Balgowlah is a suburb of northern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Balgowlah is located 12 kilometres north-east of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of Warringah Council, in the Northern Beaches region. Balgowlah shares the postcode 2093 with the adjacent suburbs of Manly Vale, Balgowlah Heights and North Balgowlah.
Balgowlah was named in 1832 after an Aboriginal word meaning north harbour in reference to its position from Port Jackson. In the early days of European Settlement it had been known as Little Manly. Sir Edmund Barton, Australia's first prime minister, resided in the building known as Whitehall in White Street. Since 2004, Whitehall has been the site of the Norwegian Seamen's Church.
According to the 2011 census of Population, there were 7,495 residents in Balgowlah. 65.8% of residents were born in Australia. The most common other countries of birth were England 8.7%, New Zealand 3.0% and South Africa 1.9%. 83.5% of residents spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included French 1.0%, Greek 0.8% and Cantonese 0.7%. The most common responses for religious affiliation were Catholic 26.4%, No Religion 26.0% and Anglican 22.8%.
Balgowlah is home to the Stockland Village shopping centre which is built on the site of the historic Totem shopping centre. As the Totem complex was run down at the time of its demolition the Totem name was not continued however the centre is still colloquially referred to as "Totem" in the area.
The nearest major shopping centre is Warringah Mall, located 2 kilometres north of the suburb. There are a few smaller shopping areas in Balgowlah, some of them the remnants of the traditional "corner shop" prior to the 1960s. The area is serviced by boutiques, real estate agents, two banks, bakery, grocer, fish market, restaurants, florist, a hardware store, a liquor store, post office, hair dressers, travel agents, delicatessen, photocopying store etc.
Balgowlah is one of the destinations for the Hop-Skip-Jump free bus service operated by Manly Council. Numerous public buses also operate in the area, the majority coming through Balgowlah en-route to Manly, Warringah Mall, Seaforth and the city
Schools in the Balgowlah region include "St. Cecilias Primary School", "Balgowlah Heights Public School", "Manly West Public School" and "Balgowlah Boys High School".
Parks and Reserves
The North Harbour Reserve on Condamine Street, south of the shopping centre, is a popular picnic spot for large groups. The reserve is also on the scenic walk that runs from Manly through Fairlight, Balgowlah, Balgowlah Heights and Clontarf to The Spit, near the Spit Bridge