Pebbly Beach history

European settlement of Pebbly Beach started in the early 1900s when a saw mill was established. It cut timber from all around the district. Logs were brought to the mill by horse and bullock drawn carts. Francis Guy was the mill owner.

After milling, the timber was taken out by steam ship. The timber was loaded onto a horse drawn tram which took it over the dunes and across the rock platform at the northern end of the beach. A flying fox was used to load the timber onto the steamer. The large pole that supported this flying fox can still be seen on the rock platform.

The tram tracks had to cross a stream which flows into the northern end of the beach. One of the posts from the bridge over the stream is still visible today.

The saw mill was on the dune above the centre of the beach. There was also a small office on the dune, just south of the mill.

The settlement was home for up to 200 people. There was only one horse road in but supplies usually arrived by ship. There were married and bachelor areas. There was a blacksmith shop and a small school building was built just below where the northern cabins now stand.

The mill closed in the late 1920s. Local farmers used the cleared land for grazing during the years that followed though the mill building still stood on the dune. The surrounding forest was part of the Kioloa State Forest.

In the mid 1940s Ushka and Ralph Schwallbach took on the southern part of Pebbly Beach and a long term lease over the now existing camping and day use areas. Ralph was an engineer. The first cabin - "Mackerel Mansion" - was built in 1946. Ushka also rented tents for people to stay. Their house was built in 1947. Three more cabins were added in 1948 which were also rented out.

Ushka wanted the area to stay as it was, with little development. Through her efforts the area was declared a nature reserve to stop shooters killing the wildlife in the area. In 1975 the Murramarang National Park was created which included the area around Pebbly Beach.

In 1978 Ushka sold the southern leased area to Stuart and Yvonne McFarlane. The northern leased area was bought by Yvonnes' father Jack Higgins in 1963 and cabins were established there. Jack Higgins managed the camping ground for National Parks for a period of 25 years.

beach history
saw mill
cabins and tents