Saturday, April 30, 2022




Curl Curl is a suburb of northern Sydney 18 kilometres (11 mi) north-east of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Northern Beaches Council. It is part of the Northern Beaches region.

Name origin:

The name Curl Curl appears to be the original Aboriginal name for the larger area of Manly Vale, Freshwater, Queenscliff. The name Curl Curl may have been derived from a Dharuk Aboriginal phrase curial curial, meaning river of life.

The name Curl Curl Lagoon was originally applied to Manly Lagoon, which empties into the ocean at Queenscliff. The lagoon that empties into the ocean at Curl Curl Beach was named Harbord Lagoon until it was renamed Curl Curl Lagoon as part of a renaming program in the 1980s. Manly Creek was originally named Curl Curl Creek and Queenscliff Headland was called Curl Curl Headland.


In 1858 Samuel Bennett (who died 1903) paid £600 for a 80-acre (32 ha) property, in the Curl Curl/Brookvale area south of Greendale Creek and was farmed by Bennett up until the mid-1870s. This area was later known as Brighton Park.

Curl Curl went from being a pristine environment to a tip during the 20th Century. banked by sandstone hills to the South, the ocean to the East and Greendale Creek / Curl Curl Lagoon to the North.

In 1980 the local community formed Curl Curl Lagoon Friends to bring the lagoon and its catchment back to good health.

The lagoon and creek provide refuge for numerous birds, both those that depend primarily on the water and its fringes for food and breeding (the water birds), and many others that feed in the trees and the grassy areas that surround the lagoon (the bush birds).

At the 2016 census, there were 2,414 residents in Curl Curl. 70.1% of people were born in Australia. The next most common country of birth was England at 6.2%. 83.0% of people only spoke English at home. The most common responses for religion were No Religion 34.2%, Catholic 27.4% and Anglican 15.5%.


Curl Curl Lagoon Footbridge in 1911. 
It was later re-named the Manly Lagoon Footbridge.

Sydney ferry Curl Curl leaving Circular Quay, date unknown.

Ferry Curl Curl, Manly Wharf, 1955

The ferry Curl Curl ran aground on Bradleys Head in 1936. The captain advised that this was because he couldn’t see further than a few metres because the fog was so thick.

Manly Boys’ High at Abbott Rd in North Curl Curl, 1956.

A Curl Curl tram at Manly Ocean Beach in 1903.

A postcard featuring the Sydney hydrofoil, Curl Curl in 1979.

Country children at Stewart House Preventorium learn to swim, South Curl Curl Beach, 1935

Today, each year 1,600 public school children in need come to Stewart House from many parts of NSW and the ACT. During their stay, children are provided with optometric, dental and medical treatment as well as emotional support. This is balanced with health and educational programs and out of school activities to boost their self-esteem and promote a healthier lifestyle.

Children in the care of Stewart House attend a specific purpose school onsite for up to 10 days of their 12-day stay. The NSW Department of Education provides infrastructure and staffing support for this school. All other costs associated with the children’s stay are met from charitable donations. Children between school years 2 and 8 are invited to attend the program.

Once the children leave school for the day, they are cared for by suitably qualified supervisors overnight and at the weekend. Meals, accommodation costs, transport and entertainment expenses, and salary costs for supervisors, cooks, cleaners, laundry, and maintenance staff are all sourced from donations made to Stewart House. These costs amount to some $5 million each year.

Traditionally, teachers and staff from the NSW public education system have donated through fortnightly salary contributions around $2 million of this $5 million. Public school children, through school-based fundraising, contribute around $500,000. The remainder is gathered from personal and corporate donations and applications for private grants and subsidies.

Stewart House boys looking at comics from a Sunday paper, South Curl Curl Beach, 1935

Stewart House today

North Curl Curl

North Curl Curl tidal pool

Curl Curl

Curl Curl Beach, 1949

Curl Curl Beach

Stewart House beds

North Curl Curl Beach

Curl Curl Lagoon

Curl Curl Lagoon

Curl Curl Beach

Curl Curl Beach

Rock Pool and Beach, Curl Curl

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