You have country towns and city suburbs and then you have Engadine, a place that is a kind hybrid of the two. I visited this town on a Sunday morning and if it were a true country town, the shops would be shut and only a few people would be hanging around in the centre. But Engadine is different. It has a country town feel about the place with everything tidy and spaced out but there are people out – on a Sunday morning – and many of the shops are open.
I had Amelie, my King Charles Cavalier with me as I wandered the streets and after she inspected the stuffed cats and dogs outside one of the shops (see above) we continued down the high street. A Scottish lady kindly introduced herself to Amelie as she had bread scottie dogs and apparently some scottish celebrity had one of her dogs offspring but I regret I can not recall the name of the said celebrity as I had not heard of them!
The town centre is modest in size with just essential stores available – butchers, newsagents, and chemists and all this of relatively recent addition. The area started off as grazing land but because of its closeness to the city Engadine became a destination for camping and day-trips. This did not really change until the 1920’s when the railway line arrived. The Post Office then opened in 1927 and the first school in 1932 and by the 1960’s the area had becoming more residential in nature.
Engadine, unlike many names, is not aboriginal in its nature, instead, it is named after the Engadin Valley in Switzerland. This decision was made following a visit by Charles McAlister to Switzerland who purchased much of the land in the area in 1890 (which was surprising and probably not without controversy as the area was reserved for a national park in 1879).
The Engadine area is still picturesque with the Royal National park bordering on the suburb in one direction. In the other direction you have Lucas Heights which I was surprised to learn was home to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and their nuclear reactor.