Menai is a suburb in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Menai is located 29 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of the Sutherland Shire.
Menai is not, as many people first guess, an Aboriginal
name, but is named after Menai Bridge
, a town on the Menai Strait
, Great Britain
The area now known as Menai was originally called Bangor in 1895 by the land's owner, a farmer named Owen Jones, after his birthplace Bangor in Wales. To avoid confusion with Bangor in Tasmania, the Postmaster General's Office changed the suburb name to Menai in 1910. Menai Bridge in Wales lies opposite Bangor on the Menai Strait. When Menai expanded, the eastern section became Bangor again.
Menai contains a bustling shopping centre around Menai Road with many retail stores and fine restaurants. The two major retail developments are called Menai Central and Menai Marketplace. Menai Marketplace is located beside the Menai Community Buildings and features a Woolworths
supermarket, Big W
discount department store and many specialty shops including an Electronics Boutique
, Bakers Delight
, Michel's Patisserie
and Gloria Jean's
. The restaurants include Caesars Gourmet Pizza Restaurant, Rocksalt, Timeout Cafè, Palace Garden Chinese restaurant and Bua Thai.
Overdevelopment of housing and a lack of existing through-roads in this bushland suburb led to traffic congestion. The completion of the first stage of Bangor Bypass project
in 2005 has reduced the problem.
Menai is a newer suburb, having been developed only since the early 1980s, and as such, nearly all the homes are new 4-bedders with dual bathrooms and double-garages and mostly owner occupied. In fact, the region has the highest rate of home ownership in Australia, at over 70% (according to the last census).
Sport and Recreation
An indoor sporting complex is adjacent to the Menai shopping centre. Menai is home to the Menai Junior Rugby League Football Club
who are known by the rhyming couplet "menai, head high", in a reference to their tough playing style by other rugby league
juniors throughout the Sutherland Shire.
Large outdoor playing fields, including a championship golf course and a state-of-the-art athletics field, are found in the nearby suburb of Barden Ridge, just a few minutes away. These will be accompanied by hockey fields and a world class BMX facility.
Menai's schools include Menai Primary [K-6], Aquinas College
[Catholic, 7-12] and Holy Family Primary School
[Catholic, K-6]. Residents also use schools in neighbouring suburbs such as Alfords Point Primary [Public, K-6] in Alfords Point, Menai High [Public, 7-12], Tharawal [Public, K-6] and Illawong Primary [Public, K-6] in Illawong and Bangor Primary School [K-6] and Inaburra High School [K-12] in Bangor.
- The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollen, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8