Your Guide To Neutral Bay Wharf (Hayes Street Wharf)

Disabled Access – YES Food and Drink Options – YES Tourist Attractions – NO Transport Links – YES Shopping Centre – NO Nightlife – NO

Neutral Bay Wharf, also known as Hayes Street Wharf, only offers a few amenities nearby, but Hayes Street Beach is very close and is a very popular attraction for locals. The slightly isolated nature of the spot also makes it ideal for those wishing to be dropped off in an area where you won’t be swamped by tourists and you’ll be able to gather your thoughts. It also offers bus and ferry links to Circular Quay as well as one of the most underrated scenic views of Sydney Harbour in the entire city. The original wharf was demolished in 2012, with a new wharf built in its place so the facilities and general aesthetic of the wharf is very modern. The wharf is located close to the business district, so is an ideal pick up point or drop-off point for corporate cruises. It’s also a great general access point to the lower north shore.

History

The name of the Neutral Bay suburb originates from the early colonial period of Australia. Different bays of Sydney Harbour were zoned for different vessels, and this particular bay was where all foreign vessels would dock after governor Arthur Phillip declared it a neutral harbour where foreign ships could anchor and take on water and supplies. The idea behind this is that the bay was far enough from Sydney Cove to discourage convicts from escaping and to keep possible enemy ships away from the main settlement. Around the turn of the 20th century, the area had begun to foster a reputation as an ‘alternative society’ suburb, with homes built in an ‘arts and crafts’ architectural style that strove to break from the mould set by the mass-produced homes of the time. As such, the area is brimming with state heritage buildings and structures with unique architectural appeal.

Attractions

There is little in the way of shopping by the wharf itself, though there is a perfumery and wine shop within walking distance. Travel further inland, however and you’ll find the main shopping district, which is known as Neutral Bay Junction and is situated along Military Road. Here you’ll find many shops, bars and restaurants, as well as the Big Bear shopping mall and a bus depot for easy transportation around the city. The Neutral Bay area also was once the home of the acclaimed English-born children’s author and painter May Gibbs, whose home, “Nutcote,” has been transformed into a whimsical museum that features regular guided tours.

Restaurants & Bars

The selection of bars and restaurants located directly next to the wharf itself is limited, but of significant quality. The Thelma & Louise café, located directly adjacent to Hayes Street Beach, is a delightfully quaint venue popular for brunch. The décor is vintage and elegant, with outdoor tables and a small, but quirky main room serving creative breakfast and lunch dishes. Just a little further up Hayes Street and you’ll find the Wharf Bistro restaurant, which boasts stately, gold-patterned walls and a vintage glamour. The food is modern French cuisine with an Australian spin. Next door you’ll find the Ta Ta Café and Thai Restaurant, which is a popular venue with locals serving no-nonsense Thai curries, stir-fries and more for a reasonable price. Further inland, the Oaks Hotel is a famous venue located on Military Road, which was established in 1885 and features a number of restaurants, bars, function rooms and a popular beer garden area with an ancient oak tree providing ample shade to patrons in summer months.