Mosman, New South Wales

For the town in Queensland, see Mossman, Queensland.
Sydney, New South Wales

Conservation area shop fronts, Military Road
Population 27,452 (2011 census)[1]
 • Density 3,155/km2 (8,170/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 2088
Area 8.7 km2 (3.4 sq mi)
Location 8 km (5 mi) NE of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) Municipality of Mosman
State electorate(s) North Shore
Federal Division(s) Warringah
Suburbs around Mosman:
Northbridge Seaforth Clontarf
Cremorne Mosman
Neutral Bay Kurraba Point (water)

Mosman is a suburb on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Mosman is located 8 kilometres north-east of the Sydney central business district and is the administrative centre for the local government area of the Municipality of Mosman. Along with other suburbs such as Vaucluse, Bellevue Hill, and Darling Point, it is one of Sydney’s wealthiest and most affluent suburbs. It is home to many prominent Sydney business people, doctors, and lawyers. Census data from The Australian Bureau of Statistics states an average income for all private households in Mosman to be $169,218, compared to the $72,204 average income in Sydney's Census Metropolitan Area.[2]


In February 1997, a notice was published in the Government Gazette by Mosman Council advising that they had assigned Mosman as the only suburb in the Mosman Local Government Area. However, Mosman Council decided that residents should continue to be allowed to use the following traditional locality names if they wished:[3]


Mosman is named after Archibald Mosman (17991863) and his twin brother George, who moved onto a 4-acre (16,000 m2) land grant in the area in 1831. They were involved in shipping, and founded a whaling station on a bay in the harbour, which became known as Mosman’s Bay. George subsequently became involved in grazing, but Archibald continued with whaling activities. By 1838, he owned 108 acres (0.44 km2) along the Mosman waterfront.[4] Archibald was buried in the cemetery of St Jude's Church, Randwick. His grave is maintained by Mosman Council.

Arthur Streeton, Mosman's Bay, 1914

Aboriginal culture

Mosman was originally inhabited by the Borogegal tribe.[5] Bungaree (c17751830) was a well known Aboriginal who joined British explorers on voyages, including circumnavigating Australia with Matthew Flinders when he was 26. He later became leader of his tribe, was given land at Georges Head, and enjoyed the patronage of Governor Lachlan Macquarie. He greeted newcomers whose ships entered Port Jackson, and became acquainted with Russian and French explorers. His image was painted many times and shown in London, Paris, and Moscow.

European settlement

A gun emplacement at Middle Head Fort

In 1789 HMS Siriusthe flagship of the First Fleetentered what is now known as Mosman Bay or Great Sirius Cove. Mosman has been the site of important maritime and defence installations for Sydney since 1801, especially when Sydney's Harbour defences were expanded with the construction of Middle Head Fort, Georges Head Battery and Bradleys Head Fortification Complex. In 1871 the Beehive Casemate was constructed into the cliff side on Obelisk Bay.[6]

A Submarine Miners’ Depot was constructed at Chowder Bay (Georges Head) in the 1880s. In 1888 the site was modified for the latest in harbour defences. The site was a strategic position and considered the best place to observe and fire mines which were laid underwater. Minefields were laid across the main shipping channels of Port Jackson from 1876 to 1922 and a base was built at Chowder Bay for the submarine miners (Clifton Gardens). From Georges Head, miners watched for ships entering the harbour. Their job was to explode the mine closest to an approaching enemy ship. Each underwater mine was attached to an electric cable that ran up the cliff to the firing post.[7][8] During a demonstration in 1891, a crowd of several thousand people watched as a fatal accident killed four miners and injured another eight.

Mosman's Bay by John Mather, 1889

In the 1880s and 1890s, as a result of the enthusiasm for painting en plein air fostered by the Barbizon and Impressionist movements in France, art colonies known as the Sydney artists' camps flourished around the Harbour mainly in the Mosman area.[9] As a result, Mosman became known as "Australia's most painted suburb".[10] Notable painters in this community included Julian Ashton, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and John Mather.

In 1942 during the Second World War the Sydney Harbour anti-submarine boom net was constructed on Georges Head and was designed to prevent enemy submarines from entering into Sydney Harbour. The boom net spanned the entire width of Port Jackson and a boom net winch house was located on Liangs Point, Watsons Bay. On the night of 31 May 1942, three Japanese midget submarines attempted to enter Sydney Harbour in what became known as the Attack on Sydney Harbour.[11][12] One of the Japanese midget submarines became entangled in the boom net and after unsuccessful attempts by the crew to free the submarine they detonated charges within the sub, killing themselves and destroying their sub in the process.

The 1916 James Barry Zoo entrance building

Chowder Bay was used in the late 1820s as an anchorage for visiting American whaling ships.[5] In 1831 Archibald Mosman and John Bell were allotted grants of land in Mosman Bay to establish a whaling station. The only remaining building of the original whaling station is The Barn in Avenue Road. The Barn was a store and sail drying house. It is now the home of the 1st Mosman 1908 Scout Group.

Mosman War Memorial, designed by Peter Kaad, and Allan Border Oval

A foot track ran from North Sydney to Middle Head in the 1840s. Avenue Road which ran from Mosman Bay to Mosman Junction was constructed in 1860 with Military Road, Middle Head Road, and Bradleys Head Road all constructed ten years later.[5] From the 1870s, land development spread settlement east from Milson's Point, including to the Mosman area, which was boosted with a regular ferry service around the same time.[13] Richard Harnett Senior purchased Archibald Mosman’s original 108 acres (0.44 km2) in 1859 and in 1878 established a sandstone quarry at Mosman Bay. In 1871, he built a wharf and subsidised a ferry service between Mosman Bay, Neutral Bay, and Circular Quay.[14] He promoted a land development known as the Mosman Bay Estate; when the land was sold, the ferry service was cancelled, much to the annoyance of the new landowners.[15] His son, Richard Harnett Junior, was the first Mayor elected when Mosman became a municipality in 1893 with 1,600 residents, breaking away from the North Sydney municipality.[16] Both men were major influences in Mosman and were responsible for building many roads, a horse-drawn bus service and ferry services linking Mosman to the city. Mosman Public School opened in 1880.

Around the start of the 20th century, rows of shops and Federation architecture homes were built. Taronga Zoo opened in 1916, moving from a site at Moore Park that had been in use since 1884. Taronga is an Aboriginal word for 'beautiful view'. From the late 1950s, multi-storey flat developments began and became a public concern, leading to controls and restrictions being introduced.

Spit Bridge, Mosman.


Mosman forms a peninsula between Sydney Harbour and Middle Harbour. It features a number of harbour beaches, including Balmoral, Chinamans, Obelisk Beach and Cobblers Beaches. Other attractions include Taronga Zoo, Bradleys Head and sections of Sydney Harbour National Park.[17] Overlooking the harbour, in Rawson Park, is the Scotland Australia Cairn comprising a stone sourced from every parish in Scotland. It is a memorial to the Scottish pioneers who contributed much to Australia and was a gift from Scotland at the time of the Bicentennial Celebrations in 1988.[18] Highland games are held there, usually the day after St Andrew’s Day celebrations. On the eastern shore of Sirius Cove is the site of Curlew Camp where artists such as Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts once resided. The Council has recently constructed the Curlew Camp Artists Walk.

Commercial area

Mosman shopping centre is located along Military Road, which features many boutiques, cafes and restaurants. The shopping centre extends from the intersection with Bradley's Head Road and Middle Head Road, continues north up past the intersection with Spit Road at Spit Junction. It continues for some distance along both Spit Road and Military Road and extends down some of the side streets. Mosman Council has identified the early 20th century shopping strip along Military Road as a conservation area. The awnings along the street were originally column-supported.[19] A small shopping mall called Bridgepoint is located at Spit Junction.

"The Strand" on the conservation area shopping strip.[19]


Mosman is primarily a residential suburb. Federation era houses predominate but there are also other styles ranging from Californian Bungalow to modern townhouse and apartment buildings.

At the 2011 census, just under half (48%) of residences were flats, units or apartments. Another 39% were separate houses, and 13% were semi-detached (mostly townhouses).[1]

Average house prices in Mosman are among the highest in Australia. In February 2016, the median purchase prices ranged from $606K for a 1-bedroom unit to $3.11M for a 4-bedroom house.[28] Average rents were $1550 per week.[29]


At the 2011 census, the suburb of Mosman recorded a population of 27,452. Of these:[1]

Age distribution 
The distribution of ages in Mosman was slightly older than the country as a whole. Mosman residents' median age was 40 years, compared to the national median of 37. Children aged under 15 years made up 18% of the population (national average is 19%) and people aged 65 years and over made up 17% of the population (national average is 14%).
Ethnic diversity 
Nearly two-thirds (61%) of residents were born in Australia; the next most common countries of birth were England, New Zealand, United States of America, and South Africa.
Mosman's 15,085 taxable individuals in 2010-2011 had an average income of $169,218. The median weekly household income was $2,465, compared to the national median of $1,234. Real estate costs were correspondingly high; the median mortgage repayments were $3,033 compared to the national median of $1,800.
30% of employed people travelled to work on public transport, compared to the national average of just 10%. Another 45% travelled by car (either as driver or as passenger), compared to the national average of 66%.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of private dwellings were family households, 32% were single person households and 3% were group households. Just under half (48%) of residences were flats, units or apartments. Another 39% were separate houses, and 13% were semi-detached (mostly townhouses). The average household size was 2.3 people.


Schools in Mosman include:

Places of worship

Places of worship in Mosman include:

Sport and recreation

Sporting Clubs serving the Mosman community include:

Australian Test cricket captains Allan Border and Ian Craig grew up in Mosman and played for the local club.



  1. 1 2 3 Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Mosman (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  3. Mosman Municipal Council - Ordinary Meeting Agenda - Meeting Date: 29 November 2005 pg 83.
  4. The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollen, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8, page 181
  5. 1 2 3 "A brief history of Mosman". Mosman Municipal Council. Retrieved 1 August 2007.
  7. 1 2 Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Sites - Headland Park
  8. Army - The Soldiers' Newspaper
  9. Robin Tranter, Artists' camps, Dictionary of Sydney, 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2011
  10. John Huxley, Back to the wellspring of inspiration, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 December 2005. Retrieved 14 January 2010
  11. Gill, George Hermon (1968). Royal Australian Navy, 1942–1945, p 65
  12. Stevens, David (2005). A Critical Vulnerability, p 193
  13. Prescott, A.M. (1984). Sydney Ferry Fleets. Magill, South Australia: Ronald H. Parsons. ISBN 0-909418-30-6.
  14. "Hindsight". Mosman Magazine. December 2009. pp. 26–27.
  15. Andrews, Graeme (1982). The Pictorial History of Sydney Ferries. Sydney: AH & AW Reed. p. 19. ISBN 0-589-50386-3..
  16. Pollen, Frances (1990). The Book of Sydney Suburbs. Australia: Angus & Robertson. p. 180. ISBN 0-207-14495-8.
  17. Sydney and Blue Mountains Bushwalks, Neil Paton (Kangaroo Press) 2004, pp.123-128
  18. "Isle of Ulva - connection with Scotland Australia Cairn".
  19. 1 2 Fraser, H.; Joyce, R. (1986). The Federation House, Australia's Own Style. Sydney: Lansdowne. pp. 13 and 115. ISBN 1-86302-126-4.
  20. Mosman Council: A brief history of Mosman
  21. State Heritage Website
  22. "Advertising.". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954). NSW: National Library of Australia. 4 October 1905. p. 12. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  23. p421
  24. State Heritage Website
  25. The Theosophist, magazine (Theosophical Society) August 1997, pp.460-463
  26. To Be Young, Mary Lutyens (Corgi Books) 1959, p.153
  27. State Heritage Website
  30. Mosman High School–Website, retrieved 9 August 2010
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mosman, New South Wales.

Coordinates: 33°49′45″S 151°14′39″E / 33.829075°S 151.244090°E / -33.829075; 151.244090

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/14/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.