Situated on a ridge up to 80 metres above North Harbour and Middle Harbour, some houses have panoramic views of the harbour, Eastern Suburbs and Spit Bridge. The suburb features remnant Sydney Harbour bushland, contained in the National Park around Dobroyd Head and Grotto Point. Tania Park at the eastern fringe offers relaxed recreation and one can watch the Manly ferry cut its way to Circular Quay.
Balgowlah was named in 1832 after an Aboriginal word meaning north harbour in reference to its position on Port Jackson. The area was not developed until the 1960s.
According to the 2011 census of Population, there were 3,268 residents in Balgowlah Heights. 67.9% of residents were born in Australia. The most common other countries of birth were England 11.9%, South Africa 2.8% and New Zealand 2.3%. 87.9% of residents spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Greek 1.9%, German 0.9% and Italian 0.9%. The most common responses for religious affiliation were Anglican 31.2%, Catholic 23.6% and No Religion 21.8%.
Balgowlah Heights is in the federal electorate of Warringah (a seat held by Tony Abbott of the Liberal Party of Australia), the state electorate of Manly (a seat held by Liberal Party MP Michael Baird) and is within the local council area of Manly.
^The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8