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Published: March 5th 2014
Monday 17th February & Tuesday 18th February, 2014. Cronulla and Cleaning, NSW, Australia
This was the last day of our weekly ticket so we felt we had to GO somewhere! The weather was much better today, So after breakfast, we went down to Central Station and caught a train to a place called Cronulla which had been recommended to us by a lady we met on the Manly ferry in the rain last Sunday. It is beach side suburb, in southern Sydney, 26 kilometres south of the Sydney CBD, in the local government area of the Sutherland Shire. Although it is a relatively short distance it still took just over 1 hour to get there. Once off the train we went in seach of the RSL which was where the lady had recommended we took lunch.
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, and Burraneer lies to the southwest. The Kurnell peninsula, was the site of the first landfall on the eastern coastline made by Lt.
(later Captain) James Cook in 1770., Cronulla is derived from kurranulla, meaning ‘‘place of the pink seashells’’ 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 were the traditional custodians of 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.
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. John Connell received a grant of 380 acres (1.5 km2) in 1835. 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 26 February 1908 it was officially changed to Cronulla and Gunnamatta was used for
the name of the bay, on the western side. It is a popular place for picnics both on the bayside and the seaside. We headed first to the Gunnamatta bayv side where we established the location of the ferry wharf.
We walked along past some netted off swimming areas which were being well used and entered Gunnamatta Park. It was delightful in the sunshine. The park, an area of 14 acres, was notified for public recreation in 1910. This land was reserved at the time of the first land sales on the Cronulla Peninsula in 1895. It is one of the few parks in the district that has retaine its native vegetation. We couldn't find the RSL club so asked for directions. Turns out it was on the beach side. We found it easily and it was a wonderful facility. We signed in as guests and went and sat in the sunshine on the lovely terrace. Lunch was expensive so we settled for a couple of packs of crisps.
After lunch we went and caught the Cronulla Ferry which transports students and inhabitants from Cronulla to their homes around Gunnamatta Bay. It was very pleasant just watching the
comings and goings. We did a round trip as we needed to be back to meet Andy and Patricia at 5.00 pm. After the ferry trip we returned to Cronulla beach where we took a stroll and watched the surfers and bathers. The we returned to the RSL for a last beer before catching a return train to Wynyard Station in Sydney CBD.
We met Andy at the prescribed place and time but it was closed for a special party. Andy already had a backup plan so we went to a restaurant called Mejico (which served - you guessed it Mexican fare). Andy asked what we had been up to and we told him we had been to Cronulla for the day. He then informed us about the well known riots. In 2005 the beachfront at Cronulla was the scene of widely-publicised mob disturbances and violent confrontations. These incidents continued over a number of days and also spread to other areas in Sydney. All was good though - we thought it was a nice place but glad we were here in 2014.
As we had had an early dinner we returned to Rozelle on the bus. We started
preparing to leave - we have loved it here so much. If it wasn't so far away we could probably live in Sydney.
We spent the next day packing and cleaning. We didn't want to spoil our hard work so we went round to our favourite Thai place in Rozelle for dinner. Have to get up early tomorrow to wash the sheets!
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