Sunday, January 16, 2022




Cronulla is located 26 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Sutherland Shire.

It is located on a peninsula framed by Botany Bay to the north, Bate Bay to the east, Port Hacking to the south, and Gunnamatta Bay to the west. The neighbouring suburb of Woolooware lies to the west of Cronulla, and Burraneer lies to the southwest.

The Kurnell peninsula, the site of the first landfall on the eastern coastline made by Captain James Cook in 1770, is reached by driving northeast out of Cronulla on Captain Cook Drive.

Cronulla suburb

Name origin:

Cronulla is derived from the aboriginal word Kurranulla, meaning ‘'place of the small pink seashell'’ in the dialect of the area's Aboriginal inhabitants, the Gweagal, who were a clan of the Tharawal (or Dharawal) tribe of Indigenous Australians. They Inhabited the southern geographic areas of Sydney. The beaches were named by Surveyor Robert Dixon who surveyed here in 1827-28 and, by 1840, the main beach was still known as Karranulla. In July 1852 the schooner Venus was wrecked on the beach, which was referred to in newspaper reports as Cooranulla.

In 1899, the government named the area Gunnamatta, which means sandy hills. On 26 February 1908, it was officially changed to Cronulla and Gunnamatta was used for the name of the bay, on the western side.


Matthew Flinders and George Bass explored and mapped the coastline and Port Hacking estuary in 1796 and the southernmost point of Cronulla is named Bass and Flinders Point in their honour.

Matthew Flinders

George Bass

After the Illawarra railway line was built to Sutherland in 1885, the area became popular for picnics and swimming. Steam trams operated between Cronulla and Sutherland from 1911. Many regulars rented beach houses at Cronulla every year for school holidays. The steam trams were replaced by the Cronulla branch of the Illawarra railway line when it opened in 1939.

Cronulla is a popular tourist attraction and attracts many beachgoers from all over Sydney. Cronulla Beach features a long stretch of sand that runs from Boat Harbour to North Cronulla, followed by rock pools and another sandy beach at South Cronulla.

The beaches of Cronulla from north to south are: Boat Harbour, Wanda Beach, Elouera Beach, North Cronulla Beach, Cronulla Beach, Blackwoods Beach, Shelly Beach and Oak Park. The beaches are popular recreational areas for swimming, surfing, bodyboarding, bodysurfing and other water sports.

Shark Island, just off Cronulla Beach, is a famous surfing and bodyboarding spot, and the site of the annual Shark Island Challenge bodyboarding contest.

Gunnamatta Bay provides protected swimming at the baths off Gunnamatta Park.

Port Hacking is a popular location for such water sports as waterskiing and wakeboarding.


Cronulla Beach

South end of North Cronulla Beach

Greenhills Beach Sand Dunes

Dunningham Park, North Cronulla

Cronulla Ferry Wharf

Cronulla Beach and rock pool

The 2005 Cronulla riots were a race riot in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It began in the beachside suburb of Cronulla on 11 December, and spread over to additional suburbs the next few nights.

The riots were triggered by an event the previous Sunday, when an altercation turned physical between a group of youths of Middle-Eastern appearance (referred to as "Lebanese" or "Lebos" by their opponents) and White Anglo-Australian lifeguards on the beach. Following the reporting of this event by the tabloid media and "shock jocks" on local radio, a racially motivated gathering was organised via chain texting for the following weekend.

A crowd gathered at Cronulla on the morning of Sunday, 11 December, and, by midday, approximately 5,000 people had gathered near the beach. The police eventually intervened. Violence spread to other southern suburbs of Sydney, where assaults occurred, including two stabbings and attacks on ambulances and police officers. Travel warnings for Australia were issued by some countries but were later removed.

The riots were widely condemned by local, state and federal members of parliament, police, local community leaders, and residents of Cronulla and adjacent areas. A large number of arrests were made over the subsequent months, from both the initial riot on 11 December and the retaliations over the subsequent nights. Some media were criticised and well-known radio personality Alan Jones was formally censured and fined for his inflammatory broadcasts during that week.

The Wanda Beach Murders are the unsolved murders of Marianne Schmidt and Christine Sharrock at Wanda Beach near Cronulla in Sydney, New South Wales on 11 January 1965. The victims, both aged 15, were best friends and neighbours from the suburb of West Ryde, and their partially buried bodies were discovered the next day. The brutal nature of the slayings and by the fact that they occurred on a deserted, windswept beach brought massive publicity to the case. By April 1966, police had interviewed some 7,000 people, making it the largest investigation in Australian history. It remains one of the most infamous unsolved Australian murder cases of the 1960s,and New South Wales' oldest unsolved homicide case.

Christine Sharrock (left) and Marianne Schmidt (right), found dead buried in the sand, near Cronulla in Sydney's south, on January 12, 1965

Detectives searching the sand for their investigation into the Wanda murders

Detectives on Wanda Beach with arrows pointing to where the mutilated bodies of Marianne Schmidt and Christine Sharrock were found in the sand


Some more pics:

Cronulla, c 1905

Davy, who lived in a hut on Cronulla Beach, 3 July 1904

Cronulla, 1920s

Wanda Beach car park, 1962

Cronulla Beach, looking south, ca.1920s

Cronulla Beach, ca. 1920s

Cronulla Beach N.S.W., ca.1900s

Cronulla main street, 1914

Boy standing on field gun in Cronulla Park, Cronulla -

a German gun was placed in Cronulla Park as a war trophy in 1922.

Storm damage, North Cronulla Beach, 1974

Swimmers at Cronulla Beach, c 1900s

Men on steps of the bathing shed at Cronulla Beach, ca. 1920s

Two men and three women bathers, Cronulla

Men on steps of the bathing shed at Cronulla Beach, ca. 1920s

Cronulla Beach, 1913-1918

Seven women in swimming costumes and caps, Cronulla Beach, ca. 1920s

Cronulla today, bikinis . . . 

. . . burkinis . . . 

. . . and cover ups to minimise the risks of skin cancer

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