Sydney Eastern SuburbsEconomic profile
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Sydney Eastern Suburbs

About the area

Name origin

Woollahra is thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning "meeting ground".

Location and boundaries

The Woollahra Municipal Council area is located in Sydney's eastern suburbs, about 5 kilometres from the Sydney GPO. The Woollahra Municipal Council area is bounded by Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) in the north, the Waverley Council area in the east, Randwick City in the south and the City of Sydney in the west.

Included areas

The Woollahra Municipal Council area includes the suburbs of Bellevue Hill, Darling Point, Double Bay, Edgecliff, Paddington (part), Point Piper, Rose Bay (part), Vaucluse (part), Watsons Bay and Woollahra.

Economic region
Woollahra Municipal Council area

Land use

The Woollahra Municipal Council area is predominantly residential, with some commercial land use, parklands and a military reserve. The Council area encompasses a total land area of 12 square kilometres, including harbour foreshore and beaches.


The Woollahra Municipal Council area is served by New South Head Road and the Eastern Suburbs railway line.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from 1790, although development was minimal until the 1860s. Land was used mainly for dairy farming and market gardening, with some fishing. Expansion took place in the 1880s and 1890s, continuing into the early 1900s and the interwar period. Significant development occurred during the immediate post-war years, from the 1950s to the mid 1960s. The population gradually declined from the late 1960s, falling from 63,000 in 1966 to 53,000 in 1976, and then to 51,000 in 1986. The population was relatively stable between 1991 and 2006, at around 50,000. The population then increased slightly, rising to nearly 52,000 in 2011. Most new development in the area is redevelopment (mixed used developments) and infill (medium/high density housing).

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Woollahra area were the Cadigal and Birrabirragal Aboriginal people.