Sunday, 6 December 2009

Little Bay beach

A sunny day, perfect for the beach.

Little Bay is a sheltered eastern suburbs beach. It was at the foot of the old Prince Henry's ("Coast" hospital) which was first built in the late 19th century. It has now been redeveloped as an expensive housing development.

The Little Bay area was first used as a makeshift camp during Sydney's smallpox outbreak in 1881-82, to isolate sufferers. At first, a "tent city" was established, but further smallpox outbreaks and a typhoid epidemic convinced the government to build a permanent hospital here to treat infectious diseases. Little Bay was an ideal location because it was isolated from settlements but still close enough to Sydney. The Coast Hospital was particularly valuable during the bubonic plague in Sydney of 1900 and then again when soldiers returning from Europe brought the influenza virus back in 1919. The Coast Hospital became Prince Henry Hospital in 1934and in 2001 was closed.

The rocks to the north of the bay were "wrapped" by Christo and Jean-Claude in 1969.

See previous post about Little Bay here and about Wrapped Coast.


  1. This looks like a very protected area for swimming.

  2. Aaaaaah, gorgeous !

    Reminds me of Shelly beach in Manly, same sort of very protected cove.

  3. Thank you for all of your lovely photos of my favourite place in the world - Little Bay!

    It's such a shame they 'developed' the old Prince Henry hospital site but your photos capture the essence which remains.

  4. The Coastal Hospital was where my great Aunty Ida hassell Stewart was a nurse. she served in the war and nursed at the Coastal untill she died in 1904 after Contracting Typhoid Fever. Ida was Buried in the Hospital Grounds. Her Family had her Removed in 1917 to be buried in the Rookwood Cemetry next to her father.She also nursed at the Callan Park Mental Hospital before the Coastal Hospital.