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Published October 2nd 2016
BBQs, Bush, Bees and Beauty
Sutherland Shire Parks and Gardens Sutherland Shire aka Hobbit Land boasts many well-maintained parks and gardens that encourage us to explore outdoors, not to mention so many playing fields which we won't even attempt to touch on here. These parks boast a variety of facilities such as playgrounds, dog-friendly, good cycle paths, fitness equipment permanently installed, plus conservation parks and reserves.
Please click on the titles below to share some of my favourites to whet your appetite; see if you can pick which is my favourite by reading! Some you will know but you may also find some less known or be inspired to revisit an old favourite.
With daylight saving here, now is the time to venture out for that barbecue or picnic, hike, swim or kick a ball there really is plenty for the family and friends to do in the Shire parks.
Como Pleasure Grounds
This parks grand title is most descriptive as it is an area of outstanding beauty. The approach is a flat grassy area with covered picnic and bbq spots with children's playgrounds. Or climb the knoll for more table settings, river views and free BBQs. Then clamber about Comos own hanging rocks – not as large as the Victorian ones but just as eerie.
courtesy of council website
Driving in you pass spectacular real estate and playing fields. Mid-week there is ample parking but be early on weekends as this is a very popular spot for good reason. There is a nearby kiosk for the ice-cream or anything you forgot which leads onto the wharf area with a waterside restaurant, pool complex and composting toilets. The tidal pools have shark net protection and yes, sharks can swim up rivers, after all, this is their home ground and they are the champions.
Or stroll across the old bridge and pathway ideal for cyclists and walkers alike. So many come for the exercise and the panoramic views up and down Georges River with the surrounding bushland that is truly outstanding. Dogs must be kept on leashes.
Dunning Park is in downtown Cronulla, right on the beachfront, close to the shops and one might find some of the Sharks players training nearby. There are full facilities, a children's playground and parking with cafes and shops within easy walking distance.
It is planted with tall palms and pines with partial fencing near the roadside. But my favourite feature is its proximity to the small Turkish café overlooking the beach that is constantly crowded due to the efficient friendly service and the reasonably priced tasty menu choices.
Have actually shared my coffee at a table with a few of your local team as they come here to relax and discuss team strategies.
Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve
I do appreciate a council who names their parks so appropriately, no need to guess what you might find here at Kareela. Easy parking, facilities and my most favourite bbq spot where the firewood is already well stocked. But please beware, the thieving raven, who snatched my egg from under our eyes without leaving any trace of shell.
It is a specialised garden totally devoted to Australian Native plants and they are in full bloom now. This 2.2 hectares of landscaped garden on Hawkesbury sandstone has kilometres of sealed paths, some ponds and a specially labelled section for Aboriginal food and medicinal plants.
This is truly the jewel in the crown of Shire parks open to the public for more than a century. It includes amazing picnic areas, hire of boats or bikes, a restaurant, endless walking trails, beaches, fresh water pools, spectacular cliffs, scenic drives – it is indeed nature at its best so close to the city.
Something for everyone in every season, park entry fees apply. So check out their website for more details or just drive down to Audley to start your day adventure. Remember Sunday travel on your Opal card is only $2.50 to get there and home.
E G Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens and more
These camellia gardens in Caringbah are a real treat with full facilities, great barbeques, plenty of parking, a sense garden, two kids playgrounds and a delightful teahouse near the top gate. Roses are out, weekends its open 9.30am – 5pm and weekdays 9am – 4pm.
courtesy of council website
The camellias bloom during autumn/winter so now is a safe time for all sinus suffers to visit, although they give it international status. Guided tours are available in season.
maintained by the
But don't forget all the other delightful parks in the Shire. Bundeena is a lovely ferry ride and has oval, netball and tennis courts, skate park and a reserve. Caringbah, Cronulla and Kurnell have a diverse offering as the Shire is on the ocean with rivers running through it so most parks have much to offer. Get out and enjoy life.