Hunters Hill was named after Governor John Hunter and was first settled in the 1830s.
Hunters Hill played an important role for the early settlers as Australia’s first bushrangers called the area “home”.
Mary Reiby was one of Hunters Hill’s first residents. Well known for appearing on the Australian $20 note Mary was transported Australia for stealing a horse. Mary Reiby gained income from commercial shipping and land interests, she built a cottage that would be later known as “Fig Tree House”.
French merchant Didier Joubert purchased a farm in 1847 and began building a series of stylish houses that were the basis of the “French Village”. A house was built in 1855 for the French Consul was called 'Passy', named after a precinct in Paris. Members of the Marist order established a base to serve their Pacific missions and built St Joseph's College for Boys in 1882.
Charles Jeanneret, born in Sydney in 1834, began building in Hunters Hill around 1858. He is also known for running the ferry service along the Parramatta River. These houses constructed by early settlers include over 1200 items of heritage preserved in the Hunters Hill area and surrounding areas.
Hunters Hill is a delightful, harbour peninsular suburb isolated by the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers. Hunters Hill is an island of gracious homes set on large blocks to take the best advantage of superb water views. Visitors can share these views from strategically placed riverside parks and reserves. Local wharves connect Hunters Hill to the City and selective river and harbour locations.
Hunters Hill is a leafy sandstone peninsula stretching from Pittwater Road to Onions Point, at the confluence of the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers.
Proclaimed as a Borough in January 1861, Hunters Hill is both the smallest local government area in metropolitan Sydney, as well as the oldest on the north side of the harbour.
The character of Hunters Hill was formed during the period 1840 through to the early 20th century. Many of the buildings date back to that period and most were built in the local sandstone – these sentimental and beautifully crafted buildings, not only remain, but refuse to be submerged by modern development. Among the founders of the Municipality, were a number of French, Italian and Swiss people, including the brothers Jules and Didier Joubert and the exiled Count Gabriel de Milhau - all of whom were early Mayors.
The Marist Fathers (also from France), established a monastery on the shores of Tarban Creek, later establishing St. Joseph's College - the largest building in the area.
The sandstone college is a landmark for miles around, and it is also the largest boarding school for boys in the country. It is not surprising, therefore, that Hunters Hill was often known as the French village.
Today, Hunters Hill has a population of 12,500 people, and has an area of 575 hectares - some 65 hectares of parks and reserves. Development is almost entirely residential since Hunters Hill has always been a garden suburb – it is close to the City yet secluded from the march of metropolitan progress. Property values range from among the highest in Sydney to average, and there is wide socio-economic mix within the population.
In 1978, Hunters Hill was declared a Conservation Area by the National Trust of Australia. Heritage issues command greater interest and local attention than ever before. It is evident that the future planning of the area will relate to its past.
With exception of Gladesville Hospital, the Army Water Transport Unit at Woolwich, schools and neighbourhood shopping areas, there is virtually no industry.
The former Mobil Oil Terminal has been redeveloped as Pulpit Point, and there are opportunities for increasing the local population through retirement development in some areas, as well as medium density housing such as that to Riverglade. Our Council encourages the regeneration of Gladesville as a sub-regional shopping centre, and is confident that the redevelopment of Flagstaff Street Car Park (which is located off the busy Victoria Road), will result in benefits to Gladesville and the area as a whole. Barry Smith GENERAL MANAGER