New South Wales, Australia

Florence Street Mall with fountain and Westfield Shoppingtown
Population: 18,702[1]
Postcode: 2077
Location: 25 km (16 mi) north-west of Sydney
LGA: Hornsby Shire
State District: Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai
Federal Division: Berowra, Bradfield
Suburbs around Hornsby:
Hornsby Heights Asquith North Wahroonga
Dural Hornsby Wahroonga
Thornleigh Normanhurst Waitara

Location map of Hornsby based on NASA satellite images

Hornsby is a suburb on the Upper North Shore of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Hornsby is located 25 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district and is the administrative centre of the local government area of Hornsby Shire.


The name Hornsby is derived from Convict-turned-Constable Samuel Henry Horne, who took part in the apprehension of bushrangers Dalton and MacNamara on June 22, 1830. In return he was granted land which he named Hornsby Place.

The first European settler in the area was Thomas Higgins, who received a grant of land in Old Mans Valley. A railway station named "Hornsby Junction" opened on the 17th of September, 1886 to the north of the town of Hornsby, which had developed on the site of Horne's grant. It formed the junction of the Northern Line and the North Shore Line which were yet to be completed at that time.[2]. Hornsby station was one stop further south on the Northern Line. Due to confusion by commuters alighting at the incorrect station expecting to transfer to a connecting train, the old Hornsby station was renamed Normanhurst on the 17th of November, 1898[3] after prominent local activist and engineer Norman Selfe, while the Hornsby Junction station assumed the current name of Hornsby.

The Hornsby Shire Council was established in 1906. In 1961, The Westfield Group built a shopping mall at Hornsby, making it one of the first suburbs in Sydney with a modern-style shopping centre. A competing shopping centre, Northgate, opened in 1979 but was eventually bought by Westfield. In late 1999, the two sites were amalgamated when the original Westfield was demolished and Northgate was renovated to create the new Westfield Hornsby which opened in November 2001. In 2007, Hornsby introduced the headquarters of Mix 106.5 (Owned by Australian Radio Network) next door to Sunshine Homes Respite Centre.


Hornsby is 26 km by train from the Sydney central business district and is approximately 24.5 km by road. Hornsby railway station is a junction of the Northern Line and the North Shore line of the City Rail network. There are frequent railway services to the central business district via Epping on the Northern Line or via Chatswood on the North Shore Line. Hornsby is also a transport junction of Northern Sydney with Intercity and Express trains stopping here on the way to the Central Coast, Newcastle and further north.

Bus services operate from Hornsby, most by TransdevTSL, to local areas such as Normanhurst.

The Pacific Highway, which passes through Hornsby, was formerly the main road link between Sydney and north-eastern Australia. The completion of the F3 Sydney-Newcastle Freeway, which has its southern end at the neighbouring suburb of Wahroonga, means that the heavy traffic now bypasses the already busy Hornsby town area [4].

Hornsby Shire Council Chamber

The Florence Street Mall with its fountain

Hornsby Park

Commercial areas[]

Hornsby remains a busy commercial centre, just as it was a century ago. Over the years, the town centre has developed distinct characteristics on either side of the railway line.

The western side consists of a traditional high street shopping village along the Old Pacific Highway. A short section of the highway north of the shops still has several antique lamp posts preserved. On the eastern side of the highway from south to north are the police station, the court house [5] and the historic Hornsby Shire Council chamber (built in two stages in 1915 and 1930). On the western side is Hornsby TAFE, Hornsby Park with a swimming pool and bushland beyond it[6]. A large war memorial and the adjacent RSL Club is located at the southern end of the shops.

The eastern side is dominated by Westfield Hornsby, a shopping centre, which features two department stores, a cinema multiplex, a food court and several restaurants. The intersection of Florence Street and Hunter Street became a pedestrian mall in the early 1990s. At the centre of the pedestrian mall is a large water clock sculpture, designed by Victor Cusack. The public library is also located in this area.

The north-western side of the suburb is occupied by various industries and the northern end of Hornsby features a major Cityrail railway workshop.

Residential areas[]

Residential areas, consisting of low-to-medium density housing, are located on both sides of the railway line. Many of residential areas on the western side of the train line enjoy bushy surrounds and close proximity to Regional and National Parks, as well as the beautiful Lisgar Gardens.

In recent years, high-rise apartments have been constructed adjacent to the train line as part of the NSW state planning policies to allow medium to high density development along transport corridors.


Hornsby is home to a number of schools, including primary schools Hornsby South Public School and Clarke Road Special School and the secondary schools Barker College and Hornsby Girls' High School. There is also a TAFE College at the north-western side of Hornsby.


The Hornsby Water Clock, Hornsby Odeon, Hornsby RSL, Hornsby Inn, The Quarry, Fagan Park, Hornsby War Memorial, Lisgar Gardens.


Hornsby has long been associated with Ginger Meggs [7], a cartoon by Jimmy Bancks who grew up in Hornsby, which has appeared in Australian newspapers since 1921.

The local newspaper that serves the area is the Hornsby Advocate, owned by the Cumberland Newspaper Group.


Because of its elevation, Hornsby is mostly wetter and cooler than Sydney CBD. Summers, though, are still a degree warmer.

Climate data for Hornsby
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 27.7
Average low °C (°F) 17.0
Precipitation mm (inches) 112.6
Source: [8]
  • Highest Maximum Temperature: 27.7 °C
  • Lowest Maximum Temperature: 4.9 °C
  • Warmest Month: January
  • Coolest Month: July
  • Highest Precipitation: February
  • Lowest Precipitation: July

Notable residents[]

  • Edgeworth David, leader of the first expedition to reach the South Magnetic Pole lived in Hornsby.
  • Dan Parks, rugby union player.
  • Bill Alley, cricketer.
  • Jim Lees, former NSW police commissioner.
  • Fred Stolle, tennis player
  • George Collingridge, writer and illustrator, also well known for research into the theory that the Portuguese discovered Australia in the 1600s. A small reserve in Hornsby is named after him, and his former home is currently the chapel of Hornsby Hospital.
  • Liz Burch, actress.
  • J J Hilder, watercolourist.
  • Peter Fowler, golfer.
  • Patrick Power, former Senior Counsel in New South Wales, Australia.
  • Danny Williams, rugby league player.
  • Scott Gourley, rugby league player.
  • Robert Madgwick, teacher, soldier, academic and public servant, was the first vice-chancellor of the University of New England from 1954 until 1966, and chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission from 1967 until 1973.
  • Julian O'Neill, former rugby league fullback.
  • Rich Thompson, professional American baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels.
  • Ted White, cricketer.
  • John Davies, archivist, writer, and received the Ahli Mangku Negara award.
  • Ted Ball, professional golfer.
  • Ian Keith Harris, Composer
  • Simon Whitlock, Professional darts player competing on the PDC circuit.


External links[]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Hornsby, New South Wales. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.