Pittwater is to the North of Sydney Harbour. It is a magnificent haven for pleasure boats of all types. The bay was named by Captain Arthur Phillp in 1788 in honour of William Pitt, the Younger, who was then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

It is close to the mouth of the Hawkesbury River, an area known as Broken Bay. In the early days of the penal colony, this area was essentially lawless and provided sanctuary for escaped convicts.