Pittwater, our home

Our home of Pittwater includes Palm Beach, Avalon, Newport, Mona Vale and Warriewood. Pittwater itself (named after the British Prime Minister of the day, William Pitt the Younger, in 1788) is a large sheltered bay of the Hawkesbury River, lying between our beach suburbs on the eastern shore, and the wilderness of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park (Australia's second-oldest National Park) along the western shore. Much of our members' art is inspired by our own beach, bushland and water environment.

Our exhibitions at Mona Vale Memorial Hall (located at the red arrow in the photo above) are close to our beaches, close to Pittwater, and surrounded by places to eat. Come and enjoy our traditional suburban centres. No mega-malls here - we still have mainly single-storey shopfronts, an enormous variety of local places to eat, and two of Sydney's last few surviving independent cinemas nearby (at Avalon and Warriewood).

Our clean, wide beaches are famous. Overseas visitors often ask where the real Summer Bay is (the beach in the TV soap "Home and Away") - it is our most northern beach, Palm Beach, and you'll find the name painted on the North Palm Beach surf club building is interesting. You can get there on the L90 bendy-bus, which has a history going back to 1958 as Sydney's longest bus trip, and is a long-standing tourist favourite - although it's now mainly replaced by the 199 from Manly Wharf to Palm Beach. From Palm Beach, the walk along the beach on the Pittwater side of the peninsula takes you to the walking track up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse, and one of the best views there is of the river.

Or, why not enjoy a day exploring our waterways? You don't need to have a boat, because Pittwater has Australia's third largest ferry network (after Sydney Harbour and Brisbane River), with five or more ferries criss-crossing Pittwater all day. Ferries run regularly from Church Point to Scotland Island, and from Palm Beach to The Basin (Sydney's last remaining ferry-access-only picnic grounds), both services also stopping at the little villages on the western foreshore (where the ferries are the locals' only access). From Palm Beach, there are larger ferries running across the Hawkesbury to the Central Coast wharves at Ettalong, Wagstaff and Patonga. Our ferries may not be well known but they are incredibly popular, so on weekends, it's a good idea to ask the crew when will be the best time to come back.

Our other exhibition location at Narrabeen Tramshed Arts & Community Centre, located on the shore of Narrabeen Lake, recognises the history of the Manly to Narrabeen tram service, which closed in 1939 with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.  On the adjacent main road, the restored tram waiting shed at the bus stop is its last surviving evidence, although the restored 1950's Sydney tram at the neighbouring Tramshed Cafe is a much more obvious tribute.  The tram was replaced by double decker buses, which continue to this day as the B1 route from the city to Mona Vale.

The aerial photo above is reproduced from the Wikipedia Pittwater page, in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.