Location: Northern suburbs
By nature of its position at the junction of the Northern Line and the North Shore line of the City Rail network, and close to the junction of the Sydney-Newcastle Motorway, Cumberland Highay (Pennant Hills Road to Parramatta) and the Pacific Highway (Sydney via North Shore), Hornsby has become a major regional business, administrative and retail centre.

Hornsby has long been associated with Ginger Meggs, a cartoon by Jimmy Bancks who grew up in Hornsby, which has appeared in Australian newspapers since 1921.

Hornby is surrounded on nearly all sides by virgin bushland. Within the Hornsby Shire there is over 6,000 hectares of public bushland and 174 Parks including 134 playgrounds and 12 garden parks. The Great North Walk track, which links Sydney and Newcastle, passes through Hornsby, It has been designed for people of all ages and levels of experience. It provides a series of day and weekend walks with numerous access points, facilities and connections. A detailed map kit can be obtained from Hornsby Council 9847 6853 or the Department of Lands 4920 5074.

Also passing through Hornsby is the Harbour to Hawkesbury Walking Track, which links Manly and Berowra. It showcases some of Sydney's most scenic bushland, habours and waterways. Berowra Valley Regional Park, Lane Cove National Park, Marramarra National Park and Muogomarra Nature Reserve are all nearby. The Bushwalking in Hornsby  brochures, produced by the Hornsby Shire Council, details walk through these and other bushland areas around Hornsby. View online or download >>

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Lisgar Gardens

A beautiful gardens and well worth a visit, located at the end of Ligar Road, Hornsby. The site was purchased in 1917 by Dr. Max Cotton (1887-1967) from his brother Leo, specifically for the purpose of creating the gardens. Built on a steep hillside, the gardens  different levels were created by the construction of sandstone block walls. These, along with the fish ponds, took two stonemasons two years to complete.

By 1950 the gardens had been planted with rhododendrons, azaleas, gardenias and other exotics in harmony with native trees and ferns, highlighting over 80 varieties of camellias. Some of the original camellias, which are over 60 years old, still exist in the gardens today. Open Monday to Friday from 8am to 3.30pm Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm (DST). The gardens are closed on public holidays. Contact Customer Service on 9847 6853.

Florence Cotton Park

This bushland reserve comprises tall open forest dominated by Blackbutt, Sydney Blue Gum, Red Bloodwood, Smooth-Barked Apple, Turpentine trees and Allocasuarina. A fairly steep valley dominates the reserve with a unique warm termperate rainforest type community present alongside the creek at the base of the valley. The Park is bounded by Frederick Street, Pretoria Pde, Lisgar Road and Rosemead Road. Access to the Park can also be gained next to 30 Frederick Street.

Hornsby Water Clock

The Hornsby Water Clock, titled Man, Time and the Environment is a piece of kinetic sculpture, a decorative fountain and a functional clock in the Florence Street pedestrian mall in Hornsby, New South Wales, Australia. Unveiled in 1993, the sculpture was designed and engineered by Victor Cusack and constructed of bronze, stainless steel and glass by Victor and his foundry floor manager Rex Feakes. It is a combination of three water-powered clocks  a 4th-century BC Greek clepsydra, an 11th-century Chinese water wheel clock and a 17th-century Swiss pendulum clock  plus a 17-note bronze carillon to ring the hour based on a 250-year-old design found in an old English church. The whole assembly is mounted on a floating pontoon that rotates every 12 hours giving a fourth time indicator as a pointer sweeps past Roman numerals placed in the water around the fountain s perimeter.

Indigenous sites

Over 100 Aboriginal sites have been recorded in the Hornsby region. These include engravings on sandstone ridges; rock shelters on the valley slopes containing cave paintings or drawing sites and archaeological deposits; open campsites and grinding grooves on valley floors; shell middens along tidal waterways; and scarred trees. At Westleigh, a set of engravings are to be found on the Great North Walk bush track near the end of Quarter Sessions Road. Mainly fish and kangaroos, they are located off the main track on a rock face close to the corner of a backyard. Another group, on a large slab of rock, was removed from a nearby housing development site to its present location to save it from destruction. It has an observation ramp leading up to it from Quarter Sessions Road.

Crosslands Reserve

In 1924 Crosslands Reserve has described as the most ideal spot on the river where access of turf covered banks slope down to the water s edge. Today Crosslands is a popular picnic and camping area close to Hornsby. It s rare to find a wilderness experience so close to the city and so easily accessible. Walled by steep Hawkesbury Sandstone escarpments and densely clothed in vegetation, Crosslands provides an attractive setting for a multitude of recreational activities. These include picnicking and barbeques, bushwalking, camping (bookings through Council), fishing, canoeing, bike riding, nature observation. Crosslands Reserve: Somerville Road, Hornsby Heights.
Facilities: picnic shelters, wood barbecues, toilets, parking, children s playground and bicycle track.
Access is from a 2.5km gravel road at the end of Somerville Road, Hornsby Heights or by foot along the Benowie Walking Track which forms part of the Great North walk.

Blue Gum Walk

This track is for those who love to explore! Venture into Old Mans Valley and admire the stately stand of Sydney Blue Gums. Originating on volcanic soil this site of an ancient diatreme has meant the production of a fertile strip 10km long. Surrounded by creeks and largely unaffected by development, this area is one of the easiest places in the Hornsby area to observe its unique botanical heritage.

This loop walk starts at Rosemead Road, Hornsby and ends at Ginger Meggs Park (about 400 metres from Rosemead Road starting point, which can be reached by following the road up to the left). There is access to this walk from Hornsby Station, through Dural St. and down the steep convict steps.
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Harbour to Hawkesbury Walking Track

The Harbour to Hawkesbury walking track links Manly and Berowra, allowing walkers to experience some of Sydney's most scenic bushland, harbours and waterways via 47km of sign-posted walking tracks. The route uses mostly existing tracks within the Sydney Harbour, Ku-ring-gai Chase and Garigal National Parks and outside these parks, uses reserves where possible, else local streets. Regular public transport connects with points along the route, so the walk lends itself to being completed as a series of half day or one day walks. The Harbour to Hawkesbury track links in with the Great North Walk, providing a continuous loop of walking track of about 105km in length, which takes 5-6 days to complete.
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The Great North Walk

This is the Big Daddy of long distance bushwalks in the Sydney region, comprising of 250km of walking track between from Sydney to Newcastle. Starting from the obelisk at Macquarie Place, Sydney the walk traverses through Hunters Hill and Lane Cover River NP, via the Benowie Track through Thornleigh, Berwora Waters and Cowan. It continues to Brooklyn, following the Hawksebury Track to Yarramalong, then over the Wattagan Mountains into Newcastle. Where possible it passes through natural tracts of bushland and follows pathways used by for centuries by the Aborigines to travel from one region to another.
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Berowra Valley National Park

This virgin bushland reserve covers more than 3800 ha of bushland within Hornsby Shire and extends 16km long and between 1 - 6km wide between Pennant Hills in the South and Berowra in the North.The Great North Walk, which is a major walking track within the Park, provides trackheads (entry points) at Berowra, Mt Kuring-gai (Glenview Road), Mt Colah, Asquith, Hornsby, Galston Gorge, Pennant Hills (Bellamy Street) and Cherrybrook (Callicoma Walk). Mount Kuring-gai and Berowra railway stations are close to the northern section of the Park. The main public road through the mid-section of the Park is Galston Road.

Short term camping is available in Crosslands Reserve by arrangement with council. There are designated camping areas along the Great North Walk. Call the Parks Facilities Officer on 9847 6791 for details and bookings. Items of Aboriginal heritage and European historical interest are contained within the Park including middens, the zig zag railway and historic quarry at Thornleigh.

Main recreational activities in the Park include bushwalking, nature appreciation, jogging, boating, picnicking, fishing, cycling, camping and leashed dog walking in designated areas. Scenic views can be found at Galston Gorge, Barnetts Reserve and at Naa Badu Lookout. Playground facilities are provided at Crosslands Reserve and at Barnetts Reserve.
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History of Hornsby

The first European settler in the area was Thomas Higgins, who received a grant of land in Old Mans Valley. A railway station named Hornsby Junction  opened on 17 September 1886 to the north of the town of Hornsby, which had developed on the site of Horne's grant. It formed the junction of the Northern Line and the North Shore Line which were yet to be completed at that time. Hornsby station was one stop further south on the Northern Line. Due to confusion by commuters alighting at the incorrect station expecting to transfer to a connecting train, the old Hornsby station was renamed Normanhurst on 17 November 1898, after prominent local activist and engineer Norman Selfe, while the Hornsby Junction station assumed the current name of Hornsby.

  • Get Directions

  • How to get there:
    Hornsby is 25 kilometres by train from the Sydney central business district and is approximately 24 kilometres by road. There are frequent railway services to the central business district via Macquarie Park on the Northern Line or via Gordon on the North Shore Line. Bus services operate from Hornsby Station Interchange. The Pacific Highway, which passes through Hornsby, was formerly the main road link between Sydney and north-eastern Australia.

    The Name
    The suburb was formerly known as Jack's Island, though its origin of which is unknown. The present name derives from Hornsby Place , a grant to Samuel Horne in 1831, which was located in present day Normanhurst. Transported to NSW at the age of 19, the Convict-turned-Constable Samuel Henry Horne was given a full pardon in 1831 for his part in the capture of a bushranger named McNamara who held up Dr. Sherwin on the Windsor Road and stole his gold watch. Horne was rewarded with a grant of 320 acres.

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