Broken Bay

In 1789, A smallpox epidemic devastated Indigenous population around Sydney. Very many bodies were washed up on the shores of the harbour. In a journey to Broken Bay, Phillip on 6 June wrote “In many places our path was covered with skeletons and the same spectacle were to be met with in hollows of most of the rocks of that harbour”. Captain Hunter saw at Broken Bay “a native girl … just recovered from small pox, and lame, she appeared to be 17 or 18 years of age, and had covered her debilitated and naked body with wet grass … she was very much frightened on our approaching her and shed many tears … we soothed her distress a little, and the sailors were ordered to bring up some fire for her’.

By 1828, the activities of bushrangers, escaped convicts, cedar getters, illicit grog suppliers and smugglers created a lawless frontier in the northern regions. The first Magistrate, Willoughby Bean, was appointed in a vain attempt to restore order. There were many reports of Aboriginal people defending their land and attacking the English farms north of Broken Bay.


Broken Bay
33° 30' 10.0008" S, 151° 18' 50.0004" E