A freelance writer with an interest in just about everything.
Published September 3rd 2013
Peaceful bushwalking in the suburbs
If you feel like exploring the Aussie bush, you don't have to leave the suburbs to get out amongst some natural surrounds. Terrys Creek Walk, part of the walking trail between Epping and Eastwood train stations, meanders its way through a peaceful corridor of remnant bushland.
Vimiera Park is roughly a 1km walk from Eastwood Station, while Dence Park sits about 1km from Epping Station. These two leafy family parks are joined by the Terrys Creek Walk which, as the name suggests, follows the path of a quiet creek.
Back in the 1830s, the Great North Road (the original road between Sydney and Newcastle via Wisemans Ferry) ran through the area of Vimiera Park. Travellers apparently stayed in the area on their first night out of Sydney, so it's a fitting place to start your walk.
The well-marked trail takes you through Blue Gum High Forest, an endangered vegetation community that grows on shale derived soil. Canopy trees include Sydney Blue Gum, Turpentine and Blackbutt. Very few remnants of Sydney's Blue Gum High Forest remain today, so areas such as this one and the nearby Edna Hunt Sanctuary are well worth exploring.
Don't be frightened if you stumble across an Eastern Water Dragon along the route. These lizards are common around Terrys Creek, sunbathing on rocks and even swimming in the water.
There's plenty of other wildlife in the area, many of it thanks to the presence of Sydney red gums that are estimated to be more than 200 years old. These red gums are important habitat trees for many bird species, as well as possums and bats. They provide perfect hollows where these critters can find shelter and build nests.
As it sits in the valley, the track is relatively flat but does have a few undulations. It follows the path of the creek, which when I last visited wasn't flowing at any particularly great speed. Get enough rain, however, and the creek can flood, so be wary of this.
Eventually the creek widens out into a lovely little waterhole. A waterfall feeds into the pool and is perhaps one of the last things you'd expect to see in the area.
This spot was once a popular swimming spot, and it must have been beautiful once upon a time, but urban pollution means the area is not safe for swimming. Efforts are under way to improve water quality, however, and long-necked tortoises have been spotted in the creek.
After spending a few minutes to catch your breath and take in the waterfall, continue along the trail and follow the signs to Dence Park. There you'll find Epping Aquatic Centre, and if it's a hot day you'll most likely me tempted to take a dip.
What you do next is up to you. You can turn around and retrace your steps, walk the last little section up to Epping Station, or continue on through suburbia into Lane Cove National Park and towards Browns Waterhole.
Terrys Creek Walk is a peaceful escape from suburbia, a lovely reminder of what this area of Sydney must once have looked like. If you'd like to explore the Terrys Creek bushwalking trail, check out this great brochure from Hornsby Shire Council.
I did the terry creek walk the past weekend based on this article. It's a lovely walk but sad to say the creek is very polluted with plastic bags , containers and even a discarded shopping trolley. I urge the council and locals to clean this gorgeous trail!