The North Shore (or Northern Suburbs) is a general term used to describe the metropolitan area of northern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It usually refers to the suburbs located on the north shore of Sydney Harbour between Middle Harbour and the Lane Cove River, but is often used as a description for the whole northern district.

The Lower North Shore usually refers to the suburbs adjacent to the harbour such as Mosman, Cremorne, Cammeray, North Sydney, Lane Cove and Gladesville. The Lower North Shore has an eastern boundary adjacent to Middle Harbour, or at the Roseville Bridge in the quiet bushy suburbs of Castle Cove and Roseville Chase. The Upper North Shore usually refers to the suburbs north-west of Chatswood in the upper reaches of Ku-ring-gai and including suburbs such as St. Ives, Pymble, and Turramurra.


After the establishment of Sydney in 1788, settlement of the North Shore of the harbour was quite limited. The first settler was James Milson. The north shore was more rugged than the southern shore and western areas of the harbour, and had limited agricultural potential. The early activities in the area included felling many of the tall trees which grew there, boatbuilding, and some orchard farming in the limited areas of good soil. The North Shore Line was originally built in the 1890s to link the settlements in the area, and suburban development gradually expanded. However, access to Sydney, located on the southern shore of the harbour, remained very limited. The completion of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932 marked the commencement of a massive expansion of suburbs on the North Shore between 1932 and the 1970s.


Most of the North Shore suburbs are part of the Hawkesbury Plateau, a large sandstone plateau overlaid by a system of ridges and gullies. The Plateau begins north of the Port Jackson and runs up until the Hawkesbury River. Thus much of the North Shore is hilly with many steep valleys running down into the harbour and the rivers on either side. These ridges and valleys were originally populated with dry sclerophyll forest, much of which still remains. There are many small parks and areas of the sclerophyll forest adjacent to and within residential areas, earning the area the nickname "the leafy North Shore". The Lane Cove National Park and the Garigal National Park include many areas of remnant bushland adjacent to the Lane Cove River and Middle Harbour. There is excellent bushwalking, abseiling and bouldering around Lindfield. Gordon houses one of Sydney's largest bat colonies in a Bat reserve leading to Middle Harbour.

Transport and commercial centres[]

The main transport routes on the North Shore are the Pacific Highway and the North Shore Line which provide access to downtown Sydney over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Significant commercial and retail centres on the North Shore include North Sydney, Crows Nest, Chatswood, St Leonards, Neutral Bay, Macquarie Park, Gordon, and Hornsby.

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Regions of Sydney
CBD | Eastern Suburbs | Greater Western Sydney | Hills District | Central West | Inner West | Northern Beaches | North Shore (Lower and Upper) | Southern Sydney | St George | South-eastern Sydney | South-western Sydney
Local Government Areas of Sydney
Ashfield | Auburn | Bankstown | Baulkham Hills | Blacktown | Botany Bay | Burwood | Camden | Campbelltown | Canada Bay | Canterbury | Fairfield | Holroyd | Hornsby | Hunter's Hill | Hurstville | Kogarah | Ku-ring-gai | Lane Cove | Leichhardt | Liverpool | Manly | Marrickville | Mosman | North Sydney | Parramatta | Penrith | Pittwater | Randwick | Rockdale | Ryde | Strathfield | Sutherland | City of Sydney | Warringah | Waverley | Willoughby | Woollahra
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