Willoughby, New South Wales

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SydneyNew South Wales
Willoughby St Stephens.JPG
St Stephens Anglican Church
Population6,540 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density2,031/km2 (5,260/sq mi)
Area3.22 km2 (1.2 sq mi)
Location8 km (5 mi) north of Sydney CBD
LGA(s)City of Willoughby
State electorate(s)Willoughby
Federal division(s)North Sydney
Suburbs around Willoughby:
Chatswood North Willoughby Middle Cove
Chatswood Willoughby Castlecrag
Artarmon Naremburn Northbridge

Willoughby is a suburb located on the lower North Shore of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia 8 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Willoughby.

The City of Willoughby takes its name from the suburb but its administrative centre is located in the adjacent suburb of Chatswood, which is the local area's major commercial centre.


Aboriginal culture[edit]

European settlement[edit]

There is some conjecture as to how Willoughby was named. Some historians believe it was named after a parish, while others believe that Surveyor-General Sir Thomas Mitchell decided to commemorate Sir James Willoughby Gordon whom he had served during the Peninsular War and was the quartermaster-general in England when the First Fleet sailed to Botany Bay.

Captain Arthur Phillip's search for "good land, well watered" led to the discovery and colonisation of the rough shores of Roseville Chase, where Samuel Bates built a farm at Echo Point.[2]

Map Willoughby Wil.jpg

Later developments included the building of the first post office in 1871 and the construction of Pommy Lodge in the same year. The latter—a small sandstone building in Penshurst Street—was originally the Congregational Church, which later changed premises. Laurel Bank Cottage, a single-storey home, was constructed in Penshurst Street in 1884. The cottage is now owned and run by the local Masonic Lodge as a function and conference facility.

Circa 1920, Telford Lane—between Fourth Avenue and Eastern Valley Way—was created and paved; the method used was the one pioneered by Thomas Telford in England in the nineteenth century. This lane is one of the few surviving examples of the Telford method in Sydney.

In 1934, the Willoughby incinerator was built in Small Street, after a design by Walter Burley Griffin. It has been described as "a particularly successful example of an industrial building integrating function with site."[3] Like Telford Lane, the incinerator is listed on the (now defunct) Register of the National Estate.

The suburb was home to the headquarters of the Nine Network, under the callsign of TCN-9 for 64 years until it moved to North Sydney in November 2020. Next to this site was the Channel 9 TV Tower which at 233 metres high was the tallest in Australia; its demolition commenced in April 2021,[4] to be replaced by 460 new homes.[5]

Heritage listings[edit]

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

Commercial area[edit]

TCN-9 TXA TV tower

Willoughby has a number of small shops, restaurants and hotels. There are several small groupings of shops, the majority of which are on Mowbray Road, Willoughby Road, Penshurst Street and High Street.

Parks and recreation[edit]

Bicentennial Reserve which includes Hallstrom Park, features a soccer field, T Ball & softball fields and a children's playground. Willoughby Leisure Centre features a 25m lap pool, spas, children's pool, swim school, gym, basketball courts, netball courts and baseball field. Flat Rock Gully, built on an old rubbish tip, is bushland with two walking tracks to Long Bay, following the creek line.

  • Carlson Park
  • Julian St Park
  • Willoughby Squash courts
  • Hallstrom Park
  • Willoughby Park


Artarmon is the nearest station for Willoughby's residents, on the western border of the suburb. Also, a number of bus routes cover the area. It is close to St Leonards and Chatswood stations. The Gore Hill Freeway, a major arterial route into the Sydney CBD, runs along the southern border of Willoughby, with exit from the freeway from Reserve Road and entry from Reserve Road and Willoughby Road. Bus Routes serving Willoughby include:

Busways' Willoughby Bus Depot is located in Willoughby East.


  • Willoughby Public School (K - Year 6)
  • Willoughby Girls High School (Year 7 - Year 12, girls only)
  • St Thomas' Catholic Primary School (K - Year 6, Catholic School)


  • Willoughby Fire Station, Laurel Street
  • 1st Willoughby Scouts, Laurel Street
  • Bridgeview Hotel, Willoughby Road
  • The Willoughby Hotel, Penshurst Street



Historical population

In the 2016 Census, there were 6,540 people in Willoughby. 62.5% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 4.7%, China 3.4%, New Zealand 2.2% and Hong Kong 2.0%. 68.9% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Mandarin 4.3%, Cantonese 4.1%, Armenian 2.2%, Japanese 2.1% and Italian 1.7%. The most common responses for religion were No Religion 32.4%, Catholic 28.4% and Anglican 13.7%.[1]

Willoughby is known for a large Armenian community, who arrived in the area in the 1960s-1970s. More Armenian families made their home there once an Armenian Apostolic Church was built on Macquarie Street, Chatswood, close to the border with Willoughby. Willoughby contains several Armenian Churches and Community Centres (Cultural Clubs). It is home to the first Armenian Saturday School which still operates on Saturdays at Willoughby Girls High.

Notable residents[edit]




  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Willoughby (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 March 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8, page 271
  3. ^ The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p.2/122
  4. ^ Gorrey, Megan (21 April 2021). "The precarious operation to demolish Willoughby's TV transmission tower". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  5. ^ Williams, Sue (29 June 2021). "Willoughby home of the Nine Network to be transformed into 460 new homes". Domain. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Laurelbank". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment & Heritage. H00657. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Walter Burley Griffin Incinerator". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment & Heritage. H00084. Retrieved 18 May 2018.

Coordinates: 33°48′27″S 151°12′05″E / 33.80739°S 151.20131°E / -33.80739; 151.20131

External links[edit]