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Area Profile

Terrey Hills

Terrey Hills is a suburb on the northern beaches of Sydney, approximately 25 kilometres north of the Sydney CBD within the Northern Beaches Council area.

Terrey Hills is a leafy suburb, surrounded by National Parks and in some areas semi-rural, with many people enjoying equestrian sports and boarding their horses in the area. Terrey Hills owes its name to the two original land holders Samuel Hills and Obediah James Terrey. Obediah Terrey acquired 640 acres (2.6 km2) in 1881 and Samuel Hills owned 100 acres (0.40 km2) nearby.

The area was used by Aborigines prior to European settlement, and rock carving exist in some places. One set of carvings is located near Larool Road and depicts hunting scenes with kangaroos, human figures and footprints.

For the older (geological) history, Terrey Hills is noted as the “laterite capital” of the Sydney Basin for those interested in how laterite forms (which has commonly been taken as indicator of climate change, and signalling former hotter and wetter conditions). The laterite of Terrey Hills was used for early road-making and also has been used for rock wall coastal defence at Collaroy Beach. It is the only place in New South Wales where fossils (meagre plant fibres) have been noted in laterite. The main laterite quarry (now the Terrey Hills playing field), and a smaller one at Tumbledown Dick, are on the National Estate (a Commonwealth heritage listing) and also have been nominated to the NSW Government local-significance heritage listing which in this area is administered by the Northern Rivers Council.

A small struggle has been ongoing for years to better protect the laterite exposure at Tumbledown Dick from the announced effects of  Mona Vale road widening plans.   The Warringah Shire Quarry or ‘gravel pit’ at Terrey Hills was an important place for the distribution of government relief work funding. Gai Halstead in 1988 wrote a bicentennial compilation which was sponsored by  Dick Smiths “Australian Geographical” organisation which was then headquartered at Terrey Hills – “The story of Terry Hills and Duffys Forest”.

Terrey Hills is home to several schools, amongst them:

  • Northern Beaches Christian School
  • The Sydney Japanese School
  • Terrey Hills Public School
  • Kinma School
  • German International School Sydney