They were considerable revenue earners, the income used for maintenance and upkeep of the roads. There were initially two main arterial routes from Sydney to the region. One was by the now Old South Head Road, then Bronte and Frenchmanís Road and Avoca Street. The other followed what is now Anzac Parade, Alison and Belmore Roads, toll houses were located along their ways.
Originally a State venture, control eventually passed to the individual councils. The tolls ran the gamut from a farthing to a shilling, depending on the animals and conveyances involved.