Waverley is an eastern suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Waverley is located 7 kilometres east of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Waverley Council.
Waverley Council takes its name from the suburb but its administrative centre is located in the adjacent suburb of Bondi Junction, which is also a major commercial centre. Waverley is the highest point of altitude in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.
Waverley takes its name from a home built near Old South Head Road in 1827 by Barnett Levey (or Levy) (1798–1837). It was named Waverley House, after the title of his favourite book, Waverley, by author Sir Walter Scott. Waverley Municipality was proclaimed in June 1859. The house was a distinctive landmark and gave its name to the surrounding suburb.
Waverley Cemetery (South Head General Cemetery) was established in 1877 and is one of Australia's most notable cemeteries due to its cliff-side location. The cemetery features the graves of several notable Australians including poet Henry Kendall and aviator Lawrence Hargrave.
Edina, a late Victorian mansion built on a grand scale in Birrell Street by Ebenezer Vickery for himself and his family, was completed around 1884. Vickery was a leading merchant and a prominent patron of the Methodist Church. Other buildings in the group include Banksia, Witchagil and the Nellie Vickery Memorial Chapel. Banksia and Witchagil are two-storey villas that Vickery built for his sons.
This distinguished group of Victorian buildings is now used as the War Memorial Hospital. Edina, Banksia and Witchagil are on the (now defunct) Register of the National Estate. Other heritage items in Waverley include the two weatherboard cottages in Judges Lane, off Bronte Road. A building in Waverley once collapsed into a large hole that swallowed ten houses and an entire street.
Waverley has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- 240 Birrell Street: St Mary's Anglican Church, Waverley
- 45 Victoria Street: Mary Immaculate Catholic Church, Waverley, designed by John Hennessy in 1912. Its twin-towered design is said to be reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance and is an example of the Federation Academic Classical style.
- Victoria Street, Presbyterian Church (Jubilee Church currently) was designed by Sydney architects Messrs Nixon and Allen. The foundation stone was laid by Mrs. Grahame on 8 May 1897.
- Victoria Street, the Catholic Friary was demolished in 1985 after sustaining extensive fire damage (see gallery below).
In the 2016 Census, there were 4,346 people in Waverley. 54.1% of people were born in Australia. The most common countries of birth were England 7.9% and New Zealand 2.7%. 69.6% of people only spoke English at home. The most common responses for religion were No Religion 32.0% and Catholic 24.7%.
Waverley is mostly residential with a scattering of commercial developments, centred on the road junction known as Charing Cross.
Waverley is home to a number of schools.
- Waverley College is a Christian Brothers school for boys made up of Our Lady's Mount Campus in Birrell Street, (Senior School Years 7-12), Waterford Campus in Henrietta Street (Junior School Years 5-6) and Waterford Pre School.
- St Catherine's School is an Anglican, Day and Boarding school for girls, located in Albion Street.
- St Clare's College is a Catholic, high school for girls in Church Street.
- St Charles' Primary School, Waverley. A Catholic primary school next door to St Clare's.
Sport and recreation
Waverley is represented in one of the most popular sporting competitions across Australia, the National Rugby League competition, by the local team the Sydney Roosters, officially the Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club (ESDRLFC).
The following clubs, including the Roosters, are located in or represent the Waverley area:
- Sydney Roosters Rugby League Club (based at the Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club, in Bondi Junction).
- Waverley Rugby Club - Rugby Union
- Eastern Suburbs Cricket Club
- Bondi United - Rugby League
- Waverley Bowling Club
- St Charles Waverley - Rugby League
- Waverley Old Boys Football Club - Football (Soccer)
- Waverley Amateur Radio Society - The oldest continuously licensed amateur radio club in Australia. The society was founded in Waverley in 1919 and is now located in nearby Rose Bay
Current and former notable residents include:
- Scott Morrison, 30th and incumbent Prime Minister of Australia since 2018. Morrison was born in Waverley.
- Millicent Armstrong (1888-1973), born in Waverley, was a playwright and farmer who wrote primarily about the experiences of country life in early 20th century Australia.
- Reg Lindsay (1929–2008), country music star. Lindsay was born in Waverley.
- Bob Windle, gold medallist in the 1500m freestyle at the 1964 Summer Olympics. Windle spent his formative years in the suburb.
- Susan Cullen-Ward, Crown Princess of Albania (1941-2004)
- Princess Michael of Kent
- Crown Princess Mary of Denmark (Mary Donaldson), a resident of Porter Street near Bronte Road, and formerly involved in Eastern Suburbs real estate before her marriage to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.
Heritage-listed items in the Waverley area include the following:
- Mary Immaculate Church group, Victoria Street
- St Marys Anglican Church and pipe organ, Birrell Street
- Waverley Reservoir No.1, Paul Street
- Avondale, St Marys Avenue
- War Memorial Hospital group of buildings, Birrell Street
- Bronte Public School, Hewlett Street
- Bronte View, St Thomas Street
- Cadore, Henry Street
- Carthona, Birrell Street
- Chapel, St Clares Convent, Carrington Road
- Char Nez, Brown Street
- Charing Cross hotel, Carrington Road
- Moana, Gardyne Street
- Simpson Park, Macpherson Street
- Sonoma, Bronte Road
- Stone buildings, Waverley Cemetery