An Aboriginal term meaning ‘our home’, Wahroonga was first settled in 1822 by Thomas Hyndes, a convict who became a wealthy landowner. He established a local timber-getting business in the area, cutting out timber from Wahroonga’s forests. Part of Hyndes’ lease was later acquired by John Brown, whose timber business supplied wood for the construction of the Pyrmont and Glebe Island bridges. Ada, Lucinda and Roland Avenues in Wahroonga were named after Brown’s children. The remainder of Hyndes’ lease was granted to John Terry Hughes in 1842.
As the land was cleared of trees and the timber-getters moved on to other areas, Wahroonga was filled with orchards.
The introduction of the railway in 1890 changed Wahroonga dramatically and it began to develop into a residential area. Sold on its clean air and high position, city workers soon exchanged the grime, disease and crime of the inner city for Wahroonga’s healthy mountain living. Between 1895 and 1903, the number of businesspeople living in Wahroonga increased by 430%.
Wahroonga was locally governed by the Wahroonga Progress Association until the Shire of Ku-ring-gai was established in 1906.
Following the Second World War, there was an influx of new residents to the area, many ex-servicemen anxious to build their dream home on large blocks in a garden suburb.
In 1960, further subdivisions of crown land at the northern end of the suburb were undertaken.
Real estate and design
Wahroonga’s architecture is a mix of large Federation-style estates (many on 2000 square metre blocks), Californian Bungalows, Edwardian and Georgian-style residences, as well as contemporary homes.
Restaurants and cafés
A mix of Thai, Japanese and Korean, Indian, a steakhouse restaurant and cafes are located on Pearces Corner, Fox Valley Rd and Railway Parade.
Distance from the CBD and transportation
Located 20 kilometres from the CBD, the Pacific Highway runs thorough Wahroonga. A regular train service runs to the city, taking approximately 45 minutes. It’s easy to get around the local area with the Shorelink Bus Company running regular buses (575 and 576 services) between Wahroonga East and North Wahroonga, leaving from the railway station.
Now a part of the Historic Houses Trust, Rose Seidler House in Wahroonga was the first commission for internationally renowned architect Harry Seidler. It is one of the finest examples of mid-20th-century domestic architecture and stimulated much social comment and intellectual debate when it was built in 1948–50. The house features open planning, a minimalist colour scheme, mod cons, appliances and labour-saving devices that were new to Australia. Built for Seidler’s parents, Rose and Max, who lived there until 1967, the house, contents and grounds have been carefully restored to their controversial 1950 scheme.
On the corner of Stuart and Cleveland streets, the Wireless Monument is the site of the first direct wireless message sent from Australia to the UK in 1918.
In 1903, the Sydney Adventist Hospital was established as a sanatorium and hospital. It has become one of Australia’s largest private hospitals.
Located between Wahroonga Station and Pacific Highway, Wahroonga’s shopping centre has a Rite-Way supermarket, a Post Shop, banks, a range of gourmet food outlets, a pharmacy, newsagent and a small hardware store. Westfield Hornsby is a 10 minute drive away.
Schools, education and institutions
Wahroonga has a large number of schools including Wahroonga Public School (or Bush School), Wahroonga Preparatory School and Kindergarten, Wahroonga Adventist Primary School, Abbotsleigh senior and junior schools, Knox Grammar School and Preparatory School, St Lucy's School for Blind and Visually Handicapped Children, and St Edmund's School for the Blind.