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° on Friday in Mosman

13 Amazing Lower North Shore Bushwalks To Get You Moving During Lockdown

Lockdown 2.0 is here and while we grapple with how we got here once again, let’s take solace in the fact that we are still permitted to exercise outdoors, and that we live in one of the most stunning areas in Australia in which to enjoy ourselves outside. Local Robyn Kennedy has a passion for getting out and about in the Lower North Shore area, and writes a popular blog called ‘Life Out and About‘. Here we reproduce Robyn’s detailed list of local walks – we hope you try some of them!


1. Rawson Park – Georges Heights – Pretoria Ave, Mosman

A circular route via Rawson Park, along the leafy Headland Park track to the Georges Heights Artist Precinct… if you have time, enjoy a coffee or bite to eat at Frenchy’s outdoor café, then wander over to Pretoria Ave for superb views of Balmoral. We did the walk in the late afternoon when the light was golden, magic!

Views to Balmoral from Pretoria Ave
Georges Heights artist precinct & views from the Headland Park track
Frenchys Cafe & Headland Park track
1 Rawson Park – Walking Map

2. Upper Boyle St – Kareela St – Cremorne Point

This inspiring walk showcases beautiful Mosman Bay and the eastern path along Cremorne Point. Start at Upper Boyle Street to enjoy the expansive views down Mosman Bay, then wander along pretty Iredale Ave and Kareela Street with their palms, ferns and attractive gardens, before joining the well known Cremorne Point path. Other than the many stairs leading from the Cremorne Point path to Upper Boyle St, this is quite an easy circular route.

Views from Upper Boyle St to Mosman Bay & the City. Beautiful homes & gardens on the Cremorne Pt path east side
Cremorne Pt path with views down Mosman Bay
Cremorne Pt ‘rainforest home’, views down Mosman Bay & Kareela Rd garden
2. Upper Boyle St – Walking Map

3. Mosman Short Walk: Mandalong Lane – The Esplanade – Fairfax Rd, Mosman

One of the things we love about Mosman is how many of the cul-de-sacs hide secret paths. The Mandalong Lane path is a recent discovery and where we started our walk, although being a circular route you can of course start from anywhere 🙂 With fabulous views over Balmoral and gorgeous homes and gardens along the way we are sure to return. There are quite a few steps but overall it’s still a reasonably easy walk.

Superb views over the rooftops to the southern end of Balmoral
Balmoral views, homes & gardens along the way
Views toward Grotto Point Lighthouse at Dobroyd Head
3. Mandalong Lane – Walking Map
Map of walk starting at Mandalong Lane – Lower Almora – Esplanade – Fairfax Rd – The Grove

4. Mosman Bay & South Mosman

This is one of our regular ‘exercise’ walks… there are plenty of stairs to work the legs! The views from Mosman Bay Wharf over the marina and the Rowing Club are particularly appealing, and from Musgrave St you can enjoy spectacular views over Mosman Bay to the CBD (for the best views stay on the high side of Musgrave St wherever possible). When you reach Curraghbeena Point, take a break to admire the unique sandstone apartment block ‘The Castle’ and the views from the adjacent small park.

Mosman Bay, always special
Views from Musgrave St (the high side)
View along the walk
4 Mosman Bay – South Mosman – Walking Map
Mosman Bay Wharf to South Mosman circular route

5. Georges Heights-Headlands Park – Hidden Path, Mosman

The Georges Heights area has many inspiring bushwalks, as well as an artist precinct, cafes, white sandy beaches and the fabulous Georges Heights lookout. This walk includes a small section of Headlands Park, a hidden bush track, the long stairway to Balmoral beach and another bush track that leads to the Burnt Orange Restaurant… in case you fancy a coffee, brunch or lunch 🙂

We visited in early Spring when the Australian native flowers were at their best. It’s quite a shady walk so good for those hot summer days as well…. i.e. if you don’t mind lots of stairs!

The walk from Georges Heights to Burnt Orange through a beautiful Angophora forest
The hidden path that leads from Amaroo Cres
Bush flowers in Spring – on the track to Burnt Orange
Bush flowers in Spring – on the track to Burnt Orange
5. Georges Heights – Walking Map

Information

Where: Mosman Sydney NSW
Walks: 1.0 – 1.5 hour – easy-medium grade
Dogs: Yes – also Check Where to Walk your Dogs – Mosman
Open: Every day – no entry fees
Getting there: Mosman can be reached by Ferry, Bus & Car
Visit: Explore Lower North Shore

 

6. Beauty Point Foreshore Walk, Mosman

The Beauty Point Foreshore walk in Mosman follows the Middle Harbour foreshore between Quakers Hat and Pearl Bay/The Spit. Much of the track is just metres from the water’s edge as it winds its way through tall gums, ferns, palms and striking grass trees.

The Beauty Point Foreshore walk in Mosman follows the Middle Harbour foreshore between Quakers Hat and Pearl Bay/The Spit. Much of the track is just metres from the water’s edge as it winds its way through tall gums, ferns, palms and striking grass trees.

View looking toward Northbridge near the start of the track

This foreshore walk offers another beautiful perspective of Middle Harbour! I recommend doing it on a sunny day when the colours of Middle Harbour are a brilliant blue.

We did a circular route starting from a track near the corner of Central Ave and Bay St Mosman, returning via the streets (the start of the track is signposted). All up, about 1.5 hours at a leisurely pace. If you want to make more of a day of it, why not include a bite to eat at one of the cafes or restaurants at The Spit.

The track + lots of Lorikeets
Down to the water’s edge
Large rock platforms to enjoy the views or a have picnic
Striking grass trees along the Beauty Point Foreshore walk
Sculpted sandstone
Old Banksia man taking an afternoon siesta 🙂
Return via the streets – gorgeous homes & gardens

Information

Where: Between Quakers Hat & Pearl Bay/The Spit – Mosman
Walk: 1.0 – 1.5 hour – easy-medium grade
Dogs: Yes – also Check Where to Walk your Dogs – Mosman
Open: Every day – no entry fees
Getting there: Start near the corner of Central Ave & Bay St Mosman (or from the Spit Bridge)
Visit: Explore Lower North Shore

Map Beauty Point Foreshore Walk

 

 

7. Flat Rock Gully Walks, Willoughby

Tranquility & History

Flat Rock Gully in Willoughby is home to a network of cool tranquil bush walks, some with clear views to the impressive Long Gully Bridge, high overhead with historic stone towers. The walk described below explores the ‘Wilksch Walk’, as it winds its way from the top of the gully to Flat Rock Creek and the harbour.

Flat Rock Gully Trails

Flat Rock Gully Trails – Willoughby

The beautifully landscaped space at the the top of the gully was transformed from an old tip and soil fill area, an unlikely beginning! There are numerous native trees and plants plus a network of eerily enchanting trails that lead you down to the harbour. This is a wonderful place to experience nature, especially on a hot summer day.

***Be aware that some parts of the trails are rough with plenty of steps and tree roots to navigate. You will need sturdy shoes, good mobility and reasonable fitness.

Wilksch Walk – Flat Rock Gully

Wilkschs Walk described here starts at the end of Small Street in Willoughby, adjacent to the Willoughby Leisure Centre. Alternatively it can be accessed from the western end of Tunks Park.

At the end of Small St, follow the paved road past the roundabout and the large Flat Rock Gully sign. Take any of the paths to the left, they all seem to lead to the start of Wilksch Walk. The track is marked with an arrow, stepping stones and a fern as seen in pic above (left).

After following the track for a short distance along the upper north side of the gully you descend to Flat Rock Creek. It is hard to believe you’re still in the city, surrounded by tall trees, ferns, moss covered rocks and the sounds of the bush, birds and water. After heavy rain, don’t be surprised if you see some ‘unusual’ tree decorations along the creek!

When the track meets the creek, cross over and go left toward Tunks Park and the harbour. Alternatively, turn right after crossing the creek and follow the trail up the southern side of the gully, circling back to your starting point.

At the creek crossing you will see the remains of an historic stone wall which was constructed during the depressions of the 1890’s and 1930’s.


Information

Where: Willoughby –7km Nth of CBD
Allow: 1.5 hours
Visit: Explore Lower North Shore | Historic Incinerator

Map

8. Lindfield Rocks & Trails

Hidden Lindfield Revealed

The Lindfield Rocks area with its multi-coloured wall of rocks topped with large gum trees make this an inspiring bush setting. Below the rocks is the well-known Two Creeks Track that follows Gordon Creek, a creek of mossy boulders and rock platforms… and a few surprises too!

**This walk is not recommended after very heavy rains as the Gordon Creek may be too high to explore the side trips.


Lindfield Rocks

It had been many years since I had visited the Lindfield Rocks. They are impressive, even more so than I remembered.

We approached the rocks from a track on the eastern side of the tennis courts near Lindfield Oval. Follow the track through bush and down some stairs to the Lindfield Rocks area.

It is worth spending a little time exploring and enjoying this area…. a perfect picnic spot too, with no shortage of rocks to sit on.

Please note, this is a rock-climbing destination, and while it was quiet when we visited mid-week, it may be busy on weekends and holidays.


Beyond the Lindfield Rocks

Below Lindfield Rocks is the Two Creeks Track which extends all the way to Echo Park in Roseville. The walk I am describing will only explore a small part of the track, with some interesting side trips down to the beautiful mossy Gordon Creek.

After leaving The Rocks area the path bends sharply to the left, just beyond a trail marker and a metal pole. Follow the track left, downhill to join the Two Creeks Track, which continues from a fire road off Archbold Rd. Turn right on reaching the fire road/track.

8a. Side Trip to Gordon Creek & Tunnel (optional)

After following the fire road from Archbold Rd for a few hundred metres you will see some stairs on the left, they lead down to Gordon Creek and a tunnel under Archbold Rd.

You don’t need to enter the tunnel, but if water levels are low it is an eerie enjoyable walk. While the tunnel walkway seems to be in good condition, the creek is right at the edge of the path, so hold onto the railing as you make your way through in the dim light.

Return to the main fire road to continue this walk.

8b. Side Trip to Gordon Creek & Waterfall

A further few hundred metres down the fire road you should hear the sounds of a small waterfall. Look for a bush track on the left, the first one you come to will lead down to a beautiful mossy creek area.

Return to the main fire road to continue this walk.

8c. Side Trip to Gordon Creek Track & Stepping Stones

Continue down the fire road until you see the signpost for Gordon Creek Track on the left. This is a fabulous side track that leads down to the creek with its perfectly placed stepping stones and creek banks covered in ferns and lush vegetation… in all stages of life!

We even took a little detour on the way down to the stepping stones and discovered some unexpected kitchen items hidden away in the bush. 🙂


Information

Where: Lindfield Rocks & Two Creeks Track – Lindfield – Lower North Shore
Walk: 1 – 2 hours – easy-medium grade
NOT Dog Friendly: Some parts of this walk are in Garigal National Park where dogs are not permitted.
Official Web-Site: Two Creeks Tracks
Open: Every day – no entry fees
Getting there: Start at the tennis courts at Lindfield Oval.
Turn off Archbold Rd onto Tryon Rd & take the first left up a narrow road to the tennis courts.
VisitExplore Lower North Shore

Map Lindfield Rocks
X marks all highlights except for the Side Trip to Gordon Creek & waterfall – I can’t be sure where it is!

9. Harold Reid Reserve, Willoughby 

Stunning Views High & Low

Harold Reid Reserve in Middle Cove is a particularly beautiful reserve with a fabulous foreshore walk through gums, ferns and grass trees… and a lookout with spectacular views up Middle Harbour!

Harold Reid Reserve Foreshore Track

Bushland & harbour views… a beautiful foreshore walk at Harold Reid Reserve

The foreshore walk and lookout are reason enough to visit Harold Reid Reserve, yet it’s also a great place for picnics, taking in the bush atmosphere and just listening to the birds!

For those with reduced mobility, the Lookout at Harold Reid is a worthwhile destination, an easy, mainly flat short walk along a bush track, opposite the car park and BBQ facilities.

Start of Foreshore Walk

The walk described here is a circular route starting from the end of North Arm Road. There is also another option of starting at the top, at the lookout area off Rembrandt Drive.

The circular route starting from North Arm Road track is quite high above Fig Tree Cove. There are superb bush and bay views down to the mangroves.

The Water’s Edge

The track descends to the water’s edge where you will often see a few people fishing from the rocks. Continue on the track around the shoreline to the southern side of Harold Reid Reserve, where there is an idyllic waterside spot for a picnic on some flat rocks that hang over the water… with fabulous views across to Castlecrag’s quaint waterside cottages.

Leaving the Water’s Edge

After leaving the picnic spot at the water’s edge, the track climbs some stairs and meets an upper track. Turn left onto the upper track and continue until you see a sign post on the left, turn right and continue uphill. Along the way the track passes through a narrow rock passage of stairs before meeting a loop road.

Turn right onto the loop road (watch for cars). A little way up on the left is a massive orange lichen covered rock wall with bright green ferns… it’s quite impressive and popular with rock climbers.

Picnic Facilities & Lookout

The loop road leads to a shady BBQ picnic area with very basic toilet facilities. Off to the right is a short track out to the lookout with spectacular views up Middle Harbour!

After visiting the lookout, return to the North Arm Rd via the following route. Continue along the loop road through a large rock cutting. At the end of the loop road is the exit to Rembrandt Drive. Just prior to the exit there’s a track on the right which takes you down to the North Arm Road starting point.


Information

Where: Middle Cove – Sydney Lower North Shore
Walk: 1.0 hour – easy-medium grade
Dogs: On leash only (more details on Willoughby website below)
Open: Every day – no entry fees
Getting there: Drive to the end of North Arm Rd, Middle Cove where this track begins
Website:Willoughby Council Website – Harold Reid
Visit: Explore Lower North Shore

Map Harold Reid Reserve

10. The Gore Cove Track & Berry Island, Waverton

Rain Forest & Moss

The Gore Cove Track in Wollstonecraft winds its way through a hidden oasis, a rain forest valley of palms, ferns, tall gums, wattle and mangroves. At the base of the valley is Berry Creek with large moss and lichen covered boulders, little pools and miniature waterfalls.

The Gore Cove Track

The Gore Cove Track, a winding path down old stone steps, over timber bridges and through lush vegetation

There is a real sense that nothing has changed here for hundreds of years, it’s a world away from the busyness and noise of city living… and here it is right in the middle of Sydney!

The Gore Cove Track winds between Berry Island and Smoothey Park, just behind Wollstonecraft station. In places the track is a little rough so make sure to wear good walking shoes.

We started our walk with the Berry Island loop track, then joined the Gore Cove Track from its starting point a little way up Shirley Rd – it’s well signposted (refer map and details below). All up about 1.5 hours.

The track from Shirley Road leads you down into the valley through lush jungle like vegetation, past large boulders, over little bridges, beneath rock walls and down old stone stairs. At the base of the valley there is a side track to the left that takes you out to the mangroves and lichen covered rocks and trees, quite beautiful in a muddy and dank sort of way 🙂

After the side trip to the mangroves we continued on the Gore Creek Track along Berry Creek. In one area the track completely disappeared into a tunnel of ferns and palms, before opening up to a brilliant mossy wonderland! The sounds of trickling water and the birds, and being surrounded by nature’s beauty made this a very special exploration.

The Gore Cove Track – natural gardens and water glimpses

Keep on the track that follows Berry Creek up to Smoothey Park. Cross the small timber bridge (beneath the high bridge) and follow the concrete path up to Wollstonecraft station.


Berry Island

Berry Island Loop track

Berry Island was one of Sydney’s harbour islands, but is now connected to the mainland by a large grassy park, a perfect spot for a picnic, and only 10 minutes walk from Wollstonecraft station. The Gadyan loop track that takes you around the island is an easy walk, just 20 minutes at a leisurely pace.

It’s well worth visiting, even if you don’t do the Gore Cove Track. The main feature of the track is a large Aboriginal rock carving of a whale, a boomerang, a waterhole and grinding grooves. You won’t miss it, it’s well signposted adjacent to a viewing boardwalk.

With brilliant harbour views to the CBD and a beautiful walk through an angophora gum forest this walk is not to be missed! The view across to the old oil tanks at Greenwich point also offers a unique picture opportunity.


Information

Where: Wollstonecraft – Sydney Lower North Shore
Walk: 1 – 1.5 hours leisurely pace – moderate grade – sturdy shoes
Dogs: Dog friendly but must be on leash – refer council web-site
Getting there: Train to Wollstonecraft Station then a 10 minute walk down Shirley Rd to Berry Island
Open: All day every day – no entry fees
Visit: Explore Lower North Shore

Map Gore Cove Reserve & Berry Island
The Gore Cove Track – map at beginning of track near Berry Island

11. Georges Heights Lookout to Clifton Gardens, Mosman

On High

One of the most spectacular Sydney Harbour views can be experienced at the Georges Heights Lookout in Headlands Park Mosman. Perched high above the harbour the lookout offers unparalleled views to Manly, Vaucluse and the Sydney CBD.

Georges Heights Lookout

Georges Heights Lookout Mosman – military heritage & views

Georges Heights was formerly used by the military as a lookout area to see approaching enemy ships. Fortunately many of the historical military structures are still in place, such as concealed gun pits, underground tunnels and the barracks. These are well worth exploring before you head off on your bush walk!

History of Georges Heights

Walk Georges Heights Lookout to Clifton Gardens

Georges Heights Lookout – view south over the Gunners Barracks to the CBD

From the Georges Heights lookout there are a number of superb bush walks, including a relatively easy 20 minute walk down to Chowder Bay and the very beautiful Clifton Gardens Reserve and beach.

Follow the path and stairs south, past Gunners’ Barracks (constructed 1873, now a restaurant and function centre). There are two bush tracks to choose from, both lead to Chowder Bay and Clifton Gardens and both are shady, perfect for walking in the warmer months.

The steeper lower bush track winds down through the trees and comes out near the Drift Cafe and Chowder Bay car park. The higher bush track traverses the side of the hill for some time before taking a paved path down past the large fuel tanks to the old military buildings at Chowder Bay. On the eastern side of the old Military buildings at Chowder Bay take the stairs and follow your nose to Clifton Gardens beach and reserve.

Winter flowers

On arrival at Chowder Bay you will be rewarded with a brilliant aquamarine harbour and the white sandy beach at Clifton Gardens Reserve…. and some fabulous eateries and picnic spots too.

We usually make it a round trip of about an hour.

Clifton Gardens Beach ~ Drift Cafe Kiosk ~ views & bush track to Georges Heights Lookout

Clifton Gardens to Taronga Zoo

Clifton Gardens to Bradley’s Head track

If you have time, continue on from Clifton Gardens toward Bradleys Head and Taronga Zoo (approx. 45 mins one way). This is a particularly beautiful and popular walk.


Eat & Drink

Frenchy’s Café at the Artist’s Precinct – a 5 minute walk north from Georges Heights Lookout

Normally there’s no shortage of fabulous eating options in this area, from cafés to fine dining, however due to COVID-19 restrictions, a number of these cafes and restaurants may be temporarily closed or open for takeaway only.

Chowder Bay – Drift Café overlooking the bay and Clifton Gardens Beach

Drift Café (2 locations as marked on map below)
Location: Chowder Bay – on the walkway around the water’s edge – housed in what was the old army ammunition store (just below Ripples Restaurant and a few steps from Clifton Gardens beach)
Food: Light / pre-made sandwiches, coffee, cakes – eat out or takeaway… watch out for the hungry kookas 🙂

Ripples Location: Chowder Bay – overlooking the bay
Food: Fine Dining – Modern Australian with European influences

Frenchy’s Café Location: Artist’s Precinct – Bush setting minutes to harbourside walks Food: French style homemade

Burnt Orange Location: Bush setting water views – historic sandstone mansion about 15 minutes walk north from Georges Heights lookout.
Food: Modern Australian

Middle Head Café
Location: 1110 Middle Head Rd, overlooking the oval with views to Balmoral. Approx. 15 minutes walk north from Georges Heights lookout.
Food: French café – delicious quiches and salad…. and desserts.

Chowder Bay – Ripples
Georges Heights – Burnt Orange

Information

Where: Middle Head Peninsula, Middle Head Road, Mosman
Website: Harbour Trust Georges Heights
Allow: 1-2 hours
Getting there: Car – Bus – Walk – Water Taxi to Chowder Bay.
Parking: Easy parking near the lookout and wheelchair accessible.
Visit: Explore Lower North Shore

Map Georges Heights
Google is not particularly accurate with these walking tracks!

12. Sirius Cove to Taronga Zoo, Mosman

Mosman Hideaway

Sirius Cove is a quiet hideaway in Mosman, surrounded by lush coastal vegetation, a small well protected beach and a number of quaint boatsheds. Adjacent to the Sirius Cove beach is a park area that attracts plenty of locals… and their dogs too! It’s one of those parks where dogs can roam free, and they do.

Sirius Cove Reserve

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The Reserve with its BBQ and playground facilities is a popular place for families and dog lovers. The harbour views as well as the quaint boatsheds make this tiny cove picture perfect!

We usually access the reserve from Mosman Bay, via Curraghbeena Road, then walk the path and stairs. Approaching from this direction one can appreciate the beauty of the cove, especially with the Scout Hall and colourful canoes lined up along the beach.

Sirius Cove Boat Sheds
Boat Sheds in the cove
Access to Sirius Cove from Mosman Bay - Curraghbeena Rd & path/stairs
Access to Sirius Cove from Mosman Bay – Curraghbeena Rd then path/stairs

Sirius Cove to Taronga Zoo – walk

Sirius Cove to Taronga Zoo
View of Sirius Cove from Curlew Camp Walk (the western side of the cove)

On the eastern side of the cove is a beautiful track that follows the foreshore to Taronga Zoo and beyond. The track has recently undergone repair work, so it’s quite an easy walk with some fantastic views along the way.

There are plenty of harbour views and the lush vegetation makes it a great place for walking in the warmer months. Make sure to take the side track out to Little Sirius Point as there are some fabulous views looking back to the city.

A further 5-10 minute walk east of the Taronga Zoo Ferry wharf is Athol Hall, a heritage building nestled in the trees with spectacular views across Sydney Harbour. This is both a Cafe and Function Centre, so don’t be surprised to see a wedding celebration in progress.

On our most recent walk we started a little late in the day, fortunate as we caught a magical sunset on the way back!

Sirius Cove to Taronga Zoo bushwalk
Bushwalk to Taronga Zoo
Sirius Cove to Taronga Zoo & beyond
Little Sirius Point views & adjacent beach. Views from Athol Hall to North Sydney
Sunset view to North Sydney from historic Athol Hall
Sunset view to North Sydney from historic Athol Hall

If you prefer not to retrace your steps along the foreshore, it’s an easy walk back via Bradleys Head Rd and streets, as highlighted on the map below. Waters Lane is a leafy path and stairs that leads you down to Sirius Cove Rd.

Waters Lane to Sirius Cove Rd
Waters Lane to Sirius Cove Rd

Information

WhereSirius Cove Road, Mosman
Allow: 1-2 hours for the walk (see map below)
Getting there: Car – Ferry to Taronga Zoo or Mosman Bay & walk
Also see: Lower North Shore Outings

Map
Sirius Cove to Athol Hall circular walk
Sirius Cove to Athol Hall circular walk

13. Waverton Harbourside Transformed

Creative Redevelopment

Nestled between the harbourside suburbs of McMahons Pt and Wollstonecraft sits the beautifully transformed Waverton Peninsula. What was once an ugly industrial area has been redeveloped into a large parkland of walking tracks and lookouts. To add to the character, some of the industrial remnants have been left in tact, such as the old Coal Loader tunnels and crumbling wharves. While the bushwalks and harbour views are reason enough to visit the area, the quarterly Artisan Market at the Coal Loader provides an additional incentive!

Where: Waverton – 4km North of CBD or 1km SW of North Sydney
Allow: 1/2 day
Getting There: Train to Waverton or Drive
Also see:  McMahons PointSecret Garden Lavender Bay,


What to See & Do

Waverton - Berry's Bay to Balls Head
Waverton – Berry’s Bay to Balls Head

To explore the area we did a circular route from Berry’s Bay to Balls Head Reserve and the Coal Loader,  all up about 2 hours. If you prefer a longer walk, start at the beautiful village of McMahons Point which adds about 30 minutes to the walk.

1. Berry’s Bay Lookout – BP Site Redevelopment
Waverton - Views from Berry's Bay Lookout
Waverton – Views from Berry’s Bay Lookout

The Berry’s Bay Lookout on Larkin St is located at the former BP industrial site, which ceased operations in 1993. After years of demolition and remediation work by BP, the North Sydney Council redeveloped the area into parkland, opening it to the public in 2005.

From the lookout you can enjoy big sky harbour and city views as well as views to the busy boat yards, old wharves and historic cottages across the bay. One can really appreciate both the past and present lives of these small inlets.

Waverton - Berry's Bay view to McMahons Pt industry
Waverton – Berry’s Bay view to McMahons Pt industry

Below the lookout are some very easy walking tracks along the foreshore. Some remnants of the former industrial site are still visible, and are very much part of the character of the parkland. For example, the large circular imprints of the oil storage tanks are now grassy fields, some surrounded by towering sandstone walls. Above the oil storage areas are a number of metal platform walkways that extend out over the site, providing a birds eye view!

Waverton - BP siteRedevelopment
Waverton – Former BP Industrial Site – now redeveloped into parkland and harbourside walks

Following the path toward Balls Head we encountered an old crumbling wharf. What character… perfect for foreshore photography! Beyond the wharf were views to Balls Head, a small collection of ‘bathtub boats’, a long white wharf, tall palm trees and old brick cottages, loved this view.

Waverton - Berry's Bay Wharf
Waverton – Berry’s Bay Wharf
2. Balls Head Reserve
Waverton - Balls Head Reserve - Picnic Areas/facilities & walks
Waverton – Balls Head Reserve – Picnic Areas/facilities & walks

Although there’s a road into the park and plenty of parking, we entered the Balls Head Reserve by walking from Berry’s Bay Lookout. The forested reserve has a number of beautiful bush tracks and picnic areas. I loved the glimpses of water through the gum trees and the views to the Balmain Peninsula and CBD.

Waverton - Balls Head Reserve - views to Balmain & Pyrmont
Waverton – Balls Head Reserve – views to Balmain & Pyrmont
3. Waverton Coal Loader
Waverton Coal Loader – Centre for Sustainability & Quarterly Artisans Market

The old Coal Loader now houses the North Sydney Council’s Centre for Sustainability. You can wander around the inspiring community garden, community nursery, Aboriginal bush foods garden or the chook run!

The Green Roof Project was the last stage of the redevelopment of the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability. Is is one of Sydney’s largest publicly accessible green roof spaces, located on the old coal-loading platform. The green roof includes community ‘urban harvest’ plots with vegetables, fruit trees, aquaculture.

4. North Sydney Art Prize at the Coal Loader
North Sydney Art Prize 2017 - Coal Loader Waverton
North Sydney Art Prize 2017 – Coal Loader Waverton

The old coal tunnels are now being used as part of the exhibition space for the North Sydney Art Prize, quite a unique space to exhibit works!

5. Artisans Market at the Coal Loader
Artisans at the Coal Loader - Waverton - Rokoco Limited Edition Prints by Ro Cook
Artisans at the Coal Loader – Waverton – Rokoco Limited Edition Prints by Ro Cook

Every quarter the North Sydney Council hold an Artisans Market at the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability. With 70+ artisans displaying their wares you can imagine the selection…. such an array of high quality products at very reasonable prices.

The vibe is upbeat and welcoming… it’s a wonderful venue for chatting to the artisans about the creative process. It is well worth planning your visit to Waverton to coincide with the markets.

Artisans at the Coal Loader - Waverton - Gifts for the Girls
Artisans at the Coal Loader – Waverton – Gifts for the Girls
6. Eat & Drink
Waverton Village - tucked down below North Sydney CBD
Waverton Village

Waverton has managed to maintain a village vibe. There are a number of good cafés and restaurants in and around the village. We usually finish our walk with a bite to eat at one of the cafés. Waterview Café and the Botanica Garden Café are both good. The Coal Loader Café  is also very popular, particularly when the Artisans Market is on.

Alternatively, if you fancy a picnic there are plenty of picnic areas in the Balls Head Reserve, or even a secluded table or rock platform with superb views over the harbour!

This article was reproduced with permission from Robyn Kennedy from https://www.lifeoutandabout.com.au/