Mosman, located 8 kilometres north-east of the Sydney central business district, is the quintessential harbour. It features four national parks, pristine beaches and historical sites. The suburb recorded a population of 30,000 in 2016. The median age of the residents is 42 years with 60% of the population having been born in Australia and 80% only speaking English at home. Almost 35% of the inhabitants do not have any religious affiliation while around 25% are Catholic. The suburb was initially inhabited by Borogegal Aboriginals. It was named after Archibald Mosman and his twin brother George. The brothers were involved in shipping and started a whaling station on the bay which was subsequently also named after them.
Mosman is home to several harbour beaches: Balmoral, Chinaman’s, Obelisk and Cobbler’s Beaches.
History and Art
In 1789 the First Fleet’s flagship HMS Sirius entered the Mosman Bay. And as early as 1801, Mosman has been the site of maritime and defence installations including the construction of Middle Head Fort, Georges Head Battery and Bradleys Head Fortification Complex. Also, in the 1800s a submarine Miners’ Depot was built at Chowder Bay and in 1888 the site was modified and became the ideal location to plant underwater mines. It served as a spot to observe and fire at any approaching enemy ships.
An anti-submarine boom net was built during the Second World War at Georges Head to prevent enemy submarines from entering Sydney Harbour. On 31 May 1942, a Japanese midget submarine attempted to enter Sydney Harbour and was tangled in the boom net. While trying to extricate the submarine, the crew inadvertently detonated charges within the submarine killing themselves.
Around 1880s and 1890s the enthusiasm for En Plein Air (French for outdoors) painting spread to the Sydney artists’ camps around the harbour and particularly in Mosman which ended up becoming Australia’s most painted suburb. Some of the artists included Arthur Streeton, Julian Ashton, Tom Roberts and John Mather. The inscription “Curlew 1890” on a rock at Little Sirius Cove etched by these artists is visible to this day.
Mosman’s first large home—’The Nest’—was built in 1833 and another mansion, Oswald Bloxsome was built in 1844 that overlooked the Mosman Bay. Other heritage listed buildings included Boronia House which was built in 1885, Monterey in 1905 and the Manor in 1911 as well as:
- The Mosman Bay Sewage Aqueduct
- The Barn, Scout Hall
- Alma House
- Bradley’s Head Fortification Complex
- Woolley House
- 42 Cowles Road, Mosman
- 28 Mistral Avenue, Mosman
- Igloo House
Shopping Centres and Schools
Mosman’s Shopping Centre, located on Military Road features many boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Bridgeport is another smaller shopping mall on Spit Junction and then there is the Military Conservation Area which has a row of shops that were built by Henry Austin Wilshire between 1900 and 1904.
The suburb has lots to offer with high-end bakeries, delicatessens, supermarkets, gyms and restaurants. Balmoral Beach and national parklands add to the undeniable beauty of this suburb. Another major attraction is the Taronga Zoo which was opened in 1916. Taronga meaning “beautiful view”.
The suburb has a range of quality schools that cater to all age groups. They are:
- Mosman High School
- Mosman Public School
- Beauty Point Public School
- Middle Harbour Public School
- Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School
- Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School
- Mosman Church of England Preparatory School
- Queenwood School for Girls
- Mosman Community College
A frequent bus service connects Mosman to Sydney’s CBD (Wynyard and Central Station), North Sydney, Chatswood and Northern Beaches. A yellow double decker B-Line is the express service to the Northern Beaches and the CBD.
Ferry Services also operate from three wharves to Circular Quay and to the other side of Sydney Harbour including Mosman Bay Wharf, South Mosman Wharf and Taronga Zoo Wharf. The ferry hub at circular Quay’s ferry services connect to other foreshore locations including Manly, Parramatta, Darling Harbour, Watsons Bay and Balmain. There is also the A to B community bus service that provides transport between Mosman, The Spit and Neutral Bay for Senior Citizens and residents who have health challenges.
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