The Northern Beaches is a region within Northern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia, near the Pacific coast. This area extends south to the entrance of Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour), west to Middle Harbour and north to the entrance of Broken Bay. The area was formerly inhabited by the Garigal or Caregal people in a region known as Guringai country.
The Northern Beaches district is governed on a local level by the Northern Beaches Council, which was formed in May 2016 from Warringah Council (est. 1906), Manly Council (est. 1877), and Pittwater Council (est. 1992).
The traditional Aboriginal inhabitants of the land now known as the Northern Beaches were the Kuringgai people of the Eora nation. Within a few years of European settlement, the Kuringgai had mostly disappeared from this area mainly due to an outbreak of smallpox in 1789. Much evidence of their habitation remains especially their rock etchings in Kuring-gai Chase National Park which borders northern beaches's north-western side. The northern beaches region was explored early on in the settlement of Sydney, only a few weeks after the arrival of the First Fleet. However, it remained a rural area for most of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with only small settlements in the valleys between headlands. While it was geographically close to the city centre, to reach the area over land from Sydney via Mona Vale Road was a trip of more than 100 kilometres (62 mi).
Since those days, urban growth proceeded slowly until the 1960s when development accelerated because of improved roads and a general increase in living standards in the regions.
In 1906, the Warringah Shire council was formed the NSW Government Gazette, along with 132 other new Shires within New South Wales. It ran roughly from Broken Bay in the north to Manly Lagoon to the south, and by Middle Harbour Creek and Cowan Creek in the west. Pittwater was incooperated as the "A Riding" of Warringah Shire, however for many years there existed a sentiment held by some in A Riding, the northern Riding and the largest in Warringah, taking up more than 40% of Warringah's land area, that they were being increasingly ignored and subject to what they considered inappropriate development and policies for their area.  This culminated in 1991 when a non-compulsory postal poll of the residents of A Riding was taken over the question of a possible secession. This resulted in a 73.5% vote in favour of secession, however only 48.18% of residents took part in this vote. This vote was, however, 600 short of the total majority required. Over time, the Northern Beaches was often divided by the "Lower Northern Beaches", referring to the southern end of the region, and the "Upper Northern Beaches", referring to the northern end of the region (North Narrabeen to Palm Beach).
In 2016, the Local Government (Council Amalgamations) Proclamation 2016 insisted that the Northern Beaches region councils of Manly, Warringah and Pittwater become the Northern Beaches Council. This was effective from the 12th of May 2016.
Today, the Northern Beaches is very well part of the Sydney metropolis, however maintains an isolated environment from the other regions of Sydney including the neighboring North Shore region. The "Forest District" became an unofficial district within the Northern Beaches region to describe the suburbs between Ingleside and the Upper North Shore.
Suburbs and localities
The suburbs of the Northern Beaches district are:
- Allambie Heights
- Balgowlah Heights
- Beacon Hill
- Bilgola Plateau
- Church Point
- Coasters Retreat
- Collaroy Plateau
- Cottage Point
- Curl Curl
- Dee Why
- Duffys Forest
- Elanora Heights
- Elvina Bay
- Frenchs Forest
- Great Mackerel Beach
- Killarney Heights
- Lovett Bay
- Manly Vale
- Mona Vale
- Morning Bay
- Narrabeen North
- North Balgowlah
- North Curl Curl
- North Manly
- Oxford Falls
- Palm Beach
- Scotland Island
- Terrey Hills
- Whale Beach
- Wheeler Heights
The following primary, high and K-12 schools are located on the Northern Beaches:
- AGBU Alexander Primary School
- Allambie Heights Public School
- Avalon Public School
- Balgowlah North Montessori Pre-School
- Balgowlah North Public School
- Balgowlah Heights Public School
- Beacon Hill Public School
- Belrose Public School
- Bilgola Plateau Public School
- Collaroy Plateau Public School
- Cromer Public School
- Curl Curl North Public School
- Dee Why Public School
- Elanora Heights Public School
- Farmhouse Montessori Primary School
- Forestville Montessori School
- Forestville Public School
- Frenchs Forest Public School
- Harbord Public School
- John Colet School
- Kamaroi Rudolf Steiner School
- Kambora Public School
- Killarney Heights Public School
- Kinma School
- Manly Village Public School
- Manly Vale Public School
- Manly West Public School
- Maria Regina Catholic Primary School
- Mimosa Public School
- Mona Vale Public School
- Narrabeen Lakes Public School
- Narrabeen North Public School
- Narraweena Public School
- Newport Public School
- Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Primary School
- Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School
- Seaforth Public School
- St Cecilia's Catholic Primary School
- St John's Catholic Primary School
- St John The Baptist Catholic Primary School
- St Joseph's Catholic Primary School
- St Kevin's Catholic Primary School
- St Kieran's Catholic Primary School
- St Luke's Grammar School (Bayview Campus)
- St Martin De Porres Catholic Primary School
- St Rose Catholic Primary School
- Terrey Hills Public School
- Wakehurst Public School
- Wheeler Heights Public School
- Yanginanook School
- Barrenjoey High School
- Balgowlah Boys Campus
- Cromer Campus
- Davidson High School
- Forest High School
- Freshwater Senior Campus
- Killarney Heights High School
- Mackellar Girls Campus
- Manly Selective Campus
- Mater Maria Catholic College
- Narrabeen Sports High School
- Pittwater High School
- Stella Maris College
- St Augustine's College (Years 5-12)
- St Paul's College, Manly
- Beacon Hill High School
- Forestville Montessori High School - Terry Hills
- Oxford Falls Public School
Notable sports teams include the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (rugby league), North Harbour Rays, Manly RUFC, Warringah Rugby Club (rugby union), Manly Warringah District Cricket Club (cricket) and Manly United FC (soccer). The Sea Eagles who play in the National Rugby League, and solex play at Brookvale Oval.
- "censusdata". censusdata.abs.gov.au. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- "Aborigines". Pittwater Library. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "Guringai history". Services. Guringai Tribal Link Aboriginal Corporation. 2010. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- "Place name search". Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. n.d. Archived from the original on 1 October 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- Northern Beaches Council Website-Wards & Suburbs.
- Place name search - Geographical Names Board of NSW Archived 1 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine. Gnb.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
- "St Kieran's Catholic Primary School Manly Vale".