A freelance writer with an interest in just about everything.
Published March 6th 2013
Explore the rainforest microclimate in North Sydney
There are very few places around Sydney that give you a glimpse of what the area would have looked like before Europeans arrived, so when you find such a spot it's well worth taking the time to explore.
The interpretive Gore Cove bush walking track in Wollstonecraft links Smoothey, Greendale and Holloway Parks to Berry Island Reserve via Gore Cove Reserve. The area forms part of an open space corridor that extends from Newlands Park in Lane Cove, south to the harbour foreshore.
The Track begins at leafy Smoothey Park, which features a mix of natural bushland and European style parkland. The track follows the path of Berry Creek, which is the longest stretch of natural creek line remaining in North Sydney. Shell middens have been found in the area and indicate that Aborigines used this fresh water creek as a water supply.
Starting from Russell Street, the path drops down to follow the path of the creek. I walked it after a fair bit of recent rain, which meant there was plenty of water bubbling along the rocky creek.
Down in the gully and right in amongst the rainforest microclimate, moss-covered rocks and dripping leaves dot the walking route. There are tree ferns and Coachwoods, which soon give way to Red Gums and mangroves.
This wonderful remnant of bushland is also home to a pretty diverse range of wildlife. Bird-watchers can pick out Treecreepers, Thornbills and Wattlebirds, while a couple of different microbat and frog species have also been recorded in the park. In fact, apparently the only recording in North Sydney of the native ground-dwelling marsupial, the Brown Antechinus - which is often mistaken for a mouse or rat - has been along the Gore Cove Track.
The 1.5km walk is graded as moderate and will take around 45 minutes to complete. It leads you to the historic bushland surrounds of Berry Island Reserve. Dogs are welcome in Smoothey Park and Gore Cove Reserve, but they must be kept on a leash in bushland areas.