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History of Chowder Bay

Like Georges Heights and Middle Head, Chowder Bay is one of the unique precincts of Headland Park, Mosman.

A picturesque waterfront retreat on the Mosman shoreline, it played an important role in the defence of Sydney from the 1890s until 1922. The area is a place of significance for the Borogegal People, with the stretch of water between Chowder Bay and Obelisk Beach referred to as Tailiangy.

Military Occupation

In the 1870s, the British Government withdrew its troops from the Australian colonies, and this meant that Australia had to create its own defence strategy. The NSW Government used parts of Headland Park, including Chowder Bay, to realise this strategy.

In the 1890s, a base was built at Chowder Bay for the Submarine Mining Corps. Mines were attached to underwater cables that stretched across the harbour from Chowder Bay. These mines were designed to detonate if an enemy ship entered the harbour.

Eventually, technology rendered the underwater mines and cables obsolete, and the Submarine Mining Corps closed in 1922. After that, Chowder Bay became a depot and barracks for Army engineers, and in the 1980s, it was the site of the Army Maritime School. The Maritime School closed in 1997 and the military withdrew soon after.

Chowder Bay Today

In 2000, the precinct was opened to the public as a result of lobbying by community advocacy groups. Today, the Harbour Trust continues to maintain Chowder Bay for public enjoyment.

Visitors can engage with local history, experience a rich aquatic habitat, take part in water activities, enjoy nature walks, and dine at local cafes and restaurants.

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