You probably already know about Elizabeth Bay’s amazing views, great mix of apartments and family-friendly recreational spaces – but did you know this?
Elizabeth Bay is famous for its mix of apartments and mansions, quiet setting and beautiful views.
Long regarded as the peaceful sibling of Potts Point and Kings Cross, Elizabeth Bay has its fair share of mystery and intrigue, as well as some amazing cafes that fly below the radar.
It’s not named for royalty
In a city where every second street seems to be named after a King George or William – it’s easy to assume that Elizabeth Bay was named in honour of a queen. Obviously, it’s named after the bay it sits on – but that bay was named for Governor Macquarie’s wife, Elizabeth, and that’s not the only connection to colonial power figures Elizabeth Bay has. It sits on the Macleay Estate – a 54 acre land grant given to colonial secretary Alexander Macleay by Governor Ralph Darling.
Yes, there are cafes, if you look hard enough
Elizabeth Bay has a little bit of a reputation for being the quieter, residential sibling of Potts Point, but that’s not entirely fair. If you look around, there are actually some brilliant dining options, including some new players and some old favorites with an interesting twist.
Here’s a rundown of our favourites:
- Lizzy Bay Café
- Café Two Ants
It’s getting brand-new infrastructure
Although dwarfed by its Rushcutters Bay equivalent, Elizabeth Bay does maintain its own marina.
As you walk through Beare Park you quickly see that it is a favorite with sailors, kayakers and paddle boarders. But did you know that the century-old marina structure is getting a much-needed revamp?
With a contemporary redesign, extra berths, safer water access and a new café, the new marina is set for completion in February 2018.
There’s a little bit of Europe throughout
The majority of Sydney’s inner suburbs are influenced by the motherland, but Elizabeth Bay takes many of its architectural cues, and some of its economic ones, from the continent.
Take a walk through Elizabeth Bay’s leafier harbor front streets and you’ll see a little bit of Spain (Boomerang), a little bit of Italy (Ashton is a great example) and a little bit of Greece (Elizabeth Bay House).
These houses, or estates, as they were then, were built as colonial statements of grandiosity, as witnessed by their elaborate, exotic designs – but they didn’t always come off as planned.
Take Elizabeth Bay House as an example. Now restored and available for public hire, the building, with its Greek revival interiors, extensive gardens and access to its own beach, was originally built for Alexander Macleay as a grand statement of his wealth.
It turned out that Macleay couldn’t afford to keep up the lifestyle he sought to portray, let alone finish the house to its original plans, and had to be bailed out by his son.
Eventually the family had to sell the house and its contents, and it spent its intervening years prior to restoration as a block of residential flats
It’s been in the movies
- The streets of Elizabeth Bay are probably about as far from Hollywood as you can get, but it’s had its fair share of cameos, small screen and big:
- Boomerang, owned by Lindsay Fox and with a 200-seat basement theater of its own, was used as a film set for the film Mission: Impossible 2
- Jessica Mauboy filmed her music video for hit single ‘What Happened to Us’ featuring Jay Sean in and around Elizabeth Bay House
- The dark interiors of Gazebo – on the ground floor of the Gazebo Hotel, converted into apartments in 2005 – have a distinctly 60’s underworld vibe and the history to back it up. The original hotel played host to many a King Cross nightlife identity in its heyday. The popular Channel 9 series Underbelly re-enacted these scenes, filming in the restaurant.
So there you have it – 5 things you may not have known about gorgeous Elizabeth Bay.