Cronulla Beach

Profile Of The Month: The Coastal Directory

Cronulla is a beachside suburb, in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 26km south of the Sydney central business district in the Sutherland Shire.

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

Cronulla is a popular tourist attraction and attracts many beachgoers from all over Sydney. The beaches of Cronulla from north to south are: Wanda Beach, Elouera Beach, North Cronulla Beach, Cronulla Beach, Blackwoods Beach and Shelly Beach. Local names also apply to various parts of the beach, such as The Wall, between North Cronulla and Elouera and Green Hills, to the north of Wanda.

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 sports as waterskiing and wakeboarding.

Commercial Area
The main shopping strip runs along Cronulla Street, which has been partly converted into a pedestrian mall. It also extends along the Kingsway, Gerrale Street and other surrounding streets. Cronulla has developed a café culture, with some great cafés and restaurants located along the foreshore and in Cronulla mall. Tourists can choose from a number of hotels, motels and serviced apartments. Cronulla has many attractions including an independent cinema, nightclubs, pubs and bars. Northies is a well-known pub near North Cronulla beach.

Cronulla is home to a number of schools both High Schools and Primary Schools (Elementary): Cronulla High School, De La Salle College,Our Lady of Mercy College, Cronulla Public School, South Cronulla Public School, St Aloysius Primary School.

Trains terminate at Cronulla railway station on the Cronulla branch of the City Rail Illawarra line.
A ferry service runs across Port Hacking between Cronulla, on Gunnamatta Bay and Bundeena, on the edge of the Royal National Park.
BusLink has three bus routes, that all stop at Cronulla Railway Station. These are:
Route Destination
984 Miranda via North Caringbah
985 Miranda via South Cronulla
987 Kurnell via North Cronulla


The local National Rugby League team is the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. The league's club and home ground, Endeavour Field, are located on Captain Cook Drive at Woolooware.
Life-saving clubs are located along the beach at Wanda, Elouera, North Cronulla and South Cronulla.

Cronulla Spring Festival is held every year on the second weekend of September. It includes free entertainment, food and many variety stalls.

Cronulla is derived from kurranulla, meaning ''place of pink seashells'' in the dialect of the area's Aboriginal inhabitants, the Dharawal people.

John Connell received a grant of 380 acres in 1835. 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. Thomas Holt (1811-88) owned most of the land that stretched from Sutherland to Cronulla in the 1860s. Holt built Sutherland House on the foreshore of Gwawley Bay in 1818, on the eastern side of Sylvania. The Cronulla area was subdivided in 1895 and land was offered for sale at 10 pounds per acre. In 1899, the government named the area Gunnamatta, which means ''sandy hills''. On the 26th February 1908 it was officially changed to Cronulla and Gunnamatta was used for the name of the bay, on the western side.

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 in the early part of the twentieth century. Many regulars rented beach houses at Cronulla every year for school holidays. The Cecil Hotel was located on the foreshore and the Ritz Café was popular with holiday-makers. The Cecil Apartments were built on the former site of this hotel.

The post office opened in January 1891, known as Cronulla Beach, but closed in 1893. It reopened in 1907 and the name was officially changed to Cronulla in 1929. The first public school opened in 1910 and the railway line from Sutherland to Cronulla opened in 1939. Even though it developed as a residential area, Cronulla remained popular with beachgoers and tourists.

On 11 December 2005, the beachfront at Cronulla was the scene of widely-publicised mob disturbances and violent confrontations. See "2005 Cronulla riots". These incidents continued over a number of days and also spread to other areas in Sydney. (Credit: Wikipedia).


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