Jul-Dec 2017

With the promise of a mild winter's day twenty six walkers alighted from the train where they were met by leader (Deidre) and three other walkers.  Toongabbie Station which is undergoing an upgrade seemed very busy (and noisy) as our large group signed on and made their way up the stairs to the start of our walk.

2017 07 14 AllTogether HelenA 085710                                                           Don B at Toongabbie Station  -  now there's a decent presentation of departure times and routes for incoming trains

 2017 07 14 AllTogether DonW De addressing the troops 1                                                                                                   Deidre addressing the troops
Our first track was Settlers Walk whose name reflects the early history of the local area was the third European settlement established in Australia in 1791. Settlers Walk passes through the land once used as Tongabby Government Farm Township walking adjacent to the natural creek line through Cumberland River Flat Forest where majestic red river gums stand as a reminder to the height and breadth of the once mighty forests of the area. Leaving the Settlers Walk at Oakes Road Old Toongabbie we joined our second track, the Pemulwuy Track.

2017 07 14 AllTogether SueS IMG 9407 3

                                                        History of the Third Settlement sign nestled in the bush containing Black She Oaks Allocasuarina littoralis

 2017 07 14 AllTogether HelenA 094846 22017 07 14 AllTogether HelenA 092732 1

            Toongabbie  -  third European settlement  -  1 April 1791                                                                               Toongabbie Creek  -  TLC needed

We joined the Pemulwuy Track walking along the south bank of Toongabbie Creek through Cumberland Shale Plains Woodland, Cumberland River Flat Forest and Sydney Turpentine-Ironback Forest. Pemulwuy (c.1750-1802) was an Aboriginal leader of the Eora people who lived in the area from Castle Hill to Botany Bay. He was regarded as a great warrior defending Aboriginal lands at a time of European expansion and settlement. Morning tea was at Backhousia Reserve.  We left the Pemuwluy Track at Hammers Road Northmead and following a very short street walk we commenced our third track, the Redbank Track.

 2017 07 14 AllTogether Deidre DSCN5527 12017 07 14 AllTogether SueS IMG 9412 2

Morning tea in Backhousia Reserve....... and beautiful forked Sydney Blue Gum Eucalyptus saligna in Backhousia Reserve



 20170626 091915 12017 07 14 AllTogether Deidre 091557 2   

The Redbank Track traverses Toongabbie Creek through the open vistas of Northmead and Wentworthville. This area has grown from one of Australia’s first Government and industrial precincts to a state of the art medical, research and manufacturing hubs. Before leaving the track at Redbank Road we came across the few remnants of the Rogans Hill Railway Line (1923-1932). The concrete piers that are located on either side of Toongabbie Creek are one of the last remaining physical features of the former Rogans Hill Line. 

A lovely anecdote of the day as we walked along the Redbank Track at the back of some houses was when one of the mums who was enjoying morning tea in the sunshine while the children were playing said as we filed past "you're taking safety in numbers to the extreme".  Maurice felt very privileged when one of the children offered him some of their morning tea through the wire fence!

2017 07 14 AllTogether SusanCP1040426 42017 07 14 AllTogether SusanCP1040427 1

Lovely reflections on Toongabbie Creek and regrouping on the Redbank Track with T-way overhead and the intersection of Old Windsor Road and Cumberland Highway

2017 07 14 AllTogether SueS IMG 9420 22017 07 14 AllTogether Deidre DSCN5532

   Rogans Hill Railway Sign (1923  -  1932)......and one of the two remaining historic concrete piers of the old Rogans Hill railway on either side of Toongabbie Creek         2017 07 14 AllTogether ChrisMcA 120014 3                                                                           Barbara, Pragati and Liz with Toongabbie Creek and concrete pier in the background

 2017 07 14 AllTogether DonW Don B explaining e missing bit of railway line went 12017 07 14 AllTogether ChrisMcA 120356 4

   Don B explaining where the missing bit of railway went........where did it to go Don B?                                           Last remaining remnants of the railway line

2017 07 14 AllTogether SueS IMG 9401 32017 07 14 AllTogether SusanCP1040430 3

           King parrot Alisterus scapularis.......and Yellow-billed spoonbill Platalea flavipes



Our fourth and final track, Governor Philip Walk completes the last leg of the greater Toongabbie Creek walk and runs from the confluence of Toongabbie Creek and Darling Mills Creek which forms the head of Parramatta River. We followed the river for a short time exiting into the grounds of Cumberland Hospital and through the gates into Parramatta Park for lunch.  We wandered through Parramatta Park to the Parramatta RSL for coffee.

2017 07 14 AllTogether DonW peaceful parramatta pond 12017 07 14 AllTogether SueS IMG 9422 4

                            Peaceful Parramatta Pond



In 1812 the Reverend Samuel Marsden purchased the 30 acre property from Charles Smith. Marsden built a water-driven flour mill upstream on Darling Mills Creek. He also made a small dam to channel water from the creek to control the water flow needed to operate the mill. Marsden named the property “Mill Dam Farm”. He also planted a large part of the property with grapevines known as “The Vineyard”. Marsden operated the Mill successfully until his death in 1838.  The farm was subdivided and auctioned in 1841 when it was bought by Gregory Blaxland and continued to operate until 1866.

P1040439 2

                                                                                           Just enough seating for lunch in the pretty rotunda in Parramatta Park

2017 07 14 AllTogether SueS IMG 9430 32017 07 14 AllTogether SueS IMG 9427 5

The old Bath House in Parramatta Park now used as a bandstand.  "It was completed in 1823 for Governor Brisbane.  It is believed that, due to his war wounds, the Governor wanted a private place with warm baths."

 2017 07 14 AllTogether SusanCP1040455

                                                                                     A very relaxed group of walkers enjoying beverages at the Parramatta RSL

 2017 07 14 AllTogether Bert 134425 resized 1

                                                                              It was certainly a day for a daiquiri!  Is that a first on an HVB walk.........

For the record Deidre with Barbara's assistance led Helen A, Nick, John B, Don B, Susan and Maurice, David C, Elaine E, Sue and Michael, Martin, Aileen, Cherry and Peter, Lyndy, Chris McA, Bert, Lea, Pragati, Anne R , Liz R, Kurt, Faye, Sue S, Rosemary, Don W and two visitors.  Thank you Barbara for assisting in Kas's absence and Don B for being our tail end charlie.

Words by Deidre

Photos by Helen A (1, 4, 5), Don W (2, 15, 19), Sue S (3, 7, 12, 18, 20, 22, 23). Deidre (6, 8, 9, 13), Chris McA (14, 16). Susan C (10, 11, 17, 21, 24), Bert (25)



S5 Box