Badangi is actually the Aboriginal word for rock oyster, and Aboriginal people would once have frequented the bushland that covered this area and the fresh water creek that once ran through here.
When European settlers arrived, the deep harbour frontages of Balls Head Bay and Oyster Cove had both areas being eyed off for industrial development. A sugar refinery was set up on the Oyster Cove foreshore in the 1850s, but later converted to a kerosene works the following decade. These buildings were eventually re-used as part of the Oyster Cove Gas Works.
Today, the old sandstone walls, pebbled paths and other relics from the sugar refinery and kerosene works remain in the reserve, while a building of the old Gas Works forms part of a nearby residential development.
Accessed from the corner of Shirley Road and Tryon Avenue in Wollstonecraft, Badangi Bushland Reserve looks south towards Sydney Harbour. It is predominately an open forest of Sydney Red Gums, Peppermints and Red Bloodwoods, along with a small community of the quite rare Forest Red Gums.
An easy-grade 30-minute walking trail winds its way through the park. You can either walk down to the point and at low tide walk along the beach to Berry Island, or walk along the entire track and follow the same track back. Looking further afield, you can cross the bridge and walk along the Oyster Cove foreshore and explore up towards Balls Head.
Sandstone outcrops and the smell of wattle dominate the walk, and it's worth making your way down to the sand at the water's edge. Tawny Frogmouths nest annually in the park, while you might also come across bird species like Lorikeets, Wrens, Robins and Satin Bower Birds.
To find out more about this lovely patch of Australian bush, head to the North Sydney Council website.