Dec 2, 2013

Euroka Clearing

We began this pleasant day walk at the Glenbrook entrance to the Blue Mountains National Park.

Glenbrook Creek near causeway


Sulphur Crested Cockatoos

We passed through an area with trees showing regrowth after hazard reduction burning (left), before reaching the popular picnic and camping area.

Euroka was cleared by early settlers for farming on the volcanic soil. There are forty camping sites at Euroka spread around five camping areas within the large grassy basin. (Camping sites must be booked)

Apple Tree Flat camping area
Our walk was around 8Km return from Glenbrook station via Bruce Road, with an extra 2Km loop from Euroka to the Nepean River.  There is a steep climb out from causeway to park entrance.
 map link

Nov 16, 2013

Wentworth Falls Lake Reserve


Updated 8th January 2015

Wentworth Falls Lake was created in the early 1900s to supply water for steam locomotives, by damming Jamison Creek.

Wentworth Falls Lake Reserve has a picnic area and children's playground with sandstone sculptures, based on seed pods of local plant, nearby. There is a walking track around the lake, of about 3.5 Km. in length. (this includes some walking along Waratah & Banksia Rds.)

Much of the lake is surrounded by sensitive hanging swamp, which is listed as an 'Endangered Ecological Community'

                              BMCC info                  GPS trace map                       location map

Nov 2, 2013

Gore Cove track to Berry Island

This 6.5Km walk which starts at Smoothey Park Wollstonecraft, follows a narrow green corridor along Berry Creek and Gore Cove to Berry Island.

Beencke’s Bridge (left), built in 1964 to replace a wooden trestle bridge, is named after the Greenwich stonemason and carpenter who built the original footbridge.

The walk passes through rain forest remnants along Berry Creek, then through open woodland along the Gore Cove foreshore.

The small island was originally joined to the mainland by narrow mudflats which have since been filled and a lawn established. The bushland was regenerated and is now maintained by North Sydney Council. There is a short circular bushland track with views of the harbour and information about Aboriginal history.
Gore Cove from Berry Is.

Our group had planned to complete our walk back to Wollstonecraft station through Badangi Bushland Reserve but hazard reduction on the day prevented this. This walk can also end at Waverton Station. (see map)

Badangi Reserve on Balls Head Bay
                             North Sydney Council Bushland Reserves info          location map 

Oct 20, 2013

Mamre House

Mamre House, at Orchard Hills, is recognised as a property of State significance. This substantial Georgian homestead, was the residence of the Rev. Samuel Marsden during the 1820s and 1830s. He was a colonial chaplain, magistrate and pastoralist who helped pioneer the Australian wool industry by importing and breeding the famous Merino sheep. 

The property later became the residence of Richard Rouse, a prominent public servant and grazier. It is now leased to the Sisters of Mercy who run a program combining job creation, training and tourism, for people returning to the workforce, those with a disability, and refugees.

Mamre House

Companion Garden

As well as the training centre, Mamre House includes a restaurant and tearoom (closed Mondays), a plant nursery and gift shop.

                 Location map

Buses from St Marys railway station: 776 bus (Mamre Rd. just after Motorway at St. Clair)  775 bus  (turns off at nearby Banks Drive St. Clair)

Oct 7, 2013

Newington Armory

Now part of the parklands of Sydney Olympic Park, Newington Armory is a riverside site of undulating hills and woodlands, set aside in the late 1800s for a military magazine. Stone sea walls were constructed along the foreshore of the Parramatta River fronting the site and the mudflats were filled in to gain more land for farms, docks and a wharf.

Control transferred to the Royal Australian Navy in 1921, and the RAN Armament Depot expanded up until the 1960s. The depot remained one of two Navy ammunition storage depots in Sydney until December 1999, with ownership transferring to the State Government's Olympic Coordination Authority.

Bld 20 -1897 Powder magazine

The site is now listed on the state heritage register, due to its significant and rare extensive military and industrial landscape. The earth covering around the magazines, seen in the photos above, acted as a blast shield in the event of an explosion.

Within the grounds are an Artists Studio, a YMCA camping lodge, a theatre that was formerly a naval storehouse, and the Birds Australia Discovery Centre, which includes an extensive bird book library, education room and interpretation centre for bird conservation.


The Heritage Railway 

This is a 2-foot gauge railway powered by storage battery locomotives, which was used to transport munitions from the wharf  to magazines scattered throughout the site. The photo below (bottom left) shows a mock-up of such a train. As you can see it has now been adapted to take tour passengers.


I have wanted to visit Newington Armory since our walking group visited the area on a week day earlier this year. On that occasion we saw the wharf and the gatehouse.
The Armory is only open on the weekends, and the Heritage Railway, which takes you into a restricted section of the reserve, only runs Sundays (10.30am to 1pm when I visited)Riding the Rails 

If walking or cycling, the Newington Armory can be reached along the River Walk - from the Wilson Park (Silverwater Rd.) end, or from the Sydney Olympic Park Wharf (~2Km) (see 525 & 526 bus routes). The nearby Blaxland Riverside Park is a very popular spot on the weekends, and cars were parked back along Jamieson St. to Holker St. when I visited.             Location map

Sep 20, 2013

Prince Henry Cliff Walk (2)

The Prince Henry Cliff walk, which can be started and finished at various spots along Cliff Drive, was opened in 1934 and ran from Katoomba Falls in the west to Leura Cascades in the east. A second stage extended the track from Leura Cascades eastwards to Gordon Falls.

View from Honeymoon Point, Katoomba
As the name suggests, it follows the cliff top around past various lookouts. We started our walk from Cliff Drive near the Solitary Restaurant and walked to Echo Point.


 The photo below shows the top of the first of the Three Sisters, with Mt Solitary in the distance.

Prince Henry Cliff Walk is visited by more than 100,000 people a year and offers magnificent floodlit views ofKatoomba Falls, Orphan Rock and the Three Sisters at night.    
                           More photo from earlier post
NSW National Parks - Prince Henry Cliff Walk information & map

Sep 3, 2013

Gore Creek bushland walk

Our urban walks take us past a variety of locations. We started this walk from St.Leonards station (around 3Km from North Sydney) then through Gore Hill Park and Gore Hill Memorial Cemetery (left).

   Location map  

We descended into Lane Cove Bushland Park  only a few hundred meters from busy Pacific Highway. It is a steep sided and narrow bushland remnant, which starts on a tributary of Gore Creek, leading to Gore Creek Reserve near the mouth of the Lane Cove River.

(right) We wondered why our walk leader had told us to "bring a torch" for this walk.
Lillypilly Falls
Lillypilly Falls (above), once a popular swimming and picnic spot, is still a pretty spot, but is now diminished by development.  It is named after the Acmena smithii trees which grow in the area.

Gore Creek, Lane Cove River
We returned to the city by ferry from Bay Street Greenwich.

Aug 22, 2013

Pool of Siloam - Leura

This pleasant walk, which starts at Gordon Falls Reserve picnic area at Leura, kept us mostly out of the wind until we reached the top on our return. The track leads down steps into the gully to a rainforest pocket on the Gordon Creek.
'Pool of Siloam' Leura
                                   (below) View from near Golf Link Lookout, looking towards Sublime Point

The walk to the Pool of Siloam can be completed by returning the same way, however our leader took us on an alternative track, which ended at The Links Rd. The walk back to the station from there, took us past Everglades Gardens, which is well worth a visit in my opinion.                        Map link                       'Wildwalks'

Aug 6, 2013

Rozelle Bay to Pyrmont Bay

We started this walk at Rozelle light rail station, and mostly followed the Glebe foreshores around Rozelle and Blackwattle Bays to Wentworth Park.   Location map

Anzac Bridge

(above left) Bellevue House on Blackwattle Bay (includes a cafe)
(above right) James Craig, a three-masted, iron-hulled barque, restored and sailed by the Sydney Heritage Fleet

Our group extended the walk, cutting through Pyrmont to Johnstons Bay, and ending at Pyrmont Bay light rail station.
(below) Wind turbine - Glebe foreshore
[Worth a look: At Pyrmont Point Park we passed Tied To Tide, a kinetic artwork activated by tide, wave and wind]

Jul 12, 2013

Warrimoo to Sun Valley (2)

These are some photos taken on our enjoyable return to Sun Valley, near Springwood, in the lower Blue Mountains, following the fire trails from Warrimoo.

More photos and details in my original Sun Valley post 

Jun 21, 2013

Rydalmere to Olympic Park

This excursion started with a RiverCat journey from Parramatta to the Rydalmere wharf. We walked along the River Trail from the wharf to the Silverwater bridge.

Rivercat from the Silverwater Bridge

Crossing the bridge to the southern bank of the Parramatta River, we continued along the shared (walk & bike) River Walk to the Blaxland Riverside Park, probably the biggest payground in Sydney. The Park was originally part of the Newington Estate granted to pioneer grazier John Blaxland, brother of the famous explorer Gregory Blaxland.

Section of Blaxland Riverside Park

Newington Armory Gatehouse

A little further on we came to the Newington Armory's original 1897 gate house (above). The former RAN Armament Depot, is situated between the southern bank of the Parramatta River and the former Olympic Village, now the suburb of Newington. We couldn't explore the Armory as it is only open on weekends.
3-ton stationary electric wharf jib cranes (below right), installed on Newington Armory wharf in 1974.


We continued walking along the river bank to reach the Sydney Olympic Park wharf.

Olympic Park Maps                                                             Olympic Park Bike hire