Ten kilometres north of the Sydney central business district on Sydney's North Shore, Chatswood is the administrative centre centre of the local government area of the City of Willoughby. Known for its large Chinese community, second only to Haymarket, it is also a major commercial and retail district.

Transport: Chatswood railway station is on the North Shore Line and the Northern Line of the Sydney Trains network. Rail services run south to the Sydney CBD and continue west to Strathfield and beyond. Rail services run north to Hornsby and peak hour services run to Gosford, Wyong and Newcastle. The Epping to Chatswood railway line, opened in 2009, connects Chatswood to Epping.

Chatswood is a major bus terminus with services to Bondi Junction, Sydney, North Sydney, Mosman, Balmoral Beach, Manly, Warringah Mall/Brookvale, UTS Ku-ring-gai, Belrose, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Eastwood, Gladesville, West Ryde, North Ryde, Macquarie University, Macquarie Park, Parramatta and Dundas. An interstate bus service between Sydney and Brisbane via the North Coast stops at Chatswood. Major roads through Chatswood include the Pacific Highway, Mowbray Road, Boundary Street, Willoughby Road and Eastern Valley Way and Victoria Avenue.The latter forms a pedestrian mall for the section running through the main retail area.
  • Bushwalks around Chatswood

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    Willoughby Theatre Company (formerly Willoughby Musical Society) is based in Chatswood. It specialises in musical theatre. Chatswood Musical Society also performs musical theatre, but their events are staged in Pymble. The Zenith Theatre stages both musicals and drama. The Willoughby Symphony Orchestra is based in Chatswood. Two dance companies share the Dance and Music Centre. A Chinese Cultural Centre has existed since 1996.

    The Willoughby Spring Festival is an annual event in Chatswood. The festival is the second-largest in Lower Northern Sydney and is intended as testimony to a modern, multicultural and prosperous Chatswood. For more information visit Spring Festival.

    The Willoughby Historical Society runs the Willoughby Museum in Boronia, a Federation cottage in South Chatswood.

    Chatswood Mall Market
    Victoria Avenue, Chatswood NSW, Australia
    Trading: Every Thursday and Friday - 11am-9pm
    Type: Art & Craft, Twilight, Variety, Produce, Fashion, Music, Food
    Phone: (02) 9777 1000

    Chatswood Organic Food and Farmers Market
    Chatswood Public School, Cnr Pacific Highway & Centennial Avenue, Chatswood
    Trading: Every Saturday - 8am - 1pm
    Type: Farmers, Produce
    Phone: (02) 9999 2226

    Eating Out: There are a number of Chinese (including Cantonese), Japanese and Korean restaurants and eateries. There are two hotels in Chatswood: The Mantra, near Chatswood railway station and The Sebel, near Westfield shopping centre. The Chatswood Club, located on Help Street adjacent to Pacific Highway, is a venue hall which caters to weddings, birthdays, cocktail parties, and other age-appropriate festivities.

    Blue Gum Reserve

    The remnants of Chat's Wood

    The northern gully of Chatswood West is home to the lush and peaceful Blue Gum Reserve. This moist tall forest hugs Blue Gum Creek as it flows down to Lane Cove River creating a valuable wildlife corridor and a magical place to explore. Blue Gum Reserve has a varied past. It has been logged, grazed by dairy cows, inundated by weeds, but most significantly, it has provided a sanctuary for plants and animals whilst the North Shore has been developed. Blue Gum High Forest consists not only of the magnificent trees but also is host to a diverse variety of shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns and vines.

    Like most of the Lane Cove Valley, the area around Blue Gum creek was logged for its tall, upright trees. Turpentine, (Syncarpia glomulifera) used to build wharves from as far a field as the London Docks. Black Butt (Eucalyptus pilularis) which is still one of Australia's most important commercial timbers and of course Sydney Blue Gum (Eucalyptus saligna), which once supplied the government store in the 1800 s with ships timbers and house planks. The area once hosted three dairies. Each dairy was small by today s standards, only having a few cows each.

    Blue Gum Reserve is home for the increasingly rare small insect eating bats including the Little Forest Bat, Lesser Long-eared Bat and Gould s Wattle Bat. Also small mammals that struggle in urban areas such as the Brown Antechinus, Sugar Gliders and Long Nosed Bandicoot. Blue Gum Reserve also provides habitat for six species of frogs. The Stripped Marsh Frog, Peron's Tree Frog, Leaf-green Tree Frog, Common Eastern Froglet and Eastern banjo Frog.
    Ferndale Park

    Old Man's Cave on Swaines Creek

    Ferndale Park is an important urban forest reserve, preserving Blackbutt forest and the mossy gully rainforest. Most of this original forest was cleared for agriculture and housing in the 19th and 20th century. Most of the reserve is considered part of the Sydney Sandstone Gully Forest. The local indigenous Australian people, the Cammeraygal occupied this area for at least 6,000 years. They were known to shelter in Old Man's Cave on Swaines Creek.

    Noteworthy indigenous flora includes the blackbutt, tree heath, celery wood, coachwood, native crabapple and hard corkwood. An impressive number of fern species grow here, including jungle brake, strap water fern, filmy fern, Japanese lady fern, delicate rock fern and the necklace fern. In early winter, waxcap mushroom species in the Hygrophoraceae may be seen. Ring-tail possums, brushtail possums and grey-headed flying foxes are common. Birds such as rainbow lorikeets, Australian king parrots, crimson rosellas, currawongs, koel, tawny frogmouth, pacific baza and powerful owl are some of the many found in the park. Microbats are present, including Gould's wattled bat, Lesser long-eared bat and the Little Forest Bat. Many species of spider and other invertebrates live in the reserve. The Emerald Spotted Frog is known to occur. An important remnant marsupial is the sugar glider.

    Ferndale Park has a series of walking tracks. The main Ferndale Walking Track travels along the fern-clad Swaines Creek. Although tucked away behind the suburban streets, the walk shows a quiet and peaceful side of Chatswood.
    Railway To River Walk

    This 3.5km track from Chatswood Train Station to the Lane Cove River offers a beautiful bush walk with flourishing native wildlife. It passes through streets, gully rainforests, woodland and riverside plant communities. Just follow the signs and discover the beauty of Chatswood and Chatswood West. The track is medium grade with steep bush steps. It is quite a rough track with many rocks, and hardly any paved areas. After rain the track can get quite muddy at certain areas so sturdy shoes are needed.
    History of Chatswood

    The remnants of Chat's Wood

    Residential settlement of Chatswood began in 1876 and grew with the installation of the North Shore railway line in 1890 and also increased with the opening of the Harbour Bridge in 1932. Chatswood has two major shopping centres, Chatswood Chase and Westfield Chatswood, and numerous smaller ones in the vicinity. The Melody Markets are held each Thursday and Friday in Chatswood Mall, Victoria Avenue and feature food and craft stalls, and live music.

    Historic records recall that in 1876 Richard Hayes Harnett opened up the area with a subdivision which he called Chatswood Estate . Chatswood Estate was later purchased by the Department of Railways for the construction of the station, railway line and goods yard . Richard, his wife Charlotte Harnett (Chattie) and their 16 children moved to Mosman after the Chatswood Estate had been subdivided and sold.

    Over the years the origin of the name "Chatswood" has been subject to conjecture, but generally taken to have been a derivation of Chattie's wood. It is said that the term "Chattie's Wood" was coined by Harnett because Charlotte, Harnett's second wife, used to enjoy taking walks through a nearby timbered estate, and paint there.

    The bushland surrounding the upper reaches Swaines Creek are believed to be the remnants of those "woods". Their exact location is uncertain, but from the recollections of now deceased descendents of Charlotte Harnett, the woods were most likely in the vicinity of present day Ferndale Park at the end of Eddy Road, Chatswood West. Enid Cambridge (deceased), a descendent (niece) of Charlotte Harnett, had recounted that Charlotte had told her she used to take her afternoon walks through woods down the Fullers Road near James, Jenkins and Edgar Streets. The Harnett home stood near where present day Chatswood Railway Station stands. There is further evidence that there was a very early walking track through woods near Fullers and Edgar Roads.

    Artarmon is a neighbouring suburb to the north of St Leonards, located 9 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district. Artarmon has a mix of residential, commercial and industrial areas. High-rise buildings are located to the west of the railway line and houses to the east. There is also an industrial area south of the Gore Hill Freeway, although the suburb retains a rather leafy feel. The Artarmon Fair is held annually in May.

    Its name is taken from Artarmon Farm, the name of the 150-acre 1810 grant of William Gore (1765 1845), the first settler, who was a provost-marshal. The name recalls Gore's family estate in Ireland. The locality of Gore Hill is named after him. Originally dense forest, it was cleared for farms and orchards in the early years of Gore's occupation. Subdivision and residential development did not begin until the coming of the north shore railway line in July 1898 when the original Artarmon station was opened. A new station was opened at a different site in October 1910.

    The studios of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), a public television station, are located in Herbert Street. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation was until recently located on the Pacific Highway, at Gore Hill. Fox Sports is headquartered on Broadcast Way near the Pacific Highway at Gore Hill. The Seven Network and Ten Network broadcast from a high transmission tower, operated by TXA in Hampden Road. The Nine Network has its studios in the adjacent suburb of Willoughby.

    The Artarmon Triangle: Paris is a long way from Sydney, but there are plenty of Eiffel Towers in the Sydney suburbs. On the lower north shore there were three - the television transmission towers collectively known as the Artarmon Triangle. These tall, red and white pyramids at Gore Hill, Artarmon and Willoughby have been sending out tv signals since their construction in the 1950s and 60s. The towers signified a new era of technology.

    The transmission tower on Pacific Highway is one of the few remains of the ABCTV complex, most of which was demolished in 2007. The complex was built in the 1950s. This was long before the neighbouring dark brick colossus of Royal North Shore Hospital was constructed and the highway was still mostly lined with houses. Sydney s first official television broadcast - which began with Bruce Gyngell in front of a map of the world saying Good Evening and welcome to television  - aired in 1956. The towers were a symbol of this new era of technology.

    The tallest of the towers, and at 233 metres, the sixth highest structure in Sydney for over 50 years (the Eiffel Tower, by comparison, is 324 metres). Is tucked away at the corner of what was the Channel 9 studios in Willoughby. It is at the end of a dead-end street, surrounded by cyclone fencing with a warning against electromagnetic radiation on the fence to deter explorers.

    Chatswood Reservoirs: The two Chatswood Reservoirs at 559 Pacific Highway, Artarmon were key structures in the provision of the North Shore's first substantial water supply, made possible by the commissioning in 1888 of the Upper Nepean Scheme. Built in that year, these reservoirs were a key component in the supply of water to the Chatswood area. As their top water level was 113 metres above sea level, the pair were able to service the suburbs of Chatswood, North Sydney, Mosman, and a small portion of Ryde by gravity. Supply to Manly could also be obtained from the reservoirs by means of gravitation through Mosman reservoir after it was built in 1904. The reservoirs also supplied suction water to a steam pumping station, constructed adjacent to them in 1895. This was pumped to two 90 kilolitre elevated steel tanks at Wahroonga for supply to the Upper North Shore. In 1972, a 54 megalitre welded steel reservoir was constructed adjacent to the originals.

    Flat Rock Creek: This short but picturesque watercourse rises in the suburb of Artarmon, and flows down the hillside through a series of rapids before flowing under the old Northbridge suspension bridge and emptying into Middle Harbour. A 4km return medium-grade walkin track follows the course of the stream through natural coachwood forest and open forests of Blackbutt, Peppermint and Sydney Red Gum. It passes by sandstone ruins and a disused quarry before winding its way through Tunks Park, Cammeray, where the walk commences and finishes. It is a rewarding walk rich in natural and cultural heritage.
    Lane Cove

    One of the residential suburbs of Sydney's North Shore, Lane Cove is a neighbour to Artarmon and Gore Hill. Lane Cove River were named by Gov. Phillip in 1788. They were named thus either in honour of a personal friend, John Lane, Lord Mayor of London or because the heavily wooded shores of the waterway, when first viewed from the Parramatta River, gave the impression of a lane shaped cove. At that stage the river had not been discovered.

    The Lane Cove district was heavily wooded when the First Fleet arrived, and due to the rugged terrain, remained relatively untouched until the arrival of loggers in the 1820s. It was they who cut out the tracks for timber haulage which became the district's major thoroughfares. Orchards were planted in the pockets of cleared bush and these remained for a greater part of the 19th century.

    Characterised by its lush and leafy roadsides, parks, and gardens, the North Shore suburbs of Roseville, Roseville Chase and East Roseville are named after orchardist George Wilson s stone cottage, Rosa Villa, which was demolished to make way for the railway through Roseville. It is the southern-most suburb in the municipality of Ku-ring-gai. Houses closer to railway station tend to be constructed in the Federation (c. 1890s to 1920s) and Californian bungalow (c. 1920s to 1930s) architectural styles, with the outer areas developed during the 1940s and 1950s in less ornate styles. Since this time, a small portion of these older homes have been demolished and replaced with new development properties.
    Castle Cove

    Castle Cove is a neighbouring suburb which occupies a peninsula on Middle Harbour. To its south is Fig Tree Cove. The suburb is believed to be named after Henry Willis' gothic style house, Innisfallen Castle. Willis was a member of parliament and speaker in the House of Representatives around the turn of the 20th century.

    Sugarloaf Bay: Sugarloaf Bay on Middle Harbour is where the twin-forked waterways of Crag Cove and Castle Cove enter Middle Harbour. At this point, the harbour is significantly narrow to give the appearance of a river, however it is still technically an estuary of seawater at this point, subject to tidal movements, that was carved out of the Hawkesbury Sandsone many centuries ago.

    Castle Cove Walking Track: A walking track around the Castle Cove is divided into two circuit sections and passes through some of Sydney s most untouched bushland areas. It consists of open woodland and ridge-top heathland with some partial views of Bantry Bay. The entrance to this walk is opposite 42 Cammaray Road in Castle Cove. Location: Cammeray Road, Castle Cove.
    Public transport: train to Chatswood station. Bus No. 277 (no Sunday service), alight Cnr Neerim Rd & Padulla Pl., walk down Cammeray Rd to park entrance.

    Camp and Sugarloaf Creeks: Located on the shores of Crag Cove, the bushland around Camp and Sugarloaf Creeks features a strand of virgin native coachwood forest, three small waterfalls, sandstone rock overhangs. and native sandstone gully vegetation. The reserve is accessed via paths from Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag. No facilities.
    Public transport: bus No. 203 from Wynyard station; bus No. 275 from Chatswood Station. Alight at Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag.

    The Sugarloaf: Harold Reid Reserve at the Sugarloaf headland is an ideal place to view the bays and headlands of Middle Harbour. The view from the reserve encompasses Castle Cove, Sugarloaf Bay and the suburb of Seaforth. Access the foreshore walking trail near the entrance to the reserve. The 4.5km western section of the track, which follows the shoreline of Castle Cove to H.C. Press Park, is the North Arm Track (Castle Cove was once known as the North Arm of Sugarloaf Bay). It passes through a variety of natural vegetation including mangroves. The eastern section of the trail, which follows the shoreline into Crag Cove (formerly the South Arm), is the Foreshore Track.

    The tip of the peninsula was reserved many years ago to act as a buffer zone for the explosives kept in Bantry Bay to the north. It was appropiately named Explosives Reserve. Today, the reserve is home to HC Press Park, where there is a harbour lookout.Harold Reid Reserve, Rembrandt Drive, Middle Cove.
    Facilities: picnic tables, lookout, walking trail.
    Public transport: train to Chatswood station. Bus No. 275 (occasional service). Alight at Reserve entrance in Rembrandt Drive.


    Willoughby is a neighbouring residential suburb located 8 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district. Artarmon is the nearest railway station, on the western border of the suburb. Also a number of bus routes cover the area. Willoughby is known for a large Armenian community, who arrived in the area in the 1960s-1970s.

    The City of Willoughby takes its name from the suburb but its administrative centre is located in the adjacent suburb of Chatswood, which is the local area's major commercial centre. There is some conjecture as to how Willoughby was named. Some historians believe it was named after a parish, while others believe that Surveyor-General Sir Thomas Mitchell decided to commemorate Sir James Willoughby Gordon whom he had served during the Peninsular War and was the quartermaster-general in England when the First Fleet sailed to Botany Bay.

    Captain Arthur Phillip's search for "good land, well watered" led to the discovery and colonisation of the rough shores of Roseville Chase, where Samuel Bates built a farm at Echo Point. Later developments included the building of the first post office in 1871 and the construction of Pommy Lodge in the same year. In 1934, the heritage listed Willoughby incinerator was built in Small Street, after a design by Walter Burley Griffin. It has been described as "a particularly successful example of an industrial building integrating function with site."

    Henry Lawson's Cave, Bicentennial Reserve

    Bicentennial Reserve: This reserve is located in what was the upper valley of Flat Rock Creek. Early last century, the creek passed under Willoughby Road at Flat Rock Creek Bridge before cascading over Naremburn Falls, the highest waterfall in the Sydney region, into what was known as The Devil's Hole to the east of Willoughby Road. When the land above the falls was cleared and subdivided, the creek began to flow only after rain. In an act of shortsightedness, the local council began using Devil's Hole and the upper valley as a rubbish tip in 1930 and began filling it in.

    In 1934 the Walter Burley Griffin designed Willoughby Incinerator (above) was built from Sandstone cut from a quarry located there. In 1946 the reclaimed area was made a playing field with financial help from Sir Edward Hallstrom, whose Silent Knight refrigerator factory was on Willoughby Road opposite, and named Hallstrom Park. In the late 1980s, the Willoughby Leisure Centre was built and the whole area re-landscaped and named Bicentennial Reserve. Henry Lawson Cave, at the southern end of the reserve, was just below the falls, facing The Devil's Hole. Its position indicates the original level of the valley floor. The cave's name commemorates the famous Australian author who used it as a refuge and did much of his writing here. Lawson lived at various houses in nearby Market Street. Location: Small Street, Willoughby.
    Public transport: bus No. 272, 273 from Wynyard, alight Cnr Willoughby Rd and Artarmon Rd. Walk east along Small Street.

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