The beautiful, crescent-shaped beach at Dee Why - one of Sydney’s famous northern beaches, about 20km from the CBD - is backed by a lagoon. This lake, although still a wildlife and bird refuge, is a shadow of its former self when it teemed with our feathered friends.
In 1963, the black swans which frequented the lagoon, and remain the symbol of the suburb, simply took off, never to return in any numbers, due no doubt to the death of the seagrasses on which they dined, another casualty of encroaching humanity on this once pristine environment.
The Dee Why beach is part of a chain of nine beaches and 185ha of sand, foreshore dunes and bluffs administered by the Warringah Shire Council, which also holds stewardship over 5900ha of bushland and reserves.
As well as being an integral part of the peninsula way of life, the northern beaches have a rich surf life-saving and board riding history which began when the legendary Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku rode the Freshwater waves in 1915.