Minto


The suburb of Minto is located 48 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district, in the suburban corridor between Liverpool and Campbelltown.

Transport: Minto railway station is serviced by the Airport, Inner West and South Line and Cumberland Line on the Sydney Trains network. Minto also has a small inland port connected by rail to Port Botany. The inland port consists of a single rail siding with an adjacent hard stand surface for the containers, and the siding is operated by top and tail trains with engines at both ends.

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100 Steps Walk


The walk starts at the end of Derby Street that can be accessed through a locked gate across Duncan Street, Minto Heights. Walk from the gate down Duncan Street which becomes Derby Street. Follow it to the end of the road, the steps are located at the top right hand corner of the cul-de-sac.

The 100 steps walk follows a set of old steps that meander down the side of the gorge to the Georges River, hence its name. In sections these steps are in good condition, however in parts they have been eroded or are completely missing. The track makes its path around rocks overhangs, surrounded by grass trees and gymea lilies and shaded by magnificent angophoras which often seem to by growing out of bare rock. There is very little chance of a sighting of the river on the way down, but the large pool at the bottom is worth a visit.

This is not a walk we would recommend for families or large groups, as there is no beach or flat area to sit on once the river is reached; it is more a place for a few friends or quiet reflection. Also in sections the track can be steep. There is very little of the original property left within the reserve; the homestead was removed when the area was taken over by State Government and managed by Council. The suburb was known as East Minto, until the name was changed around 1973. The area was named after the Earl of Minto, Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynmound, who was Viceroy of India from 1807 - 1814.

Old Ford Road

Ingleburn Weir

At the end of Georges River Road are the relics of one of the oldest roads in the area and one of three historical routes crossing the upper reaches of the Georges River. The road, which was constructed in the 1890s as part of an employment programme, brought access to the settlements of Eckersley and Holsworthy from Campbelltown and Minto and today offers a pleasant walk down to the Georges River. The settlements on the eastern side of the river were established in 1884 and were the site of numerous vineyards and orchards until 1913 when the land was resumed for the Holsworthy field firing range. The remnants of the settlement are today within the Holsworthy Military Area.

The road was surveyed in 1886 and constructed between 1889 and 1891 at a cost of 1,200 pounds. Many of the cuttings, box culverts, sandstone dish drains and buttresses built to support the road as it winds its way through a picturesque wooden valley still exist though the causeway/bridge across the river has long gone. Drill hooks are evident in the rock face where quarrying and blasting took place. An illegal whiskey still operated near the ford across the river. The road continues up the hillside on the eastern side of the Georges River though public access to this section of road is denied as it is within the Holsworthy Military Area.

The Old Ford Track is one of the easier walks along the Georges River within the Campbelltown City Council region, and can be found at the end of Georges River Road at Kentlyn within the Keith Longhurst Reserve. Pass through the gate and follow the track, turn right at the junction and walk down the track to the river. Walkers will notice that trees growing on the plateau at the start of the walk are quite short and scrubby, but as they walk further down into the gully the trees get taller, fighting each other to reach the light.

Frere's Crossing

Frere's Crossing

A more substantial ford across the Georges River was later built at Frere's Crossing to provide access for a number of families living in that part of the settlement. This deviation quickly replaced the original section of road now contained in the Georges River Nature Reserve. Frere's Crossing got its name from George Pierre Frere, a Frenchman who took up land at Eckersley between the Georges River and Punchbowl Creek. Here he built a house and established a vineyard that later supplied his wine cellar in Sydney. The remains of George Frere's two houses and wine vats at Eckersley still exist.
How to get there: by car to Georges River Road, Kentlyn.
Freres Crossing entrance is at the end of Freres Road, Kentlyn, no vehicular entry is allowed, but walkers are welcome to wander down the fire trail to the Georges River. The track was originally made so that coaches could access the village of Eckersley and beyond, but whether a coach ever did travel down is a question much discussed, but never resolved, and once residents of Eckersley were moved out of the village to allow the area to become part of the Military Reserved the track was allowed to fall into disrepair.

Bull Cave

Bull Cave

Bull Cave, near the Georges River in Kentlyn, is one of the most historically significant examples of Aboriginal rock art in the Sydney region. As well as kangaroos, human figures and 11 mundoes (footprints) in red ochre, the cave paintings here depict a group of large mammals which resemble bulls. Researchers believe the paintings are genuinely Aboriginal, that they were drawn after 1788 and depict the progeny of cattle which escaped from the colony of Sydney in 1788. These cattle were found at Cowpastures by the first white settlers in the Macarthur district 15 years later after their escape. The cattle would have gone in the vicinity of the cave on their way to the place where they were eventually found. The location of the cave has not been publicised in order to protect it. Sadly, the policy has not worked, as the art in this and other overhangs in the area has been badly damaged by vandals, no doubt unaware of its significance.

Bushwalkers Basin

Bushwalkers Basin

Bushwalkers Basin Reserve, in which the Bull Cave is located, whas been renamed Keith Longhurst Reserve in honour of the late Campbelltown council ranger, who was a descendent of Kentlyn's first family  and did much to protect the Aboriginal history and natural heritage of the area. This popular secluded waterhole punctuates the bottom of a steep downhill walking track which starts at the end of Georges River Road, Kentlyn. The scenic location is a stunning example of a typical Georges River gorge landscape, and offers striking views in the late afternoon sun.

The pool at the end of the walk is probably one of the largest along the stretch of the Georges River within the Campbelltown Council area, and is very popular in summer, without the over crowding found in other parts of Sydney. The waterfall is a delight for photographers and painters, but once again care must be taken when paddling or swimming in the river above the falls as there are large sink holes caused by many years of natural erosion caused by eddies in the river. In season flannel flowers (Actinotus helianthi) carpet the plateau among the typical Hawkesbury Sandstone Woodland trees and understory, and Gymea Lilies (Doryanthes excelsa) wave their large red flowers like sentinels along the cliff lines.

History of Minto
Minto was named in honour of the Earl of Minto, Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, who was Viceroy of India from 1807-1814. The name was originally given to the entire district stretching from just north of Appin up to what is now Denham Court. The area that constitutes the current suburb of Minto was originally home to the Tharawal people until the arrival of British settlers from the First Fleet. In 1811, Governor Lachlan Macquarie granted 800 acres (3.2 km2) in the area to William Redfern, the colony's first surgeon. He in turn named it Campbellfield after Macquarie's wife Elizabeth whose maiden name was Campbell. Redfern used the property as a vineyard and sheep station.

In 1810, Dr Robert Towson built his sandstock home, Varroville, in St Andrews Road, on land granted by Governor Macquarie. The house was subsequently owned by Charles Sturt and James Raymond, the first Postmaster General. In the 1820s, Colonel Parker built a Georgian bungalow called Epping Forest in Raby Road. A farm called Robin Hood Farm was built in Campbelltown Road circa 1830. These three properties are now listed on the Register of the National Estate.

In 1874, a railway station was built in the area and named Campbellfield after the property but this led to confusion with nearby Campbelltown so in 1882, it was renamed Minto. Development of the area followed shortly after and by the 1950s it was a village of around 500 people. A large slice of land on the east side of Minto was sold to Housing Commission in 1969 to provide cheap housing. Shortly after a large industrial estate was also established in the area and Minto's transition from village to Sydney suburb was complete. Public housing belonging to Housing NSW has recently been demolished in the suburb to make way for a new housing estate called One Minto. The new estate will consist of both public and private housing.



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