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West Pymble to Hunter’s Hill: Lane Cove on Great North Walk

Walking Lane Cove River Valley: a Scenic and Historic Treasure-trove
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 9.8 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  WEST PYMBLE TO HUNTER’S HILL: 16.2 km (easy to moderate)

South from West Pymble (near Mars Creek confluence with Lane Cove River) to ... more »

This part of the Great North Walk is very readily accessible. You can join & leave at many point along the trail.

... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Kookaburra

There are a number of types of this iconic Australian bird -- the Kookaburra. This is a "laughing kookaburra' (Dacelo novaeguineae). All Kookaburras are among the larger members of the kingfisher family. These Kookaburras have become quite tame around humans and will readily accept scraps of meat from your picnic scarps. But beware -- their ... More

2. Lane Cove National Park: History

In 1855, a John Brown purchased 640 acres (260 hectares) from Lane Cove River, the one we just crossed but will have to re-cross to rejoin the trail, to Pearces Corner from a Thomas Hyndes. But the first recorded permanent settlement in this area was north of Blue Gum Creek (which joins Lane Cove River downstream of De Burgh’s Bridge) where, in... More

3. West Pymble and Gordon

Please watch your footing for the next couple of kilometres. Although the trail is mostly on fire trails and well-walked tracks, there are quite a few rocks and it’s easy to stumble and twist an ankle.
A famous local resident of historical note is Joseph Henry Maiden who lived in Turramurra. Maiden, English and a native of London and a graduate ... More

4. Skinks and Goannas

Aboriginal Australians are likely to have enjoyed roast or baked goanna. However, you may have seen TV shows in which cornered goannas really rear up and have a go at cameras with their claws and even get in a few blows with their tails. In fact, they are more likely to use you for food, not to eat you -- they scrounge a lot around campsites and ... More

5. De Burgh's Bridge

De Burghs Bridge: Ernest Macartney de Burgh was an Irish immigrant who arrived in Australia in March 1885. He became a highly esteemed bridge designer. His original bridge over the Lane Cove River was a single 50 metre long ‘De Burgh’ truss and was the longest timber truss span ever built in Australia. The new De Burgh’s Bridge under which the... More

Boat Hire on Lane Cove River: hire rowboats, kayaks, canoes and pedal boats from Lane Cove Boatshed, located at Riverside Drive, North Ryde 4.5 km inside the park from the Lane Cove Road entrance. On the Great North Walk (but across the river).

7. Mystery Deaths Site Near Here?

Site of a double murder or at least two mysterious deaths. On New Year’s Day in 1963, two naked bodies were found near Fuller’s Bridge. The bodies had their clothes piled neatly on top and the presumed murders were never solved. The sight now hosts a geocache. The cries you hear today are most likely from sulphur-crested cockatoos (not ghosts)... More

8. Fairyland Then and Now

Fairyland: The famous Fairyland Tea Gardens, also called Pleasure Gardens, was – for 1910s’ Sydney – a bit like Disneyland. It comprised around 17 acres of flat land covered in ti-trees, paperbarks, swamp oaks and brackens, with a small creek running across the site to the Lane Cove River. Robert Swan, who served as an alderman on Ryde Municipal... More

9. Epping Road Weather Station in Magdala Park

After admiring what remains of the Fairyland site and imagining it in the 1910s to 1930s, the Great North Walk leads on to the Field of Mars, passing under the busy Epping Road but then having to walk alongside it for a couple of hundred metres, and then back across the river on a narrow bridge emerging in Magdala Park with its picnic tables and... More

10. Mangrove Boardwalk

There are board-walks through many of the mangrove groves. These trees that breathe through their roots are well adapted to the salt marsh environment caused by tidal intrusions. Some of these beautiful, low-lying salt-marsh areas around Buffalo Creek were used as a rubbish tip until 1959. It was only the threat in 1965 of a re-opening and... More

11. Field of Mars & Boronia Park

There are very many so-called 'Fields of Mars' around the world. The name comes from the Roman god of war, Mars — as does the planet. So the whole title means ‘land of the soldiers’. Why here? Apparently it’s because when, in 1792, Governor Phillip granted this piece of land, it was to eight former British marines — so the field was literally... More

12. View of Lane Cove River

As you approach the southern end of Lane Cove River there are some lovely houses dating back to earlier colonial periods of Sydney's history. Many river-front parks have information signs explaining a little about the history of this area.
You will glimpse (& hear) many of these sulphur-crested cockatoos as you walk. There raucous cry is... More

13. NSW Schools Museum

NSW Schoolhouse Museum of Public Education: this museum, housed in the first school building of North Ryde Public School, dates back to 1877. Located on Cox’s Road, North Ryde in the north-eastern corner of the grounds of North Ryde Public School (almost opposite Cox’s Road Mall). Appointments possible for special interest groups booked in advance... More