The tight enclave of North Curl Curl flies very much under the radar, and that is exactly how the locals like it. For a suburb with such a small footprint it is has a wealth of natural beauty and a green corridor that runs its entire length. Strong community involvement and council support is seeing those green spaces being restored with their natural vegetation. Such a large part of the suburb is open land available to the community; extensive sporting grounds, bike tracks, playgrounds, the lagoon, an unleashed dog park and walking trails along the headland and a beach that runs into sand dunes, not onto roads and shops. The community has embraced the outdoors and there are strong affiliations with all the local sporting teams and surf club. On winter weekends, the shrill whistle over the PA system heralds the beginning of dozens of netball and soccer games and the jockeying for elusive parking spaces this brings.
The beach becomes the focal point during summer for young and old, shared by surfers and sunbathers from all walks of life, the grommets sharing the waves with surfing mums and the crusty old surf dogs alike. Excited youngsters who tie up their first green and gold nippers cap when they are five, quickly progress from jumping in the shallows, to swimming out the back of the break, to becoming surf obsessed grommets riding their bikes down to the beach for a surf before school. Like most of the local beaches, North Curly has an ocean pool which is just a bit more rustic and also harder to access. After the last big storm, a large boulder crashed down from the headland and now sits firmly in the middle of the pool, adding a challenge to swimming laps.
North Curl Curl is a suburb that shares Sydney’s obsession with real estate, creating a rapidly changing street scape. Early residents tell stories of living in tents near the surf club, before being allocated land and building their modest houses. When these old fibro and red brick houses come on the market, they are quickly snapped up for well over $1M and replaced with impressive architectural homes, designed to maximise views and light. Young families now fill the neighbourhood and the local primary school has rapidly expanded over the last decade, with enrolments now close to 1,000 students.
Pictures and words by Amanda Naylor. More of her work can be found on her website www.amandanaylorphotography.com.au