Audley historic recreational complex | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Audley historic recreational complex

Item details

Name of item: Audley historic recreational complex
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Recreation and Entertainment
Category: Picnic Ground/ Recreation reserve
Location: Lat: -34.0751326723 Long: 151.0560066770
Primary address: Sir Bertram Stevens/Audley Road, Audley, NSW 2232
Local govt. area: Sutherland
Local Aboriginal Land Council: La Perouse
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP1149771
LOT1 DP1170552
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Sir Bertram Stevens/Audley RoadAudleySutherland  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Office of Environment and HeritageState Government21 Oct 98

Description

Construction years: 1879-
Current use: Recreation area
Former use: Recreation area

History

Historical notes: Aboriginal History
The area now covered by the Audley recreational complex was originally inhabited by the Dharawal tribe. The tribes economy was based on the rich marine and estuarine resources. The stability of these resources allowed for long-term, semi-sedentary summer occupation, which has left evidence in the form of middens, rock shelter deposits, burials, rock engravings, rock art, axe-grinding groo5045515ves and open campsites (Evans in McDonald 1987:2).

European History
Bass and Flinders first explored the area in March 1796, but it remained un-utilised as it was unsuitable for pastoralism and only spasmodic attempts at timber getting were initiated.

The land was dedicated as Royal Park in April 1879 for the use of the New South Wales Zoological Society who were intent on introducing non-native flora and fauna. Work on the Park began in 1880 and consisted of clearing land and damming the Georges River. By 1883 a dam across the Hacking River created a lake-like environment for pleasure craft and such activities became one of the longest-lived activities at Audley.

In 1884 the main camp was established on the confluence of the Hacking River and Kangaroo Creek and was dubbed 'Audley', in commemoration of Lord Audley's survey camp. Audley had surveyed the area in 1864. The camp initially consisted of a dock, boat house, jetty, weatherboard pavilion, stables, stores, outhouses, smithy, forge and plant. Paddocks were also fenced and the number was increased soon after. Bridges, culverts, new cottages for the workers and a boat slip were the next priority. Plantings of ornamental trees began very early and continued through to 1890. Plantings included Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Catapla Oaks (Catalpa bignonioides), Moreton Bay Figs (Ficus macrophylla) and Lilli-pilli (Acmena smithii). Between 1887 and 1889 unemployed men, under the supervision of the Casual Labour Board, cleared large areas of land. To fund the Park and the Society's aims attempts were made to exploit the coal, clay, gravel, timber, grass and oysters, but was largely unsuccessful.

Between 1891 and 1893 the focus was on making the park visitor-friendly. Cleared land along the river was sown with grass, directional signs were erected, a bridge built over Kangaroo Creek and an aviary constructed. Other works included placing rustic tables around the park, the construction of facilities for the hiring of boats, a public kitchen, a windmill to supply water and accommodation for 30 guests. The accommodation was first known as the public pavilion, then 'The Rest' and for most of its history as 'Allambie House'. In 1893 the first guide book was published. Visitor facilities were much enhanced in 1895 when toilets were provided and in the following year a refreshment room was constructed.

In 1903 the focus of management of the Park altered somewhat with a shift towards resource extraction. A sawmill was constructed to facilitate logging of sections of the forest. During this period weekend camps were allowed. During the depression large numbers of illegal squatters occupied the Park and were living off the Park's resources, industries included the sale of wildflowers, timber and soil. In 1933 34 camps were identified at Audley. Attempts were made to remove the illegal camps, but eight still remained by 1941.

World War II halted development of Audley, but at the end of the War funds became available to update the Parks facilities. Extensive roadworks had to be undertaken to repair damage done by army exercises in the Park. Buildings that had been neglected during the war were renovated and renewed. In 1954 Queen Elizabeth approved the addition of "Royal" to the name of the park.

The formation of the National Parks and Wildlife Service in 1967 effected the management of the Park, which was previously controlled by a Trust. The Trust was retained as an advisory committee. The NPWS brought a philosophical shift in the management of the Park with the aim of returning the Park to its natural state: cars were restricted, many huts and former buildings were removed and the ornamental gardens were no longer maintained. From the inception of the Park its primary function had been to provide recreational facilities to the overcrowded city dwellers. With the advent of the conservation movement, beginning in the 1920s, this aim came under attack and was slowly eroded.

In 1973 Allambie House kiosk and the swimming pool kiosk were demolished. Two years later Allambie House its self was burnt to the ground. Demolition of structures at Audley continued throughout the 1970s. In 1979 a new administrative centre was constructed at Loftus Heights, replacing a temporary setup on the top floor of the former the Dance Hall. Landscaping, path building and facilities upgrade begun in the previous year continued. A new kiosk was constructed on the picnic flat in 1980.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Accommodating travellers and tourists-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Accommodating workers in workers' housing-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going bushwalking-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going boating and sailing-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going fishing-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Visiting places of romantic inspiration-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Enjoying public parks and gardens-

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0097602 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     
Local Environmental Plan  15 Dec 00 16213351

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
National Parks & Wildlife Service Section 170 Register  National Parks & Wildlife Service  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAudley Boatshed Audley Boatshed View detail
TourismAudley Dance Hall Audley Dance Hall View detail
TourismOffice of Environment and Heritage National Parks and Wildlife Service View detail
TourismOffice of Environment and Heritage National Parks and Wildlife Service View detail

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045515


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