Throughout the 19th century, Berry Island was known as a fishing, hunting and camping site for Aboriginal tribes. Then, in the early 19th century, a stone causeway was constructed over mudflats to connect this small bushland island to the mainland. In 1926, the island was decreed a nature reserve for public recreation, and it's been a favourite spot for Sydneysiders ever since.
Head down the steep hill at the end of Shirley Road in Wollstonecraft and the first part of the reserve you see is the wide grassed causeway. This sunny patch of grass is ideal for a family picnic, and there's usually a nice cross-breeze blowing through off the water to keep you cool.
Past the causeway, the bushy lump of the island looms up in front of you. The best way to explore the island is along the Gadyan Track, a 20-minute bushwalking loop that explores the island's Aboriginal history. Plenty of remnants of Aboriginal life remain today, including shell middens, axe grindings and even a large rock engraving.
The path takes a peaceful, winding route through the bush, with tantalising glimpses of the harbour appearing through the trees. A lookout at the southern tip of the island offers beautiful water views and is a good spot to whip out your camera and snap off a few shots.
Once you've completed the 750-metre loop you'll come across a great kids' playground. Designed to blend in with its bushland setting, this playground is primarily for older kids and includes slides, climbing walls and a firepole. It's a lovely setting under a huge fig tree, and there's waterfront seating where Mum and Dad can sit down and watch proceedings.