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Maroubra is a beachside suburb in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is 10 kilometres south-east of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of the City of Randwick.
Maroubra is the largest suburb within Randwick City Council by both area and population Maroubra Junction is a locality in the centre of the suburb.
Maroubra is a local Aboriginal word meaning place of thunder. In 1861, the first house was built in the area by Humphrey McKeon. A number of other settlers arrived on the land in the 1870s to work on the wool scouring works located at the northern end of the bay.
The suburb first made headlines on 6 May 1898, when the Hereward, a fully rigged iron ship weighing 1,513 tons was caught by the gale-force winds and shipwrecked at the northern end of Maroubra Beach while heading north toward Newcastle. The shipwreck remained on the beach for a number of years until a failed attempt to refloat it was made by building a coffer dam around the wreck.
The wreck was slowly washed out to sea afterwards; and by 1937 only a triangle dorsal fin was visible above sea level. In 1950, Randwick Council feared the danger that the remains posed, especially to surfers and swimmers, and had the remains blasted; such that by 1967 it appeared that there was nothing left of the ship.
In recent times, on various occasions, due to large swells and sweeping currents, large amounts of sand had moved off the sea floor and had exposed extensive portions of the Hereward which were once thought to be destroyed and lost forever. In March 2013 after large seas, extensive portions of the ship’s metal hull, along with mast and engine pieces were exposed to a greater extent than they ever had been before.
Major residential development only began in the 1910s after Herbert Dudley, a real estate developer, subdivided the land into residential blocks. Herbert Dudley also lobbied for the extension of the tramline to Maroubra Junction in 1912, where he had built Dudley’s Emporium which has just recently been redeveloped. In 1918 sixty-five allotments on Crown Lands bordered by Maroubra Bay Road, Cooper Street and Broad Road were auctioned by Stanton and Son Limited. The tram line was extended to Maroubra Beach in 1921.
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