Frenchs Forest is currently undergoing a transformation with roads & infrastructure being upgraded for the state of the art Northern Beaches Hospital. A proposed new Town Centre is on the drawing board, making Frenchs Forest a highly sought-after suburb.
For a more in depth analysis click here
Govenor Phillip was among the first group of men to traverse the area in April 1788, but it was not until 1853 that brothers Simeon and James Pearce bought 81ha in the area.
In 1856, James French, after whom the suburb takes its name, bought 17ha adjoining the Pearce's land. French set about developing a timber industry and felled the tall trees for which the area was noted. He established two sawmills, from which the timber was carted by bullocks to a wharf at Bantry Bay and shiped to other parts of the harbour.
The first permanent residents of Frenchs Forest were William and Hannah Hews and their three children. Hews and his family arrived at Frenchs Forest in 1885, the proud owners of 4ha bought from James French for £200. Hews later bought another 8ha from French. Hews established a brickworks at Frenchs Forest, from where the bricks were carted to Manly, Narrabeen or to punt at The Spit. The brickworks employed upward of 40 people, who were housed in small cottages for the married men and a dormitory for the single men.
Suddenly the Forest was a community of at least 50 people and several houses and cottages, centred around Hews and his brickworks. The brickworks ceased operating during World War I when the clay for the bricks ran out.
1960 – Intersection of Warringah Rd & Wakehurst Parkway
From these humble beginnings, Frenchs Forest is now undergoing a major transformation.
The Northern Beaches Hospital is currently under construction and is due for completion in 2018. The hospital will be nine storeys high and includes a helipad for emergency transport. There will be 14 operating theatres & 488 beds with room for expansion in the future.
New roads and transport infrastructure is being provided by the NSW Government and Northern Beaches Council is developing a precinct plan for the area.
View a time lapse video of construction of the hospital here.
Things to do
Organic Food & Farmers Market – Parkway Hotel - 5 Frenchs Forest Road East
Visit the Frenchs Forest Markets – open every Sunday from 8am – 1pm
Start early with a freshly brewed coffee or freshly squeezed juice and a gourmet bacon & egg roll. You will find fresh food, patisserie, dips, bread, cheese, olives, berries, freshly made pasta, hot wood smoked salmon, organic meat and fresh seafood as well as clothes, plants and fresh flowers, books & beauty products.
Warringah Aquatic Centre – Aquatic Drive, Frenchs Forest
The aquatic centre is open 7 days per week with diving boards and both indoor & outdoor pools. An ideal place to take the kids for a splash, do some laps or join in the aqua aerobics classes.
Frenchs Forest Bushland Cemetery – 1 Hakea Avenue, Frenchs Forest
Explore the history of the Forest area on a guided tour of the Frenchs Forest Bushland Cemetery, which occupies an area of 22 hectares (54 acres).
Frenchs Forest Showground – Blackbutts Road, Frenchs Forest
Take your furry friends for a run on this unleashed dog area. The showground is also the site for community events such as horse riding events, fireworks night, Christmas carols and is home to the NRL Belrose Eagles and The Wakehurst Tigers Football Club.
Mountain bike trails
Gahnia mountain bike trail is accessed via Grattan Crescent, Frenchs Forest. To get there:
Make your way to Warringah Road, Frenchs Forest
Turn on to Bantry Bay Road and travel south
Turn right on to Grattan Crescent
Serrata mountain bike trail is accessed via Currie Road, Forestville. To get there:
Make your way to Warringah Road, Frenchs Forest
Turn onto Maxwell parade & follow this road right to the end
Turn on to Currie Road and travel east
There’s a 2.6km ride that connects both trails via Bantry Bay Road, Yarraman Avenue, Parni Place, Maxwell Parade and Currie Road. For a full list of walking & riding trails go to our Quick Links section.
Cafes & Restaurants
The Old Civic – Forest Way Shopping Centre, Frenchs Forest
Pop into The Old Civic for good coffee & breakfasts plus a great selection of food with a slight Mexican feel.
Cappucino King - Forest Way Shopping Centre, Frenchs Forest
This is the place to go if you want a great sandwich that is packed with so much filling it's hard to get your mouth around it!
Chilli House Thai Cuisine- 57 Sorlie Road, Frenchs Forest
Are you craving dish that is hot, spicy, delicious, fresh and aromatic? Chilli House has a wide variety of Thai specialties such as snowpea stir fry, cashew nut and sweet and sour. We recommend the Chilli House special menu, which includes spicy Chilli House stir fry, tamarind prawns, spicy duck, chilli jam combo and heavenly beef.
Ramons Restaurant – 61 Sorlie Road, Frenchs Forest
Ramons Restaurant has been a landmark eatery in Frenchs Forest for over 25 years. The restaurant provides for indoor and outdoor dining in a quiet location nestled in leafy Frenchs Forest. Ramons Restaurant specialises in the finest Italian cuisine and in addition to the succulent dine in menu, take away gourmet pizzas are available.