Crommelin Biological Research Station is located 60 km north of Sydney at Pearl Beach, and provides access to wet and dry sclerophyll forests, sandy beaches, mangrove swamps and intertidal rock platforms. The station, also known as Warrah, is sited on three hectares of land, half of which has been left uncleared.
Accommodation is basic with 25 beds, mainly in four rooms. There is a fully equipped kitchen, a dining room, a small unequipped laboratory area, and a common room which is suitable for discussion sessions. At present, the facility is available to employed research workers and educators from the tertiary education system only. Children under 18 years of age are not permitted to use the station.
Between 1906 to 1910, Miss Minard Fannie Crommelin was acting postmistress at Woy Woy on the NSW Central Coast. She fell in love with the area, became an enthusiastic bushwalker, and developed a keen interest in the local flora and fauna.
Despite her subsequent postings to over 200 different towns, it was this district that she retired to in 1935 when she was left a legacy which enabled her to purchase land at Pearl Beach. She built a house for herself and a cottage that was used by bushwalkers.
Miss Crommelin's interest in wildlife did not cease with her retirement - she fought hard for the preservation of the local ecosystems, wrote innumerable letters to the authorities, and was at one time or another a member of 154 conservation and natural history societies.
In 1947 she gave the cottages and their contents to the University of Sydney for use as a "natural field station for research into and for the promotion of the study and the improvement and preservation of the native flora and protection of the native fauna...". A valuable book collection formed part of this gift and many of these books are now housed in the rare book section of the University's library.
The Faculty of Science oversees the world’s only research station licensed to facilitate teaching and research on the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.
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