This walk will take you along Buffalo creek through the backstreets of Hunters Hill with a pause of appreciation at Kelly’s Bush, a delightful lunch at the Woolwich Pub and a Ferry ride back to the city.
Do not be fooled by the highly maintained, manicured look of this moneyed area of Sydney activism is everywhere, it’s a hotbed of ratbag greenie conservationists.
We caught the 506 bus from Park Street in the City, got off a few blocks from St Joseph’s college under a heavy sky and stopped for coffee.
Walk down to Pain’s Road for the start of the Buffalo Creek bush walk.
In 1999 Sandra Tracy founded friends of Buffalo creek and a band of local volunteers have worked to preserve this bushland.
Buffalo Creek bushland creates a significant habitat corridor linking Hunters Hill with Lane Cove National Park.
Buffalo Creek is a Saltmarsh Sanctuary. There are three different vegetation communities here. Swamp Oaks a haunt for cockatoos. Mangroves, food and hiding places for juvenile fish and low ground cover, a threatened ecological community, know as coastal saltmarsh.
When you get to Boronia Park you will have entered the zone of tasteful sandstone mansions that give Hunters Hill its air of superiority, and landscape gardeners their healthy bank balances.
Activism # 0
When you’ve have had your fill of zig zagging through opulence, head down to Kelly’s Bush for that old life lesson …never judge a book by its cover!
In an article that appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald on 25 July 1970 local Hunters Hill resident Betty James wrote how local children had pulled up a long line of survey pegs laid out through “their bush” as a heartfelt protest. Her article read like a love-letter to Kelly’s Bush, describing its deep gullies of bracken fern, its blueberry ash, lily-pilly, tea tree and a rare stand of healthy banksias. James…also talked about it as an outdoor laboratory and living museum: there were Aboriginal middens and carvings in the sandstone. In September 1970, James and 12 other neighbours gathered at All Saints’ parish hall and christened themselves the ‘Battlers for Kelly’s Bush‘. The group, which the Hunters Hill Council would dismiss as “13 bloody housewives”, elected James as President, Kath Lehany as secretary and Monica Sheehan as assistant secretary. Most of the women were lifelong Liberal Party voters who had never been involved in politics but each had a different reason for joining…Miriam Cunningham…had realised when she had been to Australia Square, then Sydney’s tallest building, that Kellys Bush was the only patch of green she could see on the Parramatta River. “It was the lungs of Sydney.
Activism # 2
Lunch was at the delightful Woolwich pub. Good social distancing and contact tracing protocols. OK pub grub and well earned libations. We then added a couple of kilometres to the walk by going to the wrong Ferry pick up spot … We surrender to dusk and our tranquil mood and walk on.
A small armada of yachts surround us as we sail into Circular Quay…
This walk is not for those of you with hip/knee issues a bit of climbing and up and downs.
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