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RJ Mackey Real Estate

Area History


A Little History of Robertson


Situated on the Illawarra Escarpment above Wollongong and East of Moss Vale, the area was first known as the “Yarrawa Brush”. The land was covered with forests of giant Messmate trees and dense brush, the rich volcanic soil supported an almost impenetrable forest of hard and soft timbers entwined with thick brush.

Charles Throsby and his servant, Joe Wild were most likely the first white men to explore the area but found the brush too thick, and development of the more open west country was preferred.

In 1830 Surveyor, Robert Hoddle was instructed to “Open the brush from Bong Bong towards the sea”, so as a good road may be opened from the interior of Camden to the ports of Gerringong & Kiama. Hoddle was impressed by the brush covered country, but agreed with Throsby that the cost of clearing the land would be too great. It wasn’t till the Robertson Land Act of 1861 was passed that the farmers of the South Coast tackled the fearsome ‘Yarrawa Brush’.

On the 18th February 1862 the ‘Kiama Independent’ reported that Alderman John Hanrahan had traveled up the Jamberoo Mountain and had discovered a large tract of agricultural and pastoral land, well watered and accessible, and that he intended immediately to make selection there for himself.

The first settlers worked hard to clear the land, carving their farms and building homes with their own hands. A close knit community developed with pride in their town and achievements.

Agriculture was the basic economy, with the area becoming well known for the quality of its produce, especially the humble potato.

Today’s visitors can enjoy glorious scenery and unique rainforest landscape. Close by majestic waterfalls are worthy of inspection or you can just stop a while in the town ship with it’s many early sandstone building, exploring the local craft & art shops, and experiencing the warmth of an Australian country community.