kids encyclopedia robot

Rockdale, New South Wales facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
SydneyNew South Wales
Rockdale Bicentennial Park 1.JPG
Bicentennial Park, Rockdale
Population 15,534 (2016 census)
 • Density 6,470/km2 (16,800/sq mi)
Established 1887
Postcode(s) 2216
Area 2.4 km2 (0.9 sq mi)
Location 13 km (8 mi) south of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) Bayside Council
State electorate(s) Rockdale
Federal Division(s) Barton
Suburbs around Rockdale:
Arncliffe Banksia Kyeemagh
Bexley Rockdale Brighton-Le-Sands
Bexley Kogarah Monterey

Rockdale is a suburb in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Rockdale is located 13 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district and is part of the St George area. Rockdale is one of the administrative centres for the local government area of the Bayside Council. Since 1985 Rockdale has been a twinned city with Bitola, in the Republic of Macedonia Bitola#History.


Rockdale was known by Europeans as Frog Hollow, then White Gum Flat and later as West Botany. The name Rockdale was suggested in 1878 by the first postmistress, Mrs Mary Ann Geeves. The name for the district gained more credence when the local railway station on the new Illawarra rail line, opened on 15 October 1884, was also given the name Rockdale. The West Botany Municipality, declared on 13 January 1871 with two wards, West Botany and Arncliffe, was renamed "The Municipality of Rockdale" on 17 May 1888.

A council chambers for the West Botany Municipality was built in 1872 on Rocky Point Road, Arncliffe and was used until 1888 when a new building was erected on the site of the present Rockdale Town Hall, which was then demolished and rebuilt in 1940

Rockdale Town Hall
Rockdale Town Hall

There was a suggestion that the area become the Municipality of Scarborough but the name Rockdale was suggested by pioneer Mary Ann Geeves, postmistress and tollgate keeper and was officially adopted in 1887. Her husband, Yeoman Geeves, was a ganger on the construction of Rocky Point Road and the demolition of Cobbler's Hill (later called Arncliffe Hill). The Geeves family, including eldest son Frederick lived on the corner of today's Princes Highway and Tramway Arcade. Their general store adjoined the cottage and operated the first post office between Arncliffe and Kogarah in 1882. Residential development began with the opening of the railway in 1884. Perhaps the most significant property developer during the 1880s was Frederick Jamison Gibbes (1839–1888), a Member of Parliament, who is commemorated by Gibbes Street in Banksia. Until 1949, an electric tramway operated between Rockdale Station down Bay Street to Brighton-Le-Sands. In 1948, Rockdale and Bexley councils amalgamated as Rockdale Municipal Council. The City of Rockdale was declared in 1995. The City of Rockdale has a number of sister city relationships.


According to the 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population, there were 14,036 people usually resident in Rockdale. 33.2% stated they were born in Australia. The top countries of birth being China 10.6%, Nepal 7.6% Macedonia 4.1%, Bangladesh 4%, and India 3.2%. English was stated as the only language spoken at home by 25.9% of residents and the most common other languages spoken were Mandarin 8.8%, Nepali 7.8%, Macedonian 6.7%, Arabic 6.0% and Cantonese 5.5%. The most common responses for religious affiliation were Catholic 18.9%, Orthodox 13.7% and Islam 10.3%.


Last run to rockdale 1949
Last run to Rockdale from Brighton-Lee-Sands

The Princes Highway is the main road through Rockdale. West Botany Street, to the east, runs parallel to Princes Highway. Bay Street links Rockdale to General Holmes Drive at Brighton-le-Sands. Rockdale railway station is on the Illawarra line of the Sydney Trains network. Rockdale is a major bus interchange for Transit Systems buses, which operates services to Miranda, Brighton-Le-Sands, Burwood and Mascot and Transdev which operates to Hurstville.

Rockdale to Brighton-Le-Sands tram line

This line opened as a private steam tramway in 1885. It was electrified in 1900, and moved into government ownership in 1914. The line connected with the trains at Rockdale station, then passed down Bay Street to Brighton-Le-Sands. The line was single track throughout, with a passing loop at each end. The line closed in 1949 and was replaced by a bus service. A small depot in Rockdale maintained the cars.

Rockdale is also serviced by St George Community Transport, a HACC funded transport serviced for the Frail Aged, people with disability and their carers.

Images for kids

kids search engine
Rockdale, New South Wales Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.