The Pittwater shire was named after an estuary of Broken Bay which the shire surrounds, Broken Bay forms the mouth of the Hawkesbury River, the main river which formed the Cumberland Plain and Sydney basin. Pittwater was discovered in 1788, the year the first British colony was established in Australia. However, Pittwater and the surrounding region was inhabited for many millennia by local Aboriginal tribes and much evidence of their habitation remains especially their rock etchings in Kuring-gai Chase National Park which borders Pittwater’s western side. Pittwater was named in about 1800 by the colony’s first Governor, Governor Phillip, honouring the then British Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger. Phillip called it “the finest piece of water I ever saw”.
Pittwater in the early 1800s was developed as a new port with loading and unloading facilities erected at what is now the current Newport public wharf. As the port developed so did local industry such as sheep at Mona Vale, orchards at southern Newport (on the western ridge below Bushranger’s Hill) and Church Point, salt from Saltpan cove and Scotland Island. During the period from the 1950s to the early 1970s, sand mining operations were undertaken in the upper reaches of McCarr’s Creek. After sand mining operations ceased, the tailings ponds were all that remained of the mining operation. The tailings ponds consisted of a very fine black mud which created the opportunity for “mud-larking”. Participants used the mud for all sorts of activities. (this can be left to the reader’s imagination). The mining area and tailings ponds were later rehabilitated into a park and re-vegetated with local flora.
Another less acknowledged industry was rum smuggling (rum being one of the earliest currencies in the original colony), a customs lookout was originally based on Barrenjoey Head with, initially a long boat (Jolly boat) manned by convict oarsmen, then later a fast Customs sloop. Even as recently as the 1990s smuggling (of illegal drugs) was still occurring in Pittwater.
Around the 1850s a school was established on the site of what is now Newport Public school. Over later periods, public (primary) schools were established at Mona Vale, Avalon and Bilgola Plateau. In 1963, Pittwater high school was opened at Mona Vale (located on Pittwater Road), Barrenjoey high school (located at the northern end of Avalon beach) was opened in 1968.
Both high schools were highly innovative and front runners in establishing and offering alternative sporting activities. Pittwater was one of the first public high schools in Australia to offer sailing as a sport and even built is own 30′ yacht (International Diamond class). The construction of the yacht was undertaken by the students with the assistance of local boat building companies and donations from numerous local organisations. The construction and launch of the yacht ‘Kalori’ in 1968-69 was even documented by Movietone news. Barrenjoey high school was one of the first public high schools in Australia to offer surfing as a sport. This being a reflection of the popularity and history of surfing which has been associated with this area for many decades. The Pittwater area has seen the development and success of a large number of world champions in both sailing and surfing along with many other elite sports people in many sporting disciplines.
During the Second World War, unlike Sydney Harbour (Port Jackson), Pittwater was not protected by a boom net. As a consequence local militia and later Australian Army were stationed at the western side of the entrance to Pittwater and were dispersed along the western shore in a network of trenches, pillboxes and gun emplacements. Most defence activity was centred around West Head with two large guns placed at the base of the cliff. Many of the WW2 defence structures still exist today although many are overgrown. One noticeable structure still very visible from the water is the “railway” which was cut into the West Head cliff and was used to supply the defenders encamped along the western shore line. The railway cutting was cut at an angle of around 60 degrees with rail sleepers concreted into place to keep the rails in place. A rudimentary wharf was constructed just south of West Head and was formed between the shore line and a rock outcrop, access to the rock outcrop was via a ramp made of two large poles and a walkway on top. The ramp poles were still in place as late as the 1980s. After WW2, an RAN torpedo testing facility was built on the northern side of Taylor’s Point (eastern side of central Pittwater) with a large building perched at the end of a long wharf. Three target pontoons were permanently moored at 1-nautical-mile (1.9 km) intervals along the central and northern part of Pittwater. On a number of occasions, test torpedoes went off course and either ending up on Clareville beach or were lost only to be later found by local fishermen. The torpedo test facility has since been removed although some of the shore based buildings still remain.
Due mainly to its shallow entrance, Pittwater was never developed as a commercial port. It has remained as a waterway primarily used for either the transport of residents and visitors to the less accessible parts of the western shore or for water based activities such as sailing, boating in various forms and the occasional amphibious aircraft. Regular sight seeing flights operate between Palm Beach at the northern end of Pittwater and Rose Bay on Sydney Harbour. Pittwater is home to a number of Motor, Yacht and Sailing clubs who utilise the comparatively less congested waterway on a year round basis. Pittwater is also the starting line for the Pittwater to Coff’s Harbour Yacht race which commences in early January each year. The northward Pittwater to Coffs Harbour race has become very popular as an alternative to the more demanding southward Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
Active Plumbing Pittwater.
- We’ll turn up on time.
- Put on a clean pair of shoes for inside work.
- Put down a ground sheet to protect surfaces
- We will clean up the area after the work is done.
- Were applicable issue you with a written 18 month guarantee.
- Free 15 minutes home care service with every job.
‘Total Care Best Repair’
Call 1300 65 1965
Servicing the following areas,
AVALON 2107 AVALON BEACH 2107 AVALON HEIGHTS 2107 AVALON NORTH 2107 AVALON PLATEAU 2107 BARRANJOEY 2108 BAYVIEW 2104 BAYVIEW HEIGHTS 2104 BILGOLA 2107 BILGOLA BEACH 2107 BILGOLA PLATEAU 2107 BUNGAN BEACH 2106 BUNGAN HEAD 2106 CAREEL BAY 2107 CAREEL HEAD 2107 CHURCH POINT 2105 CLAREVILLE 2107 CLAREVILLE BEACH 2107 COASTERS RETREAT 2108 CURRAWONG BEACH 2108 ELANORA 2101 ELANORA HEIGHTS 2101 ELVINA BAY 2105 FOLEYS HILL 2101 GREAT MACKEREL BEACH 2108 INGLESIDE 2101 INGLESIDE HEIGHTS 2101 LOQUAT VALLEY 2104 LOVETT BAY 2105 MACKEREL BEACH 2108 MCCARRS CREEK 2105 MONA VALE 2103 MORNING BAY 2108 NEWPORT 2106 NEWPORT BEACH 2106 NEWPORT HEIGHTS 2107 NEWPORT PLATEAU 2107 NORTH NARRABEEN 2101 PALM BEACH 2108 PARADISE BEACH 2107 SALT PAN COVE 2106 SAND POINT 2108 SOUTH WARRIEWOOD 2102 STOKES POINT 2107 TAYLORS POINT 2107 THE BASIN 2108 TOWLERS BAY 2105 TUMBLEDOWN DICK 2101 TURIMETTA 2102 WARRIEWOOD 2102 WARRIEWOOD BEACH 2102 WHALE BEACH 2107