Jennifer Aaron


Rozelle is a large suburb located in Sydney’s Inner West, just 5 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD. It spans the peninsula between Rozelle Bay on the south-east border and Iron Cove on the north-west border, and sits between the suburbs of Balmain to the north-west and Lilyfield to the south-west. The shipping headland known as Glebe Island, between White and Rozelle Bays, is also part of this suburb. Rozelle has strong working class roots, with industry taking a hold here in the 1800s. In the mid-1830s, shipbuilding firms established themselves in the area and the suburb became industrialised from the 1870s onwards. The population grew solidly, with residents typically working as builders, carpenters, boilermakers and ship builders. The name Rozelle and Rozelle Bay (often called "Rozella Bay"), originated from the parrots found at Rose Hill (near Parramatta), the first suburb of Sydney, established as a prime farming area for the new colony. The parrots, also in abundance in the inner west Bay area of Sydney, were commonly called "Rose Hill parrots" or "Rose-hillers" then “Rosellas”. These days, the convenience offered by the suburb has seen its popularity increase dramatically. The CBD is just minutes away by car, and public transport is very convenient with ferry and bus connections to Circular Quay and the CBD. Rozelle attracts a young crowd of homeowners and boasts many fantastic shops, great restaurants, cosy cafes and welcoming pubs, and Balmain Village is just a little further down Darling Street. Characteristics of Rozelle include its narrow, windy streets that are paved with character terraces, weatherboard cottages and charming freestanding brick homes. Much of the old industrial land has been sold for medium-to-high density residential development as Rozelle rapidly gentrifies. It’s a haven for young families with quiet, private streets and a feeling of remoteness from the rest of Sydney. Amongst these streets are some of the best pubs and restaurants in Sydney. It is easy to see that Rozelle is a suburb filled with Sydney character. The area's retail area is concentrated along Darling Street and offers a mix of cafes, jewellery shops, clothes shops, bookstores, homewares stores, health food shops, exquisite bakeries, and vibrant fruit stores. Closer to busy Victoria Road, there’s also antique stores, nurseries, children’s shops and the Rozelle market, held in the ground of the high school every Saturday and Sunday. O’Connor Reserve, Easton Park, and the waterfront King George Park are all within easy reach of Rozelle residents, as are the grounds of the Rozelle Hospital, Leichhardt Aquatic Centre, the Bay Run, and Balmain’s Dawn Fraser pool. The Balmain Leagues Club on Victoria Road has gym and fitness classes. Nearby Birchgrove Park has one of the best-located sporting fields and tennis courts in Sydney. The Iron Cove Bridge, Rozelle Marshalling Yards and the Glebe Island Terminal are all famous landmarks in the area. The Rozelle Hospital (formerly known as Callan Park) on the Parramatta River is now a campus for the Sydney College of the Arts. The now-derelict coal fired White Bay Power Station at the junction of Roberts and Victoria Roads at White Bay once supplied electricity to Sydney for 70 years up until 1983. Next door stood the White Bay Hotel, which opened in 1916 but fell victim to lack of customers in 1992 and was destroyed by fire in 2008. On the western side of the peninsula, the wonderful art deco Iron Cove Bridge, which opened in 1955, is a gateway across the Parramatta River, linking Rozelle with Drummoyne. On the eastern side stands the majestic Anzac Bridge, which was completed in 1996 and is the main arterial link between the Inner West and Sydney City. Below the bridge lies its predecessor, the Glebe Island Bridge, which opened in 1901.
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