March  3 - 9, 2024: Issue 616


Pittwater Beach Reserves have been dedicated for public use since 1887 - no 1.: avalon beach reserve- Bequeathed by john Therry

'Panorama of beachgoers at Avalon Beach', New South Wales, ca. 1921-25 section enlarged to show dressing sheds on Avalon Beach at this point in time. The beginnings of Norfolk Pines, planted by A J Small are in the white wicker tree guards. Image No.: nla.pic-vn6217968 by EB Studios, part of the Enemark collection of panoramic photographs, courtesy National Library of Australia Retrieved  from

Residents of today may not be aware that right along our coast the beaches that have been set aside, and their adjacent grassy reserves, were not always public lands.

The only beach and adjacent area that had been given from the outset was that today known as Avalon Beach Reserve, which was given by Rev. Therry, via his will, for a Garden and recreation area from at least the outset of his plans for the valley of Avalon and dedicated in 1887, although it would be until 1912 before the then Warringah Shire Council would be in charge of the reserve.

Newport Beach, or sections of it, was resumed at the same time, 1910 and formalised in 1911, and that too, alike Avalon Beach, would be enlarged over the coming decades when sections were resumed by the council from those developers carving up the paddocks to sell.

The Farrell family, after whom the beach was called for many years, had to be persuaded to allow it to become so. The papers recorded:

Proposed Resumption of Newport Beach

At a public meeting held at Newport resolutions were carried urging the Government to have the Newport beach resumed by the Warringah shire council as a public reserve. Speakers representing local residents, tourists to the district, and the Newport Surf Club pointed out that resumption would been easier matter at present than later on, when the beach would probably come under private ownership. The proposal is to resume the whole of the beach from low water-mark to Barranjoey-road, and it was decided to ask the council to arrange a deputation to the Minister for Lands on the subject. EMPIRE FORESTS. (1910, March 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from

Newport Beach,1910. Item: FL11281664, courtesy NSW State Records and Archives


The Newport Beach, which was recently resumed by the Lands Department and Warringah Shire Council, was dedicated on Saturday before a large gathering. The ceremony was performed by Mrs. Nielson (wife of the Minister for Lands). Councillor Ralston, (president of Warringah Shire) in presenting Mrs. Nielson with a pair of silver scissors with which to sever the blue ribbon, said they could well call it a red-letter day in the annals of the shire. The council had recognized the necessity of securing the beaches for the people, and a few more would be resumed later on.

Mrs Nielson, in cutting the ribbon, said “I hereby declare the Newport beach open for the public.”
Alderman C. D. Paterson and Dr Arthur, M.L.A. also spoke and congratulated the shire on securing such a fine beach.
During the afternoon the members of the North Steyne Surf Club and Newport Surf Club gave exhibitions in the surf and refreshments were supplied by a committee of local ladies and gentlemen. The Warringah Shire Band rendered a programme of music.
 NEWPORT BEACH OPENED. (1911, April 10). Evening News(Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 10. Retrieved from

Palm Beach's beachfront was bequeathed to the council by the then Barrenjoey Land company in 1912, and they gave the whole of the beach and a reserve alongside it, as well as current day named 'Hordern Park'. Although the newspapers of the past tell us this was dedicated from the first land sales, even though this was not formalised until 1921:

How many of the Sydney folk have heard of Palm Beach, situated on the neck of land ad-joining the Barrenjoey Lighthouse reserve and Pittwater Harbor? One of those most glorious spots, given by Nature to the Sydneyites, where rest from the weary toils of the week may be enjoyed. 

As a comparative stranger in your midst, I would never, perhaps, have feasted on its exceptional beauty and the environs surrounding it had I not chanced upon a small red booklet, circulated on account of a land sale held there on Friday afternoon. I took the trip, at a cost of 2/6 return — cheap enough in all conscience ! — and on arrival at the pretty little jetty on the estate was so charmed with the natural beauties and picturesqueness of the scene that I feel it a duty to enlighten others of this most charming spot. A glorious day, one of happy Sydney's best, and the beauty of the scene at Palm Beach will long live in my memory. The harbor, with its beach of sand, hard and white, its clear and placid waters for the children, the wild, natural scenery of the hills, the living fragrance of the bush and the beautiful Palm Beach for the surfers, with its ever sounding ocean roar, contrasting strangely with the harbor's peace, and calm, the stately palms in the numerous gullies, and the whole scene clothed with a sea and sky, of exquisite blue. From the hills cape after cape comes into view, both north and south, and to the west we wee the Pittwater Harbor, with its numerous bays, "The Basin," Kuringai Chase, the majestic and awe-inspiring Lion island, Ettalong, and several other points of interest. 

If you have never been to Palm Beach, go. It would be difficult for me to express the treat in store. There is nothing I have seen on your coast to approach it, and it is a matter of much wonder to me that with a splendid service of cars from Manly, and subsidised by a regular launch service (1 1/2 hour from Manly), it has not been availed of ere this. 

The opening up of the estate will probably attract the populace, and I am informed Palm Beach is an ideal surfing one, and with all its other natural attractions should bring many an advocate to the shrine of its temple. The land facing the beach has been dedicated to the Council as a reserve for a public park. 

I understand that every lot was sold at satisfactory prices, including the pretty little bungalow residence recently erected, and the vendors must be highly complimented on opening up such a beauty spot for the permanent use of the people.
BEAUTIFUL PALM BEACH, BARRENJOEY. (1912, January 28). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 12. Retrieved from

Volume - Folio 3229-66, 1921 - Beachfront and current day Hordern Park :

Mona Vale Beach Reserve was not resumed until most of the Lots had been sold through the Rickards land sales after the earlier failures to sell under Mr. Brock - by then it was the 1920's.

Similarly, Bungan Beach, whose first real land sales took place under the Mona Vale Land company from the early 1900's on, would be a late comer to the Beach reserves, although not as late as the 1930's resumption for Bilgola Beach, which in turn was before the Strand and adjacent lands coming under council at Whale Beach during the 1930's to 1950's.

In fact Warringah Shire Council became well-known for its acquisition of beachfront sites, all of this paid for by the ratepayers or through allocations by the state government - which had also commenced at a state government level in 1911 (see under Extras):

Sir, - I have noted correspondence in your paper in reference to reserves and resumptions at Narrabeen Beach, and I certainly think with your correspondents that the Councillors have been very lax in their dealings with these matters.
When it was proposed at the last shire meeting to approach a land company with the object of getting a piece of ground for a re-serve and lookout, Councilor McIntosh pro-duced an old map of Mount Ramsay, showing that a reserve was set apart, but this reserve will be of little use if it is allowed to be sold, as other marked reserves have been sold. One I can refer to in particular. This reserve has been known and used as a right-of-way to my knowledge for the past 22 years; yet the council allowed this to be sold some little time back without an effort; and if this is allowed in one case, what is the use of councillors drawing attention to reserves marked on plans, when the same thing is likely to be repeated.
Some years ago the land along the Narrabeen Beach could have been reserved for a nominal sum. Now it would mean the expenditure of a large amount of money. The chance has been allowed to slip through their fingers; and when it is noted that they will not enforce the keeping of reserves marked on plans, it seems to me that the methods of our councillors in matters of this sort could be improved on. I am. etc.
Sept. 2. HENRY J. ACKLAND. NARRABEEN BEACH. (1912, September 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 15. Retrieved from

Sir,-I notice through your columns of the 27th ultimo a letter signed by "H R M William," a country visitor, urging the resumption of the land that adjoins Narrabeen beach for recreation purposes A fellow-feeling makes us wondrous kind I might state that I wrote the local shire council on this matter when first formed, and told them that they should resume this land at all costs, as it would not only be history for themselves, but for their children that survived them, to do so The ground could have then been bought for about 10s per foot, but to day It is a consideration My recommendation to that body of gentlemen was the resumption of all that portion of land separated by road and beach as far north as the Narrabeen Hotel, and another step from thence onward to the mouth of the lake It has been an observant Government that has built this tram line well off the main road but there are other matters that will need study to be In keeping with such good work and that is resumptions.
I am etc,
STANLEY C TWIGHT. NARRABEEN BEACH. (1912, September 3). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

Warringah Shire Council handwritten minutes of meetings records:

Owner of land at Narrabeen dedicated for a park - to be sold for £2200.00 as per Warringah Shire Council Meeting of January 31, 1916 - became Birdwood Park - Mr Charles De Burgh Kirwan - confirmed in Minutes dated Feb. 14th, 1916. 
Next Meeting, (February 28th, 1916) an Item states Kershaw, Mathers & Lane stating that Mrs Ada Louise Gilder was prepared to purchase the land in the name of C De Burgh Kirwan at Narrabeen Lake (see councils application for Governor's Approval per last meeting of February 16th) for £2200.00 and sell same to council on terms set out in letter dated Feb, 1916. 
Meeting of March 16th Narrabeen Land - association be informed the an endeavor to get government to purchase the land had met with failure.

It was resolved that the terms be £250 cash down and £500 at the end of 1918 ; £500 at the 1st of March 1920; £500 at 1st of March 1922 and the balance on the 1st of March 1924. payable quarterly 6% interest 
March 27, 1916 Meeting; 
July 17, 1916 Meeting Governor approval to purchase land from A L Gilde.

Proposed Special. Loan of £2,000.

NOTICE is hereby given that it is the intention of the Warringah Shire Council to apply for authority under section 180, Local Government Act, 1919, to borrow the sum tjf £2,000 for the purpose of acquiring certain lands to extend the Public Reserve at Deewhy Beach, The lands referred to are lots 3/4, section 11, Oaks Estate, d.p. 6,953, and arrangements have been made to purchase -these, with the improvements thereon, for the sum of £2,000.
The interest payable on such loan shall not exceed six per cpnt. (6%) per annum,saiyi it is proposed to arrange the loan on terms which shall provide for the repayment of principal and the payment of interest, combined, in half-yearly instalments, extending over a period of twenty -five years. The amount of each such instalment, if the late of interest be 6%, will be £77 14s. 7d.
It is proposed to pay such instalments from the general fund of the Shire, and to make them a charge against B Riding's quota of general fund revenue.
' Should any ratepayer desire further information it will be freely furnished at the Shire Hall, Brookvale, during office hours.
Within one month of the publication of this notice, any number, not less than 2& per cent, of the ratepayers enrolled for the Shire, may petition the Council to take a poll of ratepayers as to whether such ratepayers approve of the loan. The number of ratepavers enrolled for the Shire is 12,827.
— R. G. JAMIESON, Shjre Clerk. Shire Hall, Brookvale, 24th December, 1920. 2601 £1 17s.
SHIRE OF WARRINGAH. (1926, December 31). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 5517. Retrieved from

Expenditure on Reserves in Warringah Shire 

Warringah Shire Council has acquired land valued at £36, 247 for public recreation purposes, during the past ten years. Of this amount, the sum of £31,267 was incurred for the purpose of establishing beach reserves, with the exception of £6000 which the crown contributed towards the cost of Collaroy Beach resumption. £25,542 has been incurred in the last four years. Now an additional sum of £30,200 is to be raised by two loans for the purpose of making further acquisitions of foreshores for the public, and for liquidating some of the liabilities included in the above list to a total of£6600. The balance of £23,600 will be spent in enlarging the ocean beach reserve at Newport, providing reserve for recreation and access to Pittwater, Newport, enlarging ocean beach reserve Mona Vale, enlarging Lake Park on northern shores of Narrabeen Lake and extension to Dee Why beach reserve. Some 40 acres of reserves have been acquired through subdivisions of large estates, and Manly and Warringah Shire Councils are under joint agreement to acquire 130 acres of land for a district park at a cost of approximately £15,000, this being an internal reserve mainly for residents of Manly and the Shire, which is not included in the above list of expenditure. Local Government. (1927, May 25). Construction and Local Government Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1913 - 1930), p. 8. Retrieved from 


During the past five years the ratepayers of Warringah Shire have paid £50,790 of the £68,956 authorised for the purchase of fore-shores and reserves.

The principal resumptions and their costs are:- Newport Beach reserve, £9600; Newport reserve, for access to Pittwater, £2200; Mona Vale Beach, £2800; Palm Beach, £4500; Lake Park extension, Narrabeen, £1900; Collaroy Beach reserve, £18,050, Deewhy Beach reserve extension, £2000; district park, £9500, Manly Municipal Council contributing a similar amount in respect of the last-mentioned purchase.

The matter was referred to the council meeting by the shire clerk (Mr. R. G. Jamie-son), who stated that probably no other council in New South Wales could show such a fine record.

The president (Councillor Corkery) said that they could not be expected to go on burdening the ratepayers in that way indefinitely. The beaches were used by people who came in their thousands from all parts, and the acquisition of places of access, in his opinion, should be a national work. THE FORESHORES. (1929, August 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from 

THE COUNCILS. WARRINGAH. Figures supplied by the Warringah shire clerk (Mr. Jamieson) showed continued advancement during the past 10 years. The unimproved capital value in 1923 was £2,317,618, in 1927 it was £4,370,669, and in 1933 it was £3,514,976. The value of buildings erected in the shire during the past three years was £40,106 in 1931, £59,427 in 1932, and £71,594 in 1933. Outstanding rates at the end of 1933 totalled £65,000. Collection is difficult, because two-thirds of the ratepayers of the shire live elsewhere. Within the shire are 13 beaches patrolled by surf clubs. Last year a surf pavilion was erected at Newport at a cost of £2000, and another at Avalon Beach at a cost of £750. Rock baths were built at North Narrabeen Headland at a cost of £494. This is the tenth rock bath built by the council. A sum of £6700 was spent on a bridge and approaches over Harbord Lagoon, between North Curl Curl and South Curl Curl. This forms the connecting link in a marine drive from Harbord to Deewhy. Other important works carried out were the reclamation of a swamp area and the formation of a public reserve at Newport, at a cost of £5500; construction of drainage works on Barrenjoey-road at the entrance to Palm Beach, £695; construction of brick wall and an iron fence round Brookvale Park, £634; and drainage works at Deewhy and Mona Vale Flat. After years of agitation, land fronting Harbord Beach has been acquired at a cost of £4000, and extensive improvements will be carried out. THE COUNCILS. (1934, January 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from

Avalon Beach Reserve

To commence a series looking into the changes in the landscape ensuring these Beach Reserves still exist for this and future generations, a look into the first section of land given and then enlarged - at Avalon Beach.

Today the sand area of Avalon Beach is vacant Crown Land reserved from sale or lease as contained in Regional Crown Reserve R1012329 (RCR). The RCR also contains the intertidal zone, rock pool (and submerged lands to the three nautical miles State territorial limits). Land for which Council is custodian of is described as:-

  • - Lot 202 DP 1107408
  • - Lot 2 DP 607010
  • - Lot 3 DP 322514 (part of)
  • - Road Reserve (part of) – Avalon Parade
Surfing, Avalon Beach - from album: 'Series 03: Panoramic negatives of Sydney and surrounding suburbs, circa 1919-1925' / photographed by Rex Hazlewood, Item: a1949035h and enlarged sections from to show details, courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Avalon Beach environs were also originally known as part of 'Priest's Flat' and 'Collins Beach' and 'Burnes' Beach. This was one of the earliest beach sites to be dedicated for all for all time in Pittwater, a dedication due solely to the vision and aspirations of a gentleman, the Rev. John Joseph Therry, who had received 1200 acres, including the valley of Avalon, in 1832 - formalised in 1833. 

The fact that he did so means this is one of the few beaches right along the peninsula that does not have structures such as homes built as 'waterfronts' along the beach reserve area and in the wave and sand tidal zones. Newport would be the same, when the moves to resume that commenced in 1910, and sections of Mona Vale Beach Reserve, from 1921 'gifts' from a founding member Freddy Lane, along with the sharp slopes above Bungan, Warriewood and Turimetta beaches would ensure they too remained relatively free of houses being built right on the edge of the sand - or built in sand.

Further south, over the Narrabeen bridges, Long Reef has remained as it was, but that stretch of Narrabeen to Collaroy beach, Dee Why and all points south to Manly, have been developed, despite sections being resumed for Beach Reserves for the public and for recreation.

Catholic Priest John Joseph Therry's setting aside land for the people goes back to the 1870s, although not formalised until 1887, and was the first land given by a private individual, unlike those lands encompassed in The Black Swamp, classified as 'Crown Land', bequeathed by the state government.

Born in Cork and educated at St Patrick’s, Carlow, Therry was ordained in 1815 and did parochial work in Dublin and Cork before sailing to Sydney in May of 1820 aboard the Janus, a transportation ship carrying over 100 Irish men and women convicts. He had seen these fellow Hibernians being dragged to the docks in chains for transportation, and hearing they had no priest, applied for and was accepted as a missionary.

His early life would have made him a witness to those dispossessed of their lands in Ireland, and their subsequent treatment in the new colony as 'the Irish problem', would have made ensuring a public 'commons' area for all people for all time a priority of his.

... In 1880 the advertisement for the sale of the estate states that on one subdivision there is 'The Coal Bore, which Is 400 feet deep.' The coal mine proved a failure. At the end of 1862 Father Therry contemplated selling the Pittwater Estate, The scheme of sub division was again ambitious. Mr. Elyard, the Surveyor, recommended that 'a sufficient portion may be reserved near the water, and possessing the sea breeze, for public gardens and games, and also sites for a school of arts, library, courts of justice, and Christian churches .. .

" The plan of subdivision was to be called Josephton, and the township Brighton. ...EARLY HUNTER HISTORY. (1922, April 29). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from

The initial 12 acres beside the beach itself, had been aside as a reserve under the terms of Therry's will:

Warringah Items.
It was unanimously decided to place the seal of the council to a document from the trustees of the late Father Terrey's Estate, dedicating to the council a 20 acre reserve, including the whole of the beach on "Priest's Flat," Barrenjoey Peninsula. This land was left for a reserve some 25 years ago, when the Pittwater Estate was being cut up, but was never dedicated, and the Registrar-General would not recognise it as such. After considerable trouble the dedication was arranged, without expense to the council, and the shire deserves congratulation on the result of their negotiations. Warringah Items. (1912, March 8). The Land (Sydney, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved  from

And as it was named when bought under subdivision

Avalon subdivision plans, September 1912. Image No.: c027560011h, courtesy State Library of New South Wales; No. 17 749. APPLICANT:—Frederick Burne, Forest Lodge. LAND:—County Cumberland, parish Narrabeen, shire Warringah, 61 acres 13 perches, on road from Manly to Barranjoey and Central-road, Pittwater,—lot 2, south division, Pittwater Estate, and part 1,200 acres (portion 20 of parish), granted to John Joseph Therry; adjoining properties of City Mutual Insurance Society and executors of late J. Tomkins. NOTICE UNDER REAL PROPERTY ACT. (1912, June 12). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 3669. Retrieved from

The next substantial section of land bought/resumed was the 5+ acres comprised in Avalon's Village Green - Dunbar Park and was a prelude to buying/resuming land all the way to the Avalon Beach Reserve to compliment that dedicated by Father Therry.

A J Small Vol/Fol 3674-35-– bought remainder of Burnes Land adjacent to the beach, and called 'Burnes Beach' for the time that subdivision occurred, and Lots which encompassed the current day Avalon Beach Village shops and surrounds - prev. Vol/Fol: 2283-110 (August 17, 1912 – Primary Application Number 17749)

Avalon Beach, circa 1921-23. Photo: David 'Rex' Hazlewood, courtesy State Library of NSW - Mr. Hazlewood would buy land at Avalon Beach - see under Extras

Avalon Beach Store, circa 1922-23. Item c07771_0002_c - a Rex Hazlewood photo, courtesy State Library of NSW - note the pipes at right hand side of photo

Panorama of Avalon Beach, New South Wales, circa. 1923-25 [picture] / EB Studios. PIC P865/212/2 PIC P865 LOC photographs in Hurley Stack 52/4-Enemark collection of panoramic photographs and sections from enlarged - nla.obj-162503612-1. Courtesy National Library of Australia

Palmgrove Estate, Avalon Beach, new seaside resort between Newport and Palm Beach - December 1921 auction. Item No.: c027560016, [Avalon Subdivision Plans], courtesy State Library of NSW

As this was first discussed back in the early 1920's, it should come as no surprise that the acquisition of the Avalon Beach Reserve acreage also took a fair amount of time - Warringah Shire Council records provide:

June 28th, 1922 The Engineer's Report was read and dealt with as follows- 10 Resolved, - (Crs, Quirk, Campbell) That in regard to A. J. Small’s plan of 1st' subdivision of Avalon Estate, the Council disapprove of the fronting of lots to the beach reserve; require that Lot 71 be marked as "reserved for road purposes’’, and enquire what drainage improvements it is proposed to make in the lane.

July 24th, 1922: Arthur J. Small 12/7/ 22; his northern subdivisions and contending that a road exists on the Dedicated boundary, between his land and the public reserve and that the Engineer should go into the matter with Mr. Small (Avalon Estate) and look up plans at the Land Titles Office

..MATTERS- Avalon Reserve; The Council solicitors' letter of 12/l0/22, Beach in regard to Mr. Smalls’ application to bring land adjoining Avalon Beach Reserve Under the Real Property was read and received

Minutes of Meeting of 5th February, 1923 – A J Small 21/1/1923, submitting amended plan of Avalon Estate No 1 to conform to Council’s requirements Resolved, - (Crs. Hewitt, Hitchcock) That the plan be approved when the Engineer certifies that the drainage improvements, previously specified have been carried out 11. A. J. Small, 3/2/23, stating willingness of land-owners concerned at Avalon Beach, to construct drains through their properties to take this water from Barrenjoey Road, if the Council will put in the necessary culverts: Resolved, (Crs. Hitchcock Hewitt) That the engineer supply whatever pipes he finds necessary for the purpose

12. Arthur Small, 24/11/23, giving reason for not providing reserves in No. 2 subdivision of Avalon Beach: Resolved, - .(Crs. Hewitt; Hitchcock) That he be informed of the Council’s rule requiring provision for reserves when an estate is being subdivided in Sections, and again asking what provision he is making in regard to this Estate.

December 3rd, 1923 meeting:

 21. Arthur Small. 24/11/23, re road at Avalon Beach, adhering to his proposal Of 26th ult., and agreeing to pay half of total cost of B. and C. Sections of Road ,and 22. Linda Dorph, .26/11/23, agreeing, with certain reservations: to the Council's proposal for the construction of the road at Avalon in three sections : Resolved, - (Crs-Parr, Hewitt) That they both be written to suggesting that they equally share in the cost of construction B. and C. sections, otherwise the Council adheres to 'its original suggestion as aet out 'in its letters already sent to them

Whatley Watson, Ltd., will hold the first seaside subdivision sale of the season on Monday at Avalon Beach, when they will submit about 60 allotments of the Park Estate.
All these allotments are handy to the surf, and command magnificent views of the new golf links and ocean. Judging by the demand for lithographs a large attendance is anticipated. REAL ESTATE. (1924, October 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 20. Retrieved from

Whatley Watson, Ltd., will sell by public auction on the grounds, Park Estate, Avalon Beach tomorrow. Avalon Beach is 14 miles north of Manly, between Newport and Palm Beach. It is reached by tram from Manly to Narrabeen, thence by motor bus, which runs to a regular timetable to Palm Beach. It can easily be reached by car from Sydney in about an hour and a quarter, and in much less time from the Northern Suburbs, and now the Roseville and Spit bridges are almost completed the journey will soon be considerably shortened.  There is also a steamer service from Clareville wharf (handy to the estate) to the Hawkesbury River railway station, which is a very pleasant journey, passing en route through glorious scenery all the time, tennis courts are now available, and excellent golf links are nearly completed. These links have been laid out by one of Sydney's leading professionals, and comprise golfing country equal to, if not better than, any links in the metropolitan area. A club house is shortly to be erected. It is expected that these links will form an immense boon and attraction to golfers, owing to the badly congested state of all seaside links at the present time. FINANCE-COMMENCE-REAL ESTATE. (1924, October 5).Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 2. Retrieved from

Avalon Beach, circa 1923-24 - a Rex Hazlewood photo, courtesy State Library of NSW

Avalon Beach, 1928

It's worth noting that in 1929 A J Small wrote to the Council regarding:

A. J. Small 19/4/29. Inquiring if the Council Beach desires to purchase any of the allotments in his recent subdivision in Avalon Parade for the purpose of obtaining better access to the beach. Resolved that a letter be sent to Mr. Small suggesting that in view of the benefit he derives from the deviation of Barrenjoey Road, he might give a little land for access to Avalon Beach  52. Same. 19/4/29. Requesting that steps be taken to convey to him portion of an old Government road in exchange for similar land adjoining, which he conveyed to the Council. 

The Council Resolved that; Mr. Small pay the expenses of the exchange of the land, unless he gives the desired access to Avalon Beach.

Part of this Council's problem, as stated in one newspaper report above, was the collection of rates to fund infrastructure, maintenance and services due to many landholders living out of the are and having only bought a block of land, with no structures on it, as an investment or site for a future holiday home. Those who lived here permanently, or spent time here all year round in these simple beach cottages began to call out a perception that all the spending on $ in Warringah and neglecting Pittwater was part of the culture of the Council, so much so that the Avalon Progress Association was among the first to enquire how they could set up their own council, just for Pittwater, six decades before this was won.

One example of what's in those old council records from the Meeting held on 29/4/1929: 

38. Avalon Beach Progress Assoc. 15/4/29. Contending that Avalon does not get the share of works expenditure it is entitled to, and drawing particular attention to the condition of Avalon Parade and Central Road. Resolved (Crs. Hitchcock, Austin) - That the Engineer prepare an estimate for the improvement of Central Road and Hudson Parade with a view to the inclusion of these two roads in a loan proposal for A. Riding. Same: 15/4/29. Drawing attention to (i) a danger at the Avalon rock bath; and suggesting that a chain be placed across the corner as a safe guard, and (2) a traffic danger at the "Six Ways" between Bilgola and Avalon Beaches, and suggesting a warning sign or notices be erected there. Resolved: (1) to be dealt with before the next swimming season, (2) referred to Works Committee.

Succeeding discussions, as documented below, would infer this council was also trying to push Mr. Small around - the attitude comes through, even between the formalised recorded  lines, to take, not give a fair exchange, and treat him with contempt, even though the Council benefitted from his supplying water to people who would camp on their part of the Reserve, bequeathed by Therry, from which they made money, and his installation of, and paying for, conveniences such as toilets and change sheds which everyone used, and as required by the council.

All the while this 1928-1942 discussion was going on about resuming more land to extend Avalon Beach Reserve, and then actually paying for it,  A J Small was developing holiday features on his acreage for those purchasing lots along with Seasonal visitors to the valley of Avalon Beach - the tennis courts and shop were followed by:


Improvements being made at Avalon Beach include the improvement of a miniature golf course in conjunction with the erection of tea gardens, the main feature of which will be a semi-open air pavilion. Mr. Bertram W. Ford, architect, has accepted the tender of Mr. J. A. Carter, contractor, Manly, for this work. The walls of the pavilion will be lined externally with shingles, and the roof of colour-blended tiles. AVALON BEACH. (1931, December 29). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

Avalon Camping Reserve, circa 1929-1934. Image: PON records/Editor's old Postcards collection/Family photos and records - this may have been a Monte Luke photo originally - see:


Monte Luke, le célèbre artiste photographe de Sydney, Madame Monte Luke et leur famille à Avalon Beach, près Sydney. LE "MOTOR CAMPING OUT." (1928, October 26). Le Courrier Australien (Sydney, NSW : 1892 - 2011), , p. 3. Retrieved from 

This ABHS postcard from the later 1920s shows the site in the immediate foreground where the surf club was built in 1934. Car parking in those days was really a ‘free-for-all’ and when necessary spilled up the hill (now the eastern extension of Avalon Parade before it bends south and becomes Surfside Avenue). Note the absence of houses around the top of what was to become (New) Barrenjoey Road. The recently planted Norfolk Island Pines have yet to show their heads above the white picket planter boxes

May 14th 1935 – Arthur Jabez Small to the Warringah Shire Council, lanes and a reserve in DP915122, produced June 11th, 1935 and entered February 22nd, 1937 – Vol/Fol: 4829-95 for those lands – Dunbar Park, originally called 'Avalon Park':

To pay for lands being acquired:

Special Loan, £21,000—"A'' Riding.
WARRINGAH Shire Council hereby gives notice, in accordance with the provisions of Local Government Act, 1919, that:—
1. The Council proposes to raise a Special Loan of twenty-one thousand founds (£21,000) for the purpose of carrying but in Biding "A" of the Shire certain public works, the acquisition of certain lands for public recreation purposes, and the acquisition of certain lands for road purposes; and for the purpose of paying expenses incidental to the carrying out of such works and acquisitions.
2. The Council proposes to expend the loan money as follows, but reserves the right to utilise the surplus or saving on any one item in paying the excess cost of any other:—
(a) In Palm Beach-Whale Beach District: £
Public Reserve on shore of Pittwater, Palm Beach — Filling, levelling, and construction of retaining wall 1,000
Ocean Beach Reserve, Palm Beach—Making parking area and constructing pipe-line in southern portion 250
Governor Phillip Park — Erection of public lavatories 500
New Wharf—Construction of, at Palm Beach, Pittwater side 500
Improvements to roads, viz.—Florida-road, £1,000; Pacific-road, £405; Palm Beach road, £500; road from Barrenjoey-road to Whale Beach, £500; road from Whale Beach to Palm Beach, £500
Total: 2,905 
(b) In Avalon-Bilgola-Clareville District:
Public rock-bath at Avalon Beach—Enlargement of 250
Avalon Flat Drainage—Construction of concrete culverts 700 
Avalon Beach Reserve, Extension, etc.— Acquisition of Lot 26, Pittwater Estate, with exception of small portion at south western corner 2,750
Bilgola Beach Reserve—Construction of retaining wall 100 
Improvements to roads, viz.—Central-road, £600; George-street, £300 900
(c) In Newport District:
Newport Ocean Beach Reserve — Levelling sand, and top-dressing, on northern portion 700
Newport Recreation and Sports Ground— Fencing and other improvements BOO Queen's-parade drainage % 300
Improvements to roads, viz.—Ocean-avenue, £400; Foam Crest avenue, £220; Myola-road, £270; Bungan Head road, £400; Beaconsfield-street, £200; Karloo-parade, £200; Robertson-road, £150; Bardo-road, £300; King-street* £150; Queen's-parade and Stuart-street, £250 2,540 
(d) In Mona Valc-Warriewood District:
Mona Vale Park—Culvert across park from Park-street to Newport-road 200 Drainage works, Bassett-street, at eastern end 600
Footpath formation—Gravelling footpath on Pittwater-road, Mona Vale 100 Improvements to roads, viz. — Darley-street, £400; Bassett-street, £220; Noble-strfeet, £100; Bungan-street, £320; Allen-street, £160; Rickard-avenue, £100; Mona-street and Waterview-street, £250; Vineyard-street, £150; Seaview-street, £126, Foamcrest-avenue, £200 : 1,826
(e) At Bay View—Church Point:
Bay View Park Construction of pavilion and boat-shed 750
Church Point-—Reclamation and parking area near public wharf 200
(f) In North Narrabeen District:
Lake Park Extension, and new road—Acquisition of land for enlargement of Lake Park and for new road connecting Narrabeen Park parade and Collins-street ... 1,075
Improvements to roads, viz. — Kobado and Elanora Estate roads, £750; Powderworks-road, £200; Deep Creek road, £200;- Warraba-road, £120; Garden-street, £200; Taiyul-road, £200; Collins avenue and Walsh-street, £250 1,920 

(g) Incidental and contingent expenses - 634

Total £21,000
3. The Council proposes to carry out most of the abovementioned works under the Government's Emergency Relief Scheme. The proposed allocations to those works as set out above, are consequently allocations of loan money only and do not include the wages of the relief workers payable from grants receivable from the Government.
4. Plans and full details of the works to be carried out and of the lands to be acquired by means of the loan money may be inspected at the Council's office during the ordinary office hours.
5. The rate of interest on the loan will not exceed four per centum (4%) per annum, and the loan will be issued at par.
6. It is proposed to repay the loan over a period of twelve (12) years by 24 equal half-yearly instalments of principal and interest combined. The amount of each such instalment will be £1,110 os. 10d., or thereabouts.
7. For the purpose of repaying the loan and paying the interest on the loan the Council proposes to levy a rate of two-fifths of a penny (2/5d.) in the £ on the unimproved capital value of all ratable lands in the "A'' Biding of the Shire. (Total u.c.v., £1,326,723.) Should the proposed rate not provide sufficient for the purpose the deficiency will be paid from the General Fund of the Shire and charged to "A" Hiding's portion of that fund. (Nom—The loans of £28,200 and £3,500 raised ten years ago or thereabouts for the carrying out of public works in "A" Biding will be entirely repaid this year, and the present loan rate of 4/5d. in the £ levied in respect of them will not be levied after this year, but will be replaced by the proposed rate of 2/5d.).
8. Within one month of the date of the publication of this notice any number not less than twenty-five per centum (25%) of the ratepayers enrolled for "A" Riding may petition the Council to take a poll of the ratepayers, either as to whether the ratepayers approve of the loan or as to whether the loan rate shall be on the unimproved capital value or improved capital value, or on both questions. The number of ratepayers on the Roll of Electors for "A"' Riding is 5,421.
A. H. HUGHES, President. R. G. Jamieson, Shire Clerk.
Shire Hall, Brookvale, 20th July, 1936.
358 £7 10s.
SHIRE OF WARRINGAH. (1936, July 24). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 3236. Retrieved from

Current day Dunbar Park forms what was originally a reserve stretching from part of a corridor of open space stretching from Avalon Beach westward through the Avalon valley to the still existing Toongarie Reserve. This corridor has been cut by residential development at its western end and cut again by Barrenjoey and Old Barrenjoey Roads. The eastern section of Dunbar Park (called 'Avalon Community Gardens') was created when Barrenjoey Road was constructed and land resumed from 1934 on for the purpose of this build, which divided the connection of Dunbar Park through to Avalon Beach Reserve. [NRS-14468-2-[19/9162]-B.45/1518 - Title: Shire of Warringah Main Road No [number] 164 resumption from sale of land to A J Small. Contents Date Range: 11-05-1934 to 11-09-1945].

The acquisition of further land to add to the acreage bequeathed by Therry sprang from the community. Warringah Shire Council Minutes of Meetings record:

SPECIAL MEETING:OF WARRINGAH SHIRE COUNCIL HELD ON AVALON BEACH RESERVE ON MONDAY,  21st AUGUST, 1933. ATTENDANCE: Cr. Shaw (President), Crs.-Austin, Hitchcock, Hughes,-Fox, Nicholas, Sterland, Barber and Waal. The Minutes were taken by the Shire Clerk (R.G.Jamieson). The Engineer and Inspector were-in attendance. Purpose of: Select a site-for proposed surf buildings at Avalon Beach, and to consider Avalon Beach Progress Association’s request for resumption of about 12 acres of land adjacent to the Beach Reserve. 1. Site for New Building: Inspections were made of the site previously selected by A. Riding Councillors and the Building Inspector, and of the site suggested Small and the Architect for the building-Mr.B.W.Ford). Avalon The matter was discussed with interested persons present, and opinions,as to the most suitable site were expressed by Mr. A.J. Small, owner of adjoining land and of Avalon golf links, Mr.Paddon, an old-resident and member of the local Surf Club and also the local Progress Association, Mr. Bartlett, a member of the local Surf Club, and Life Saver on the beach, Mr. S. Wickham, Hon. Secretary of the Progress Association, Mr. Doyle, Vice President of the Surf Life Saving Association of NSW, B W Ford Architect for the building, Mr. S. O'Brien, Secretary of Careel Ocean Beach Estate Ltd., and Sir Sulman, Past President of the Town Planning Association of N.S.W. After hearing the views of the various speakers, Councillors withdrew for the purpose of coming to a decision, and a site between the two suggested Sites was decided at. Cr. Nicholas moved that the northern end of the proposed building be in line with the northern end of the existing public lavatories, provided that the contract price be not exceeded. Cr.: Hitchcock seconded. Cr. Barber moved as an amendment,-:that the southern end of the building be in line with the northern wall of the lavatories, and extend northwards, provided that the contract price be not exceeded. Cr. Sterland seconded. 'The amendment was carried. The motion as amended was thereupon put and carried. Specifications for the construction Of the building was then considered. The Council's Building Inspector suggested certain alterations and amendments. Resolved: That the specification be amended to the satisfaction of the Inspector. (Crs. Barber, Sterland) 2. Avalon Progress Association's-request for the resumption Avalon of land adjacent to the beach reserve: Resolved- That before consideration is given to this matter the Valuer Reserve General be asked to make a special valuation of the land. The meeting thereupon terminated. 

Arthur Jabez Small was the developer whose land the council wished to acquire - both at the South Avalon Beach headland and that situated around the then on the corner of Old Barrenjoey road and Avalon Parade shop, initially run by S. Wickham. In 1932, Avalon Beach pioneer A.J. Small, erected a kiosk on the south Avalon headland. The kiosk catered for the day-trippers who were flocking to the northern beaches on weekends. In particular, in these early days of settlement in Avalon, the kiosk provided a source of boiling water for tea. People were also using this land for camping:

5/12/1932: 59. A J Small drawing attention to the out-of-date dressing accommodation on Avalon Beach; (b), on the necessity for filling up, levelling off and turfing certain portions of the beach reserve, and the making of a solid pathway to the public lavatories, stating he is prepared to supply the buffalo turf free of charge, and would like to discuss several suggestions with the Works Committee on the spot. Referred to the Works Committee and A. Riding Councillors: 

19/12/1932: Two letters from; A . J Small (a) explaining his failure to meet the Works Committee at Avalon Beach Reserve: On 12th inst., and (b) re permits to erect tents on his camping ground at Avalon Beach were read. Resolved, That Mr Small be given a further opportunity of discussing with the Works Committee the subject matter of the previous letter:.(Crs. Austin, Barber) Resolved - That Mr. Small be requested to erect sanitary conveniences on his camping ground, one for each sex, and the Council's fixed charge for permits to erect tents be adhered to refer to letter to apper – fees for camping on private grounds.

8/5/1933: . 31 A. J. Small, 29/4/33, re Council's proposal for acquisition of part of his lane for access to Avalon Beach Reserve, requesting an appointment with the Works Committee to discuss the matter before going into the question of price. Referred to the Works-Committee and A. Riding Councillors to meet Mr. Small on the ground in a month's time.

22/5/1933:  5 5/33.:A J Small re, tents on private land at Avalon Beach, pointing out that notwithstanding the Tents restrictions placed on him, four holiday camps, without lavatories, were established on lot:3; Avalon NO'1. Estate during the Easter holidays. That the letter be ."received".

(1930). [Motor cars, some with tarpaulins attached, parked adjacent to Avalon Beach, New South Wales, 1930, 1] Retrieved from - and enlarged section from to show the Central Avalon Village Recreation Reserve as it was then.

Campers and cars at Avalon Beach, circa 1931

At the Meeting held on 4th December 1933: BUILDING SUB-COMMITTEE'S REPORT) Cr. Austin, Chair of the Committee, verbally reported, and it resolved that A J Small’s plan for a tea and refreshment kiosk at Avalon Beach and for pergola extensions to existing kiosk in Avalon Beach Reserve be approved

The 'New Inn' Avalon Beach, circa 1937, corner of Avalon Parade and Avalon Beach reserve

The first Avalon Beach SLSC Clubhouse

In January 1934 the first Avalon Beach SLSC Clubhouse was officially opened. This too had been worked towards for many years, with long discussions between experts and lobbyists on where on the beach reserve it should be placed. A few extracts from Warringah Shire Council Minutes of Meetings record the Avalon Beach SLSC, and a reel and line on the beach, existed long before a clubhouse. Warringah Shire Council's Minutes of Meetings: 17/12/1923:  Resolved, - That maintenance Han Oliver be instructed to return to Mr. Small the life line which he holds, and the surf reel at Avalon Beach, and return the other line to station. 

Mr Small and Mr Wickham and others then became more organised; please note that it should be an 'A' instead of H for Mr. Small's initials:

A CLUB FOR AVALON. A surf life-saving club has been formed at Avalon, the spot rendered famous by the song, or vice-versa. A meeting was held on Sunday at the residence of Mr. H. J .Small, who was appointed president. Mr. Stan Wickham the Rugby Union International, is hon. secretary-treasurer of the new club. THE SURFERS. (1925, March 13 - Friday). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 12. Retrieved from

The foundation meeting at A J Small's Bellevue Avenue 'Avalon' residence - on the steps stand Sydney dentist, Dr. Arthur Cecil Hanson with A J Small (second from left in white trousers) on his right, Stan Wickham (3.) and Bert Paddon (also white trousers - born 1906) to his left.  Also among these founders of Avalon Beach is A G (Tom) Hanson - verandah, and Small’s son Geoff is on the far right of the verandah, who was also in the first squad. To the far right among the younger boys are members of the Fox family of the end of Central road/Clareville, who married with Williams (Bayview) family - all 1st Class rowers of NSW.

Holiday group on front of house named Avalon - photo by Rex Hazlewood, Image Courtesy The Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, No.: c046220007h - includes Mr. Small and his family outside 'Avalon' in Bellevue Avenue.

In choosing a site for he clubhouse:

3/7/1933: At this stage the Council went Into COMMITTEE of the while for the purpose of dealing with the matters stated hereunder. 1., Proposed surf buildings at Avalon Beach Proposed Surf Building at Avalon Beach Reserve: Mr B W Ford, Architect, submitted in person two Plans the lesser being a cutting down of the major proposal to bring the estimated cost within the limit, of tenders for the two proposals alternatively: the reduced propose' the lowest' tender was that of H. Cardow £749.10.0, and for the major proposal the lowest was £941.5.0. He explained the difference between the two proposals. Resolved,- That H. Cardow's tender be accepted with the addition of £10 for the water-proof flooring, subject to the contract being suitable to the Council. (Crs. Austin, Barber) Messrs. Stevenson, Jolly and Wickham, representatives of the Avalon Progress Association, and a Mr. McNeil were admitted and informed of The Council's decision. Mr McNeil addressed the Council, stated he represented the biggest selling organisation in the Shire, and pressed for the adoption of the major proposal Mr. Stevenson said his Association desired him to affirm that the expenditure of £750 was adequate for the time being. He further said that it was the Association's ambition to repay to the Council the whole £750. It was decided that the two lowest tenders be forwarded to the Local Government Department, and also the plans and specifications on which they were based for adoption by the Department in lieu of those previously approved. The representatives from Avalon thereupon left the meeting. 

31/7/1933: … from the Avalon Beach  Progress Association, advising that the Association was of the opinion that the new surf buildings for Avalon Beach should be erected on the site originally selected, was called for. Mr. Ford, Architect, and Mr. A.J.Small, who were present, addressed the Council, and contended that it should be removed to a position further north: Mr. Jolly, on behalf of the Progress Association, protested against this. Mr. Small stated that if the building were erected in a central position, as suggested by him, he would be prepared to turf about one acre of the area with Buffalo sods, and carry out improvements that would cost him £100. Cr. Barber moved that if Mr. Small will give in writing that he is prepared to turf about one acre at his own expense, as offered by him, and also that he is prepared to bear any cost of the building in excess of £750, the site recommended by his be accepted. Cr. Austin seconded. The motion was not carried. It was resolved that the Councillors for A.Riding meet:Mr A J. Small and the Progress Association for the purpose of finally selecting a site.

14/8/1933: Surf-Life Saving Assoc.s.,-2/8/33.-stating that in the opinion of members of the Avalon Surf Life Saving Club, and also of members of the Association who, know Avalon Beach, the proposed location for the new surf buildings would not be the most suitable, and that the best location would be towards the centre of the beach. 10a. Coast Lands Ltd., 10/8/33, contending the surf buildings should be erected as near the centre of the beach as possible.:-10b. Building Relief Committee, 9/8/33, advising that the amended plan and specification of the surf building at Avalon are approved; 10c. Careel Ocean Beach Estate Ltd., 11/8/33, contending that the buildings should be erected Avalon as near the centre of the beach as possible. 10d. B.W. Ford, Architect 14/8/33, suggesting the Works Committee make an Buildings inspection, and finally settle the matter of a site. Cr. Hitchcock Moved that the surf building be erected on the site elected by-A. Riding Councillors, the Inspector-and the Progress Association. Cr. McPaul seconded. Cr: Sterland moved, as an amendment, Cr. Fox seconding, that the whole Council visit the site on next Monday for the purpose of deciding the matter, that the Surf Club, the Progress Association and Mr. Small be invited to be present. The amendment was Carried. The motion as amended, was thereupon put and carried. It was decided that the meeting be a Special Meeting of the Council, and commence at Avalon Beach  at 4 p.m. Council hold on Monday, 14th August, 1931. - 55.  Avalon Beach. Progress-Assoc., 5/8/33, on-advisability of acquiring land immediately adjacent to Avalon Beach,  approximately 12 acres, exclusive of tea rooms,tennis courts: Reserve and miniature golf links, for recreation and parking Extension purposes. Resolved, 1-That this matter be, considered at the Special Meeting of the Council, to beheld on Monday next at Avalon.

SPECIAL MEETING:OF WARRINGAH SHIRE COUNCIL HELD ON AVALON BEACH RESERVE ON MONDAY,  21st AUGUST, 1933. ATTENDANCE: Cr. Shaw rd (President), Crs.-Austin, Hitchcock, Hughes,-Fox, Nicholas, Sterland, Barber and Waal. The Minutes were taken by the Shire Clerk (R.G.Jamieson). The Engineer and Inspector were-in attendance. Purpose of: Select a site-for proposed surf buildings at Avalon Beach, and to consider Avalon Beach Progress Association’s request for resumption of about 12 acres of land adjacent to the Beach Reserve. 1. Site for New Building: Inspections were made of the site previously selected by A. Riding Councillors and the Building Inspector, and of the site suggested Small and the Architect for the building-Mr.B.W.Ford). Avalon The matter was discussed with interested persons present, and opinions as to the most suitable site were expressed by Mr .H.J. Small, owner of adjoining land and of Avalon golf links, Mr.Paddon, an old-resident and member of the local Surf Club and also the local Progress Association, Mr. Bartlett, a member of the local Surf Club, and Life Saver on the beach, Mr. S. Wickham, Hon. Secretary Of the Progress Association, Mr. Doyle, Vice President of the Surf Life Saving Association of NSW, B W Ford Architect for the building, Mr. S. O'Brien, Secretary of Careel Ocean Beach Estate Ltd., and Sir Sulman, Past President of the Town Planning Association of N.S.W., After hearing the views of the various speakers, Councillors withdrew for the purpose of coming to a decision, and a site between the two suggested Sites was decided at. Cr. Nicholas moved that the northern end of the proposed building be in line with the northern end of the existing public lavatories, provided that the contract price be not exceeded. Cr.: Hitchcock seconded. Cr. Barber moved as an amendment,-:that the southern end of the building be, in line with the northern wall Of the lavatories, and extend northwards, provided that the contract price be not exceeded. Cr. Sterland seconded. 'The amendment was carried. The motion as amended Was thereupon put and carried. Specifications for the construction Of the building was then considered. The Council's Building Inspector suggested certain alterations and amendments. Resolved: That the specification be amended to the satisfaction of the Inspector. (Crs. Barber, Sterland) 2. Avalon Progress Association's-request for the resumption Avalon of land adjacent to the beach reserve: Resolved- That before consideration is given to this matter the Valuer Reserve General be asked to make a special valuation of the land. The meeting thereupon terminated. 

The next Meetings Minutes confirm the building works are finally underway and that friction has developed between the newly elected President of the Town Planning Association of NSW :

25/9/1933: AVALON SURF BUILDING: The President reported that in compliance with the instruction given at last meeting, he and the Building Inspector, in company with the Contractor, had made an inspection of  Avalon Beach, that after a careful inspection, it was found that the only suitable site upon which the building could be erected without extra expense to the Council was within a few feet of the site originally selected, and that he and the Inspector had thereupon fixed upon that site, and the building was at present being erected upon it. Resolved, - Building That the action of the President and Inspector be endorsed. (Crs. Nicholas, McPaul) A letter from the Architect, Mr. B.W. Ford, 22/9/33, dealing with this matter, was read. A letter from the Shire Solicitors, 23/9/33, furnishing advice as to what action the Council might take in view of the attitude adopted by the Architect, was also read. Resolved, - That Mr. Ford's services be dispensed with forthwith, that the building be constructed under the joint supervision of the Council's Engineer and Building Inspector, and that Mr. Ford be paid for his services in the preparation of plans and specifications upon his handing over to the Council the Contract and the plans and specifications relating thereto. (Crs.Barber,McPaul) Resolved, - That Cr. Hitchcock also give his attention to the building, as far as he possibly van. (Crs. Hughes, Austin) The HEALTH INSPECTOR'S REPORT was read and dealt with as follows:- 1. Reporting on selection of site for surf building at Avalon Beach by President and himself under the instruction given by Council at the last meeting: "Received". Resolved, - That the sum of £30 be voted towards the levelling of the land around the new building when necessary. (Crs. Austin, Hitchcock) 31. Surf Life Saving asoc., 18/9/33, re alteration of site of proposed surf building at  Avalon Beach, and requesting that site fixed at the Special Meeting held at Avalon be adhered to. "Received" 32 Received" 11. Avalon Beach Progress Assoc., 20/9/33, thanking Council for the repairs effected to Park Road, and for bringing to finality the matter of the site for the new surf building on Avalon Beach . "Received"

The imperious 'Received', dismissing any objections, leaves a lot to be desired in local, state and federal government.

Science, logic, bearing eye-witness and hindsight, records over and over the known quality of beaches is that they are not static piles of sand. Ocean currents cause beaches to move constantly. Beach sand is primarily a product of the weathering of the land (such as natural erosion of coastal bluffs). 

When natural processes are interfered with, the natural supply of sand is interrupted and the beach changes shape or can disappear completely. Sand production stops when coral reefs die from pollution, when coastal bluffs are "armoured" by sea walls and when rivers are dammed or channelized (lined with concrete) upstream for flood control and reservoir construction. The sand that collects behind upstream dams and reservoirs is often "mined" and sold for concrete production. It then never makes it to the beach. A public resource essential for our beaches is instead sold for private profit.

Further, in the face of eroding beaches, owners of beachfront property will use their political influence to demand that "something be done." The intelligent and obvious action would be to move the building away from the ocean. Unfortunately, what has often been done in the past has been to armour the coastline with rocks, concrete and steel. This does not protect or maintain the beach - it only protects the buildings, and only temporarily.

Millions of taxpayer and now rate[payers dollars have been wasted subsidising beachfront building/s. Expensive projects have done very little to make oceanfront buildings safe and have, in fact, hastened beach erosion. In many cases, it would be more cost-effective for the environment and the ratepayers and tax payers to have the government buy the coastal property, condemn the buildings and allow the area to act as a buffer between the ocean and the remaining buildings. In urbanised areas with expensive real estate, a more cost effective and environmentally sound alternative to shoreline structures has been to periodically "nourish" the beach with sand.

Seawalls built of concrete, wood, steel or boulders that run parallel to the beach at the land/water interface have also been built to 'protect the beachfront properties'. These are also  called bulkheads or revetments. They are designed to protect structures by stopping the natural movement of sand by the waves. If the walls are maintained they may hold back the ocean, but again only temporarily. 

What occurs is the construction of a seawall usually displaces the open beach that it is built upon. They also prevent the natural landward migration of an eroding beach. When waves hit a smooth, solid seawall, the wave is reflected back towards the ocean. This can make matters worse. The reflected wave (the backwash) takes beach sand with it. Both the beach and the surf may disappear altogether.

Seawalls can cause increased erosion in adjacent areas of the beach that do not have seawalls. This so-called "flanking erosion" takes place at the ends of seawalls. Wave energy can be reflected from a seawall sideways along the shore, causing coastal bluffs without protection to erode faster. When it is necessary to build a seawall, it should have a sloped (not vertical) face. Seawalls should also have pockets and grooves in them that will use up the energy of the waves instead of reflecting it.

Usually the most cost-effective, environmental solution is to move the building away from danger. Building seawalls will buy time against natural processes, but it will not "solve the problem" of erosion by waves, and will, over time, change the beach and cause more and more it it to erode - eventually leaving the structure, built on sand, not only the cause of th problem but at risk of eventually being undermined by the tides, currents, and seasonal processes of a dynamic, not static, beach.

The first clubhouse on Avalon Beach Reserve officially opened on January 23rd, 1934:

Above: Official opening of Avalon Beach SLS Clubhouse - picture courtesy Avalon Beach Historical Society. 

Days later the Warringah Shire Council Minutes of the Meeting held on 29/1/1934 record: 2. Re new surf building on Avalon Beach  Reserve. Avalon Beach That the pine tree in front of the building, which was recently ring-barked, without authority, be removed altogether. _(Crs. -Hughes Sterland).

More Norfolk Pines would be planted, through the work of A J Small, to honour the fallen of World War Two - a record available in: Avalon Beach Norfolk Pines: To Honour Those Who Served – Anzac Day 2023 History Precursors

Other Items in Council records, particularly those by Councillor Dunbar, after whom Dunbar Park was named, called for greater protection of all the trees on the Beach Reserve and heading westwards - although at the same calling for the underscrub, the supporting ecosystem, to be removed, leading to all of the vegetation that held the land together eventually disappearing and subsequent problems.

A boathouse would subsequently be added onto the structure and further clubhouses built. Altogether, including the current one opened in 2014, four clubhouses to support the volunteer work of Avalon Beach SLSC have been constructed. Details of these progressions ran in earlier pages, all listed under References below.

The same Council Meeting records: 

52. Avalon Beach Progress Assoc., 24/1/34, requesting Council to move immediately in the matter of resuming approximately 6 acres of land adjacent to Avalon Beach Reserve, and stating Association would finance the purchase (special rate var.). Resolved, - That the Valuer General's special valuation of the land be awaited.

However, there were other elements going on - a letter to the Council from A.J.Small, dated 7/2/34, was claiming compensation for damage by stormwater in Avalon Parade at his new Service Station, and for loss of business on this account;. (b) expressing opinion that the method proposed by the Engineer to deal with this matter is neither adequate nor satisfactory, that the open cuts would in time scour into large holes; (c) pointing out the large amount of rates paid by himself and Avalon Beach Estates. 

Council Resolved, - That this matter be referred back to the Shire Engineer to go into thoroughly, and to furnish a report to next meeting, (Crs. Hughes)

A J Small's Avalon Petrol Station, circa 1934-1935 -= this was on the corner of Avalon Parade and Barrenjoey road - the same site one exists today - to the left you can just see the tennis courts framing

A place of creeks & Flooding Drains

As soon as structures such as homes and shops began to appear on the Avalon valley floor the fact that the place is threaded with creeks created problems every time it rained and drainage problems featured in the then Warringah Shire Council Notices and warranted the state government getting involved in 'unhealthy land' at Avalon due to poor drainage. The removal of the vegetation exacerbated this.

Earlier lithographs for the Therry land sales also showed this land as saltmarsh and mangroves. A picnic held at Avalon Beach by Therry, with those attending landing via steamer at Careel Bay wharf, records people 'dancing on the green flat' as well as visiting St Michaels cave.

Charles de Boos, in his 1861 published 'My Holiday' account of walking from Manly to Barrenjoey Headland records of 'Priests' Flat' (Avalon Beach Village area from the Bilgola Kamakazee Corner and golf course to Careel Bay):

Once through this jungle of a gully, and we had a gently rising road, creeping steadily up the face of the range, by easy graduation until at last it had gained the crest. Then we had a monotonous walk along the top of the ridge, in full view of the vast Pacific to our right, whose waves were now beating almost lazily along the beach at our feet and whose waters had barely swell enough on them to keel over the tiny fleet of coasters that had put out from different ports of shelter on the coast with the first slant of the favouring wind, and were now lying almost motionless, with scarce wind enough to lift their sails. To the left, the hills, covered with the low close scrub common to our coast ranges, bounded our view, the inland ridges, with their heavily timbered sides being hidden from our sight. Suddenly, however, the road took a curve round to the left, crossed a knoll of the range, and then swept down, in some fifty different tracks, on to a broad swampy plain, or flat, which seemed to us to be inundated, for we could see the water sparkling and glistening in the sun over its whole face. I pulled up short here.

" It won't do to go down there, Tom," said I.

"Oh, but we must," he replied. "This is the Priest's Flat, and there, where you see those shears erected, with the two tents alongside of them, is where they are boring for coal. We must go and report progress."

I looked ruefully at Nat, who made no reply, but, grinning viciously, bent down and turned up his trousers to the knees.     

“Do you think there are any leeches there ?” I asked. Nat's trousers were instantly turned down again, and this time he didn't grin,

"Oh, no," Tom answered, "there's too much water there for them, and not enough shelter.

I was easier in my mind, though I had my misgivings; but as these Antipodean leeches seemed to be ruled by laws, and to have amongst themselves habits and customs totally at variance with those of leeches in civilised communities, possibly Tom might be correct; so, tucking up my trousers, I prepared to descend. And, after all, when we got down to the flat it was not so bad as it had appeared to us from the hill. The ground was somewhat honeycombed and the water lay in pools, between which however, we managed to find sufficient footing without actually walking in water.

Arrived at the tents, warning of our approach was given by a solitary dejected bark, ending in a melancholy and prolonged howl, from some unseen dog, that was evidently too broken down and low-spirited to repeat the challenge and it was only after we had approached the shears, and had commenced our examination of the boring, which, to tell truth, none of us could make head or tail of, that a tall sailor looking man, who appeared as if he had but just that instant been uncoiled full-rigged from between the blankets, came out to the entrance of one of the tents, and regarded us with an air of blank and sleepy astonishment. Just after him followed his watchful canine guardian, whose short bark and long ululation had effected his master's awakening, but so far behind as not to be within kicking distance; his cowering watchful look, and his tail hard down between his legs, evidently saying as plain as could be said, " I  don't know whether I have done right, so I must stand by for squalls."

It took a good deal to waken up our friend to a full sense of the information we required from him, and it was only by the casual mention of Farrell's name that he was brought to his full mental perceptions. A grin spread over his countenance when we said where we had just come from.

“Did you go candling with him ?" he asked.   We explained how it was that we had not done so.'

“Oh, isn't it prime fun !" He was fast getting lively. 

He had been of the party the night before our arrival, had got wet through, had disported himself like a grampus in the pool, and had got home with an exulted notion of the sport. Of course we did not undeceive him; but having now got him up to the proper communicative pitch, we proceeded to worm out of him, by dint of much questioning, and much labour in bringing him back to the subject in hand for he would insist upon darting off from it at a tangent to give us collateral evidence upon matters in which we had not the slightest interest-all that he knew of the boring.

From the information thus acquired, as well as from enquiries subsequently made, I learnt that the spot now being bored was about the centre of a very fine property of some 1200 acres in area, granted many years ago to the Rev. Father Therry, and extending across the Barranjuee peninsula from the shores of the Atlantic to those of Creel Bay; the one being its eastern, the other its western boundary. Hence the plain had been christened the Priest's Flat. It had been for some time surmised, taking into account the dip of the coal basin, which crops up to the north at Newcastle, and to the south at Wollongong, that at this spot, which lies so near the northern cropping point, the coal seam might be struck at such a medium depth as would allow of payable working. Somewhere about twelve months ago, the reverend proprietor determined upon trying the experiment, and he has continued perseveringly at the work in spite of every discouragement that has beset him; and certainly he has had in this matter to bear up against contrarieties sufficient to have wearied out the majority of ordinary persons.

At no time have the men employed ever injured themselves by hard work, for the testimony of the natives goes to show that they hung it on most amazingly, and when obliged to do something for their money, rather than sink deeper they would break the auger. On another, occasion, an overseer that was employed bolted with the month's pay of the men, and, not satisfied with that, took also the reverend father's horse, though this was subsequently recovered, but only after paying a pretty Bullish sum for stabling expenses. Just as we visited the spot the 'works were again at a stand-still by the breakage of the apparatus, and the newly-appointed overseer was away in Sydney getting it repaired, whilst the hands were scattered hither and thither. They had at that time got to a depth of 186 feet, but had come upon no indications of coal, if we except the passage of the auger through a 6-inch pipe of coal at a depth of 123 feet. (Since these articles were commenced, I have learnt that the boring has reached a depth of 220 feet), when the work was suddenly brought to a close by the breaking of the auger, and, what was   worse, by the cutting portion of it being left firmly embedded in the rock that was then being pierced.  

Whilst upon this subject, it may-not be out of place to mention that I visited, though somewhat subsequently to the time now alluded to, the bluff headland almost in an easterly line with the boring, and named by the reverend proprietor St. Michael's Head; and there, at about eight feet above high water mark, and quite open to view, is a thin seam, or, as miners term it, pipe of coal, scarcely an inch in thickness. On examination I found also that very much of the shale, both above and below the seam, bore carboniferous indications-leaves, ferns, &c, being distinctly traceable on the face of the cleavages. Another great discouragement that must have operated very strongly upon the rev. owner has been the expense that the work has entailed on him, in consequence of the bungling inexperience and roguery of the persons who have, until lately, been entrusted with it. On this point I speak only on hearsay, and my information is consequently liable to correction ; but I was told with an air of authority that the cost of sinking had, up to that time, reached very nearly £800, being at the rate of rather more than £4 per foot, whilst the time occupied in sinking had been over nine months, or about twenty feet per month not a foot per diem ! If this was not enough to put an extinguisher upon ordinary enterprise, I can't conceive anything that would be. Under the present management I am informed that the work promises to progress more favourably.

We were not very long in pumping perfectly dry the maritime-looking individual who had charge of the works pro tem ; and, by the way, I would here ask how it is that nearly all the males we have encountered in our tracks have so decidedly nautical an appearance? Can it be that, like the islands in the Pacific have been said to have been, this particular portion of the territory of New South Wales has been peopled by the sole survivors of awful wrecks, by men supposed by anxious friends to have been drowned years ago, and who now turn up mysteriously in this unknown land? or, are the inhabitants of the Peninsula like the Arabs on the African coast, and do they seize and treat as slaves the shipwrecked mariners that are cast amongst them by the Pacific, in its un-pacific moods? or have they fled to these wilds to escape the too fond and anxious enquiries, through the water police, of disappointed shipmasters or deluded agents ? The question is one that perhaps some future Australian physiologist may be tempted to solve.

We parted with our friend with but scant ceremony, he turning on his heel and walking into his tent when we told him, "that was all;" whilst we shouldered our loads and walked ahead. Pushing along the edge of the flat, we crossed the foot of the hill we had not long previously descended, and, passing along an inner one of well-grassed sandbanks, that formed the landmost barrier against any encroachment of the waves, we came after a walk of half a mile to a paddock fence, through a slip panel of which the road evidently ran. Entering the paddock we found the upper part overgrown with young timber, principally wattles, that had sprang up since the cultivation of the toil had been discontinued, whilst about half-way across it we encountered a beautiful stream of running water, bright and clear as crystal, and crossed by a very rustic, and at the same time, very dilapidated-looking bridge. Nat was in the van at the moment, and I was astonished to see him, when he reached the brook, throw down his load and descend the bank to the water. Arrived there, he began hastily selecting some of the darkest leaves of a plant which I now observed grew very thickly on the margin of, and even in the water.

"What's the row ?" said I.

" Watercresses," replied he. "Stunning!"

" I'm there," cried Tom; whilst I made no answer, but slipped my shoulders out of my load, and commenced an attack upon this favourite pungent water plant. We amused ourselves for some five minutes over them, and then, filling our billy with the choicest stems we could find, once more made tracks.

After crossing the creek, we came in sight of a homestead, small but neat, having evidently been only recently whitewashed. The paddock was now clear of all undergrowth, and, as a goodly cluster of large trees, the remnants of the former occupants of the soil, had been left standing round the house, it had an exceedingly pretty and picturesque appearance, its white sides gleaming out markedly from amongst the bright green of the shrubs around it, and the dark and sombre verdure of the forest monarchs that overshadowed it.

"This," said Tom, "is Tom Collins, and he's the man that will show us the cave."

“The cave ?" asked I. "What cave ?".

" You'll see," he answered, "a rum 'un; such a one as you won't find anywhere else within a day's ride of Sydney, I can tell you."

Here was a surprise indeed. I had never, during the whole of my lengthened sojourn in Sydney, heard of this cave, and I don't believe that fifty persons in the metropolis are to this day cognisant of its existence; thus, with a feeling something near akin to that of a first discoverer, I hastened up to Collins domicile. 

(To be continued.)

MY HOLIDAY. (1861, August 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

Sir Thomas Mitchell sketchbook - Careel Bay 1828 (flat area leading north towards; where present day Careel Creek is) - Item c03082_0024_m, courtesy State Library of NSW


Having thanked Collins for his kindness and attention, we once more pushed ahead, the road now leading us across a long level piece of country that intervened between the sea and the waters of Creel Bay, until it brought us down to the margin of the latter. Arrived here, we had before us as pretty a marine picture as ever painter sketched, and as directly opposite to the one we had but so recently left as could be well conceived. The flat level land had here narrowed to some sixty rods in width, being backed by a heavily wooded range, the base of which was here and there encumbered by large masses of rock, from which the incumbent soil had been washed, and which now protruded in huge boulders, or lay out bare and detached from their native beds. On the margin of the bay were three little whitewashed slab huts with bark roofs, the passionate squalling of an infant that proceeded from one of them would have given evidence of their being inhabited, even if we had not seen two or three barelegged and barefooted children peering at us round the corner of the house.

Through the narrow belt of low swamp oaks that edged the margin of the bay, the clear smooth waters of Creel glistened in the sun, as the gentle breeze swept over its face and slightly ruffled its surface. On the sands, midway between the shore and the retreating water, for it was nearly low tide, two boys were busied collecting shells, by filling an old basket with the sand, and then agitating it in a water-hole, made for the purpose, until the sand was washed away, and nothing was left but the shells that had been mingled with it. These, when washed clean, were thrown into a boat that lay down helplessly on its side close to them. Out on the waters of the bay, floated a smart little cutter, which, though probably only a shell boat, looked from the clear atmosphere, and perhaps also from the fact that she was the only vessel in view, smart and dapper as a yacht, the red shirt and striped cap of the one man on board, adding still farther to the picturesque appearance of the vessel. Behind her again stretched out the waters of the bay, until they encountered the ranges of the other side, which coming down in many a ridge and gully, and forming many a deep indentation or projecting point, gave a gorgeous variety of tints and lights to a background that under a less brilliant sun or less pure atmosphere would have been sombre and monotonous.

Manly to Broken Bay. (1893, November 11). Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 19. Retrieved from

We halted here just long enough to admire the scene, and to have a shot at one of a number of blue cranes, that were stalking about most consequentially and at the same time most warily upon the sands. It was only by dint of a good deal of manoeuvring and dodging that Nat was enabled to get even within possible shooting distance of the rearmost of the lot; and after all, when he fired, he didn't kill his bird. He however succeeded in frightening it, and not only it but all its companions, for they one and all took to flight with a wild cry. But if he had in one quarter caused a fright and a cry he had in another caused a fright and quietness for the report of the gun had stilled the squalling in the hut so effectually that it was not resumed, so long at least as we remained within hearing.

The track, a mere bridle path, now led along the flat, then across a dank luxuriant gully, down which a little stream roared and brattled and foamed with as much fuss and bother as would have been sufficient for a volume of water twenty times its quantity; afterwards, up a wet sloppy hill from which the water exuded in every direction, round the point of the range, down a correspondingly wet and sloppy descent on the other side; and then on to another flat the very counterpart of the one we had just quitted. Another luxuriant and overgrown gully, another wet hill teeming with springs, and then we come down, upon a somewhat broader flat, at the extremity of which we see two tents a short distance apart that we at once recognise, from the description we had received of them, as being the Chinamen's place.
(To be continued.)
MY HOLIDAY. (1861, September 2). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

In 1860 the valley we now call 'Avalon Beach' look like this:

f.110 Mount Saint Patrick road to Broken Bay, December 11 1860.: Image No.: a5894118h all three from album: Volume 1: Sketches of N. S. [New South] Wales, 1857-1888 / by H. Grant Lloyd, courtesy Dixson Library, State Library of New South Wales - 'Mount Saint Patrick' was the name for what we now call Bangalley Head - 'Mount Saint Mary', opposite, is where Stapelton park now sits atop this hill/'mount'. Visit John Collins of Avalon and Careel Bay Jetty and Boatshed

Earlier Warringah Shire council's Minutes of Meetings record an insight into a problem that still hadn't been fixed:

30/4/1928: 40.,Garland, Seaborn & Abbott 13/4/28 Suggesting certain drainage improvements at Avalon Beach to prevent damage to A J Small's property. Resolved Crs. Hitchcock, That the Engineer furnish an estimate of the cost, and the work of cutting the drain be put in hand immediately the transfer is finalised. 

62. Garland. Seaborn & Abbott. 29/6/28. Again requesting that the Shire Engineer confer with the green-keeper of Avalon Beach golf links in regard to defective drainage. Referred to the Overseer for attention. 

18. Main Roads Board. 16/7/28. Advising that the length of Barrenjoey Road which is proposed to be proclaimed a main road is that extending from Newport to the end of the last at deviation at Avalon. Resolved: (Crs. Hitchcock, Atkins) - That an application be made to have the whole length of Barrenjoey Road proclaimed a main road. 20. H.E. Fry. 12/7/28. Requesting a garage approach to 57, Avalon Beach Estate. Referred to the Overseer for report. 

23/7/1928: 45. Garland. Seaborn & Abbott. 10/7/28. Suggesting, as a temporary measure to relieve the drainage trouble at Avalon Beach, that a drain be cut from the junction of Barrenjoey Road deviation and Avalon Parade to the 25-ft.easement opposite the tennis courts. Left with the Engineer to deal with

By May 1934 the following ran in the NSW Gazette:

Department of Public Health,
Sydney, 23rd May, 1934.
Unhealthy building land at Avalon, fronting Barrenjoey-road, Old Barrenjoey road, Avalon-parade and Central-road, Shire of Warringah.

THE Board of Health have reported that after due inquiry, they are of opinion that it would be prejudicial to health it certain land situated in the Shire of Warringah, and described in Schedules hereunder, were built upon in its present condition.

The Board of Health hare further reported that in order to render such land fit to be built upon it is necessary that:—

(a) the land be drained by properly constructed stormwater channels of capacity sufficient to carry off all water passing over the area; 

(b) The surface of the land comprised in Schedule 1 be raised with clean soil or sand to conform to the following grades

1. at Barrenjoey-road and Old Barrenjoey road to the height of the adjacent crown of those roads, rising therefrom on a grade of one in 100;

2. at the drainage easement or lane to a height 3 inches above the natural surface of the land, rising therefrom on a grade of one in 100;

(c) the surface of the land comprised in Schedule 2 be raised with clean soil or sand at the watercourse to a height 3 inches above the natural surface, rising therefrom on a grade of one in 100;

(d) all floors be laid 011 joists, the undersides of which shall be not less than 18 inches above the surface of the land when raised;

(e) the whole of the work be done to the satisfaction of the Board of Health.

Now, therefore, in pursuance of the power and authority vested in me by section 55 (1) of the Public Health Act, 1902, I hereby declare that such land shall not be built upon until the measures above referred to which are also specified in a document deposited in the office of the Local Authority (the Council of the Shire of Warringah) and open to, the inspection of any person, have been complied with, or until this notice has been revoked by me.

R. W. D. WEAVER, Minister for Health.

Schedule No. 1.

Commencing at a point 011 the north-western side of Old Barrenjoey road, being the southernmost corner of lot 10, d.p. 9,151; and bounded thence 011 the south-west by the south-western boundary of Jot 10 north-westerly to lane; thence by that lane north-easterly to Avalon-parade; thence by a line north-easterly to the westernmost corner of lot 13; thenee by lane north-easterly to the northernmost corner of lot 20; thence by part of the north-eastern boundary of lot 20 south-easterly to a point 135 feet along that boundary north-westerly from Barrenjoey-road; thence by a line north-easterly to a point on the south-western boundary of lot 22, being 70 feet along that boundary from Barrenjoey-road thence by that boundary south-easterly to Barrenjoey Road; thence by lines bearing consecutively 37 degrees 185 feet, 47 degrees 310 feet, 122 degrees 125 feet, 189 degrees 250 feet, 196 degrees 0*50 feet; thence by a line southwesterly to the easternmost corner of lot*8, d.p. 13,975; thence by the south-eastern and south-western boundaries of lot 8 to the westernmost corner of lot 8; thence by a line south-westerly to the southernmost corner of lot 13, d.p. 12,047; thence by lane south-westerly to the*southernmost corner of lot "21; thence by the south-western boundary of lot 21 north-westerly' to Old Barrenjoey road; thence by Old Barren joey road north-easterly to the westernmost corner of lot 13; thence by a line northwesterly, to the point of commencement.

Schedule No. 2.

Commencing at a point on the north-eastern side of Avalon-parade, being the westernmost corner of lot 33, d.p. 9,151; and bounded thence on the soutli-west by Avalon-parade north-westerly to the westernmost corner of lot 52; thence by the north-western boundary of lot 52 north-easterly 80 feet; thence by a line parallel to Avalon-parade north-westerly to the south-eastern boundary of lot 60; thence by a line north-westerly to the north-western boundary of lot 66, beings point 190 feet north-easterly along that boundary from Avalon-parade; thence by that boundary north-easterly 430 feet; thence by a line south-easterly to the south-eastern boundary of lot 37, being a point 30 feet north-easterly from the southernmost corner of lot 37; thence by a line parallel to the south-western boundary of lot 36 south-easterly to the south-eastern boundary of lot 34; thence by a line south-easterly to the southernmost corner of lot 33; thence by a line bearing 116 degrees 160 feet; and by a line north-easterly to the northernmost corner of lot 20; thence by lane south-westerly, to the point of commencement. PUBLIC HEALTH ACT, 1902, SECTION 55. (1934, May 25). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 2030. Retrieved from

This state of flooding still persists today, even with the creeks that thread through the valley placed in pipes, and Careel Creek in the most noticeable open drain that still runs alongside the Reserve, that will still overflow into the green areas alongside it, and even onto the homes built backing on to the same. 

When the reserve was used for camping people living there permanently during the 1930's, due to the economic depression, and after World War Two, due to a lack of materials to build new homes with. Permanent residents recalled their possessions and even the people being washed right along Careel creek; some even stating they were washed out into Careel Bay. 

A few examples:

THEY SUFFERED DISCOMFORT FROM THE RAIN: Mr. Syd Forrester, of Leichhardt, digging a trench during heavy rain in an effort to prevent the flooding of his tent at the Avalon camping ground yesterday. 

The occupants of six of the 90 tents on the reserve left for home. THEY SUFFERED DISCOMFORT FROM THE RAIN. (1948, January 15). The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 3. Retrieved from

Freak Storm Hits Avalon: Drives Out Tent Dwellers

A freak hailstorm yesterday flooded many parts of Avalon, doing hundreds of pounds' worth of damage. Scores of people living in the camping area at Avalon were forced to leave their bornes. Tents were torn to-shreds and the roofs of caravans severely damaged. Several tents and the furniture inside them were washed out to sea by floodwaters. Most of the families living in the camping area were given shelter for the night in the Avalon surf shed.

Mrs. Joyce Andries, of the Avalon Fire Station, said last night that immediately residents realised the floodwaters were rising, volunteers raced to the camping area to help to evacuate the children. The children were carried to safety through the racing water. Most of them were taken to the Avalon surf sheds, and the remainder were taken to the homes of relatives and friends.

Among the worst sufferers in the camping area were Mr. and Mrs. V. Harrington, who estimated their losses at about £.250. Their tent was not washed away, but damage to the roofing, sides and floor coverings was "enormous," said Mr. Harrington. The roof of Harrington’s tent was torn to shreds by the hailstones while water roared over the floor, destroying floor coverings and food supplies. Mr. Harrington had to use a suction pump to clear the water from the tent. He said he had only just cleaned up and repaired the damage done by last Saturday morning's floods. The storm began shortly after 2 p.m. and lasted for nearly three and a half hours.

Hailstones, measuring almost two and a half inches across, rained on the shopping and camping centres. Stormwater, in places three feet deep, raced through the shopping centre, flooding shops and homes. Hundreds of pounds' worth of stock in the shops was destroyed. Road traffic from Palm Beach and Sydney was dislocated. Vehicles were unable to pass Avalon.

The tent on the left, owned by Mr D. Needham, was completely capsized by the rushing waters. 

One of the shops which suffered most damage was Le Clercq's general merchandise store in Avalon Parade. Mr. Le Clercq, the owner, bored holes in the floorboards in an attempt to drain away the two feet of water which was damaging his goods. 

He said he had only just cleaned up the debris from a flood which occurred on Friday. He had suffered more than £250 worth of damage in that flood. 

The rush of water through Avalon Parade was so great at one stage that several cars were almost submerged. The swirling flood carried one car almost 200 yards before dumping it on the pavement. 

Freak Storm Hits Avalon: Drives Out Tent Dwellers. (1953, May 7). The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 1. Retrieved from

Careel Creek alongside Avalon Beach Reserve in March 8, 2022:

At the same time the Council's was fixed on:

At the first Meeting for May, 1934 - 7/5/1934: 5. Re conference with Mr. A.J. Small, respecting proposed acquisition of his land adjacent to the beach reserve, Avalon Beach, and his request for improvements to Avalon Parade: Avalon Resolved, - That the question of improvements to Avalon Parade be deferred until the matter of the main road deviation proposal is finalised. Resolved, - That it be left to the President and Shire Clerk to negotiate with Mr. Small on the matters on the lines recommended by the Works Committee, and as to whether he will give a certain portion of his land on the eastern side of the proposed road. 5. Re Water supply for  Avalon Beach surf buildings: Resolved That the Inspector go further into the matter, and make tests to ascertain where he can get the flow of water. (Crs. Hitchcock, Sterland).

At the Meeting held on 21/5/1934: 40.  Avalon Beach Progress Assoc., 10/5/34, inquiring what further action has been taken towards acquiring land adjacent Reserve to Avalon Beach Reserve, and with what results, if any. Extension Resolved, - They be informed the Council has done nothing further on account of the negotiations between the Main Roads Department and Mr. Small respecting deviation of the road through Mr. Small's property. (Crs. Hitchcock, Hughes) Proposal for extension of Avalon Beach Reserve: Resolved. That a copy of the report on the interview which the President and the Shire Clerk had with Mr. A.J.Small regarding this matter be sent to the Avalon Progress Association. (Crs. Hitchcock, Sterland)  67— Postmaster General’s;15/5/34, inquiring whether Public Council has any objections to the erection of an improved telephone cabinet at Mr. S. Wickham's Store & Post Office, Avalon Beach, in position showing a accompanying sketch. Resolved, - That the Council offer no objection. Mr A J Small 4/5/34, drawing attention to the fact that some one has enclosed, within a fence a lane batmen Lots 21 Closing of and 22, Clareville Ocean Beach Estate, Avalon Beach, thereby Lane preventing public access, requesting Council to take immediate steps to have the obstructions removed and the thoroughfare re-opened. Absolved, - That consideration be deferred until next meeting. - (deferred for a further three meetings in fact).

6.  Avalon Beach Progress Committee., 29/5/34, drawing attention to the state of Central Road, Park Road and Careel Head Road. suggesting the Works Committee permit a member of the Association to point out parts complained of; (b) requesting that a street light be placed at the junction of Park Road on Kevin Avenue. Referred to the Engineer for report. 57.  29/5/34, re proposed addition to Avalon Beach Reserve, opposing any proposal for resumption unless the who Reserve of the "island block" be included, contending that the Council should meet the wishes of the signatories to the earlier extension petition, and requesting that the Valuer General be asked to give a valuation of the "island block". Resolved - That the Engineer prepare a plan of the "island block" and the 80-ft. strip adjoining for submission to the Valuer-General for valuation. (Ore. Hitchcock, Hughes)

Meeting held on 5/11/1934: 25. A. J. Small 26/10/34, stating he is repeatedly receiving requests for permission to camp on his property at Avalon Beach, suggesting the Council make a flat charge of, say, up to £5 per annum, for camping on Lot 26 and Lots 3 and 4, Avalon Beach, he being prepared to erect sanitary accommodation to any reasonable extent, and have the camping area properly run and supervised; that N.R.M.A. officials have inspected the camping area, and are prepared to support the proposal; inquiring whether if such camp be established, the Council would prevent the indiscriminate camping on adjacent public roads and reserves, and by trespassers on private property. Resolved, - That the proposal be approved on the condition suggested by the Inspector, viz - that three earth closets be provided for men, and three for ladies, and Mr. Small arrange direct with the sanitary Contractor for adequate sanitary services, and pay him direct for same; that a notice be erected in a suitable position prohibiting camping on the roads and reserves. (Crs. Hitchcock, Hughes)

Meeting held on 19/11/1934: Avalon Surf Building:  2. Re water supply-to Avalon Beach  Reserve: Resolved, - That authority be given for the purchase of a 1,000-gallon tank and for the removal of the existing tank to Building the Council's depot, to be later used on Bilgola Reserve. (Crs. Hughes, Hitchcock) offer of Mr. A.J.Small to allow Council to obtain water from a well on his land adjoining Avalon Beach Reserve: Resolved, - That the matter be left in the hands of the "A" Riding Councillors.

Monday 17th of December, 1934

4. Bilgola Beach Lavatories: The report was adopted, and it was resolved that no camping be allowed on the reserve after Reserve 31st,January. (Crs. Hewitt, Campbell) 5. Avalon Beach Water Supply: Resolved, That the report be adopted, and the draft Agreement with Mr. A. J. Small be accepted. (Crs. Hughes, Sheppard) Water 6. Extension of Water Supply and Sewerage: Recommendation Supply that the water extension be carried to Avalon and Palm Beach, was adopted, (Crs. Austin, Sheppard) 

Meeting held on 22/1/1935: 5. Submitting License re obtaining water from Mr. A.J.Small for public use on  Avalon Beach  Reserve: Resolved - That the Seal of the Council be affixed to the Licence. 24. A.S.Small, 9/1/35, pointing out that although the Council towards the end of last year resolved that no camping be permitted on the reserve and adjoining roads at Avalon  Beach, there are six or seven camps there now, and the Council has accepted fees from the occupants; also pointing out that three Banksia trees on the reserve have been cut down. Already dealt with in Inspector's report.11. Re: complaint by Mr A. J. Small of camping on roads and Camping reserves at Avalon Beach: Referred to A. Riding Councillors for consideration.

Meeting held on 5/2/1935: 34. G. K. Dunbar, 25/1/35, re: lack of public parklands adjacent to Avalon Beach, and the fencing off of private land adjoining the Beach reserve, and contending the latter land should be resumed by the Council before the owner puts more improvements on it. Received.  A.E. Felton, 28/1/35, contending that camping on the Bilgola reserve at Bilgola Beach should not be prohibited, agreeing that the area becomes congested, suggesting there be on one line of tents permitted, with a 3-ft. space between them:  Resolved, - That the Council's previous decision to prohibit camping on the reserve be agreed, and the Inspector see that it is carried out. (Crs. Hewitt, Hughes)

Meeting held on 19/2/1935: Cr. Hyghan moved as an amendment that the council purchase an 80-ft. strip for access to the beach Avalon Beach reserve from the proposed main road through Mr. Small's land for the sum of £600, the full amount to be set off against Mr. Small's rates indebtedness, provided the proposed main road is established by the Main Roads Department without cost to the Council. Cr. Hewitt seconded. The amendment was defeated. The original motion was thereupon put and carried. Clareville Wharf: Cost of demolition of Clareville Wharf: Resolved, the expenditure of £99 on the demolition be confirmed, (Crs. Hughes, Sheppard)

Meeting held on 5/3/1935: Avalon Surf Building: E. Lloyd Sanders M.L.A., 18/2/35, on necessity of cubicles in the surf building at Avalon Beach, suggesting these could be provided without cost to the Council, and the users be granted a Permissive Occupancy. Resolved, - That the proposal be approved, it being understood there will be no expense to the Council. (Crs. Hewitt,' Hughes) National Roads & Motorists Assoc., 21/2/35, pointing but that persons camping on the public reserve at Avalon Beach pass through the section of Mr. Small’s ground used by N.R.M.A. members, requesting the Council to give its attention to this matter before the Easter holidays. Resolved, -That the matter be left to A. Riding Councillors. 63. A.J.Small, 2712/35, re camping on Avalon Beach Reserve, taking exception to a recent report by the Inspector on the matter, explaining the position, and requesting a definite statement of the Council's intention in regard to allowing camping on the beach reserve. Cr. Hughes moved, Cr. Hewitt seconding, that the Inspector should not have made the remarks concerning Mr. Small which he made in recent report to the Council. Cr. Campbell moved an amendment, Cr. Bello seconding, that consideration of the letter be deferred until the Inspector returns from holidays. The amendment was carried. Fred Holmes, 26/2/35, re proposed resumptions at Avalon Beach, inquiring whether it is intended to levy a local rate, and whether in such case, the local ratepayers of Avalon Beach may demand a poll. 70a. Avalon Beach Progress Association. Resumption 27/2/35, thanking Council for its decision to effect this resumption. 70b. G. K. Dunbar, 28/2/35, contending that the whole of Mr. Small's land between the beach reserve and Barrenjoey Road should be resumed. Resolved, - That these letters be considered by the Finance Committee. (Crs. Hewitt, Hughes)

A letter from A.J.Small, dated 15/4/35, to the Council stated his intention to enclose with a fence his land adjoining Avalon Beach  Reserve, requesting Council's approval to the type of fence proposed, and to pay its proportion of the cost when completed. The Council Resolved,- That the matter be left to "A" Riding Councillors to confer upon, and to report in a month's time. (Crs. Hughes, Nicholas)

Aerial picture shows the open pavilions of the Clubhouse - circa 1935. Photo courtesy ABHS

The Warringah Shire Council Meeting of March 31, 1936 records: 

PROPOSED EXTENSION OF AVALON BEACH RESERVE and acquisition of Mr. A.J.Small’s land therefore – Letter from H. Collins, 31/3/36, stating he has acquired option from Mr. Small on behalf of a proposed Company, with a view of conducting a road- house or cabaret, cafe, etc. and requesting permission to address the Council on the matter of a shark-proof net for Avalon Beach; Mr. Collins addressed the Council on the Avalon matter. He stated that he represented gentlemen who were forming a Limited Liability Company to erect a modern cabaret and road-house on land over which they had acquired an option, and which it was considered would be a boon to the district They invited the Council's co-operation by offering the Council a shark-proof net for Avalon, which would be free to the public. The Company would not only put the net, but would keep it in repair, and would keep the beach within the confines of the shark-proof enclosure in a tidy condition. He produced a sketch illustrating the proposed road-house. The co-operation they sought of the Council was that the Council should either remove its kiosk on the reserve, or leave it there and use it for the purposes of a sun-shed. The land they had an option over was Lots 5 and 6. Section 26, at the corner opposite the garage. There was a tree growing in the front, and he understood the Council was going to put a road through, but they were not concerned about that. When informed by the President that the Council had resolved at last meeting to resume the land, he expressed surprise, and produced a letter from Mr A. J. Small, dated 14th March, 1936, granting them, consideration of the payment of a sum of £1, an option until 14th May to purchase the land for £1665. The President impressed upon the speaker that the Council was not in a position to discuss the matter with him, as it had already resolved to resume the land, and he thereupon withdrew. 

The papers of then reported:


The N-R-MA has made arrangements for establishing a summer motor camp at Avalon Beach, 22 miles from Sydney, between Narrabeen and Palm Beach. There is a fine surf beach at 'Avalon, and a nine hole golf course, on which members of the association are entitled to play at a reduced fee. A tennis court is situated nearby. All stores and petrol supplies may be obtained at Avalon. Full details of the camp may be obtained from the N-R MA. Touring Department. MOTOR CAMP AT AVALON (1934, November 29). Glen Innes Examiner (NSW : 1908 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from 

Avalon Beach Reserve

THE Warringah Shire Council has advised the N.R.M.A. that action is to be taken to effect the resumption of the whole of the land between Avalon Beach reserve and the Old Barrenjoey road with the exclusion of a rectangular portion at the junction of Avalon Parade and Old Barrenjoey road, on which a shop is situated. The association, when advocating the resumption, pointed out that the existing reserve is narrow and sandy, and does not offer facilities for car parking. The area which it is proposed to resume is admirably suited for camping and picnicking. Avalon Beach Reserve (1936, May 13). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 44. Retrieved from

The Council Meeting held on December 1st, 1936 records more from Mr. Small: 

AVALON BEACH RESERVE EXTENSION; that to avoid unnecessarily heavy compensation, access should be Provided to Lot 3 on the southern side of the Avalon Service Station; (b) contending that the Council has, in its resolutions and actions for years past, prevented him from disposing of the land to his advantage, and stating grounds for this contention; ... (c) contending that he is entitled to know when the resumption will be carried into effect. Resolved - That he be informed that as soon as the Governor's approval to the proposed loan has been secured, and the loan has been raised, the resumption will be carried into effect.  

29. ' Local Government Dept., 9/9/37, re: resumption of land for extension of Avalon beach Reserve, inviting expression of opinion regarding an objection which the Department received from A. J. Small to the effect that adjoining properties and tenancies--will be injuriously affected if road access is not provided for under the resumption and extension and that an excessive amount of land is being taken. Resolved, - That the matter be deferred, pending a reply from the Department. re the Shire Clerk's letter.'

A fair few years after that extension Avalon Beach Reserve was formalised:



Warringah Shire Council: Acquisition of Land for the Purposes of Public Recreation.

APPLICATION by the Council of the Shire of Warringah having been made that the land described in the Schedule hereto be appropriated and resumed for the purposes of public recreation, it is hereby notified and declared by His Excellency the Governor, acting with the advice of the Executive Council, and by the Minister for Public Works, that so much of the land described in the said Schedule hereto as is Crown land is hereby appropriated, and so much of the said land as is private property is hereby resumed, under Division 1 of Part V of the Public Works Act, 1912, as amended, for the purposes aforesaid; and the Minister for Public Works hereby further notifies that the land described in the said Schedule is vested in the Council of the Shire of Warringah. 

Dated at Sydney, this thirtieth day of March, 1938.

WAKEHURST, Governor. E. S. SPOONER, Minister for Public Works.


All that piece or parcel of land situate in the Shire of Warringah, parish of Narrabeen, county of Cumberland and State of New South Wales, being part of lot 26 of the South Subdivision of Pittwater Estate, and being also 'part of portion 20 (of parish) : Commencing on the south-eastern side of Central-road at the northernmost corner of the land comprised in Real Property Application No. 17,128; and bounded thence on the south-east by the south-eastern boundary of that land bearing 189 degrees 28 minutes 30 seconds 1,615 feet 8 1/2 inches; on the south-west by the north-eastern side of Avalon-parade bearing 286 degrees 218 feet 11 3/4 inches; on the north-west by the south-eastern boundary of the land comprised in Certificate of Title, registered volume 4,605, folio 143, and its prolongation north-easterly, bearing 36 degrees 240 feet; again on the south-west by a line bearing 286 degrees 261 feet 10 1/2 inches to the south-eastern side of Barrenjoey-road; and again on the north-west by that side of that road and the aforesaid south-eastern side of Central-road bearing 16 degrees 946 feet 8 inches and 51 degrees 23 minutes .513 feet 5 1/2 inches respectively, to the point of commencement, but excluding thereout the land comprised in Certificate of Title, registered volume 4,197, folio 83,—having an area of 10 acres 3 roods 6 3/4 perches or thereabouts, and said to be in the possession of Arthur Jabez Small. (Sh. 38-1,114) * (1375) LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1919, AS AMENDED. PUBLIC WORKS ACT, 1912, AS AMENDED. (1938, April 8). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 1442. Retrieved from

Certificate of Title, registered volume 4,197, folio 83 shows this was, once again, a 10+ years work, which then had to be paid for - which became a case of 'off to court we go':

December 20th, 1938: 20- Re-erection of Mona Vale band-stand as a kiosk at Mona Vale Beach: Resolved (Crs. Nicholas, Latham) - That the Mona Vale kiosk be charged for at the same rate as the kiosk at Deewhy Beach Reserve, 16. Avalon Beach Parking & Camping: Consideration of the appointment of a collector was deferred for consideration with the Inspector's report in regard to this matter.

24th of January 1939 Meeting:
Avalon Beach Resumption 56. Department of Works & Local Government, 17/1/39, re resumption of land at Avalon Beach for public recreation purposes, and stating that a claim for a total of £18569.14.9 has been received from A. J. Small, and a claim for £81 from Mr. W. Richards. 'Received'.

The other aspect was an upgrade of Barrenjoey road and land being taken from that just acquired in order to do so:

45. Avalon Beach Progress Association., 29/8/39, re resumption by Main Roads Reserve at Avalon for purpose of deviating Barrenjoey Road, (a) forwarding copy of letter sent to Mr. Reid, M.L.A. by the Association, requesting him to make representations to the Minister for Transport to prevent the Main Roads Department proceeding with the road; (0) requesting Council to request the Minister for Transport to revoke the resumption; (c) drawing attention to the danger of flooding which might occur to private property should the road be deviated along this route; and (d) requesting Council to claim from the Main Roads Department the maximum amount of compensation obtainable. Resolved, - That the Council request the Minister for Transport to revoke the resumption, as requested by the Association, and that the Council claim from the Main Roads Department the maximum amount of compensation obtainable. (Ore. Hitchcock, Savage) 46. Same, 29/8/39, (a) stating sand is being promiscuously being taken from the road and private property at' the southern end of Tasman Road, suggesting that if Council defines the boundaries of the road at this spot and erects a notice stating sand cannot be taken.

3rd October, 1939.:
2. Re Trading kiosks at public reserves at Avalon Beach, Avalon Bch. tenanted by J. Hogan and S. Wickham, recommending (a) that when compensation in respect of the resumption of Mr. A. J. Small's land is finalised, consideration be given to the advisability of removing one of the kiosks; (0) that Mr. Hogan's tenancy be renewed from 1st October to 30th April next at a rental of £2.3.4 per month as heretofore, and that rental charges between This is page Number 4 of the Minutes of Warringah Shire Council held on 3rd October, 1939.

Barrenjoey road Deviation  - Avalon Beach Progress Association, 20/10/39, forwarding Copy of a letter which the Council has sent to Mr. Reid, MLA. requesting that he arrange with the Minister for Transport to meet members of the Association and the Council at Avalon Beach for the purpose of going into the matter of the deviation of the main road through the resumed land. 'Received'.

20th of August, 1940:
Department of Works & Local Government, 13/8/40, advising Council that Narrabeen Progress-Association's land, Lot 6 Section 18 Pittwater Road, Narrabeen, was resumed and vested in the Council by Gazette notification of 26th July. *;Received*;Department of Lands, 14/8/40, further re: resumption Harbord Beach for extension of-Harbord Beach Reserve, advising that claim for compensation by the Executrix of the Will of the late H.S. Bourne is now ready for payment, and requesting Council's cheque for £1049.10.5. Resolved, - That Council's cheque for the amount mentioned be forwarded to the Department. (Crs. Sterland, Campbell) 41. Board of Fire Commissioners, 14/8/40, regarding the Council's representations for adequate fire protection for A. Riding, stating the Board is now prepared to take the necessary steps to have Warriewood, Bayview Church Point and Mona Vale included in the Sydney lire District, and to have a separate Fire District created from the proposed new boundary of the Sydney Fire District to Barrenjoey, to be served by a volunteer staff which would be stationed in the vicinity Of Avalon, with First Aid equipment at Palm Beach, and that the details of the boundaries of the area's, equip went, etc, will be a matter for subsequent consideration by the Board: Resolved, - That the letter be acknowledged,

March 5th, 1940:

By Cr. O'Reilly - How does the question of the resumption of the reserve at Avalon Beach from Mr. A. S. Small stand? Resumption The Shire Clerk reported that no advice of any settlement had been received, and the President stated that another letter would be sent to the Department requesting expedition, 

Ordinary Meeting. 4/2/41:

9. E.O.Hanson and 5 other residents and ratepayers of Elouera Road, (formerly Seaview Avenue) Avalon, complaining of the state of that road, and requesting that improvements be carried out. Resolved, - That maintenance attention be given, as recommended by the Engineer, and the writers be informed accordingly. (Crs. Campbell, O'Reilly) 10. :40:Hanson and 13 others, protesting against the removal of the barriers which prevented cars from encroaching on the small reserve near the surf sheds on Avalon Beach Reserve, for the reasons (a) the lawn will shortly again become a sand-hill if cars are allowed to use it, (b) that this portion of the reserve should be reserved for pedestrians and a children's playground, (c) that there is sufficient space for hundreds of cars on the hill and on the large reserve behind the area in question, (d) that the beach front should be kept in a clean and orderly condition. Referred to the 'forks Committee. 

April 1st, 1941:

Avalon Beach Resumption - 16. Avalon Progress Assoc., 14/3/41, (a) stating Association considers the Council should take steps to improve the beach by means of the income derived from the camping area, suggesting that a retaining wall be erected, the stone to be quarried  above the baths on the spot . (b) suggesting that part of the beach reserve be converted into a children's playground; (c) urging that the promised improvement of Park Road and Kevin Kevin Ave. Avenue be carried out as soon as the necessary funds are available, as they are in a dreadful condition; 011 inviting Park Road attention to a promise made for the construction of a footpath along Barrenjoey, Central Road and Avalon Parade; and (e) inquiring what steps are being taken to finalise the resumption of the beach. - Resolved the Association be informed the Council cannot see its way to consider the request until it knows what amount of compensation it will be called upon to pay in-regards to the resumption at Avalon Beach. (Crs. Campbell, &ter11-,74) (c), Resolved, -The Association be informed that Kevin Avenue is to be cleared and a track made, and that maintenance attention will be given to Park Road. (d) Referred to the Works Committee for report. (e) resolved, -.That the Shire Clerk inform' the Association how the matter stands. 

November 11th, 1941:

29. Avalon S.L,S.Club, 27/1.0/41, stating that in lieu of a paid Life Saver it is proposed to have the beach patrolled by members of the Police Boys' Club at week-ends, and requesting Life Savers Council to pay half the cost of their fares. Resolved, That the Council assist by granting the usual subsidy on a for basis, to a limit of £25. (Crs. O'Reilly, Batho)


28. Parks & Playgrounds Movement of N.S.W., 1/4/42, replying that the Movement is now the registered proprietor of Lot 41, The Serpentine, Avalon, donated to it by Mr. A.J.Small. Resolved, That the Works Committee make an inspection, and be furnished with a plan showing the position of the land, and also a statement of the amount of rates owing.


Regarding lookout Reserve, The Serpentine, Avalon. Letters from Parks & Playgrounds Movement, advising that Lot 41, Reserves The Serpentine, had been given to the Movement by S.J.Small, and requesting that the Council waive the rates or make a grant equivalent to the amount of the rates: Resolved, - That the Committee's recommendation that on payment of the current year's rates,-amounting to £4.11.6, the Council make the Movement a grant of an equivalent amount under Section 504 of the act. (Crs. Hitchcock, Nixon)

September 29th, 1942:

Avalon Beach Resumption 31. Crown Solicitor, 22/9/42, advising the Council of the amount of compensation as fixed by the Court on 21st inst. in respect to the resumption of Mr. A. J. Small's land adjoining Avalon Beach Reserve: 'Received'

Ordinary Meeting. 8/12/42, 

(11) Valuer General, 30/11/42, regarding resumption of land at Avalon Beach for public recreation purposes, and subsequent resumption of part of that land by the Main Roads Department, advising Council of the recommendations made to the Main Roads Department for the payment of compensation, and stating he is now informed by the Department that it is prepared to pay to the Council 15% of the Council's costs of the resumption, including legal costs, but considers it should pay no portion of the statutory interest, the Council having suggested last year that the construction of the deviation should be deferred for a period of five years; requesting advice as to whether the Road prepared to agree to the resumption of the land required by the Deviation by Main Roads Department on this basis. Resolved, - The Valuer General be informed the Council has not approved, and does not approve, of the resumption of portion of the reserve for road purposes, but if the Main Roads Department insists on retaining the road for that purpose the Council agrees to the proposal set out in the letter provided the Department also pays its portion of the statutory interest. (Crs. Williams, Nixon) 

5/1/1943: Barbed Military Wire on beaches

2. The President orally reported that he had accompanied two Officers (Major Alley and Captain Lowther) on an on inspection of the barbed wire defences on the beaches, etc, of the Shire, and had submitted to them various requests; that they had agreed to remove or adjust the wire where it created the greatest danger and inconvenience, and that this work had already been commenced in two locations. On his recommendation it was resolved, - That a letter be sent to the Military Branch concerned expressing the Council's thanks for the prompt attention given to the matter.


Australian Military Forces: 18/1/43, advising that a possession order under Regulation 54 of the National Security Regulations had been made in respect of a public reserve of 5 acres, under the control of the Council, situated in Careel Bay Ocean Beach Estate north of Avalon. Resolved, - That if the occupation is for the duration of the war only no compensation be claimed, provided that at the termination of the occupancy all excavations, if any, be filled in, and the ground restored to its natural state as far as practicable; that, if the .occupancy is to continue after the war, the Commonwealth Government provide the Council with a similar reserve of equivalent area in lieu of it, or pay the Council the cost of acquiring such a reserve. (Crs. Batho), Nicholas) 

(22) Avalon S,L,S,Club, 28/1/43, applying for permission to collect 'dressing fees'; of 3d. per head at the Avalon surf week-ends and public holidays, the proceeds to be devoted to the purchase of life saving gear and/or upkeep and. improvements to the Clubhouse, but the Club preferring not to undertake the custody of 'valuables. Resolved, - That the Council agree to the same arrangement as suggested to the Deewhy Club, Eg viz . that the Council receive 50% of the takings, the Council to supply the Club with numbered tickets, over-stamped with the name of the Council in conjunction with the name of the Surf Club, (Crs. Batho, Nicholas) 

Ordinary Meeting, 16/3/43

40. Local Government Dept., 11/3/43, requesting a further cheque Avalon for £7.19.710 for expenses in connection with the resumption of Beach land at Avalon Beach for recreation purposes, setting out the present Resumption, which indicates that there is not likely to be any further payments required. Resolved, - That a cheque for £7.9.10 be forwarded to the Department. (Crs.Batho, McLean) 

Barrenjoey Road changes

 29.State Crown Solicitor, 2/6/43, regarding resumption by Main Roads Department of part of land at Avalon Beach resumed for Public recreation purposes and submitting certain requisitions in regard thereto; also submitting (a) Draft Release for Council's approval and, if approved, for execution under the Seal of the Council and (b) Voucher for compensation and interest amounting to £635.12.6 for completion under the Council's Seal. Resolved, - That the Draft Release be approved and be executed by the Council under its Common Seal and that the Voucher for £635.12.6 be completed under Seal as recommended by the Clerk. .(Cr. Langdale, Cr.McLean


22. Rev. A. T. Pattison, 22/9/43, Re: Church recently erected at the corner of Central Road and Kevin Avenue, Avalon Beach, Kevin Av. requesting that some steps be constructed to give access from the street, some footpath paving carried out, and that Keven Avenue be tarred from Barrenjoey Road to the Church. Resolved, - That a ramp be constructed to give access for pedestrians. (Crs. McLean, Langdale) 

Ordinary Meeting, 12/10/43. 31. E.R.C.Gallop, State War Effort Co/ordination Committee,  8/10/43, soliciting the Council's assistance in improving the road to the torpedo range at Taylor's Point so that a motor-bus to and from the station can be established. Resolved, - That he be informed of the Engineer's opinion that the road is unusable, but that the Council will endeavour to effect the desired improvements.  By Cr. Hitchcock - Has anything been done to the access to the new Church at Avalon? The Engineer reported that the work would be carried out before the opening ceremony on 23rd inst. By Cr. Hitchcock; Can something be done to the Bayview baths to Bayview Baths make them usable? The President replied that the work would be done if wire can be obtained. 


By Cr: Dunbar - Will you instruct that camping be not permitted within the line of living trees at Avalon Beach Reserve? The President stated that sites have already been booked, but the Inspector would be instructed to see that trees are safe-guarded. 

At the Meeting held 11/1/1944:

(2) Cr. Dunbar moved _*;(i) That the plan of camping sites at Avalon Beach Reserve be reviewed forthwith; (ii) that all sites east of the flat ground within the timber line, including those marked *Special*; on the plan, be omitted in future, and no camping or cars or caravans be permitted within that area; (iii) that notice to vacate as from 31st January, 1944, be served to any campers within the area referred to (east of the timber line), including those on special sites, and that on any such site or sites becoming vacant before that date, no further permission be granted for their use; and (iv) that tenders be invited for a fence of split posts to be supplied and erected as a continuation of the existing dividing line white post fence, such new fence to follow the contour of the sandhills west of the line of timber, generally in a northerly direction to Central Road; gaps in existing fence to be filled in with posts on site remnants of a dividing fence; the whole fence to be so designed as to prevent the entry of cars into the timbered portion of the Reserve and the consequent damage to the undergrowth and the disturbance of the sandhill surface generally. Cr. Hitchcock carried. On the suggestion of the President it was decided that the motion be given the Special Meeting to be held on 18th inst. Inspectors Report (3) Reporting on the condition of an open drain at Avalon, and recommending the construction of at impervious bottom for a section near the roadway and tennis court: Resolved, _That linage, this matter be inspected by the Council at the Special Meeting to be held on 18th inst. (Cis. Dunbar, Baths) 

Special Meeting, 18/1/44:

13. Mona Vale Beach Reserve Extension: solved, _That a report be furnished to the Council of the values of the properties between Surf View Road and the beach from the existing reserve on the south to Bassett Street on the north. (Cr. Spicer) 14. Avalon Beach Camping Area: Cr. Dunbar moved that the existing line of posts on the eastern side of the road through the camping area be tended northwards by means of park rail fence, with pedestrian entrances to the beach reserve where necessary, along a line just in front of the water taps right up to Central Road, and that the tents on the eastern side of this line be removed by the end of February. Cr. Nicholas seconded. Cr. Langdale moved that the motion be an ended by the elimination of the words *;Central Road*; and the substitution therefor of the words *;the public conveniences*;. Cr. Batho seconded. The amendment was carried. The motion as amended was thereupon put and carted, Cr. Dunbar requesting that his vote be recorded against it. Resolved; That no camps be permitted in the scrub area from the end of the proposed fence to Central Road. 

February 1st, 1944 (Dunbar Park lands cleared):

Avalon Beach works: (3) Cr. Dunbar moved - *;That the Engineer prepare an estimate melon for, and a report on, the following work - (a) The erection of a stone retaining wall at Avalon Beach, extending from the cliff Reserves on the south to a point approximately 20 ft, north of the surf shed; (b) the construction of a children's playground adjacent to the swing on the beach reserve, the playground to at least include 1 Log Swing, 1 Merry-go-round, 1 Slippery Dig the cost of both the above works to be a charge against revenue from the camping reserve; (c) the conversion of the existing open drain through the beach reserve running from Avalon Parade to Central Road, and the branch drains from the main channel to Barrenjoey Road to be covered drain so constructed that they can be turfed over; (d) the grubbing out of all scrub, but leaving any trees, from the park lands west of Barrenjoey Road between Avalon Central Road and Avalon Parade; the raising of the level .of this land by. 2 ft. with. sand from the beach reserve, and the laying out and improvement of the area so that it can be made revenue-producing; the last two works, viz (c) and (d) included with those works listed to be carried out as part of post-war construction.*; Cr. Nicholas seconded.. Carried. 

M. Dixon, 11/4/44, as Chairman of a Ratepayers' Committee at Avalon, submitting resolutions, by such committee, of protest Avalon against the removal of the boundary and other fences at the southern end of Avalon Beach Reserve and their re-erection near Reserve the camping area, presenting a statement of the cape and requesting that representatives of the ratepayers be permitted to address the Council on the matter, also regarding the control of the camping area. Resolved, - That the letter be *;recieved*;.


(43) Parks & Playgrounds Movement, 29/4/44, paying this year's rates (£4.17.5) on Lot 41, The Look-out Serpentine, Avalon, and requesting a grant of that amount, as has been made by the Council in previous years. Resolved, - That the request be refused. (Crs. Dunbar, Spicer). 

Ordinary Meeting, 4/7/44. 

41a03 (31) Avalon District Ratepayers' Assoc., 24/6/44, request- the inclusion of the following works in the Council's post-war loan works programme - (a) a complete drainage scheme for the Avalon flat between Avalon Parade and Careel Bridge the stormwater channel to be counted and covered over; (b) Works the low-lying portions of the reserve adjoining Barrenjoey Road to be raised by sand filling or other material to the level of the remainder of the reserve; (c) an immediate survey of the roads in the Avalon district and the preparation of estimates of cost for reconditioning; (d) the reconstruction of Old Barrenjoey Road from its junction with New Barrenjoey Road to the *;Six Ways*;, the construction to be in the centre of the road width; (e) the construction of a scenic drive from Riverview Road to George Street, Careel; (f) the widening of Hudson Parade and work incidental thereto particularly at intersections with other toads; (g) the erection of public safety fences on the cliff m the vicinity of the swimming pool, also on Bilgola Bead; (h) the provision of better and shorter communication between North Avalon and the shopping centre, swimming pool, surf sheds, &c, including the making of - tarred pathway through the reserve in a suggested position; (i) the making of Marine parade from Avalon to Bilgola above the cliffs, including the provision of a safety fence on the outer side with steps and in suitable positions. Council's decisions:- (a) Under consideration; (b) under consideration; (c) to be advised of the Engineer's estimates; (d) to be informed this work is not considered necessary; (e) money already Voted; (11 to be informed that resumptions would be necessary; (g)-to be informed of the Engineer's report that fences are needed just as much in other parts of the Shire; (h) to be Informed that a tarred path on the sand-hills would be difficult to keep in place; (i) to be informed it is doubtful if sufficient use would be made of a pedestrian track to justify the expenditure.

Meeting held 1/8/1944:

Parks & Playgrounds Movement of 11.B 0. 21/7/44, requesting the Council to reconsider its decision not to grant the Movement a rebate of the rates on Look-out Reserve, Lot 41, -The Look-out Serpentine, Avalon Beach, pointing out that the Movement has not the power to sell or lease the land, that the land cannot be built on or commercialised in any way, and that the Movement intends, as soon as the necessary funds can be provided, to fence and beautify the area. Resolved, _That the Council adhere to its previous decision. (Crs. Dunbar, Langdale) ...(9) Avalon District Rate payers' Association 20/7/44, thanking Council for the courteous and attentive hearing recently granted the deputation from the Association. *;Received*; (10) Same, 21/7/44, suggesting that the public reserve west of Barrenjoey Road, known as Avalon Park, be utilised as a junior sports ground, greatly needed in the district, that if the drainage channel leading from Avalon Parade were piped or covered over a cricket pitch could be laid down on the present hard surface; stating the Association does not see any necessity to postpone the Improvement of the area until after the war, and offering to organise a working bee to clear the land if the Council will assist in the first place by lending the necessary tools, and in the second place, after the land has been cleared, by diverting or covering the drainage channels be the greater part of the land can be used for the purpose mentioned. (11) Avalon District Progress Association, 21/7/44, submitting the following requests _(a) that when building plans are passed Council request the builders to preserve as many of the native trees; as possible, and that a closer watch be kept on the removal of trees for fire wood and other purposes from areas that are not yet private property; (b) that immediate action be taken to alleviate the nuisance of the putrid drainage from the Avalon camping block, or that, failing the alleviation, the camping area be closed for at least the duration of the war; (c) that Council have the name *;Avalon Beach*; publicised to avoid confusion with to North Coast village known as *;Avalon*;, stating the Association is requesting the Postmaster General's Department to alter the name of the said village, and requesting Council's support to the request. (35) Avalon District Ratepayers Association 26/7/441 (a) complaining that the works in the Avalon-Clareville district proposed to be undertaken by Council in connection with the post-war programme are not fairly' spread over the. area, having regard to the importance of the roads therein, and requesting to be informed of the basis on which the allocations were made and who was responsible for the allocation;-: (b)' inquiring why no provision has been made in the programme for proper drainage scheme for Avalon, a work which has been't1 promised for many years; (c) stating reasons why the reconstruction of Old Barrenjoey Road from New Barrenjoey Road to Six Ways. Junction should .be carried out. (d) .:.contending that in respect to-Hudson Parade and Beach Parade, resumptions should be undertaken to improve the traffic position and make the road safer ... stating the Association cannot ... the contention that because other places in the Shire ... dangerous nothing-should-be done to protect the public at Avalon by work or the provision of a safety fence, (f)' contending that in....

Worth noting about that Lot 41, today called A J Lookout, and that A J Small was the foundation President of the Parks and Playgrounds movement, to whom he bequeathed Lot 41:



Sir,-It Is very pleasing to note that the Premier, Mr. Stevens, has personally inter-ested himself in having several allotments at Palm Beach commanding a beautiful view, preserved for general public benefit. The Parks and Playgrounds Movement of N.S.W. has for a long time been striving for the acquisition of the viewpoint In question, but was beginning to despair of success. Fortunately the Intervention of Mr. Stevens has overcome various difficulties which were encountered.

There is, however, another position between Bilgola and Avalon, with an unsurpassed coastal view, which is in danger of being lost by alienation to private use. I refer to Bilgola headland, which Is easily approachable by car by a slight detour from the Barrenjoey Road above Bilgola. At least a dozen headlands In crescent formation, stretching from Manly to Cape Threepolnts, are visible from this magnificent viewpoint. It Is from such vantage pointe that visitors most enjoy the plea-sure of our local scenery, and it is of little avail to say later on the fateful words-"Too late!" 

I am, etc..



Sydney, March 2. BEAUTY SPOTS. (1938, March 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from

Today vehicular access to North Bilgola Head, at the northern end of Bilgola Beach, is provided from The Serpentine to 'A. J. Small Lookout' with an 8 space car park provided from which the public can walk to the nearby lookout positioned at the eastern tip of Bilgola Head. The 'A J Small Lookout' is actually designated as being opposite this as that section from Bilgola, right around to South Avalon headland, was designated a 'Marine Park' lands prior to the first sales at Avalon Beach. his spot at North Bilgola/South Avalon remains one of the best places to watch whales from as they migrate north and then south, and a place Jools Farrell conducted her annual ORRCA census from when she was a volunteer with that organisation - some photos from over the more recent years from Pittwater Online News archives:

above: Looking for whales, weekend, from North Bilgola lookout - and Jools, doing her census work on the same day:

The Ordinary Meeting, 24/4/45, records:

(5) Avalon Beach Progress Association, 6/4/45, (a) requesting that posts erected to keep cars further back from the beach be removed; (b) inquiring who is providing and paying for lavatory accommodation and water supply to campers on private land adjacent to the beach, and if Council is receiving revenue from these campers; (c) drawing attention to difficulty of North Avalon residents reaching the shopping area, and inquiring whether it is possible for the Council to resume a 20-ft. strip of land from Central Road at the foot of the sand-hills to junction with Tasman Road, and requesting that the Engineer be instructed to furnish an estimate, including cost of resumption, suggesting Council make provision during the 'off' pumping season of community fire-places on the camping area; (d) that more seats and tables be provided under the treed on the reserve for picnickers, and that seats be placed under the pine trees between the surf sheds and the cliff; and (e) expressing thanks to the Engineer for running a fire-break around the fallen scrub on the reserve between Central Road and Avalon Parade. (Paragraphs (u), (b) and (d) were dealt with by the Parks & Reserves Committee.) (c) referred to the Works Committee; (e) 'received'.

On 9/10/1945:

Avalon District Ratepayers' Assoc., 21/9/45, drawing attention to the entire absence of seating accommodation on Avalon Beach Reserve, and suggesting that concrete seats with Seats wooden slats, similar to the seat in front of the Shire Hall, be on provided. Resolved, - That twelve seats be provided for the Roads&c reserve at Avalon at the Engineer's estimate of 35/- per seat, and the necessary money, £21, be voted. (Crs. Green, Forster)


(7) Avalon Beach Reserve, - Resolved, (Crs. Forster, Dunbar) That £200 as estimated be voted for the provision of a Children's  playground, the situation of a site to be left in the hands of the A Riding Councillors and the Shire Engineer, and the cost to be charged against the Reserves Fund. (8) Resolved, This matter be taken In Committee

Avalon [From the air]1949, Item e23711_0001_c, courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Hurley, Frank. (circa early 1950's). Avalon Beach & surroundings [Aerial views, Sydney, New South Wales] Retrieved from - and enlarged section from to show detail and section to Old Barrenjoey Road resumed and paid for to enlarge the camping and picnic grounds and Avalon Beach Reserve itself. 

The Avalon Beach camping grounds were finally closed due to complaints from residents - Warringah Shire Council Minutes of Meetings record:

16/2/1953 Meeting: 

Avalon Beach and District Progress Association, 23/1/1953, Re: Avalon Camping Area - Referring to previous correspondence dating back many years wherein the Association has requested the removal of the Avalon Camping Area stating that the following robberies breaking and entering occurred around the fringe of such area during the recent Christmas-New Year holidays: Le Clerc’s Store - £30 reported stolen. Walroys' Beach Kiosk - £5 goods stolen. Grantleys, Bellevue Avenue - £17 goods stolen., Franklands Barrenjoey Road - Telephone money stolen. The Chalet, George Street - Thieves disturbed. Gonsalves Kiosk - £25 stolen. McDonald's Store -Thieves disturbed, Adding that the ratepayers of Avalon are incensed that this blot on the community should be allowed to exist, despite the Association's repeated representations to have this public reserve closed to campers. Further stating that drinking parties on the area are frequent, sanitary-arrangements are a menace to public health, and unless the camp is closed or removed this year-‘’they’’ will be-unable to support the present Councillors in the future.

Moved by Cr. Beach, seconded: Cr. Quinlan-that-this letter be received and no action ordered thereon. 

An amendment was moved by Cr..Mckay seconded by Cr. Berry; that the Avalon Camping Area be abolished from the cessation of "this season’’, or the 30 June next, whichever first occurs and that camping sites be provided at Hitchcock Park with necessary facilities. Such sites to be occupied by campers for a Period not exceeding one(1).month.. 48: The amendment was LOST then the motion-was then put and carried.

A few weeks later:

Avalon Camp To Be Closed; 

The Warringah Shire Council decided on Monday night to close the Avalon camping area in three months' time. The shire president, Councillor J. L. Fisher, said the council considered the camp an eyesore and not in the best interests of the district.  Forty-three families are living at the camp. Hundreds of people camp on the area during holidays. Councillor Fisher said accommodation would be found for Avalon campers who wished to transfer their camps to other camping areas in the shire. Avalon Camp To Be Closed. (1953, May 27). The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 3. Retrieved from

At the 6/9/1953 Meeting:

Union of Australian Women, Collaroy Plateau Group, 22/6/53, stating that the decision of the Council to clear the Avalon camping area of permanent campers by 31st August will make it extremely difficult for these people to find alternative accommodation and requesting that the Council grant then an Camping extension until 1st January, 1954. 15. Resolved, - That they be informed the Council regrets it cannot comply with this request, and that arrangements have peen made for alternative accommodation at the Lake Park camping area. (Crs. McKay, Berry) 

Avalon Beach Village and Beach Reserve - western view, 1952, from Surfview/Avalon Parade aspect

A lease to mine sand from Avalon Beach was granted by the Warringah Shire Council in 1952 which saw masses of sand carted away for profit and problems that occurred as a result. 

The papers of then would indicate everyone was invited to cart away Avalon's sand dunes:


Builders up the North Shore line and in the Warringah and Manly areas will be interested to know that a new sand pit has been opened at Avalon. Lorries may be sent there with an assurance that sand will be available. Mechanical loading apparatus will help to speed up the process of loading. The Avalon Sand Pits Pty. Ltd. will be a welcome acquisition to the district. AVALON SAND PITS PTY. LTD. (1952, January 16). Construction (Sydney, NSW : 1938 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved  from 

For most of the 1950's and even into the late 1960s, commercial interests had been removing tons of sand from the northern dune, which included a huge spur buttressing this dune. Repeated requests from the Avalon Preservation Trust for a court injunction from Warringah Shire Council to stop this destructive activity were constantly ignored. 

The Avalon Preservation Trust (now the Avalon Preservation Association) sent a telegram to the Minister for Local Government requesting cessation of the work and was advised that the State Planning were seeking to acquire the land for recreation purposes. The Trust was also informed that the council had the situation in hand. In truth neither had the situation in hand at all, so some members of the Trust took it upon themselves to stage a sit-in and create a vehicular barricade to stop the trucks from accessing the sand-loading equipment. Apparently this had the desired effect and a further injunction was successful. 

How much sand would have been left had the Trust members not brought about this action? 

1964 - sand is being removed, dunes disappearing. Thank goodness local heroes stopped this! Our dunes would have gone to building sites. APA-ABHS photo

The corner of Tasman Road and Marine Parade Avalon during the sanding mining. Photo: John Stone

 The Avalon News’ article on same - photo by John Stone - six cars were parked along the front of where the photographer has stood to take this photo - this stopped access to the site by the sand miners.

1968 - Avalon beach showing both 1st and 2nd clubhouses. Photo: Gary Clist

photo taken from Surfside Avenue looking northwest. Photo: Gary Clist

Other newspapers of the times reported:

ALONGSIDE the development of the movements for workers' control and student power, there's the rise of another movement: residents' control. Two instances of this were reported in Sydney last week. In both cases they were to protect beach environment. At Harbord, residents set up a day and night picket line to prevent a builder from putting men to work on construction of a beachside home-unit. They said (and how right they are!) that too much of the foreshore and harborside beauty has already been destroyed and that no more tall home-unit buildings should be allowed at the beach-edge. 

In the second case, groups of women took it in turns to sit down in front of heavy trucks to prevent them from removing sand from dunes at Avalon beach. This was part of a campaign by the Avalon Preservation Trust to preserve dunes. A spokesman for the trust said that already in the past two years thousands of tons of sand had been removed from Avalon Beach. The stands of the Avalon and Harbord people deserve support — and also emulation. Any sort of vandalism is reprehensible. But if people who drop a cigarette butt or a tram ticket on a city street are possibly to be prosecuted, then let's have fitting action also against those who are vandals of our environment on a vast scale. PLAIN AUSTRALIAN (1970, April 8). Tribune (Sydney, NSW : 1939 - 1991), p. 2. Retrieved from 

The degradation was so bad, with so much of the vegetation holding the dunes together removed, that the dunes were being blown literally into the urban streets. In 1970 rehabilitations works commenced, as reported in this April 1974 edition of the Soil Conservation Service of New South Wales, which lists what native species were planted, available to download in full online at: Soil Conservation Service of New South Wales. (1945). Journal of the Soil Conservation Service of New South Wales Retrieved from - an extract:

''Primary Planting

During May and June, 1970, the planting of marram grass (Ammophila arenaria) commenced. The grass plants were collected from the Soil Conservation Service experimental area at The Entrance North.

Culms of marram grass were planted on an approximate 50 cm grid pattern and fertilized by hand with approximately 380 kg/ha of an N:P:K: fertilizer, 10:9:8. The newly planted grass was protected with a layer of brush (figure 6).

The brush matting prevented sand around the new plants from blowing out and trapped sand blowing across the area from the beach.

Very dry conditions in June, 1970, prevented the completion of the planting planned for that year.

A large proportion of this first area planted (adjacent to the Avalon Surf Lifesaving Clubhouse) was within reach of a watering point and was watered when possible. Consequently, results from this initial planting were excellent in spite of the very dry winter conditions prevailing in 1970.

Marram grass is a winter growing perennial and further planting could not be undertaken until April, 1971.

The winter of 1971 was again very dry. By early July, 1971, approximately 80 percent of the total area had been planted with marram grass when unfavourable weather conditions again stopped planting. Because of the dry conditions approximately 5 per cent of the 1971 plantings failed.

The marram grass planted in 1970 was topdressed with 10:9:8 fertilizer in April, 1971, and made further excellent growth.

During winter of 1972 all previous plantings of marram grass were topdressed with fertilizer and the remaining areas were planted. Most of the grass culms for this final planting were collected from the 1970 plantings.

In the process of fertilizing the marram grass, existing plants of the native sand spinifex were also fertilized. Sand spinifex responds vigorously to fertilizer and it is a valuable sand stabilizing plant. Its spread through the marram grass has been very satisfactory.

Figure 6. —Marram grass planted in August, 1970, was protected by brush matting.

Secondary Planting

Permanent stability depends on the establishment of plants with a long life span. Marram grass establishes and grows well in loose sand but its life span as a dense sward is limited and can vary from 3 to 15 years depending upon the site.

Once the sand surface is stable and some wind protection at ground level has been provided shrubs and trees suited to the local environment can be established.

In spring, 1972 and autumn, 1973 a range of suitable trees and shrubs were planted on the landward side of the dune. The planting included the following species :

Coastal wattle ( Acacia sophorae )

Cyprus wattle ( Acacia cyanophylla )

Banksia or coastal honeysuckle (Banksia integrifolia )

Coastal tea-tree ( Leptospermum laevigatum)

Coast rosemary ( Westringici fruticosa).

In addition sand spinifex is spreading naturally. Seedheads of this grass were planted in the summer of 1972-1973 on the lower seaward slopes of the dunes to ensure its spread into this important area.''

Avalon sandhills pre re-vegetation, 1970. Photo: Gary Clist

Avalon Sand Dunes - marram grass planted out, 1970. Photo: Gary Clist

1970 - Horse on Avalon Beach, south end. Photo: Gary Clist

Avalon Beach, revegetated hind dune area, January 24th, 1986. Photo: Digital Image 400 - courtesy NSW DPI

Today this work is carried forward and maintained by the volunteers in the Avalon Dunes Bushcare groupIn 1989 volunteer works commenced under the Friends of Avalon Dunes Dune-Care Group to remove Bitou - this now covered 80% of the dunes.

In a 2013 interview with Marita Macrae, who had just received the Ruth Readford Award for Lifetime Achievement, Marita shared an insight into the beginnings of this group.

The restoration and maintenance of the Avalon sand dunes has been a long term and quite big project – how did that start?

It had various beginnings. I was always interested in gardening and when I had the opportunity to do Horticulture in the late 1980s, part of this was a Bush Regeneration course. While doing this I learnt about Bitou bush. Also, Warringah Council as it was at this time, around 1989, started on the dunes as they were about 80% Bitou. 

The dunes are divided into paddocks, and you can see tracks between these. Warringah Council started in the one nearest to the surf club. They had a grant and got a tractor in there and pulled out lots and lots of Bitou. They then planted some natives – Coastal teatree, some Beach Spinifex and Coastal Banksias and that was it. The idea of those plants was to stabilise the sand after they’d pulled out the Bitou. 

Unfortunately Bitou is a terrible seeder, producing thousands and thousands of seedlings. In 1989 I used to watch what was happening. I had a young Labrador, Toby, which I used to take for walks behind dunes and watch the Bitou bush seedlings there.  The area to the north was still mostly Bitou. You can’t just start a job like that and walk away from it or the project would be a waste of money.

At the beginning of 1990 there two people, myself and a man who left Avalon a couple of years later, approached the Council and suggested we form a volunteer group to maintain what had been started and to continue it. That’s how it really began. 

What was the name of this volunteer group?

We called it Friends of Avalon Dunes Dune-Care Group, which was a bit of a mouthful. But in those days, the early 1990’s, it was part of a lot of work to control Bitou right along the NSW coastline, mainly on dunes, and also in the forests behind dunes. There were lots and lots of groups working at this – mainly north up the coast but also as far down as Tathra on the south coast There were lots of very good volunteer groups working along the coast and we just became one of those.

Ruth Readford I met when we got started in the early 1990s soon after we’d got started. I hadn’t known her before but she lived at this time at Ballina. She was a very good leader and organiser. She initiated telephone link ups and Dune Care conferences. We would meet in small groups and talk about our projects. She has written a book about community dune care at Ballina.

The restoration works which began in 1990 have an ongoing maintenance though – you have just reformed the group?

We were working on the Avalon dunes for about 20 years and during that time we’d had quite a few different grants. The Catchment Management Authority grant in the early 1990’s, a State Government grant, NSW Environment Trust grant and several Coastcare grants. I cannot take credit for receiving those grants.  I helped write them but I had a great deal of help from Pittwater Council staff, particularly Paul Hardie.  He always worked as a volunteer as well, right from the very start, despite having a young family. Eventually the Council, after our grants projects were completed,  took on maintenance and engaged bushcare contractors to work on the dunes. 

We thought everything was going well – the fact is that Bitou is a very obvious weed and people like to do big obvious weeds; they’re satisfying to do because you can see what you’ve done when the work is done. 

There are a lot of other weeds there though that benefited from the disappearance of the Bitou, Morning Glory in particular.

About a year ago I noticed that the dunes were still looking pretty weedy so I suggested about September 2012 we reform the group. We’ve been working one morning a month ever since.

Avalon Dunes - weeding with a view in 2013 - Weeding Spinifex grass - not much else grows in this windy salty place.

When and where does this group meet?

On the first Sunday of each month at 8.30am. We’re only working on a small section at this stage and have been meeting at the back of the dunes near the little bridge over Careel creek. Out major weed that we’ve been tackling is Morning Glory, which we’ve been doing for years. It’s a very time consuming insidious weed.

Although the Council still has contractors working here, I think this one is best tackled by volunteers who don’t mind doing the fiddly work that you need to do to try and control it. This is not so easy for contractors that need to be able to show where they’ve been working to their employers. If they have a team of six people working a whole day on Morning Glory, you will not be able to see much difference. I think this is a weed better tackled by us volunteers. Many are happy to do this, others would rather find Asparagus Fern, Turkey Rhubarb or Bitou and tackle that.

In the mid 1950's more of the Avalon Beach Reserve land was excised as the Barrenjoey Road was further widened at the Avalon Beach village shops sites - Warringah Shire Council records state:

21. Dr. J.V. Sanders 21/3/56 regarding the proposed new main road at Avalon Beach, pointing out that the Avalon Progress Association represents only a very small proportion of the local residents, and on behalf of some of the others, expressing their views; stating that at a meeting held at Avalon some time ago the great majority of those present voted the proposed closing of this portion of the road and the continuation of New Barrenjoey Road from the garage through the Reserve as a very suitable scheme and one which would leave the shopping area and bus stops where children meet for school, free of the main portion of through traffic; adding that there is still a large proportion of people who do not wish the idea to he changed. On the motion of Cr. McKay, seconded by Cr. Hewitt, that Dr. Sanders' view-point be forwarded along to the Minister, in conjunction with the objections which had been received, and that he be thanked for his interest In the matter. 

Avalon Parade, Avalon Beach circa 1945-1955 - showing old service station as it was then on corner

It's worth noting that the northernmost section of Old Barrenjoey Road was closed off at one stage to provide a thoroughfare from Dunbar park through to the Avalon Beach Reserve:

Members of the Avalon Beach Beautification Scheme, (letter dated 21.11.61) were advising Council the Committee ''views with alarm the decision forced upon the Council by a Court decision to open Old Barrenjoey Road at the north section of Old & New Barrenjoey Roads opposite the Fire Station, as the planning of the layout of amenities and beautification of this area was on both beauty and safety for adults and Children and it is felt that the opening of this-road has produced a safety hazard, as this area contains a Village Green, Scouts, Hall, Girl Guides, Kiddies Playground and proposed Baby Health Centre and public tenets. They added the Committee trusts that every effort will be made by Council to have this decision rescinded.''

Sydney, 15th December, 1961.

NOTICE is hereby given that application has been made under the Public Roads Act, 1902, for the closing and purchase of the road described hereunder, and that it is intended to close same, unless valid objections are found to exist. Any person desiring to lodge objections should forward them in writing addressed to the Minister for Lands within one month from the date of this notice.

K. C. COMPTON, Minister for Lands.


Land District—Metropolitan; Shire—Warringah

Warringah Shire Council, about 1 rood 36 perches. Public road (part Old Barrenjoey road, Avalon) extending between the south-easterly prolongation of the north-eastern boundary of lot 19, deposited plan 9,151 and the north-westerly prolongation of the south-western boundary of lot 8 in plan on dealing D. 111,647 at Registrar-General's Department, parish Narrabeen, county Cumberland. R. 60-1,273. APPLICATION FOR THE CLOSING AND PURCHASE OF ROAD (1961, December 15). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 3991. Retrieved from

1968 Catholic School on left, Central Ave and Kevin Ave, and northern section of Avalon Beach Reserve. Photo: Gary Clist

1968 - Avalon Looking north west and showing original Wickham kiosk structure in reserve (at left side of photo). Gary Clist photo

1970 Gary Clist photo: Milk Bar Craig F; That “shed” on the hill was also known by locals as Barney’s hut

Avalon Beach reserve, high school girls 1970, Morris Minor in the middle of two VWs. Photo: Gary Clist 

Surf Boat Carnival at Avalon Beach circa 1969-1971. Photo courtesy State Library of NSW

1970 view from Dunbar Park across to the Avalon Beach Reserve:

1971: views from Plateau road. Photos: Gary Clist

Community use of the Avalon Beach Reserve is always changing of course. 

Pittwater Council ensured the 'yellow brick road' became part of the Bicentennial Walk in 1988, installed a Skate Park for youngsters and hosted skate comps for Youth week, which opened in September 1998 (Pittwater Council's 'Pittwater Report', August 1998 courtesy Dave Murray);

A brand new clubhouse for Avalon Beach SLSC's Members and for the community to use as a hub, was officially opened on Sunday August 31st 2014;

Then President of Avalon Beach SLSC Christine Hopton with then Mayor of Pittwater, Cr. Jacqueline Townsend

Richard Cole, Architect for the building, shared a few insights into its structure at the opening:

The shape of the roof reflects the abstract form of the sand dunes, and the plane of the ceiling and eave echoes the plane of the ocean and broad horizontal of the horizon. We have created a robust building that will stand the test of time. The building is naturally ventilated, highly insulated, uses minimal energy and collects its own rainwater and solar power. Unlike some other clubs, we have created a facility that is welcoming and open to the general public. I hope the building will become a much used and loved facility by the community. I am confident that with its spectacular views, a table in the restaurant or a seat in the café will become much sought after.

this building has a host of environmental factors that add to its charm. There is a 10,000L rainwater tank that has been installed – which will be used to wash down the surf life saving equipment. A 5kW Solar PV System has been installed that will produce over 7,000kWh of free green power each year. 

Elements of the old were incorporated into the new building and have been painted a slightly different colour to identify the original structure. An example is in the Nippers canteen – the sill has been made from recycled oregon timber from the old building’s roof beams.

It is built to an all abilities design with the building incorporating ramps, a lift as well as tactile ground surface indicators and braille signs.

And shared further details in 2015 when opening the combined Pittwater Artists Trail Winter Exhibition in the building:

Robert and Chris Hopton started the ball rolling and approached Pittwater Council with the idea of a new building, and I was fortuitous enough to be on Robert's surf patrol. The rebuilding of the surf club was initiated in 2006 and will be completed in a couple of weeks with the fitout of the restaurant. It has been a long and difficult road from there to here, with funding challenges, planning hurdles, political intervention, arson attacks, AVO's, incompetent builders, litigation, critiques by media personalities and a surf club to keep operating in the meantime. I can assure you I am looking forward to that first meal and glass of wine in the restaurant.

The design of the surf club was necessarily pragmatic. We had to work to the existing footprint and we had to store a lot of equipment. The structural setout followed the lateral walls of the old club. Money was very tight and we had to create a very robust building that would withstand both coastal processes and enthusiastic clubbies. The choice of materials was limited, but that can work for you. I think the themes that are evident in the works around us today were also important to the design of this building:

The first is the Response to Landscape
• We took the approach of trying to enhance and complement the landscape. Limited means necessitated a big poetic gesture creating a strong sense of place. The roof with its low pitched leading edge to the east and steeper pitch to the west echoes the dune that runs right along the beach. The big horizontal plane of the ceiling and eave reflects the plane of the ocean extending out towards the horizon. People often say that buildings should blend in with their environment. I don't necessarily agree.

Some of the best buildings throughout history and in a contemporary context make no attempt to disguise themselves or disappear into the natural setting. That doesn't mean they should stand out like a sore thumb. I think buildings should complement the landscape. An architect needs to analyse, understand and draw inspiration from the landscape, and produce a building that responds in an appropriate way.

• Achieving beauty and clarity is difficult but important. Like all the other artworks here, architects aspire to beauty in their works. The more buildings I design the more important are things like proportion, scale, composition, texture, line and materiality. With every building I try to use a limited palette of materials in order to establish a particular character. Like different people and places, every building has a different character, and it was important to create a character that suited this place and the people who used it.

The second theme is The Surf Club Culture

• Buildings don't exist in a vacuum, they are necessarily useful and exist within a cultural context. I love the culture of Pittwater and Avalon and the Surf Club in particular.
The fact that everyone here is a volunteer, and the person next to you could be a brickie or a CEO. It is a culture of striving for the best, yet no one is allowed to be a tall poppy. It's about learning new skills, keeping active, teaching kids, saving lives and having a beer together at the end of the day. What could be more Australian than that.
The building had to reflect these values and as I have mentioned, introduce a new public accessibility. So we introduced a new circulation through the building from the entrance to the beach, and used this space to both connect and separate the two main function spaces. This enabled us the flexibility to hold one huge function or two concurrent large functions.
The restaurant was also an important part of the project. Not only did it enable the capital funding of the building, it will provide important recurrent funding both to the club and the Council for the continued maintenance and upgrading of the Avalon Beach Reserve. Most importantly it will bring the general public up to this level, and through the club, so that any separation is broken down. In this way we hope this will truly be a public building.

The third theme is the Response to the environment. We kept all environmental systems low tech.
    • A big sheltering canopy roof like a beach umbrella
    • Cooling; there is no air conditioning – just these Big ass fans you see here
    • Heating — infra red heaters that heat bodies not air.
    • Timber screening was installed on the west facing wall to shield the western sun.
    • LED lighting has been installed
    • Cross ventilation and lots of insulation.
    • Collect solar energy and recycle water to wash the surf equipment after use.

The fourth theme was Craftsmanship

Unfortunately the builders we had were the worst in the world, so the quest for craftsmanship was a frustrating one, but we did find some tradies, such as the carpenters and steel fabricators who did embrace the project. It was a battle, but it is rare that when you are striving to achieve something worthwhile that you do not have to fight for it.

Work was halted on a  new stairs build in 2017 due to concerns sacred ochre, important to local indigenous custodians, was being disturbed.

The new surf clubhouse building is an ever-evolving dynamic response to what becomes available and making the best use of that - Avalon Beach SLSC Members continue to fundraise and apply for grants to make the building 100% carbon free by the installation of more solar panels, and to make it a heart of the community - a hub for all to be a part of.

Further to this, in 2015 Avalon Beach SLSC commenced hosting 'Carols by the Sea' a free community event which actually costs them many thousands to run, and only continues due to the generous sponsorship of local businesses and a small grant from council. Thousands of people attend this event annually, affirming Avalon Beach SLSC's ethos of 'everyone is welcome because everyone belongs' put into practice. A few photos from that first Carols by the Sea Christmas event in the Avalon Beach Reserve:

Avalon Beach SLSC's new clubhouse will have its 10th birthday this coming Winter and has, from the outset, and even today, become a year round facility for Members and for the community - an example of what happens there is available in: Avalon Beach SLSC Clubhouse's Is A Community Hub: 24 Hour Row 2023 Success - Festival Of Froth - New IRB, A Film, Music, Sustainability, Bangalley Bar Over Just One Weekend 

With the forced amalgamation of the Pittwater, Manly and Warringah councils only the presence of key people such as Sue Heins, formerly a Warringah Councillor, seemed attuned to the preference for looking after the environment of Pittwater in Pittwater people and not placing structures in sensitive environments for the sake of trying to make Pittwater look like Warringah; - treeless, check by jowl overly tall buildings blocking out the ocean and sky from porthole to gunwale, deeming every objection to trashing the joint as 'received' and to be ignored.

Ms Heins stepped in and stopped works, along with the staff of the Council, in response to residents concerns over the disturbing of Sacred Ochre at South Avalon as part of the installation of the coastal walkways and cycleways that are meant to be stretching from Manly to Palm Beach, but have currently run out of money for sections - such as that for Whale Beach:

Neil Evers, Aboriginal Support Group Manly Warringah Pittwater at South Avalon Beach on Wednesday October 25th, 2017

the newly dug in stairs and sandstone blocks placed in the reserve in 2022 and 2023:

In November 2019 'Trudie’s Whale Sculpture' was placed at South Avalon Beach this week, next to the path on the way to the pool. 

As per council stipulation there is no plaque. There is a subtle -77-inscribed on the tail end of the sculpture signifying Barrenjoey High School Class of 77, as well as the artist mark -rs19- Richard Stutchbury 'Red Dust Designs'.

This sculpture was the VERY FIRST donation to the coastal sculpture walk project from Palm Beach to Manly.  Placed due to the work and generous donations of Barrenjoey High School alumnus and community members, this tribute of love also reminds us all that although we still don't know what happened to Trudie Adams, but still remember her and love her. 

Later in 2019 a Plaque was Unveiled To Mark Phenomenal Surfing Revolution Commencement: Early Pittwater Surfers: Avalon Beach I -  1956 The Carnival That Introduced The Malibu Surfboard And Being Able To Surf Across A Wave Face + honouring the IRB - this too cam out of Avalon Beach SLSC's Members ideas:

In 2020 the northern beaches Council commenced using a section for a hard courts area. The Pittwater Online report from then:

Avalon Beach Sports Courts Build Underway: Green Grass Space Alongside Yellow Brick Road Will Be Retained

On November 29, 2018 Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes announced additional NSW Government funding for the installation of permanent netball courts at Avalon Beach.

An extra $262,454 was being provided to the Northern Beaches Council to introduce permanent, sealed netball courts to help cater for the growth and popularity of the sport.

The additional funding came from the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Fund and Community Building Partnership Program and brought the NSW Government’s total contribution for the project to $562,454.

“This project will benefit the entire northern beaches netball community,” Rob Stokes said then. “There’s long been a need for additional netball courts in Pittwater.

“I’m pleased Northern Beaches Council is progressing this project and I’m delighted the NSW Government is able to provide financial support,” Rob Stokes said.

In May 2019 NBC approved for public exhibition the proposal to install four (4) hard surface and lit netball courts and one half-basketball court, to be located next to the Yellow Brick Road, north of the skate park. Discussions with the Peninsula Netball and Newport Netball groups showed the associations only asked for 2 netball courts and a possible ½ basketball court. The doubling of their request would have created a much larger footprint and replace the present grass area with hard surfaces.

The grassed area between the skate bowl and to the end of the yellow brick road to Barrenjoey High School is a popular area for family picnics and toddlers learning to ride bikes and its retention as a green grassed 'cool' area was very important to the community.

Following public submissions from residents, many of which expressed disappointment more green space would be concreted, and discussions with the Avalon Preservation Association, Council approved a compromise solution for 3 netball courts (2 hard courts on the western side of Careel Creek and 1 grass court on the east) and one half basketball court next to the skate park.

''A connecting bridge will also be constructed adjacent to the Avalon skate park, to link the courts, and lighting installed.'' the statement reads

Northern Beaches Council Mayor Michael Regan said in September 2019 it was important the northern end of the peninsula had access to high quality sporting facilities.

“Council worked closely with the local community to identify the best location to install these new courts,” Mayor Regan said.

“With the beach and skate park in close proximity, Avalon Beach Reserve will become a popular recreational hub in its own right.

“The popularity of netball continues to grow and this facility will be a great addition to the area, complementing the proposed new netball and multi-use courts in Warriewood Valley as well as the existing Northern Beaches’ premier netball venue in North Curl Curl,’’ the Mayor said.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, work on the netball courts was delayed. However in late May 2020 the work finally commenced with the contractors working even on Saturdays on the build.

The Council construction sign at the site states;

“Undertake landscape works along Careel Creek, including removal of weed tree species, replacing with small native tree and ground cover, grass species and installation of protection fencing along top of embankments.”

The Council says it will plant “native trees” (their concept plan shows 5 trees at spaced intervals) along the road edge on Barrenjoey Road opposite the fire station.

The Avalon Preservation Association (APA) is concerned that the current mature shade trees along Careel Creek will be removed (as per their sign) and only be replaced by small bushes. They are making further submissions to NBC on this and hopefully that too will reflect what the community prefers - a retention of plants that are home to the many species of small birds along the creekline and also a shield for the waterbirds that still visit the creek.

As these are termed 'sports courts' it is anticipated that residents will make use of them for handball, basketball and other sports when they're not being used for netball.

Some 'build' photos from late May until Thursday this week (June 18, 2020) - more when the works are complete.

Report and photos by A J Guesdon

Basketball half-court at Avalon Skate park is almost done and sandstone blocks have been placed along the 'yellow brick road' at the back of Avalon Beach dunes.

Visit: July 2020 Storm Swell  

Beach before Avalon Beach SLSC clubhouse after July 2020 storm:

Pittwater Online's follow up report:

September 20 - 26, 2020: Issue 467


Avalon Beach Hardcourts Already A Winner With Good Sports

The new hardcourts just completed at Avalon Beach Reserve this week were getting a good workout on Saturday afternoon.

The two specially coated courts are marked for netball, basketball and pickleball and are sure to be busy year-round with club games and training, school groups and recreational users.

Avalon Beach Reserve is now a hub for sports with the hard courts complementing the new grass netball court, half basketball court and the existing skate park that are right next door.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, work on the netball courts was delayed. However in late May 2020 the work finally commenced with the contractors working even on Saturdays on the build.

Night matches and training will be possible within weeks once lighting is installed and more seating, a sheltered picnic table. Better connection via a bridge closer to the skate park and Avalon Beach SLSC are part and parcel of the plans.

This facility was made possible with $562,000 in grants from the NSW Government secured by MP for Pittwater, the Hon. Rob Stokes through the state government's Stronger Communities Fund and Community Building Partnership Program .

“This project will benefit the entire northern beaches community,” Rob Stokes said on announcing the grants.

The two hardcourts are the latest full-sized netball courts, and welcomed by 5,500 local active players.

Secretary of the Pittwater Peninsula Netball Club, Belinda Wearne welcomed the new courts this week.

“We are very excited to see these long-awaited courts open in beautiful Avalon. As one of the largest netball clubs in the Manly Warringah Netball Association, the 436 members of Pittwater Peninsula Netball Club will benefit immensely from the new courts,” Belinda said.

“Teams can now have equal access to local courts for training and practice matches, and it helps with space for NetSetGO! our introductory program for under 7, 8 and 9 players.”

The Avalon courts complement the six recently built at Forestville War Memorial Playing Fields and another six at Lionel Watts Reserve in Belrose, in 2018.

In the coming months, four new outdoor multipurpose courts will be completed on Boondah Rd in Warriewood. These will also feature lighting to allow for night-time training sessions through the busy winter season.

Before the next netball season, the new superhub of Northern Beaches netball at Abbott Road North Curl Curl will also get a huge upgrade, with 25 courts to be resurfaced.

In March 2021 a Historical Marker to point to the remnants of one of the earlier kiosks on Avalon Beach Reserve was installed:

L to r:  Peter Mayman, President of APA, Geoff Searl OAM, President of ABHS and Roger Sayers OAM with a heritage marker which offers the history of the footings of the Avalon Beach kiosk which can be seen to the right. 

The Avalon Beach Kiosk Heritage marker

In 2022 the Council installed artworks on the beachfront, which were subsequently moved over near the steps that now go up the reserve hill to south Avalon Headland due to being trip hazards where they had been placed:

Whale Songs, 2022 - Frances Belle Parker with Urban Art Projects

During March and April 2022 a series of flooding rains, strong winds and high tides has again eroded much of Avalon Beach and its dunes facing the west. These images, taken on April 2nd, 2022 show the extent of the erosion:

Today the Avalon Beach Reserves and environs provide a wonderful open space and beach habitat for wildlife - a wallaby having been witnessed hopping into the dunes recently, as well as the home base for NASA, Avalon Beach SLSC Members, skaters, dog walkers (an offleash space was provided for them in 2019 at one section) pickleball players and netball and basketball fans, as well as being the home to Carols on the Beach and many other community events.

This place remains a 'heart of the community' where all are welcome because all belong.

Des Creagh Reserve at North Avalon, dedicated on May 1st 1977 as a celebration of Pittwater Council's 5th Anniversary to honour the North Avalon resident many consider a 'father of Pittwater Council', runs as a future Beach Reserve of Pittwater. 

A few extra, more current photos of the Avalon Beach Reserve and Avalon Beach:

The 'two rows of Norfolk pines':

references - extras

A description of one of Therry's visits here:

Yesterday, being Easter Monday, a pleasant steam excursion took place in connection with the St Benedict's Young Men's Society. The commodious steamer the Collaroy, under the command of Captain Mulhall, had been chartered for the occasion, and left the Australasian Steam Navigation Company's Wharf, Sussex-street North, with about 260 persons on board, at ten o' clock a.m. Part of the band of H. M. S. 12th Regiment were in attendance, their cheerful and untiring efforts contributing not a little towards making the day pass harmoniously and agreeably away. 

Wreck of the S.S. Collaroy, 1881 / photographer unknown. State Library of NSW Image No: a1528938: A passenger steamer owned by the Australian Steam Navigation Company, built in 1853, went ashore on Collaroy Beach in 1881 and remained there for almost 3 years, giving her name to the stretch of sand and ocean. When refloated she went back into service plying between Sydney and the Hunter River. She was withdrawn from duty in 1886, converted to a schooner, sailed to San Francisco, where she again ran ashore and broke her back on the Californian Coast in 1889.

Working along through the ever changing scenery displayed on the shores of our harbour, the Collaroy at length rounded the Heads, and, taking a northerly course, rushed past that enormous barrier presented by the weather-worn cliffs which face the ocean between the Great North Head and the seaward aspect of Manly Beach. Following on the interesting coast line of Curl Curl, Dee why, Long Reef, and Narrabeen, &c, - varied succession of wooded eminences, long sandy reaches, towering precipices, and grassy park-like slopes, - the pleasure-seekers were at length abreast of the singular headland of Barrenjoey, forming the extreme south-eastern limit of the estuary which serves as a common outlet for the River Hawkesbury and the Pitt Water. Shortly after passing the Custom House station the course of the Collaroy then took a southerly direction, and so brought the holiday folks into the lake-like solitudes of Pitt Water, until wooded hills seemed to be rising on every side of the vessel.

f.110 Mount Saint Patrick road to Broken Bay, December 11 1860.: Image No.: a5894118h all three from album: Volume 1: Sketches of N. S. [New South] Wales, 1857-1888 / by H. Grant Lloyd, courtesy Dixson Library, State Library of New South Wales - Mount Saint Patrick was the name for what we now call Bangalley Head - Mount Saint Mary, opposite, is where Stapelton park now sits atop this hill/'mount'. Visit John Collins of Avalon and Careel Bay Jetty and Boatshed

The passengers were landed at a small, but commodious wharf, erected on the property of the Venerable J. J Therry, under whose especial patronage the excursion had been got up. Most of the visitors set off in quest of St. Michael's Cave, determined not to lose the opportunity of seeing so great a natural curiosity. The walk, it was found, lay through woods, a long flat, and a hilly scrub, until, facing to the east at the head of the inlet, the merry party, in a straggling Indian file, at length arrived in the vicinity of the cave, cautiously descending the rocks, and creeping carefully along a narrow path specially made for their convenience on the face of the cliffs, they were thus finally rewarded for their perseverance. Almost every body managed to scramble up into the cave, and not a few of the more adventurous explored its inmost recesses by candle-light. The effect of the gloomy inner arch looked down upon from the top of the second angle of the cave, was much admired; and so also was the wider arch at the entrance, as contemplated from the spot where the bright daylight again began to stream down upon the faces of the returning explorers. There was, for some time, a pleasant buzz of conversation and a discussion of food at the mouth of St Michael's Cave, and then the party set out on their way back to the steamer, where dinner had been prepared.

Some with sharpened appetites posted thither at once, but many remained with the band near the house on the flat, and amused themselves with dancing, playing cricket, and so on. There was some dancing also at the steamer after dinner was over. The Kembla steamer visited the wharf at an early hour, landed some passengers, and afterwards returned for them. The Collaroy left the wharf for Sydney at about five o'clock, and arrived safe at Sydney soon after eight. The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Sydney, the Mayoress, and other members of the family were on board. We also observed the Rev. Fathers Corish, Curtis, Hanson, and Powell, besides the Venerable J. J. Therry. The trip appeared to give general satisfaction, although a slight shower, soon after the arrival of the Collaroy at Pitt Water, interfered with some of the arrangements.
PITT WATER. (1862, April 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

Previous names of the beaches from Palm to Mona Vale:



June 24 – We have had tremendous weather, but, as far as Pitt Water is concerned, no damage has been done with the exception to one of our picturesque curiosities, St. Michael’s Arch. It has at length yielded to the too mighty elements and the destroying influence of time, that which was the admiration of all who have beheld it is now almost baseless fabric-there is only about one half of the outer support left, looking at it at a distance it has the resemblance of a coloured pillar. In its fall it carried a large portion of the overhanging rock with it, a thousand tons of gigantic boulders, and in such masses that I think it will stop the ingress from that part to the cave, but at yet we have had no close inspection for the rollers are dashing to the height of the stupendous rocks. The only idea I can give of the gale is that the froth of (not spray) the sea came over Mount St. Joseph, opposite the house, half a foot in size, and spread itself down to the dam, at times shading the heights of the mountain,its resemblance was that of an overwhelming snow storm.

The sea at Barranjoey washed away the flower garden in front of the Chinamen's huts, taking soil and all, so that the beach comes close up to their door. There must have been awful havoc in the Hawkesbury, for all the beaches from Barranjoey to the Long Beach are strewn with fragments of houses, boxes, chairs, door frames, dead pigs, hay, wheat, broken bedsteads, weather-board sides of houses, oranges with large branches, pumpkins, melons, corn cobs, and other debris, that scarcely any portion of the beaches can be seen. Mr. Conolly picked up a workbox, in which was contained a number of receipts and letters directed to Mr. Moss, Windsor. The beaches on which are the debris is Barrenjoey, Whale Beach, Collins's Beach, Mick's Hollow Beach, Farrell's Beach, Mona Beach, and Long Beach, so it may be imagined the great extent of destruction. BROKEN BAY. (1867, June 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from 

Pittwater Estate Monday May 16th, 1881 - Richardson and Wrench - Item c050370020, courtesy  State Library of New South Wales. Red indicates those lots already sold in 1871.

£150,000 TO BE SPENT.
What do they know of Sydney who only the city know? 
Yesterday afternoon a Parliamentary party, headed by the Acting Premier. Mr. Holman, and Mr. Nielsen, Minister for Lands, went down to Clifton Gardens in the Government launch Premier, and walked through Ashton Park as far as Athol Gardens, a distance of about two miles, and it was remarked that "the Sydney people know nothing about it." To a large extent this is true. A track has just been cut through this beautiful park land close to the water's edge -it has not yet been completed in places and from many points some of the finest views imaginable are to be seen. Those are not merely views of the harbour and city, in themselves exquisite, but also of the beauty of nature that lies here, virgin and all unspoiled, beautiful verdure and gum trees, lovely glades and rugged, rocky scenery. It was National Park; it was the Blue Mountains, in Sydney itself.

All told, Ashton Park, which the Government intends shall be made more accessible to the people than it has been in the past, comprises 143 acres, and the object of yesterday's gathering was to give the Minister for Lands an opportunity of making a public statement regarding his policy of harbour
foreshores resumption. The all-night sitting In the Assembly doubtless kept some away who otherwise would have been present, but as It was the gathering numbered about 50, including both Ministerialists and Oppositionists, members of the council of the Zoological Society, the trustees of the park, and the Mayor and aldermen of Mosman. Dr Arthur, member for the district, was among those present.

There is a proposal that 40 acres of park lands shall be devoted to the purposes of Zoological Gardens, the present gardens, in Moore Park, having cramped and unsuitable in other respects. It is understood that this proposal has the support of the Government, and it is intended to ask for a substantial grant, with a view to the Sydney Zoological Gardens ultimately taking rank among the finest In the world-probably between £60,000 and £100,000, spread over several years. The site itself is said to surpass any other in the world for the purpose In view.

On arrival at Athol Gardens, the well-known picnic spot, which has been lately resumed by the Government, and added to the Ashton Park land, the 'party sat down to luncheon in the large hall.

The health of the Minister for Lands was proposed by Mr. Holman, who said that this gathering was duo to Mr. Nielsen, and the exertions he had put forth in the matter of foreshores resumptions during the past three months. On behalf of the Government, Mr. Holman welcomed the presence of members of the Mosman Municipal Council, the trustees of the park Itself, and the members of the council of the Zoological Society. The latter had come armed with a "knock-out" proposal that would presently be disclosed. (Laughter.) 
He was also glad to see a large number of "assorted members of Parliament, with a variety of political opinion and personal reputation,' In spite of an all-night sitting forced upon the Government by the occasionally pig-headed Opposition." (Laughter.) The Government felt under a deep debt of gratitude to Mr. Nielson for what he had already done in connection with the foreshores problem. Representations had been made for years as to the necessity for doing something to preserve the harbour foreshores for future generations. The matter had been thrown about from pillar to post. It went to the Chief

Secretary's Office and to the Works Office, and finally Mr. Nielsen took hold of It. They would find, after hearing Mr. Nielson, that they had really arrived at a nearer solution of this great question than ever before. (Applause.) The whole credit was due to the present Minister for Lands, and if the whole State did not consider itself fortunate in having such a Minister he could only say that the party now in power considered itself very fortunate in having a man of his powers and energies. (Applause.)

In replying to the toast, which was enthusiastically honoured, Mr. Nielsen said he had simply been doing a duty, though he had found much pleasure in doing it. Although he had been living in Sydney for the past 12 or 13 years, ho must plead guilty to having known very little about Sydney harbour up till n few months ago. Owing, however, to the fuel that he had had to visit the localities of the proposed resumptions from time to time, he believed ho now had as good a knowledge of the harbour as anyone In Sidney. The duty had been cast upon him chiefly because no one else liked to take it up. "I took it up," he went on, "with the Idea of going Into the question very fully, without allowing any local Ideas or prejudices with regard to any particular place to Interfere with my judgment. I looked at the matter purely from the point of view of the future of Sydney harbour, and the interests of the present and future generations. (Applause.) Sydney harbour is not only a Sydney institution, but it belongs to New South Wales: and In what I have done I have looked at the matter from the point of view of the country as well as the city people. (Hear, hear.) I disagreed with the idea of doling out £20.000 or £30,000 a year for doing this work. Every acre, every hundred feet, resumed on the Sydney harbour frontage would mean that the whole of the frontage left would become more and more valuable. So I asked the Cabinet to allow me to have a fairly large sum in the first instance, making that do for some years to come. The first thing that struck me in going around Sydney harbour was the want of forethought on the part of those who had governed the State in the past-(hear, bear)-by allowing such an enormous area of those beautiful water frontages to be taken away from the people. What could have been done with a few thousand pounds a few years ago now runs into hundreds of thousands, and if It were to be left for future generations to grapple with, they would have to pay not only more in thousands, but in hundreds of thousands. It was necessary that it should be dealt with at once, and on n scale of some magnitude." (Applause.)

The Minister then proceeded to detail the resumptions he had made or proposed to make. The first resumption he made was the little block of land on which they were at that moment-seven acres in extent. Portion of It had belonged to the Sydney Ferries Company, and the rest to a private individual. This great park, containing 143 acres, including the seven acres that had been resumed, had been obtained from the military authorities some time since, but nothing had been done until he took office. He appointed a trust for Ashton Park, including such men as Colonel Vernon (Government Architect) and Mr. J. H. Maiden (Director of the Botanic Gardens). He had surprised his colleagues, and especially the Treasurer, by telling them that unless they allowed him £150,000 to start with nothing of any value could be done. After some argument the Cabinet agreed. He might tell them that he had practically spent the whole of that amount already. (A voice: You have spent it well, too!) He did not intend to pay any impossible prices for resumptions. He would not allow any private individual to overcharge him, and so prevent this work being done. He was not going to force people to sell, unless it appeared absolutely necessary. A good deal of the resumptions would depend upon the price the Government could get the land for. He asked the owners to do the fair thing by the Government, and the Government in Its turn would do the fair thing by the people of Sydney and New South Wales. (Applause.) Starting from Rose Bay, he intended to put a sea-wall eastward from Lyne Park, making a proper contour of that bay. Some time ago the Into Mr. O'Sullivan made a reclamation, and called it Lyne Park. The effect of that reclamation was that it stopped the wash of the tide from going round the bay, with the result that the flats in the vicinity were becoming very offensive. He had now decided that the only way to got out of the difficulty wan by erecting a sea-wall and dedicating the reserve to the public for ever.Altogether-57 acres would be resumed-one resumption of 44 acres, and another of 13 acres. The residents, who now had a frontage to the offensive flats would eventually have a frontage to one of the finest public reserves in the State. Then he proposed, to continue the resumption, 100ft wide, along the bay to what Is known as the Wentworth Estate. That the Government had practically taken possession' of as a whole. The area extended from Shark Point to Bottle-and-Glass, and at the back of that was an area 54 acres in extent, which would also be dedicated to the use of the public for over. (Applause) This Included that beautiful eminence that commanded almost as good a view as did the eminence of Ashton Park. All this would give a total frontage of 2 ½  miles to Sydney Harbour-all absolutely now frontage and would "have the effect of bringing 113 acres of the foreshores back to the people." (Applause.) He had also resumed a small portion of land to extend Clovelly Park at Watson's Bay.

A voice: What about Parsley Bay?

Mr. Neilson: I have not finished with that yet.

Referring to the north side of the harbour, Mr. Neilsen said he found that the Government had possession of the whole of the foreshores fronting the military reserve. But on coming to the other side of Edward's Bay he found that to make the foreshores continuous It was necessary to resume a bit of the little beach called Chinaman's Beach. The Immediate foreshore was the property of the Crown, but It was very restricted, and therefore he deemed It expedient to resume five or six acres at the back, and this area would form n very fine recreation reserve. "Now," he said, "we have a continuous line of water frontage on this side of the harbour nearly 16 miles long, from the head of Sirius Cove light, round to Quaker's point, in Middle Harbour." He went on to say that behind Reef Bench in North Harbour he had resumed six acres of land to make a picnic ground, he had decided to resume Forty Baskets. At North Harbour he proposed to make a resumption and carry out reclamation works with a view to setting aside an area of 10 or 12 acres as a beautiful recreation reserve. Then the people would have on the Manly side above Middle Harbour, another continuous stretch of foreshores a little over eight miles in extent. (Hear, hear.) On the North Harbour they would have a practically continuous area when the resumptions were made of 24 miles. (Applause.)
There was also a resumption at Ben Buckler, consisting of four acres.

"The total area of these resumptions," said Mr. Nielsen, in conclusion, "amounts to 163 acres 3 roods, if I can get this land for what I consider a fair, and reasonable price, I  believe I can keep within my income of £150,000 for resumption purposes, though there will be on top of that some reclamations to be carried out by the Minister for Works. If the result is to benefit the people of the city and State today, or the future generations that are to come, I shall consider myself well repaid for any energies I have expended in the matter. (Loud applause.)

Mr. Holman proposed the health of the Mayor of Mosman, and In replying, Alderman Macdonald said the Mosman Council had found the members of the present Cabinet exceedingly courteous and active, showing an example that might well be followed by future Governments. The council heard with pleasure the announcement as to further additions to their fore-shores. Sixteen miles of these foreshores were within the Mosman Municipality. He thought a further portion of land Immediately behind the 100ft reserve at Edward's Bay might be added with advantage. There was no finer shade or bush in contiguity to any of the beaches around Sydney Harbour. (Applause.)

The health of Mr. Charles Hedley, president of the Zoological Society, was then proposed by Mr. Holman, who stated that Mr. Hedley had a plan for the transfer of the Zoo to Ashton Park, and was endeavouring to enlist the sympathies of the Government in the matter. It was a proposal that merited, and would receive in the near future, the earnest consideration of the Government. (Applause )

Mr. Hedley stated that last year 244,205 people were admitted to the Zoological Gardens, an attendance double that of a few years back, and which had gradually increased from 60,000. On a holiday the grounds are now so crowded that a visitor had difficulty in obtaining a Beat or a view of the animal!. About 30 years ago the society obtained from the Municipal Council the use of seven acres of what was then called by the euphonious name of the Billy Goat Swamp. In 1884 this was Increased to 12 ½ acres, and 10 years later it was finally enlarged to 15, acres, the present holding. Two years ago the society asked for a further extension, which the council was unable to grant. Not only were these grounds' small, but they were unhealthy and badly situated. A reclaimed swamp could never be fit habitation for man or beast, so it was not surprising that delicate animals from the tropical forests had never thrived in the "Billygoat Swamp."

"Gentlemen'," said Mr. Hedley, "these mean and unhealthy grounds are not worthy of this wealthy State, of this great city, it is the ambition of my council to see Sydney endowed with gardens as excellent as those of other cities, gardens of the same high grade as our other public Institutions-Sydney parks, museums, libraries, and .picture galleries. (Applause.) We have but 15 acres, and poor land at that. Melbourne has 50 acres, and Perth has 40. The celebrated London Gardens cover 31 acres.- Antwerp has 23, Amsterdam 25, Berlin 38, Manchester 80, while the magnificent gardens of New York Include 264 acres. Realising the need for more space, the council made a careful examination of all possible sites round Sydney. More than a year was engaged in weighing the merits of Harris Park, Upper Lane Cove, Pearl Bay, Vaucluse, Bondi, Maroubra, and other localities. Finally we resolved to ask the Government for the use of 40 acres of Ashton Park, with a water frontage. It would be easily accessible from the city. Its dry, warm, and sheltered position was particularly suitable for tropical fauna. A varied surface offered, both level paddocks for herbivore and rocky terraces for the construction of enclosures. Ponds for waterfowl could be provided by the rivulet, while on the beach real ponds and aquariums could be constructed. The natural beauty of Ashton Park would not suffer, for the existing forest would be strictly preserved, and no building would be visible from the water. Our director was lately commissioned to visit the Zoological gardens in the principal cities of Europe. He reports that none of these had a site so fine as Ashton Park. The directors of the Zoological Gardens of Melbourne and Perth strongly recommend this site, as the various specialists In the business who have happened to visit Sydney lately. Our own scientific men express a similar opinion. The Director of the Botanic Garden considered that there are great possibilities here for landscape gardening, The Curator of the Australian Museum regards it as admirable adapted both for the display and the health and comfort of captive animals. So that this scheme is approved both by visiting specialists and local scientific leaders. In addition the Mayor and council of Mosman are cordial supporters of the project.

"If the site be granted." added Mr. Hedley, "It is proposed, after the establishment at the Zoological Gardens, to proceed with the erection of a marine aquarium. It is a reproach to Sydney that with such opportunities no marine aquarium exists. On the foreshore of Ashton Park It could be built with a minimum of expense and a maximum of results. Broadly our aim is to provide pleasure for the people, especially for the weaker or poorer of our fellow citizens who can spend but little on their amusements." (Applause.)

The health of the Acting- Premier was proposed by Dr. Arthur, and duly honoured, after which the party walked to Neilsen's Lookout, an eminence from which a magnificent panoramic view of the harbour and city is obtained. It was a revelation to many. Return was made to the city at about 3 30. FOR THE PEOPLE (1911, July 21)The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 6. Retrieved from

A J Small residue of Lands from Burnes shows Photographer David Hazlewood bought land here too; Lot 143 on July 15th, 1925 - Vol/Fol: 3754-20,in current day Elouera Avenue, then called Seaview Avenue. Muriel Annie Hazlewood bought Lot 79 on August 6th, 1926 (Vol/Fol: 3900-239.

One of Rex Hazlewood’s photos of Avalon Beach and surrounds taken soon after 1920. Although the planter boxes are in place there is no sign of the Norfok Island Pines yet. Barely visible above the men’s dressing shed (and further along the beach) is a box line outfit containing a small reel, line and belt for rescue work. 

Road Purchase Application by Arthur Jabez Small,  3 roods 22 1/2 perches. The unnecessary part of private subdivision road within portion 20 south and east of lot 1 of the Pittwater Estate, parish of Narrabeen, county of Cumberland, Metropolitan Land District, Shire of Warringah. APPLICATIONS FOR THE CLOSING AND PURCHASE OF ROADS, &c. (1930, March 28). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 1358. Retrieved from


Names of Roads.

NOTICE is hereby given that the Council has, in accordance with the provisions of section 249 (a), Local Government Act, 1919, and of Ordinance No. 30 thereunder, and with the approval of the Minister for Works and Local Government, given the undermentioned names to the roads described* hereunder:—

Situation, Old Name and New Name.

At Careel Bay, Pittwater, parish of Narrabeen—Bayview-road—Cabarita-road.

In Ocean Beach Estate, Avalon (deposited plan No. 9,151), parish of Narrabeen — Seaview-avenue— Elouera-road.

Connecting Ralston-road and Pacific-road, Palm Beach, as shown on deposited plan No. 13,780—Unnamed— Ebor-road.

In Brocks' Estate, Mona Vale, deposited plan 6,195— Rickard-road—Orana-road.

In Warriewood Estate, Warriewood (deposited plan 5,464), parish of Narrabeen—Sea view-street—Elimatta-road.

At Mona Vale, running easterly from Barrenjoey-road (Newport-road) to the Pacific Ocean—Allen-street— —Golf-avenue.

At Deewhy West, running north-easterly and northerly from the junction of Fisher-road and Lynwood-avenue along the western boundaries of portions 647, 646, 1,290, 643, 642 and 641, parish Manly Cove —Unnamed—Campbell-avenue.

At Manly Vale, parish Manly Cove, running easterly from Condamine-street to Stuart-road—Dalley-street —Koorala-street.

At South Curl Curl, parish Manly Cove, in Foamcrest Estate (deposited plan 6,260)—The Sands—Stewart avenue.

At South Curl Curl, parish Manly Cove, in Foamcrest Estate (deposited plan 6,260)—-The Waves—Travers-road. j 

At Manly Vale, parish Manly Cove—Osborne-road— Campbell-parade. r

At Belrose, running westerly from Secondary Road No. (2,023, westerly along the southern boundaries of : portions 1,667, 1,670, parish Manly Cove—Unnamed '—Everton-road.

R. G. JAMIESON, Shire Clerk.

Shire Hall, Brookvale, 26th June, 1939. 2028 £2 8s. SHIRE OF WARRINGAH. (1939, June 30). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 3373. Retrieved from 

Vol/Fol: 3742-82 - A J Small lands taken by Public Trustee ( sold per Warringah Council sales of others lands for outstanding Rates?):

Council Meeting 12/11/1940:

Roads Dept., 1/11/40, further in regard to the establishment of Main Road No. 397 from Seaforth to Narrabeen, stating that through Recreation Reserves Nos. 66080 and 7499, Iliadic Creek, the ultimate width of the road will be 110 ft. with an allowance for batters, that further to the north-east the road No.197 will run through Portion 55 Deep Creek, and then generally along a road reservation under the control of the Council, when the ultimate width will be 240 ft. plus an allowance for batters (the present construction to be confined to a width of 40 ft. with an addition for batters); that further advice concerning the proposed road work east of Portion 55 as it 'fleets any of Council's property will be forwarded in due course; requesting Council's consent to the Department's entering these lands for the purpose of constructing the road. Revolved, - That the Crk. Lands Department be asked to request compensation from the Main Dee Reserve Roads Department in respect to the resumption of part of Deep Creek Reserve, and that it apply any compensation moneys received towards purchasing a reserve along Deep Creek to the north. (Ors. Bathe, O'Reilly) . Resolved - That the Council has no objection to the Cedin Rea tment; entering the 1and mentioned in its letter for the purpose rt constructing the road. 2,' 25/10/40, oulaaitting copy bra -began made to the Department by Mr. Small tor-the improvement of the approach to that Clubhouse at Avalon Links, and a eonst the Barrenjoey Rd. Departments 'ropy .thereto attesting that the expenditure or Main Read funds are limited to provision of worso for through traffic, but that the Department have no objection to the work being carried out either by Mr. Small or the Council. 'Received'.


IT is hereby notified and declared by His Excellency the Governor, acting with the advice of the Executive Council, that so much of the land hereunder described as is Crown Land has been appropriated, and so much thereof as is private property has been resumed under the Public Works Act, 1912, for the following public purpose, namely, for the establishment of a Public Recreation Ground at Palm Beach, and is vested in the Minister for Lands as Constructing Authority on behalf of His Majesty. P. 38-462.

Signed and sealed at Sydney, this 17th day of February-, 1938.

(L.s.) WAKEHURST, Governor. By His Excellency's Command,

COLIN A. SINCLAIR, Minister for Lands.


All that piece or parcel of land containing an area of 3 roods  1 1/2 perches, more or less, parish of Narrabeen, county of Cumberland, Shire Warringah, and being the whole of lots 348 to 351, inclusive, deposited plan No. 16,362, Palm Beach Estate: Commencing on the northeastern side of Rock Bath road at the south-western corner of lot 352, and bounded thence on the south-west by that road bearing 380 degrees 37 minutes 50 seconds 41 feet Hi inches, 312 degrees 31 minutes 40 seconds 59 feet 31§ inches, 302 degrees 27 minutes 40 seconds 39 feet 10 1/2 inches, and thence 295 degrees 7 minutes 20 feet 6 inches; on the north-west by the south-eastern boundary of lot 347 bearing 20 degrees 41 minutes 148 feet; on the north-east by a south-western boundary line of lot 333 and the south-western boundary of lot 332 in all bearing 100 degrees 7 minutes 117 feet 9J inches, and by the south-western boundary of lot 331 and part of the south-western boundary of lot 330 in all bearing 153 degrees 13 minutes 20 seconds 138 feet 3 inches; and on the south-east by the north-western boundary of lot 352 bearing 228 degrees 13 minutes 152 feet 4 1/2 inches to the point of commencement. (496). NOTIFICATION OF RESUMPTION OF LAND UNDER THE PUBLIC WORKS ACT, 1912. (1938, February 18). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 748. Retrieved from 

Becomes Vol/Fol: 5112-128 - A J Small (which shows the amount of lots resumed by the Registrar General at end of 1938 and 21st of February 1939): DP16902 (Bilgola Plateau lands/Lots)

Avalon Subdivisions - The Avalon Estate, Avalon Beach, Item No c027560010h and section from to show Lot numbers courtesy State Library of NSW. Visit:  Avalon's Village Green: Avalon Park Becomes Dunbar Park - Some History + Toongari Reserve and Catalpa Reserve 

DP16902 - Avalon Beach Estate 1930 - per HRLV:

Avalon Beach Estate, Image No.: c027560001, courtesy State Library of New South Wales. Zoomable here

Bilgola Beautiful Bilgola

Between Avalon and Newport.
Under Instructions from the Executors of the Estate of the late Mrs. H. Maclurcan Lee.
Several Allotments only remain at prices from £145 per block.
Must be Inspected to be appreciated.
Phone or Call Agents for plans and prices of land and full particulars of ro.sldences. Cars leave City Office daily and Sunday.
Sole Selling Agents:
J. T. STAPLETON AND CO., LIMITED, Stanton House, 133 Pitt Street, Sydney, or inquire at LOCAL OFFICE, AVALON. 
Advertising (1937, January 27). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from

Bilgola Beach circa 1951, showing Mrs. Maclurcans' 'Bilgola House'. Item: FL281268, courtesy NSW Records and Archives

Des Creagh Reserve

Notification Placing Land Under Care, Control and Management of the Council of the Shire of Warringah

IN pursuance of the provisions of clause 20 (2) of the Warringah Planning Scheme Ordinance and by virtue of the provisions of the State Planning Authority Act, 1963, the New South Wales Planning and Environment Commission by this notice places the land described in the Schedule hereto under the care, control and management of Warringah Shire Council for use only as a public park, public reserve or public recreation area for passive recreational purposes: Provided that the Council of the Shire of Warringah shall not erect or permit to be erected on the said land any building or structure without the prior consent of the Commission: Also provided Council shall demolish all existing improvements on the said land at the earliest possible date thereafter.

Dated at Sydney, this 22nd day of September, 1977.

G. H. COE, Acting Chief Administrative Officer.


All that piece or parcel of land situate at Marine Parade, Avalon, in the Shire of Warringah, Parish of Narrabeen and County of Cumberland, being lot 1 in Deposited Plan 588436, containing approximately 561 square metres, and being part of the land in Certificate of Title, volume 12380, folio 133. (File No. 76-578) (410) STATE PLANNING AUTHORITY ACT, 1963 (1977, October 21). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 4631. Retrieved from

The Bathing Pool Avalon Beach  photos by Rex Hazlewood, circa 1920-1929 Images Courtesy The Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, No.: c07771_0004_c and ' Swimming Pool' c07771_00043_c

Above: Saturday July 18, 2020 photos of North Avalon Beach headland
Above and below: Wednesday July 15, 2020 photos of South Avalon Beach

Pittwater Beach Reserves Have Been Dedicated For Public Use Since 1887 - No 1.: Avalon Beach Reserve- Bequeathed By John Therry - threads collected and collated by A J Guesdon, 2024.