From Eden to Byron Bay, the New South Wales coast is more than 2000 kilometres long with 130 estuaries, 100 coastal lakes and a rich history. This, the first history written of the New South Wales coast, traces our relationship with this stretch of land and sea starting millennia ago when Aboriginal people feasted on shellfish and perfected the art of building bark canoes, to our present obsession with the beach as a place to live or holiday.
Leading us through the European fascination with marine life, the attempts to establish a whaling industry, the fear of seaborne invasion that led to the creation of a navy of our own in 1911 and on to the rise of our unstoppable enthusiasm for surfing and fishing, Ian Hoskins argues that our current enthrallment with the coast began more recently than we might think.
Ian swims at Wylie’s Baths, Coogee, as often as he can: where else can you do laps while watching a cormorant chase fish underwater? He is an occasional scuba diver. Jervis Bay is his favourite place on the coast. Like most people, he wants to get his own fibro holiday house someday.