Oct 6, 2017

Woodford Dam

The Woodford Creek Dam was completed in 1928 primarily to supply water for steam locomotives. The dam wall was raised in 1937 and again in 1948 to meet the water needs  of the lower Blue Mountains. It is no longer an active part of the Blue Mountains water supply system.

While the lake and dam are not open to the public some bush tracks near the dam are open to bushwalkers and cyclists, and provide views of the lake and surrounding rugged bushland.
       Location map         WaterNSW -  Dam Info & History

Sep 28, 2017

Lake Parramatta

Lake Parramatta Reserve in North Parramatta is a bushland reserve originally the catchment for Parramatta's water supply before 1910.

I grew up within 5kms of Lake Parramatta but had never walked around it, until recently.

The State Heritage listed dam wall was completed in
1856 and utilises a single arch design

    The Lake Parramatta brochure warns of uneven surfaces on the tracks around the reserve.

Public transport is available via Hills Bus Route #609 (nearest stop on Bourke Street).

          Beyondtracks  Map of 4.2Km circuit              History

Aug 1, 2017

Woolwich - Hunters Hill

Woolwich and much of Hunters Hill occupy a peninsula between the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers. see Map

Woolwich Dock from Woolwich lookout

The Woolwich Dock, at 188 metres long and 27 metres wide, when it opened in 1901 was, the largest in Australia. As you can see, the dock which was excavated from the sandstone, is still used today for small scale boat and yacht maintenance.
On my walk I enjoyed a break at the cafe before exploring the adjacent Parklands: Clarkes Point Reserve, Morts Reserve and areas named 'Goat Paddock' and 'Horse Paddock' from early days. (harbourtrust PDF).

Morts Reserve from Clarkes Point Reserve

                                                                               To the west of the Woolwich Parklands is Kelly's Bush, one of few remnant bushland on the foreshores of the Parramatta River.  The area was very much in the news in 1970s 'when a group of local residents enlisted the assistance of unions to oppose development of the site'. Similar issues elsewhere are still apparent today.

Vienna Cottage,  Hunters Hill

 Vienna Cottage in Alexandra St, is a National Trust property built in 1871. It is a typical cottage of a tradesman of the day. A number of French, Italian and Swiss people were among the founders of the municipality. In the 1850s some of the immigrants from the north of Italy settled in the area and worked as stonemasons.
Now used for shops and offices, the former Garibaldi Hotel (completed in 1862) in Ferry Street (photos below) reflects this Italian past. 

While sandstone buildings make up only a small proportion of homes, they are an importance part of the character of the area. 
A sandstone home - Hunters Hill

The photo above was taken from the Tarban Creek Bridge looking east towards Pulpit Point, with Sydney CBD in the distance.

I caught a ferry from Circular Quay and started my walk from the Woolwich wharf. I ended my walk at Huntleys Point wharf.                Walks in Hunters Hill            Lane Cove Rv walk 

            Hunters Hill history                 Woolwich Dock history      

                          Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Act 2001           Great North Walk section

Jul 6, 2017

Grand Canyon track - Blackheath

Described as one of the most spectacular walking tracks in NSW the Canyon walk is around 6km in length and ~400m from the lowest point to the top. We caught a bus from Katoomba to the stop on Evans Lookout Road nearest the Neates Glen carpark, which is the start (or end) of the walk.

                 Map            GPS map                 WildWalks              NPWS information

After the steep climb out, we had lunch at Evans lookout. It was a further 2km back to the bus stop.

May 27, 2017

Hydro Majestic

The Hydro Majestic is situated on top of the escarpment overlooking the Megalong Valley at Medlow Bath, in the Blue Mountains. The heritage listed hotel was developed by the retailer Mark Foy as a health retreat. He renamed and re-branded the hotel in 1906 as a luxury retreat. After many years of decline the hotel was closed in 2008 and reopened in 2014, after significant refurbishment.

 The Hydro Majestic buildings have a range of architectural styles, including Art Deco and Edwardian  (Federation)

           The Hydro Majestic                      Heritage Information                        Location Map

Mar 16, 2017

The Botanic Story of Chocolate

'Sweet Addiction' is the first exhibition to open in 'The Calyx', a world-class horticultural exhibition space at The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. I have been planning to visit for some time, but only did so this week. The exhibition which opened last year, closed on 17th April 2017

The indoor exhibition space features a huge curved green wall covered with over 18,000 plants.


Rain forest plants such as this flowering plant, are in the garden beds on the floor.

 'The story begins in the depths of a tropical rain forest, and takes visitors on a journey through chocolate plantations and the ingredients that go into chocolate making'

A self-guided audio tour is include.

Cacao plant

      A section of the display, with part of the botanic 'chocolate box' on the green wall behind.             

Australian Botanic Garden -   posts

A new exhibition has opened at The Calyx