primary school situated about 0.5 kilometres to the south of the station in Turramurra, on the Pacific Highway.[10] According to the school's website, it was established in 1906.[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 since the Administration Office is situated within that suburb.

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "2016 Census QuickStats: Warrawee". www.censusdata.abs.gov.au. Retrieved 4 September 2017. CC-BY icon.svg This article contains quotations from this source, which is available under the Attribution 2.5 Australia (CC BY 2.5 AU) license.
  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. ^ Gregory's Sydney Street Directory, Map 222
  11. ^ "Warrawee Public School". Warrawee Public School. Department of Education (New South Wales). Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  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