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Little Bay

Coast Hospital, Little Bay early 1900s

Coast Hospital, Little Bay early 1900s

The suburb of Little Bay is located on the south east of Randwick City and is bounded by Malabar to the north, Chifley and Phillip Bay to the west, and La Perouse to the south. Little Bay has an extensive coastline and also includes the Randwick, The Coast and St Michael's Golf Courses, University of New South Wales' Little Bay Campus and the Prince Henry (The Coast) Hospital site which has been developed for housing, local shops, community facilities and open space. The suburb also included the northern part of the Botany Bay National Park.

The residential land is primarily low density residential development with areas allowing villas and townhouses located in the south west of the suburb. Approximately 61 per cent of all private dwellings in Little Bay are separate houses, significantly higher than the Randwick City average (28 per cent). Little Bay has a low proportion of semi-detached housing, 9 per cent compared with the Randwick City average (15 per cent). The suburb provides a generally low density residential environment, but does include a number of residential flat buildings (one-three storey), which account for approximately 22 per cent of housing in Little Bay (compared with 48 per cent average for Randwick City).

There is only one neighbourhood shopping centre in Little Bay, opposite the Prince Henry site. The nearest local shopping centre is Matraville or the larger Maroubra Junction shopping centre. Bus services operate along Anzac Parade; these bus services are the only form of public transport available to the suburb.

Little Bay has a high proportion of children, teenagers and older people (over 70 years) living in separate houses, a high proportion of which are owned or are being purchased. Most people speak English at home and travel to work by car. Little Bay has experienced significant changes with the redevelopment of the Prince Henry Hospital site, which ceased operation in 2003, and other smaller sites in the suburb.

History of Little Bay

Evidence of Aboriginal occupation prior to the establishment of The Coast Hospital includes a diverse collection of middens, open campsites, rock engravings and axe grinding grooves.

In 1881 an outbreak of smallpox in Sydney demanded an isolated hospital. Five hundred acres of Crown land at Little Bay became the site for a Coast Hospital. The Coast Hospital became an infectious diseases outpost and the first leprosy patients were admitted in 1883. New building began in 1914 and by 1917 the wards cared for returned personnel from World War I suffering contagious diseases. In 1934 the hospital was renamed the Prince Henry Hospital in honour of the Duke of Gloucester. In 1959 teaching hospitals were established for the University of NSW and the University of Sydney at Little Bay.

Lawrence, J.
Pictorial History of Randwick, Kingsclear Books, Alexandria, 2001, pp.64-68.