Twenty two (equal number of males and this a first?) happy walkers set off from Chatswood Station. To avoid walking along the Pacific Highway the leaders took the group along a walkway parallel to the highway crossing at the intersection of Mowbray Road for a short walk to Campbell Park before entering Ferndale Reserve which is a beautiful example of native creek line bushland. Today’s remnant Blue Gum High Forest is being restored from the damage caused by early farming, forestry and urban development. Over the last twenty years, Council, contract and volunteer teams have worked to reduce weeds in the reserve.

We continued along the Rail to River walk to Reid Memorial Park where we enjoyed our morning tea. The Rail to River walk follows the very pretty Swaines Creek which the Peron’s Tree Frog calls home.

A short walk from the morning tea spot found us at Fullers Bridge which we crossed and followed the GNW through to the historic Fairyland Pleasure Grounds. The site of the Fairyland Pleasure Grounds was from 1913 to the early 1970s. This area was renowned for its picnic area and the peaceful surroundings of the Lane Cove River. Fairyland was privately owned and run by the Swan family who bought the land to establish a market garden. The Swans realised the lucrative potential of their land and phased out the market garden. The area was then dedicated to leisure and recreation. Boats carrying up to seventy passengers would take people to a picnic or evening dance at Fairyland. At Christmas time the area would be booked for parties accommodating many hundreds of visitors. They would spend their time participating in races, tug-of-war or playing on the flying fox, razzle dazzle or the many swings.
Rosemary’s memories visiting Fairyland travelling by bus from Beecroft for a Sunday School picnic and the fun on the razzle dazzle were enjoyed by the walkers. Although not that safe compared to today’s standards the razzle dazzle sounded like lots of fun!
Lunch was on a grassy slope in the Riverside Corporate Park which was not quite the usual HVB lunch spot but it worked well as it was a short stroll to Zizanos Café and the completion of the walk at North Ryde station.

Thank you, Maurice for stepping in to be co-leader and to you and Mike for assisting me on the recce.


                                         Setting out  -  Campbell Park....................and Ferndale Reserve

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                                                                      Boats to Fairyland

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                Local Fairyland Resident .........................and Rosemary W sharing memories                                                   

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                                         Lunch in Riverside Corporate Park                                                    Coffee at Zizanos Cafe

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Deidre and Maurice led 20 walkers, Ida, Barrie, Annette and David, Lawrie, Mike, Ray, Helen L, Peter and Cherry, Chris McA, Claude and Margaret, Wendy P, Faye, Jim T, Rosemary W, Judy, Bill McD and Kevin (carer).

Words by Deidre.

Photos by Ray (1, 5, 6, 8, 10) and Deidre (2,3,4,7,9)