Location: North Shore
One of the residential suburbs of Sydney's North Shore, Lane Cove is a neighbour to Artarmon and Gore Hill. Located nine kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district, it is the administrative centre for the local government area of the Lane Cove Council. It is serviced by schools, shops, cafes, restaurants, medical and dental services, recreational facilities and public transport. Lane Cove West and Lane Cove North are separate suburbs.
Lieutenant Ralph Clark was the first European to land, a short distance from the entrance to the Lane Cove River on 14 February 1790, though the River had been 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.
Most of the residential growth in the area occurred after World War II when returning soldiers were granted blocks of land around Lane Cove. The land value, which was relatively cheap during this time, surged during the 1980s and 1990s when the water views, large suburban blocks, ease of transport and quiet streets became popular.
Around 16 percent of the area is devoted to public recreational areas including Burns Bay Park, Tambourine Bay Park, Pottery Green, Blackman Park and Tantallon Oval. As well as this there is a large amount of bushland surrounding the river's edge especially near Riverview and Lane Cove West. Lane Cove also has many small creeks and rivers that flow through it and therefore has many expanses of bushland. The Lane Cove River is the largest river in the area. Lane Cove National Park is located close to the suburb. The Lane Cove Bushland Park is home to an endangered species of fungus, Hygrocybe lanecovensis, which is found nowhere else. The species was discovered in the 1990s.
Lane Cove National Park
Lane Cover National Park protects the peaceful bushland valley of the Lane Cove River, which passes through the North Shore's suburbs, making it within easy reach of the centre of Sydney. The Lane Cove River valley is home to some of the finest bushland in the Sydney area. There are bushland tracks leading into the park from most suburbs surrounding the park so access to its natural bushland is easy.
Unlike surrounding areas where evidence of Aboriginal occupation has been obliterated by urban development, such sites in the park have been preserved. Midden heaps along the river recall feasts of the oysters, fish, crabs and waterfowl found in the estuaries, while the forests would have provided possum, kangaroos, bandicoots and other animals. Rock carvings of kangaroos, an echidna, animal tracks and human-like drawings can also be seen. The carving of a wombat and a sea-creature, as well as axe grinding grooves, can be found near the headwaters of Carters Creek. At the western edge of the park near Browns Waterhole there is a carved set of wallaby tracks.
The Park is the perfect place to get away from it all for a picnic, a bushwalk beside the river, hire a row boat or visit the Kukundi Wildlife Shelter. Swimming in the river is not advisable. Entry fee applies.
Stringy Bark Creek Reserve is bounded by Murray, Ralston and Nundah Streets, Karilla and Centennial Avenues. Access from Murray Street is to a shaded, grassed area with tall trees. Here you will find children's play equipment, a tennis practice wall, a cricket practice wicket, BBQ facilities and picnic tables and benches. There is only street parking and no toilets are available. You can join numerous stringy Bark Creek bushwalks from the reserve. From Centennial Avenue, the trail starts narrow with a few technical sections but gradually opens up with an elevated boardwalk and a gentle rise as you approach the reserve.
Batten Bushland Reserve surrounds Stringy Bark Creek between Epping Rd and Elizabeth Parade, Lane Cove. The trail has a number of tricky sections if you intend running it, particularly where it crosses Stringy Bark Creek.
Lane Cove Bushland Reserve
The valley of Gore Creek is a beautiful, tranquil strip of bushland that has managed to survive the urbanisation of the surrounding area. One of Lane Cove's larger bushland areas, this area is a part of the National Estate due to the presence of a threatened ecological community of Hygrophoraceae fungi. It also contains a diverse vegetation community through which Gore Creek flows.
The walking track alongside Gore Creek gives access to the Lane Cove Bushland Reserve which is dissected by River Road at Northwood. Vegetation north of River Road is a mix of open forest and rainforest, the latter being predominant in the steep-sided gullies of the upper section where the creek flows through a series of pools and races. A century ago, Paddy's Flats, located above a series of rapids, was once lush, shaded pasture where cattle grazed.
Lane Cove Bushland Reserve may best be described as a warm-temperate wet sclerophyll forest. It is evergreen, hygrophilous in character in the upper portion and rich in thick-stemmed lianas. Vegetation is a mixture of open forest and rain-forest species, but not luxuriant. The water course is the location of a "gallery rainforest' surrounded by often steep-sided ridges and gullies which carry run-off rainwater, eventually emptying into Sydney Harbour.
Gore Creek Reserve
The section of the Gore Creek valley below River Road contains the picturesque Lilly Pilly Falls which can be viewed at close range via stone steps. The falls and water pool below it were once a popular picnic and bathing spot. Urban development upstream has severely affected the amount of water coming over the falls and the pool is heavily silted, but the falls are still quite impressive after heavy rain.
Gore Creek enters Lane Cove River through Gore Creek Reserve where barges were loaded with timber cut from the surrounding area.
How to get there: by car to St. Vincents Road, Greenwich; Ronald Avenue, Gore Hill; River Road, Northwood; Cogan Place, Osborne Park; or Bus No. 261 from Sydney Town Hall. Alight where River Rd passes Gore Creek Reserve. UBD Map 215 Ref H 7
Tennyson Park/Burns Bay Reserve
Burns Bay is one of a number of tranquil bays on the Lane Cove River. This reclaimed waterfront reserve, at the bay s head, has a sewerage aqueduct across it, which somewhat spoils the view. Behind it is a soccer field (Burns Bay Oval) backed by a pleasant shaded park area alongside Tannery Creek (also known as Burns Bay Creek). Back in 1858 the hillside to the west of the park was occupied by two tanneries, the last of which closed in 1974. Apartments have since filled the site. The park was probably less pleasant back then when it was known as Murdering Bay because of a motley collection of sometimes dangerous types who hung out there.
Away from the water as the valley narrows, a walking trail leads into the upper section of the valley and what must be one of the most picturesque bushland reserves in the Sydney suburban area. The walking trails follow Tannery Creek through Tennyson Park, emerging on River Road. Harbourside boat launching ramp at end of Koorong Rd. Burns Bay Reserve: UBD Map 215 Ref P 5. Koorong Road, Riverview.
How to Get There: North Shore train to Chatswood, Bus No. 532, alight at Riverview St, Riverview; or by car to Riverview St, Riverview.
Linley Point is a small precinct of Lane Cove with occasional superb views of the river, and to Riverview College, high on its bluff above the river, as well as across to Fig Tree House across the river in Hunters Hill. This area close to Burns Bay Road remains a small industrial area, but the unit site was, from 1904 to 1957, the location of the Australian Wood Pipe Co, which manufactured pipes, tanks and silos from wood. The pipes were like long barrels coated in bitumen, and much of Sydney's water supply depended on them until technological change made metal or plastic pipes superior.
Carisbrook: An historic 12 room sandstone Victorian home, it is the second oldest in Lane Cove. Acquired by the Council in 1969, Crisbrook is now a historic and folk museum. It can be reached by walking northwards up Burns Bay Rd. Carisbrook was built in 1860 by Thomas Brooks, a customs official, after his marriage to Rachel Dodd. Earlier, much of the land had been owned by Richard and Thomas Linley, who had, at one stage, manufactured rope on the site. Brooks had begun to subdivide the area before his death in 1883.
Fig Tree Bridge: The present bridge was opened in 1963 as part of the proposed Northwestern Freeway which was never continued beyond it. It was the second bridge to be built at this locality, and the abutment of the first can be glimpsed on the Hunters Hill side west of the present bridge. Opened in 1885, the earlier bridge completed the Five Bridges Route which included the original Pyrmont, Glebe Island, Iron Cove, and Gladesville Bridges. They provided the first land link between the city and the north shore.
Riverview is a nearby suburb located 9 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district. It is situated on the northern side of the Lane Cove River, at the head of Tambourine Bay; the foreshore is occupied by Tambourine Bay Park. Riverview is primarily a residential area. Riverview takes its name from its location, which provides a 'view' of the Lane Cove 'River'. St Ignatius' College was built in 1880.
Tambourine Bay Reserve
Tambourine Bay Reserve is a large park situated at the end of Tambourine Bay Road, as well as Kallaroo Rd, and contains barbecue and picnic facilities, as well as a playground. It also offers splendid views over Tambourine Bay Road and is a hub for bushwalks to Longueville and around the bay. Burns Bay Reserve lies in West Riverview and is used for children's soccer matches in the cooler months of the year. Like Tambourine Bay Reserve, it is complete with picnic and barbecue facilities, and also a playground. There is also a small recreation area at the end of the walkway leading from Flaumont Avenue, complete with benches and a swing set.
Longueville is one of the suburbs of Sydney s Lower North Shore which fronts onto the Lane Cove River. This small residential suburb occupies a peninsula between Tambourine Bay and Woodford Bay, situated 8 km north west of the Sydney central business district.
Originally a home to manufacturing industries, the suburb had its beginnings as a residential area in the 1870s. Longueville was officially proclaimed a suburb in the 1920s and today it is home to some of Australia s most expensive real estate, with the Sydney Morning Herald ranking it as Sydney s fifth most-expensive suburb.
Northwood is the neighbouring suburb to Longueville, situated on the northern side of the Lane Cove River between Woodford Bay and Gore Creek. Northwood is named after Northwood House, designed by colonial architect Edmund Blacket (1817-1883) and built by Mrs Jane Davy in 1878. The name was chosen because it is descriptive of its location, a woodland area in the north. Mrs Davy also built a ferry at her own expense, so that her family could travel to the city by ferry. Northwood was the home of landscape artist Lloyd Rees for many years before his death in 1988. Many of his later paintings are of the area. Lloyd Rees Park on Woodford Bay is named in his honour.
Originally known as Pennys Point, it is one of Sydney s smallest suburbs. Northwood's small and rather exclusive peninsula is full of fine houses in a variety of mostly twentieth century architectural styles. The suburb was known in the three decades after WWII for its arts community, with a surprising number of artists and sculptors living in the area. A number of them, including Lloyd Rees, met regularly and exhibited under the name of the Northwood Group.
The head of Woodford Bay, Northwood, is the site of the first European settlement on Sydney's Lower North Shore. First Fleeter Lt. Ralph Clark landed here on St. Valentine's Day 1790 and established a small settlement. A stone and timber convict-built stockade was erected in 1800 to protect the convicts working there from hostile Aborigines. A well and a number of tunnels dug there in Gov. Macquarie's time remain on private property beyond the end of Kellys Esplanade. UBD Map 215 Ref E 11
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.
A quiet bay on the Lane Cove River featuring a grassed area and rock swimming pool. The Tambourine Bay track is a very pleasant harbourside walk. Situated in a bushland area known as Hodgson Park, the track rises and dips towards sedge and mangrove areas, passing over a bank of shale supposedly from a little shale mine once here. Into the early twentieth century, this was a popular picnic area and a locally built wooden footbridge reached across the creek and marsh from Longueville to facilitate access to ferry wharves. There is little trace of this now.
Mangroves have expanded, shielding the pleasant open area at the head of the Bay from the water. The track climbs and passes under rock overhangs and over some remnant Aboriginal shell middens before reaching the Sea Scouts hut and little harbour pool built by local residents. Tambourine Bay was named for the woman Tambourine Nell or Tambourine Sal, who lived in a cave on the foreshore whilst hiding from police.
Facilities: grassed area, swimming pool, picnic facilities.
Public transport: train to Chatswood, bus No. 532, alight at Tambourine Bay Rd.