The Hills Shire
About the area
LocationThe Hills Shire is located in Sydney's north-western suburbs - about 30 kilometres from the Sydney CBD. The Hills Shire is bounded by Hawkesbury City in the north, Hornsby Shire in the east, the City of Parramatta in the south, and Blacktown City in the west.
The Hills Shire includes the suburbs and localities of Annangrove, Baulkham Hills (part), Beaumont Hills, Bella Vista, Box Hill, Carlingford (part), Castle Hill (part), Cattai (part), Dural (part), Glenhaven (part), Glenorie (part), Kellyville, Kenthurst, Leets Vale (part), Lower Portland (part), Maraylya (part), Maroota (part), Middle Dural (part), Nelson, North Kellyville, North Rocks (part), Norwest, Rouse Hill (part), Sackville North, South Maroota, West Pennant Hills (part), Winston Hills (part) and Wisemans Ferry (part).
Land UseThe Hills Shire is a predominantly rural and residential area, with some commercial and industrial land use. The Shire encompasses a total land area of about 386 square kilometres. Most of the land in the northern section is rural, the southern section is residential, and there are expanding residential areas in the central section. Rural land is used mainly for farming and other agricultural industries, including nurseries.
Indigenous MeaningThe original inhabitants of The Hills Shire were the Dharug Aboriginal people.
SettlementEuropean settlement of the area dates from 1794 when the first land grant was made. Land was used mainly for sheep grazing, wheat farming and timber-getting. Settlement began in the southern section, with growth in the northern section from the 1830s. Population was minimal until the 1880s, aided by tourism, the construction of country retreats and the establishment of orchards. Growth continued in the early 1900s, spurred by improvements in access and transport, reaching a population of over 3,000 in 1911. In the 1920s poultry and egg production replaced citrus and stone fruits as the main industry. The most significant development occurred from the post-war years, with the population increasing steadily between the 1950s and the 1980s. Growth continued from the 1990s. Most of this growth was in the central and southern areas; in the suburbs of Beaumont Hills, Bella Vista, Castle Hill, Kellyville, Rouse Hill and West Pennant Hills, and more recently in the suburbs of Baulkham Hills, North Kellyville and Norwest.
Major FeaturesMajor features of The Hills Shire include the Hawkesbury River, Cattai National Park, Cumberland State Forest, Maroota Ridge State Conservation Area, Bidjigal Reserve, Bella Vista Farm Park, Castle Hill Showground, Castle Towers Shopping Centre, Rouse Hill Town Centre, Sydney Ice Arena, Golden Ridge Animal Farm, Pioneer Theatre, TAFE NSW - Western Sydney Institute (The Hills College - Baulkham Hills and Castle Hill Campuses) and Norwest Business Park.
TransportThe Hills Shire is served by the Hills (M2) Motorway.