Lane CoveLocation: North Shore
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.
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.
The area beyond the Country Club lends its name to the locality of Osborne Park, to its north. This group work in aAt lovely bushland site there are fine stands of beautiful Sydney Red Gums and Turpentines. In the northern section, towards of Dorritt Street, the creek flows under a canopy of Turpentine and Peppermint Gum.
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
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 the 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.
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.