A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published November 16th 2015
Hurstville's friendly neighbourhood retreat
Closer than one may think to the hustle of Hurstville is a serene oasis of waterways, wetlands and open parkland. Just four kilometres from Hurstville station, you will find Moore Reserve on the banks of Oatley Bay. The fourteen-hectare area of greenery will have you feeling like you've traveled much further from the big smoke.
The peaceful Oatley Bay
This quiet part of the Georges River is bordered by the suburbs of Oatley, Hurstville Grove and Connell's Point. It's also bordered by two waterways - the last natural creek within the Kogarah council area that runs through Poulton Park, and the channeled underground waters of Moore Reserve.
The banks are full of lush mangroves, with this in fact being one of the largest mangrove pockets across the Georges River. A wooden lookout on the edge of Moore Reserve offers a beautiful view through the swamp trees. With tree-covered peninsulas on either side of the bay, it really feels like a retreat down here. In late spring, flowering Jacaranda trees add more colour to the scene.
The bay is popular for fishing and boating. There is a good quality boat ramp, with three lanes, said to be suitable for most boats. I'd love to get out on the low-wave waters with a small boat or canoe. It was nice to relax on the old jetty and stroll the small beaches next to the ramp.
Close by you'll find Oatley Bay Memorial Boardwalk - a small wooden walk through a tunnel of mangroves. It is lined with informational plaques dedicated to Australians who served in overseas military operations. The serenity makes this a good place to reflect.
Moore Reserve is a great green hideaway from the busy world. It has a sprawling grassy field complete with recreational facilities. Enjoy picnics and barbecues, a cycleway and walking track, and play equipment for the kids. Oatley Bay is a beautiful backdrop for all this.
On the further end from the bay you'll find the manmade wetland, which also helps with storm-water management for surrounding suburbs. The still waters are lined by reeds making it a picturesque little pool. You'll catch ducks and other local wildlife hanging out here.
On this note, the reserve is a great place for animal lovers. Between the wetland and Oatley Bay sits an off-leash zone for dogs. There is a larger unfenced area and for those, perhaps who don't want to run the risk of having to chase after their cheeky friend, a smaller fenced area.
The parkland and Oatley Bay are ideal for a relaxing day out with the whole family, pets included. If you are up for the walk, it's just under an hour from Hurstville station. Alternatively you may get the 954 bus that heads toward Hurstville Grove, and the 955 which goes to Mortdale via this area. There is also a car park next to the boat ramp.