Our Stories

Learning about the history of the Milton-Ulladulla area is much more than reading through lists of dates, names and facts. Every place has its unique stories – stories that explain why a place is what it is today. They bring to life the character of the people who have lived there and how, over centuries, they have interacted with and changed their local environment.

The stories of Milton-Ulladulla are the stories of its Aboriginal indigenous inhabitants, of the early settlers who came here in the 1800s and their descendants and, because even yesterday is now history, the more recent stories of the many people who have chosen to call this part of the New South Wales South Coast their home through the 20th and 21st centuries.

From Bendalong to Bawley Point, Conjola to Croobyar, Turmeil to Tabourie Lake, and Yatte Yattah to Yadboro, and from the Dreamtime to today, here are the stories of our place.

People Places Events Industries

The Drurys of Glencoe

By the 1840s, the fertile land closest to the sea had been taken up. It needed a hardy breed to tackle the rugged country shelving from Pigeon House Mountain. Michael Drury hailed from London; his innate resource and Cockney adaptability helped him to pioneer at Glencoe.

Early settlement and industries

In April 1770 Captain James Cook sailed past Ulladulla as he made his way up the coast in HMS Endeavour and then, in January 1788, the First Fleet arrived in Port Jackson (later Sydney) bringing convicts, marines and a few free settlers to the new colony of New South Wales.  

Pigeon House Mountain – Didthul

The first reference to any feature of the country within a radius of 20 miles of Ulladulla was made by Captain James Cook aboard HMS Endeavour while on his voyage north along the Australian east coast. Two days after his discovery of that coast, at 7am on 21  April 1770, he noted in his private log that he saw a peaked hill bearing N. 10′ E, t.

Shipwrecks of Milton-Ulladulla

Early in local European settlement, travel by sea was the quickest and most economical way to transport both passengers and produce to other places. Not until the early 1950s were roads and road vehicles efficient enough to totally replace coastal shipping. Vessels to and from Britain, European and other ports regularly passed along our coastline. Before settlement whalers and sealers ranged as far south as Bass Strait.

May Kiely: ostrich feather curler, singer, ladies’ companion

No Edwardian woman of taste and fashion was complete without an ostrich feather fan, boa, trimmed hat or edged cape. As the demand for ostrich feathers grew, many ostrich farms were established throughout NSW and workers developed the special skills required to dye, dress and curl the feathers. For over 20 years the Milton district had a thriving ostrich feather farm near Pigeon House Mountain, attracting premier feather dresser May Kiely to come and work there in the early 1900s.

Latest Articles

  • Ulladulla’s famous Funland, and Rowen’s Arcade

    In the late 1940s and early 1950s, with my wife Doreen, we would spend many weekends in the Milton-Ulladulla area, spear fishing and water skiing. When King’s Point was subdivided, we had the first house built there by Millard and Ingold builders, as a weekender.

  • Farewell Joanne Ewin

    The Milton Ulladulla Historical Society (MUHS) recently lost one of its highly-valued Life Members with the passing of Joanne Ewin on 24 January 2018, a well-known and respected member of the Milton-Ulladulla community and a past secretary of MUHS.

  • Have you found Millards Creek Weir, Ulladulla?

    Have you seen a piece of Ulladulla’s history, existing since 1861, near a busy road, but only noticed by a few pedestrians? It is the weir over Millards Creek, 20 metres off St Vincent Street, looking west.

  • Heritage trees in Milton Ulladulla

    The heritage fig in Milton is a well-known landmark and much loved by locals and visitors and the historic elm outside the Anglican church is also an important part of Milton’s history.

  • Milton Ulladulla in 1883

    On 20 January 1883, the popular broadsheet publication ‘Australian Town and Country Journal’ published a unique insight into the district of Milton-Ulladulla. Called ‘Southern Pencillings’ and attributed to ‘The Raven’, it included several line drawings featuring Pigeon House mountain, Lake Conjola, Airlie House and Ulladulla Harbour.