A freelance writer who loves photographing the beauty of nature, travelling, writing, swimming, and singing
Published October 18th 2016
Serene and special Stony Range Botanic Garden
The crisp inviting air of spring just demands our senses to get outside and engage with nature. And if you don't have the time to get out of Sydney for a weekend then just find some green space closer to where you live. For us on the northern beaches of Sydney, that space is Stony Range Botanic Garden. Part-rainforest, part-bushland, this patch of the planet has more flora and fauna than you'd think, given its tiny corner near the intersection of Warringah Road and Pittwater Road.
There are themed areas, such as the Bush Tucker Walk. Look up at the beautiful and imposing Angophora trees — the red trunk makes them easy to spot — or rub your hands over the papery trunk of the paperbark tree and feel the aromatic oil on your hands.
The tireless team of volunteers have also created interactive exhibits, displays and information for children to get involved, such as 'Find Me' brochures listing the frogs and lizards that can be seen amongst the habitat, or the fairy house that needs decorating, a job passed on from one visitor to the next.
Closed in 1961 when suburban subdivisions started taking place in the area, the local council retained the 3.3 hectares and enthusiastic green-thumb locals have filled it with Australian Native plants, created micro-climates like the rainforest gully, and eco-systems of small waterfalls, meandering paths, covered seating and a free-to-use barbeque area.
Stony Range in spring is a delightful and intimate place right in our own backyard. Some of the tracks are wheelchair accessible, plus a limited amount of off-street parking is available. Buses to Dee Why from the city, Manly and Palm Beach stop nearby, and it's open every day of the year. Public toilets are available, and entrance is free except if you want to make a gold-coin donation towards the upkeep of this special sanctuary.