Founders Way, Bungaroo

Bungaroo is a significant corner of Garigal National Park for two reasons. The first is that it was here that Captain Arthur Phillip camped on the night of 16th April 1788 on the first of many inland treks to find land which could provide a food source for the infant colony. The second is that a rocky bar here separates the salt waters of Middle harbour from the fresh water of Middle Harbour Creek.

Located at the head of Middle Harbour, this secluded bushland reserve in the heart of Garigal National Park will delight everyone from the ardent bushwalker to the family looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a few hours. Bungaroo has historical significance as it was here, where a rocky bar separates the salt waters of Middle Harbour from the fresh water of Middle Harbour Creek, that an exploration party dispatched by Captain Arthur Phillip camped on the night of 16th April 1788. It was the first of a number of inland treks dispatched by Phillip in his quest to find land which could provide a reliable food source for the colony.

After having landed at and named Manly the previous day, they followed Middle Harbour to this spot, which was described by a party member as "the most desert wild and solitary seclusion the imagination can form any idea of". Except for the bush track which takes you there, this little corner of paradise looks today exactly as it would have done to Phillip's band of pioneers. Today's visitors can stand in the same spot and recapture the same feeling they experienced over 200 years ago and if you let your imagination run free, you can picture the wide-eyed Englishmen pitching their tents beneath the forest canopy and dining on the sand mullets and yabbies which inhabit the shallow pools.

Access is via one of the many walking tracks in the National Park, or by the Founders Way Walking Track which roughly follows the path taken by the explorers of 1788 as they headed out of the valley towards what is now Pennant Hills after their overnight sojourn at Bungaroo. The 1.5 km track has its entrance off Hunter Avenue, St Ives and winds down to the spot where Phillip's party camped. As it is a bush track which leads from the top of the ridge to the bottom of the valley, it is rough in places and represents a climb in both directions. Signposts along the track provide historical background and information on the flora and fauna. Bungaroo is Aboriginal name for the Salt Water Turtle.

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  • How to get there:
    North Shore train to Gordon. Bus No. 582, alight at Hunter Ave, St. Ives; or by car to Hunter Ave, St. Ives.

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