Northern Suburbs

The Northern Suburbs (parts of which may also be known as Central North, Macquarie District, Ryde District, Northern District and Inner North-West) is the metropolitan area on the northern bank of the Parramatta River in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia beginning with suburbs in line with or east of West Pennant Hills and ending with suburbs west of the Lane Cove National Park, south of Hornsby. This area includes suburbs in the local government areas of Hornsby Shire, City of Ryde, the Municipality of Hunter's Hill, and parts of the City of Parramatta.

Northern Suburbs
New South Wales
Parramatta River at Hunters Hill
Curzon Hall, Marsfield
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST)AEDT (UTC+11)
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s)
Localities around Northern Suburbs:
Hills District Forest District Forest District
Greater Western Sydney Northern Suburbs North Shore
Parramatta River Parramatta River Parramatta River

Because this is not a clearly defined region, 'Northern Suburbs' may also include the suburbs in the Upper North Shore, Lower North Shore and even the Northern Beaches. The term "northern suburbs" does not exclusively apply to Sydney, and is in common use throughout other Australian cities to denote localities to the north of a city centre.[1][2][3]

The Northern Suburbs of Sydney are characterised by pristine waterways with immense greenery, a well-planned public transport system, large plots of manicured land, and substantial federation and bungalow style homes.[4] The affluent areas of the region are home to many parks and reserves, the region's largest being Pennant Hills Park. Major waterways in the region include the Parramatta River, Lane Cove River and the many creek systems that branch out from these.

Suburbs and localities of Northern Suburbs

This list is not exhaustive.

The suburbs and localities of the region generally known as Northern Suburbs are:[5]



Culture and sport

The Northern Suburbs is a culturally diverse region. Surrounding the EastwoodCarlingford in the south-west area, a large number of wealthy Asian immigrants have settled, largely due to the high academic achievements of the local schools at the time.

Sport is represented in many areas in the region, RydeEastwood Leagues Club is the local rugby league club in the area, with it covering the area of the famed Holy Cross College, Ryde. This league following can be attributed to the large Catholic population of the early developmental days of Rugby League in Australia, though the area now only retains two Junior rugby league clubs, both feeding to Holy Cross. There are also several Rugby League clubs surrounding the Hornsby area such as the Asquith Magpies (with a large Leagues Club in Waitara), the Pennant Hills Stags and the Hornsby Lions.

Eastwood District Rugby Union Football Club represents the region in rugby union. It is considered one of the strongest clubs in the Shute Shield, consistently performing well. This club is considered a gateway club for rugby union in the Western Sydney area. Its consistent performance is due to the fact it has established a strong Juniors and Sub-District competition within the area, many children from the area are sent to the elite private schools of Sydney and hold rugby union as the preferred code. Local school St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, is a traditional rugby school and The King's School, Parramatta to the west help reinforce this strength.

The local newspapers distributed in this region are the Northern District Times.


Before European settlement, the Central North Region was home to the Wallumettagal (Ryde-Hunters Hill & Western Lane Cove) tribe. The first settlement in the Northern Suburbs and in fact the third-earliest in Australia, after Sydney and Parramatta, was at Ryde; then known by the Aboriginal name Wallumetta. Little is known about the original inhabitants of the Northern districts. All of the information that we have is from the accounts of Europeans in the first few years of the founding of the colony. The territory from Sydney Cove to Parramatta, on the northern side of the Parramatta River, was thought to be that of the Wallumedegal, and had the aboriginal name Wallumetta, the territory of the Wallumede people.

Aboriginal people in the Sydney district were clans of larger groups sharing a common language. Three language groups have been identified in the Sydney Region - the Kuringgai (or Guringai), the Dharug (or Dharruk / Dharuk / Darug), and the Dharawal(or Tharawal). The Wallumedegal are thought to have been within the Dharug speaking area.

On 3 January 1792, the first land in the Ryde area was granted to eight marines, along the northern bank of the river between Sydney and Parramatta. The area was named by Governor Phillip the "Field of Mars", Mars being the Roman god of war, named to reflect the military association with these new settlers. Today's Field of Mars Reserve is the remnant of a district which once extended from Dundas to the Lane Cove River. These grants were followed soon after by grants to ten emancipated convicts in February 1792, the land being further to the east of the marines grants, thus the area was called Eastern Farms or the Eastern Boundary. By 1794, the name Eastern Farms had given way to Kissing Point, a name believed to have originated from the way in which heavily laden boats passing up the Parramatta River bumped or "kissed" the rocky outcrop which extends into the river at today's Kissing Point.

Further grants were issued in 1794 and 1795, gradually occupying most of the foreshores between Meadowbank and Gladesville. Some of the grants were at the North Brush, north of the Field of Mars settlement, in the area of Brush Farm and Eastwood. Most of the Grants were small, from 12 to 40 hectares (30 to 100 acres).

By 1803 most of the accessible land had been granted. Settlement was based along the Parramatta River and overlooking ridges. Governor King recognised that most of the smaller settlers had insufficient land for their stock but it was not possible to grant them larger allotments. In 1804 it was decided that a 'traditional English common' - a large area of public land for use by local inhabitants - would be set aside. Six commons were gazetted.

The Field of Mars Common, an area of approximately 2,040 hectares (5,050 acres) located north of the Field of Mars and the Eastern Farms, covered most of the Ryde municipality. The village itself comprised only a modest scattering of houses in a few streets around the church, surrounded by farms, orchards and some large estates. Nevertheless, the name was well established by 12 November 1870 when the Municipal district of Ryde was officially proclaimed.


The Northern Suburbs are very well serviced by public transport. The Northern railway Line has frequent services to the city via Strathfield with the integration of the Epping to Chatswood rail link into the Northern railway Line from 23 February 2009 to 29 September 2018. The Sydney Metro Northwest replaced the Epping to Chatswood rail link in May 2019, connecting Rouse Hill to Chatswood.

There are also an abundance of bus routes serving the region such as the 200 and 500 series bus routes operated by State Transit and Transdev NSW. The Southern part of this region is frequented by ferry services to the CBD and westbound towards Parramatta.


The Northern Suburbs have many landmarks, including Macquarie University, The Ryde Civic Plaza, Brush Farm House in Eastwood, Gladesville Bridge, Ryde Bridge, Ryde Hospital, Macquarie Centre & Ice Skating Rink and Curzon Hall in Marsfield.

Landmark churches and cathedrals in the area include St Annes in Top Ryde (Australia's third oldest) and St Andrews in Eastwood.

Commercial areas

The "Sydney global corridor", is used to describe a geographical "arch" of Sydney, home to international corporations. Macquarie Park and North Ryde are where many global companies have their Asia-Pacific or Australian headquarters.

The area is undisputedly Australia's hi-tech hub and is home to scores of international corporations including Microsoft, Boeing, Fujitsu, HP, Avaya, and Optus. The area also has the Ryde-Hunters Hill Equestrian Club, a quality golf course, an Olympic field hockey venue, the Macquarie University and Macquarie Centre.

Events and celebrations

The largest annual event in the Northern Suburbs is the Granny Smith Festival held in the suburb of Eastwood usually in October of each year. The festival's attendance record set in 2004 currently stands at approximately just over 90,000. Many are attracted each year by the live bands, shows, stores, rides, the main street parade down Rowe Street and of course the massive fireworks display in the skies over Eastwood.

Other festivals/events include: The Ryde Aquatic Festival & Bridge to Bridge run, the Guringgai Festival honouring northern Sydney's Aboriginals, the Moocooboola Festival at Hunters Hill, and the Ryde Summer Festival which mainly includes outdoor cinemas. All local government areas in the region and around the country celebrate Australia Day, which is the 26th of January.


  1. "About us". Perth, Western Australia: Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre Inc. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013.
  2. "Emergency warning for northern suburbs". ABC Melbourne.
  3. "New home grants yet to deliver boost to northern suburbs housing industry". 19 April 2013.
  4. "Domain Northern Suburbs". Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  5. "Northern Suburbs Postcodes Australia". Retrieved 23 November 2013.
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