Hornsby


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.
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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.

    Asquith


    Asquith is the suburb immediately to the north of Hornsby on the Pacific Highway. Located 26 km north-west of the Sydney central business district, Asquith was named in 1915 after the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, H. H. Asquith.

    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.

    Cowan


    Cowan is a small town and suburb near Sydney, approximately 40 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district. Brooklyn, which lies 6 kilometres to the north-east of Cowan, is considered the northernmost suburb of the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Area. The town takes its name from an Aboriginal word meaning big water. The name refers to Cowan Creek, a tributary of the Hawkesbury River, to the east of the suburb.


    Cowan Creek

    A notable landmark of the Cowan area is the "Pie In The Sky" pie shop located approximately one kilometre north of Cowan on the Pacific Highway. Pie In The Sky was featured in the Australian film Lantana, and is a frequent stop for day-trippers, bicycle riders and motorcycle/motor-scooter enthusiasts on weekends.

    Cowan Park is a small picnic area are adjacent to the Fire Station on View Street. It has views across Bujwa Creek valley. Cowan is wedged between Kuring-Gair Chase National Park to the east and Muogamarra Nature Reserve to the west.



    The Bujwa Fire trail is a plesant bushwalk which leads from Cowan Community Centre, Bujwa Bay Road, to Bennetts Bay, Little Bay and Bujwa Bay on Berowra Creek. The walking trail passes through Muogamarra Nature Another trail, leading to Berowra Waters Reserve, begins at Cowan Station. It is a near direct route through a wonderfully remote section of bushland.
    • Track notes and map


    • Jerusalem Bay

      Another excellent station-to-station bushwalk is the Jerusalem Bay track. This 13.4 km one-way trail begins at Cowan station and heads east to Jersusalem Bay on Cowan Creek, before heading north to Hawkesbury River station at Brooklyn. It is an all-day walk, taking around 6 hours, the scenery ranges from foreshore to ridge top lookouts and includes the circumnavigation of Brooklyn Dam. Jerusalem Bay is popular with bushwalkers as it is part of the Great North Walk. The bay is sometimes known for an iconic photo of the single palm in front of the water. The bay itself is also popular with boaters who can anchor in the bay.
    Bobbin Head


    Bobbin Head is the most popular spot for visitors on Cowan Creek, no doubt because of its easy access by road from the Sydney suburb of Pymble. Located in the south-west corner of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, Bobbin Head has full facilities for visitors by car and boat, the latter having access here to fuel supplies as well as boat repair and maintenance services. It is also a stopping place for ferries travelling to other parts of the Hawkesbury.

    May also be accessed via a 4km walking track which leads north from Bobbin Head to Apple Tree Bay and on to Harwood Avenue and Mt. Ku-Ring-Gai railway station. Location: Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road. Facilities: picnic and barbecue, grassed areas, toilets, public telephone, boat hire, wildlife shop Public transport: train to Turramurra, bus No. 577 to Bobbin Head.

    Waitara


    The neighbouring suburb of Waitara is 23 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district. Waitara is a word in the New Zealand Maori language that means hail, pure water or hail, wide steps. Waitara is a town in New Zealand. Waitara is known as a centre for all things automotive on the Upper North Shore, with car dealerships both new and used, car maintenance and smash repairers.

    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.

    Wahroonga / North Wahroonga


    Hornsby's southern neighbour, Wahroonga, is 22 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district. Wahroonga is an Aboriginal word meaning our home. Wahroonga has several small shopping villages, such as Wahroonga Village located near the railway station, which is on the North Shore, Northern and Western Line of the Sydney Trains network. Wahroonga is the Sydney end of the M1 Motorway to Newcastle. Pennant Hills Road s northern end begins in Wahroonga and intersects the M1 At Pearce s Corner. The Comenarra Parkway is a minor arterial road that stretches from Thornleigh to West Pymble via Wahroonga and South Turramurra.

    Wahroonga is known for its tree-lined, shady streets. Notable streets include Burns Road, Water Street and Billyard Avenue. The Rose Seidler House, in Clissold Road, built by Harry Seidler between 1948 and 1950, was one of the first examples of modern residential architecture in Australia. Architect William Hardy Wilson designed and built his own home, Purulia, on Fox Valley Road. Built in 1913, the home is in the Colonial Revival style and became, according to some observers, a prototype for North Shore homes. It is listed on the Register of the National Estate.

    Wahroonga Park is located north-east of the railway station, and features a significant number of well established introduced trees, and a children's playground. There is also a small Blue Gum High Forest, next to the tennis courts. Browns Field is a small sporting oval, formerly a historic logging area. Sir Robert Menzies Park is a small park located within Fox Valley.



    Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is located north of Wahroonga. It is the second oldest national park in Australia and is very popular, offering many walking tracks, picnic spots and Aboriginal sites with rock carvings. The park has a large proportion of the known Aboriginal sites in the Sydney area.
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    • In the early days of the British colonisation of New South Wales, the main activity in the region was cutting down the tall trees which grew there. Wahroonga was first colonised by the British in 1822 by Thomas Hyndes, a convict who became a wealthy landowner. 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.

    Hornsby Heights


    The suburb of Hornsby Heights lies to the north of Hornsby, 27 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district. Hornsby Heights is dominated by parks. The suburb is encircled by the Berowra Valley Regional Park.

    Parks within Hornsby Heights are Rofe Park and Montview Oval. Rofe Park is located on Galston Road and has a leash-free dog area. Crosslands Reserve, a camping and picnic area is at the northern end of Hornsby Heights. Hornsby Heights also contains small parks such as Ulolo, off Galston Road, and Leonora Close Park, off Sommerville Road. Many of these can be found around various quiet streets. Hornsby Heights is serviced by bus route number 596, which runs in a loop from Hornsby railway station.


    Galston Gorge

    The Galston Gorge to Crosslands section of the Great North Walk runs along the western boundary of Hornsby Heights. Crosslands Reserve, a camping and picnic area, is at the northern end of Hornsby Heights.
    Thornleigh


    The neigbouring suburb of Normanhurst is 22 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district. Thornleigh is bounded to the north by Waitara Creek and south by the Lane Cove National Park. Thornleigh offers great district views and the topography varies greatly with many established areas built around bushland settings and into the hills to afford the great views. The northern areas of the suburb bounded by Larool Creek and Waitara Creek are leafy and lush with vegetation and native fauna including rainbow lorikeets, kookaburras, cockatoos, and bush turkeys. Majorie Headen Lookout is a vantage point which overlooks Larool and Waitara Creek Valley.

    Thornleigh was originally part of the land occupied by the Kuringai Aboriginal people. The first non indigenous people to explore the area of Thornleigh were a party led by Governor Arthur Phillip in 1788. Settlers moved into the area in the 1830s and among them were James Milson, Patrick Duffy, John Thorn and Samuel Horne. Thornleigh is named after Constable John Thorn, who, along with Constable Horne, captured bushrangers Dalton and John MacNamara, leader of the North Rocks gang, on 22 June 1830, and were granted land as a reward in 1838. Horne's land became Hornsby (now Normanhurst), and Thorn's land became Thornleigh. Constable Horne never actually lived in the area but his land - 320 acres (130 hectares) 2.5 kilometres from present-day Hornsby - extended from Thorn's grant at Thornleigh along Pennant Hills Road to Pearces Corner.

    Orcharding was one of the major mainstays of Thornleigh during the late nineteenth century. Thornleigh railway station opened on 17 September 1886 where the local produce (mainly citrus fruits) was exported to the city markets. Fruit grown at Thornleigh was also being exported as far as Vancouver and San Francisco. After the arrival of the railway, the district was progressively subdivided into suburban lots.



    During the Great Depression of the 1930s, unemployment was a problem in the area, so a local woman named Lorna Brand raised money for the construction of a walking track near the Lane Cove River as a way of providing relief work. The track begins at Thornleigh Oval, at the bottom of Handley Avenue, and goes through the bush towards the Lane Cove River. It then goes parallel to the river for a short distance before looping back to arrive at Comenarra Parkway. An extension goes down to the river, through a spot called Conscript Pass. At this spot, there are rock carvings done by the men who worked on the track. One of the carvings is a caricature of Bertram Stevens, Premier of New South Wales from 1932 to 1939. The track is known as Lorna Pass in memory of Lorna Brand, and is now part of the Great North Walk, a long-distance walking trail between Sydney and Newcastle.



    The Lithgow Zig-Zag in the Blue Mountains is the most well known of the three such railway lines built in the Sydney region; the other two are at Lapstone and Thornleigh. The Thornleigh Zig-Zag, built in 1883-4 by Messrs. Amos & co, was used to haul crushed sandstone from a quarry behind Oakleigh Oval 30 metres up a steep gradient to the main line at Thornleigh station. There were two reversing stations. The branch was closed before 1900. Evidence of the line are still visible, including a cut??ting near Thornleigh station and embankments in the bush near Tillock Street.
    Normanhurst


    The neigbouring suburb of Normanhurst is 23 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district. Normanhurst is serviced by rail and buses. Normanhurst railway station is on the North Shore, Northern and Western Line of the Sydney Trains network. Normanhurst was originally known as Hornsby, with the suburb that is now known as Hornsby called Jack's Island Normanhurst was named after Norman Selfe, who settled in the area in the 1880s and campaigned for a railway station at Hornsby. The name was chosen by local residents in 1898 in preference to Pearce's Corner and Hornsby Junction, two names in common use at the time. Selfe was an engineer who installed the mining equipment for the Hartley Shale Mine and designed the scenic railway at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. Normanhurst was settled by Samuel Horne, who planted the area's first orchard. Part of Samuel Henry Horne's property, it was subdivided into small farms after his death in the 1860s.

    The construction of the Main Northern and North Shore railway lines in the 1890s brought about a name change. The two lines were joined at a station called Hornsby Junction, whereas the station one stop south on the Northern line kept the name Hornsby. Due to confusion around the similarly named stops, the postmaster demanded that Hornsby station change its name. The railway station originally known as 'Hornsby', opened on 21 November 1895 and the name was changed by the local community to Normanhurst in 1900.



    Both the east and west sections of Normanhurst have extensive bush access. On the east side, a small section of bush lies between Normanhurst and Fox Valley. The western side of the suburb backs onto the southern reaches of the Berowra Valley, a continuous section of bush stretching all the way to Broken Bay. This gives Normanhurst a very "leafy" and rural look. This in turn contributes to making native bird life abundant. The area is home to cockatoos, rainbow lorikeets, kookaburras, noisy miners, native brush turkeys, and powerful owls. Additionally, Normanhurst has several small waterfalls, which promote reptile and marsupial life, such as Eastern grey kangaroos, echidnas and red-bellied black snakes. It also has encouraged the growth of retirement residences in the suburb. The Hornsby Shire Historical Society and Museum is located on Kenley Road.





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  • 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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