23 walkers enjoyed a beautiful Winter’s day walk through the length of the Hunters Hill Peninsula and on to Huntleys Point Wharf. On leaving home the dawn skies were grey and cold after plenty of overnight rain, however the weather forecasts proved to be correct and by the time we disembarked from the ferry at Valencia St wharf in Woolwich, blue sky was everywhere and sunshine had well & truly established itself. Barangaroo from the ferry
View east from Balmain Wharf in Mort Bay - Freshwater and Collaroy ferries in dock How to fix a broken ferry
The first part of the walk followed Stage 1 of The Great North Walk, initially passing through the interesting Woolwich dock area, where close “walk-bys” of the two maxi yachts Andoo Comanche and Law Connect (the latter stripped of all spars & running gear) were eye-openers, allowing the group to appreciate their massive dimensions. The unusual sight of a Sydney ferry, “beached” up on the hard-stand area, was also of note.
Ferry arrival at Huntleys Wharf Woolwich Dock with Comanche in residence
View to City and Cockatoo Is from Clarke's Point Reserve
Clarke Park and morning tea followed before ascending through Kelly’s Bush (site of the world’s first [and successful] Green Ban) to the Woolwich Rd ridge. The route then descended the northern side of the ridge, passed through the delightful Mornington Reserve and, after climbing back up to the ridge, entered the precinct of large Victorian-era sandstone houses, for which the peninsula is so well known.
Clarkes Point Reserve Woolwich near MT spot Cormorant with attitude
A Woolwich house Walking along the Hunters Hill foreshore
Hunters Hill Houses
A meandering route took the walkers past several large Jeanneret-built late Victorian houses, including both a house owned in the 1920s & 30s by the grandfather of a long-standing HVB member and the massive Wybalena. The latter was the first house built by Dr Jeanneret on arriving in Sydney after retiring from the Wybalena settlement on Flinders Island, where he was the doctor (and which has a sad history of its own). There were wry smiles when the group were informed that the Wybalena property was originally 40 acres in size – imagine that! A couple more Jeanneret houses and the well-known church of St Peter Chanel followed and finally a walk up a pathway around the rear & then the front of Passy, which was built in 1858 in the French Provincial style, but whose frontage was entirely spoiled by an incongruous 1970s-era upper floor addition, the sight of which caused many walkers, when invited, to come up with “imaginative” three-word descriptions. The walk then passed through Stanley St, which was the final historic precinct to be visited, where there are three very large and beautiful old sandstone houses in a row (Lyndcote, Lyndhurst & Loombah), with the equally interesting Public School house opposite them.
Charles Edward Jeanneret's "Wybalena" built 1874-75 House of an HVB member's grandfather
..........and other Hunters Hill houses
St Peter Chanel Catholic Church (1890)
Tut tut ! Stealing from a letter box Hope it's not insectivorous !
At last, tired feet reached the pleasant lunch spot in Timbrell Park, after which it was an easy (but gusty!) walk across Tarban Creek Bridge and under the northern abutment of Gladesville Bridge to reach Huntleys Point Wharf and the ferry back to Barangaroo. Most walkers then retired to the coffee spot, which was conveniently located mid-way on the walk back up to Wynyard Station.
Lunch at Timbrell Reserve
Upper Class Middle Class Lower Class -with best seat and view over Tarban Creek
Sydney Harbour view from Tarban Creek Bridge
Walkers: Michael and Sue plus Carol led Don B, Ann D, Elaine , Annette Elp, Rosie, Cherry, Lyndy, Diana, Bill M & Carer Dave , John M, Bert, Elizabeth, Barb R, David R, David S, Lyn, Don Wo and 3rd time visitors Cliff B & Wendy R, both of whom have now submitted Membership Application Forms. Thanks to Carol as a Co-Leader, Barb R as our First Aider and to Don B as our Tail Ender.
Photos: Barbara R (2,4,5,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,19,20,21), Don Wo (1,3,8,17,18,22)