Maroubra, New South Wales
Maroubra is a beachside suburb in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is 10 kilometres south-east of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of the City of Randwick.
Maroubra is a local Aboriginal word meaning place of thunder. In 1861, the first house was built in the area by Humphrey McKeon. A number of other settlers arrived on the land in the 1870s to work on the wool scouring works located at the northern end of the bay.
The suburb first made headlines on 6 May 1898, when the Hereward, a fully rigged iron ship weighing 1,513 tons was caught by the gale force winds and shipwrecked at the northern end of Maroubra Beach while heading north toward Newcastle. The shipwreck remained on the beach for a number of years until a failed attempt to refloat it was made by building a coffer dam around the wreck.
The wreck was slowly washed out to sea afterwards; and by 1937 only a triangle dorsal fin was visible above sea level. In 1950, Randwick Council feared the danger that the remains posed, especially to surfers and swimmers, and had the remains blasted; such that by 1967 it appeared that there was nothing left of the ship.
In recent times, on various occasions, due to large swells and sweeping currents, large amounts of sand had moved off the sea floor and had exposed extensive portions of the Hereward which were once thought to be destroyed and lost forever. In March 2013 after large seas, extensive portions of the ship’s metal hull, along with mast and engine pieces were exposed to a greater extent than they ever had been before.
Hereward Street in Maroubra is named after the event.
Major residential development only began in the 1910s after Herbert Dudley, a real estate developer, subdivided the land into residential blocks. Herbert Dudley also lobbied for the extension of the tramline to Maroubra Junction in 1912, where he had built Dudley’s Emporium which has just recently been redeveloped. In 1918 sixty-five allotments on Crown Lands bordered by Maroubra Bay Road, Cooper Street and Broad Road were auctioned by Stanton and Son Limited. The tram line was extended to Maroubra Beach in 1921.
Between 1925 and 1934, the Olympia Motor Speedway was located in South Maroubra at the corner of Anzac Parade and Fitzgerald Avenue. However, due to the dangerous nature of the concrete track, a number of deaths occurred and it was closed after only nine years of operation. Coral Sea Park and surrounding estates was announced on the site in 1947 and formally completed in 1961. The estates and park was given its namesake from the 1942 battle; The battle of the Coral Sea.
In 2005, Maroubra was named as one of the suburbs involved in the Cronulla Riots, after more than 100 cars were vandalised in relation to the riots between Middle Eastern and Anglo youth. In 2006, Maroubra Beach became the second Australian beach to be named a National Surfing Reserve (the first beach being Bells Beach in Victoria). It is also an incredibly popular place for people learning to surf due to its beginner friendly conditions.
Maroubra Junction and surrounding areas
Maroubra Junction is one of the main shopping areas in the district and is home to shopping centre (built on the area once known as Stockland Mall, Maroubra). shopping centre has an outdoor eating area on Anzac Parade, Coles and Aldi supermarkets, Glamabags, many specialty shops as well as being home to the area’s Australia Post outlet. Commercial developments are also found along Anzac Parade, Maroubra Road and surrounding streets, including Dudley’s Emporium which was the first shopping centre in Maroubra Junction built in 1912 and has been recently redeveloped.
Maroubra Beach and surrounds
There are also a handful of shopping districts besides Maroubra Junction including the areas surrounding Maroubra Beach. McKeon Street and Marine Parade are home to multiple cafes and restaurants, and other retail facilities such as surf shops, yoga schools, a chemist and newsagent, the Maroubra Seals Club and The Bay Hotel.
South Maroubra Shopping Village, known as “The Village”, is located in South Maroubra and is home to many well-known shops including a late night pharmacy, Walsh’s Pharmacy as well as Maroubra’s only Woolworths supermarket.It is also next door to the Sands Hotel. The Village and South Maroubra Village Green are home to Christmas Carols every year.
- Glasshouse (Since 1947) – The licence of the Golden Grove Hotel was transferred from Darlington to new premises on the corner of Anzac Parade and Boyce Road, Maroubra Junction in February 1947. The hotel has more recently changed its name to the Glasshouse Hotel.
- The Sands Hotel (Since 1972) – A hotel in South Maroubra alongside South Maroubra Shopping Village.
- Maroubra Junction Hotel (Since 1926) — A hotel in Maroubra Junction across Maroubra Road from Pacific Square.
- Ocean View Tavern (Since 2010) – In an attempt to popularise the mostly vacant area surround Maroubra Beach, the Maroubra Bay Hotel premises was revitalised and re-opened under the name of the Ocean View Tavern.
- Juniors @ The Junction (Since 2009) – The result of a merger with South Sydney Junior Rugby League Club (Kingsford) and the struggling Maroubra Returned and Services League (RSL) Club. The club is on the site of the former Maroubra RSL club on Anzac Parade and Haig Street.
- Maroubra Bay Hotel (1926–2010) – Popular after World War I due to the extension of the tram line to the beach, the construction of a promenade and bathing sheds. Due to a downturn in trade the hotel closed in early 2010.
- Trade Winds (1984–2002) – Maroubra Junction on Maroubra Road. 2002 saw the hotel converted into apartments. The Trade Winds Brasserie is all that’s left of the old hotel.
- Maroubra RSL (2000–2009) – The struggling Maroubra Returned and Services League (RSL) Club merged with South Sydney Junior Leagues Club in order to keep the premise open due to poor income. It was reopened under the name “Juniors @ The Junction”.
Regular bus services run from Maroubra Junction to the city including route numbers 394, 399, 396 and 397. The 394 and 399 originate from La Perouse and Little Bay (respectively) while 396 and 397 originate from Maroubra Beach and South Maroubra, respectively.
The 400 and 410 run from Maroubra Junction in two directions; Bondi Junction, Randwick and Waverley to the north and Eastgardens, the airport, Rockdale and Burwood to the south. Central Station and Railway Square can be accessed through the Railway Square buses (393 and 395) as well as the Metro10 bus service which goes through the inner-city, past Queen Victoria Building and continues along Broadway to provide services to the University of Sydney and Leichhardt. Other services run through Maroubra providing locals with routes into more suburban areas such as Coogee, South Coogee, and Randwick.
The former Maroubra tram line opened from Anzac Parade to Maroubra Bay in 1921. The line branched off the main line to La Perouse at the intersection of Anzac Parade and Maroubra Road, travelling east along Maroubra Road, Cooper Street, French Street and Mons Avenue before terminating in a balloon loop in Marine Parade at Maroubra Bay Beach. The line was double track throughout, and passed through several tram reservations on its descent down to the beach. Direct services operated from Circular Quay and Railway Square. The line closed in 1961. The current route of bus 397 now covers this route.
Due to the age of the suburb there are 34 sites formally recognised by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage as providing a “sense of continuity and belonging to the place where we live”. None of these sites, however, have been protected under Section 136 of the NSW Heritage Act.
Maroubra is within the reporting and circulation boundaries of the South-Eastern Suburbs newspaper; “Southern Courier” which is owned and distributed by News Limited.
Maroubra is also within the reporting and circulation boundaries of The Beast, a monthly magazine for the beaches and bays of Sydney’s east. It covers local news, sport and the arts and each month. It features a different local celebrity on the cover.
The German electronic musician Edgar Froese included a track called Maroubra Bay on his 1975 album Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, which was influenced by a visit to Maroubra during Tangerine Dream‘s 1975 Australian tour.
In 1963 “Little Pattie” reached No. 2 on the Australian Top40 with her hit EP singles “Stomping at Maroubra” and “He’s My Blonde-Headed, Stompie Wompie, Real Gone Surfer Boy”
Sport and recreation
A number of well-known sporting teams represent the local area. One of them is the well known NRL club named the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Maroubra Lions some other teams are Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club, South Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club, and .
The South Maroubra Dolphins Winter Swimming Club and Maroubra Seals Winter Swimming Club swim at Wylie’s Baths and compete against Bondi Icebergs Winter Swimming Club, Cottesloe Crabs, Cronulla Polar Bears Winter Swimming Club, Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club, Clovelly Eskimos Winter Swimming Club, Bronte Splashers, Wollongong Whales and Coogee Penguins Winter Swimming Club in the Winter Swimming Association of Australia Championships
Maroubra Beach is listed as a national surfing reserve, as a result, it has played host to many surfing competitions. The most notable of which was the 2004 Snickers Australian Open where then-six time world champion Kelly Slater won. The event was covered in the Bra Boys movie, Bra Boys: Blood is Thicker than Water.
Due to the large size of Maroubra beach, it has also been used for sports other than surfing. One of the more highly covered events was the 2007 Beach Cricket series which saw Maroubra Beach play home to Round Three of the series between Australia, England and West Indies. The round saw Australia and England progress to the finals which were played the following day, again at Maroubra.
- Holy Family Catholic Church – originally St Aidan’s Catholic Church
- St. Mary & St. Joseph Catholic Church
- Our Lady of the Annunciation Catholic Church
- St Johns Anglican Church
- St Edmund’s Anglican Church (also known as Wild Street Church)
- Maroubra Baptist Church
- Salvation Army Maroubra
- Maroubra Presbyterian Church
- Maroubra Junction Uniting Church
- Maroubra Bay Uniting Church
- C3 Church Maroubra
- Maroubra Surfers Church
- AuGuang Maitreya
- Kingsford Maroubra Hebrew Orthodox Congregation
Maroubra is located close to the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick. As a result, there a several clinics and out-patient services run by Prince of Wales Hospital located in Maroubra, such as the Maroubra Centre that provides support to people living with mental illness. Maroubra is also home to a NSW Ambulance station; located on Mons Avenue near Maroubra Beach.
- St Spyridon College
- Lycée Condorcet (The International French School of Sydney)
- Maroubra Bay Public School
- Maroubra Junction Public School
- Mount Sinai College
- South Sydney High School
- St Aidan’s Primary School
- St Mary St Joseph Primary School
- Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood
- Our Lady of the Annuciation Primary School
- Maroubra High School (1962–2002): premises now in use by Lycée Condorcet
- Maroubra Bay High School: premises no longer existent – residential estate in place of former grounds. Famous for being the school used for the TV Series Heartbreak High.
- Brigidine College Maroubra: moved to Randwick and became Brigidine College Randwick. The grounds have since been redeveloped into St Brigid’s Green, a retirement village.
Maroubra Beach and parklands
Maroubra Beach stretches for approximately 1 km on Maroubra Bay. Mahon Pool is located north of the beach, near Mistral Point. There are two surf clubs at Maroubra: Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club and South Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club. Arthur Byrne Reserve sits behind both these clubs. A skating park is located at the southern end of Maroubra Beach.
The word “Maroubra” originates from an Aboriginal word meaning “like thunder”, which refers to the surf conditions and the sounds of the waves. The length of Maroubra Beach and good surf conditions provide additional photographic opportunities for the local photographers. There are numerous photography guides for Maroubra Beach and Mahon Pool and professional photographers showcase photos from this place as a part of their portfolio.
Maroubra has some large parklands, the most popular being the reserve along the waterfont at Maroubra Beach, called Arthur Byrne Reserve. The reserve has an enclosed children’s playground to the north of the blue Pavilion building at North Maroubra, close to the car park. There are barbecue facilities and tables for picnickers. There are public ablution facilities inside the blue Pavilion building. Arthur Byrne Reserved is the home to the Oktoberfest/Fun Run every year.
Heffron Park, on Fitzgerald Avenue and between Bunnerong Road and Robey Street is a particularly large park. It accommodates the with indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, sports fields, parklands, and a two kilometre cycle track which is used for time trials and is accessible for public use at other times.
Nagle Park, on Wild Street between Walsh Avenue and Holden Street, is a flat parkland equipped for use as a sports facility. It is also a popular dog park, with dogs permitted off-lead.
Snape Park, on Snape Street between Hannan and Percival Streets is equipped with popular tennis facilities and sports fields and is frequently used for organised sporting events.
Central Park, at the corner of Cooper and Storey Streets, has a flat parkland with an excellent bicycle track for young children built of smooth concrete. This park also has playground equipment.
Coral Sea Park, south of Yorktown Parade, has a flat area that provides several sports fields. It has playground equipment at its south end.
In the 2016 Census, there were 30,688 people in Maroubra.
- 43.2% were married and 10.0% were either divorced or separated.
- 51.0% were born in Australia.
- The next most common countries of birth were China 6.6%, England 3.3%, Indonesia 2.7%, New Zealand 1.7% and Hong Kong 1.7%.
- The most common ancestries in Maroubra were English 16.4%, Australian 14.5%, Chinese 12.7%, Irish 8.3% and Greek 5.4%.
- 27.4% had both parents born in Australia, 11.3% had one parent born overseas, and 54.7% had both parents born overseas.
- 55.5% spoke only English at home.
- Other languages spoken at home included Mandarin 6.9%, Greek 5.0%, Cantonese 4.5%, Indonesian 2.8% and Spanish 1.9%.
- The most common responses for religion were No Religion 28.8% and Catholic 27.6%.
- Koby Abberton, surfer with Bra Boys
- Bob Carr, former New South Wales Premier
- Alex Cullen, TV journalist and presenter
- Michael Daley, Current Member of the Maroubra State Electorate
- Tilly Devine, Sydney crime identity
- Manu Feildel, Australian Television Show My Kitchen Rules judge
- John Flaus, Australian film academic and theorist, actor, anarchist, and raconteur
- Karl Kruszelnicki, TV and radio science presenter and journalist
- Reni Maitua, NRL Player for the Parramatta Eels; former player for Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, and Cronulla Sharks
- Mark Mathews, Professional Big Wave Surfer
- John Norton, Newspaper editor
- Guy Sebastian, Australian pop, R&B, and soul singer-songwriter’ winner of the first season of Australian Idol in 2003.
- Yvonne Strahovski, Actress on Chuck
- John Sutton, NRL player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs
- David Warner, Australian cricketer
- Michael Whitney, TV personality (Sydney Weekender, Who Dares Wins), and former cricket player for the NSW Blues and Australia
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). “Maroubra (State Suburb)”. 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- Randwick Council: History Archived 20 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- Deaths: McKeon, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Saturday, 29 July 1882), p.1.
- The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in AustraliaISBN 0-207-14495-8, page 164.
- Wreck of the Hereward: Ashore at Maroubra Bay: A Wild Night at Sea, The Daily Telegraph, (Saturday, 7 May 1898), p.9; The Mate’s Story: Rockets Fired Without Avail: How the Crew Landed, The Daily Telegraph, (Saturday, 7 May 1898), p.9.
- The Hereward Wreck: Sunday at Maroubra Beach: Thousands of Spectators, The (Sydney) Evening News, (Tuesday, 10 May 1898), p.3; Last Week’s Disastrous Gale, The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, (Saturday, 14 May 1898), pp.1018, 1019, 1040.
- Maroubra Bay—Prospects of Floating Off The Hereward, The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, (Saturday, 21 May 1896), p.1072.
- Rutherford, R.L., “Hereward—Unpopular Wreck. The Sydney Morning Herald, (Saturday, 13 December 1947), p.12.
- The Hereward is gone at last, The World’s News, (Saturday, 5 December 1953), p.20.
- Maritime Heritage Sites: Hereward, Office of Environment & Heritage, New South Wales.
- Hereward Cannon, Newsletter of the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology, Vol.43, No.2, (June 2013), pp.16-18.
- Maroubra Shipwreck Cannon Recovered, Office of Environment & Heritage, New South Wales, 27 March 2013.
- Hereward Cannon, Seals Sayings, Maroubra Seals Sports & Community Club, No.2330, Thursday, 26 February 2015.
- Hereward Cannon: Handover Ceremony, Maroubra Seals Sports & Community Club, 7 December 2017.
- Hereward shipwreck cannon brings amazing history back home to Maroubra, The Southern Courier, Tuesday, 19 December 2017.
- Maroubra subdivision plan, 12 January 1918, Stanton Auctioneers, State Library of New South Wales Z/SP/M8
- Randwick City Council:Maroubra Speedway Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- Also, streets in the area — e.g., Astoria Circuit (USS Astoria), Chicago Avenue (USS Chicago), Lexington Place (USS Lexington), Morris Place (USS Morris), Neosho Way (USS Neosho), Perkins Street (USS Perkins), Sims Lane and Sims Grove (USS Sims) — were named after Allied ships that had been engaged in the Battle of the Coral Sea (see Randwick City Council: Historic Street & Place Names)
- Race riots spread to suburbs. Sydney Morning Herald, 12 December 2005
- Maroubra beach declared national surfing reserve – ABC World Today
- Pacific Square Webpage
- Walsh’s Pharmacy Website[permanent dead link]
- “Woolworths Supermarket Store Locator”. Archived from the original on 9 March 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- Sand Hotel: Location
- https://thebeast.com.au/events/south-maroubra-christmas-carols/ The Beast: Maroubra Carols
- Sydney Morning Herald, 22 February 1947
- New Hotels, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Tuesday, 21 July 1925), p.6; Liquor Licenses, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Tuesday, 2 March 1926), p.6.
- ‘Maroubra beach hotel re-opens’, Southern Courier 30/11/10
- ‘Clubs fight to survive’, Southern Courier 14/04/2009
- Hotel at Maroubra: License Granted, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Tuesday, 26 October 1926), p.12.
- Suckling, L, “Beachside Maroubra relaunches with a new menu and design”, The Southern Courier, Tuesday, 20 February, 2014.
- Startlocal.com.au: Maroubra RSL profile
- “Heritage Branch – About Us”. NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- “Heritage Listings – Heritage Databases”. NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- Video on YouTube
Randwick City Council
Archived 3 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine
Anton Gorlin Photography
Archived 7 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine
Free Photography Guides
Archived 10 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
- Maroubra Fun Run Website Archived 8 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
Scott, Mark and Nolan, Tony, Maroubra: Golden Age of the ‘Bra, Kingsclear Books, (Alexandra), 2014ISBN 978-0-9876067-3-0
- Town Accommodation: