Location: North Shore
A suburb on the north side of the Parramatta River, Ryde is the third oldest European settlement in Australia, after Sydney and Parramatta. Located 13 km to the north west of Sydney central business district, Ryde is the administrative centre of the local government area of the City of Ryde and part of the Northern Suburbs area.

As Ryde was located at the top of the hill (from whichever way you approached it) it also became known as Top Ryde. Top Ryde is now an unofficial locality within Ryde, which contains the commercial area of the suburb, centred around the intersection of Devlin Street and Blaxland Road. Top Ryde City is a major shopping centre there. The original Top Ryde shopping centre on this site was the second of its type to be built in Australia.

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Parks and Gardens

Santa Rosa Park is located between Quarry Road and Bridge Road. It features a separated pathway for walking and bike riders. Shrimptons Creek runs through the park in a north-easterly direction flowing into the Lane Cove River. The park is used for football and cricket. Gannan Park was once a quarry and brickworks and is accessed from Buna Court, Minga Street and McAuley Park. Ryde Pool was home to water polo events for the Sydney Olympics, held in 2000. The pool is now owned by Ryde City Council.

Macquarie Park Cemetery

Macquarie Park Cemetery, formerly known as Northern Suburbs Cemetery, was opened in 1922 and is one of Sydney's most important North Shore burial places. It is the final resting place of a number of significant Australians. Prime Minister, William Morris Hughes, and the pioneer of Australian film making, Charles Chauvel, are buried in the Anglican section. Nearby is the grave of Richard Hayes Harnett Jr. (1850-1938), Mosman's first Mayor when the Council was incorporated in 1893.

Others include the former Governor-General, Sir John Kerr; Major General Sir George Wootten, who took the surrender of the Japanese in Borneo in 1945; poet Christopher Brennan; Ethel (Turner) Curlewis, novelist, author of 'Seven Little Australians'; Rev Theodore (Ted) Noffs, Ted Noffs Foundation, Pastor of the Wayside Chapel; author (Shiralee) D'Arcy F Niland. Many show business celebrities from TV, radio, theatre and movies such as TV presenter, actor, singer, sportscaster Don Lane (Morton Donald Isaacson), singers Johnny O'Keefe and Ricky May, actors Lottie Lyell and Raymond Longfield are buried there.

Aboriginal rock art

Some 43 Aboriginal sites are recorded within the Ryde region. The building of roads and residences has seen most destroyed. Cave paintings were once common, but were few in number compared to other areas of Sydney. Few rock engravings have been found or recorded in the Ryde district though it is believed more existed before recording of them first began in the 1860s. A site at Settlers Park near Ryde bridge has a carving of a single flying duck which is rare for the Sydney area, and another carving representing a throwing weapon.

Historic buildings

The suburb contains the oldest settler's cottage in Australia, Addington, on Victoria Road. Addington was built by the emancipist James Stewart, circa 1800. James Shepherd bought the property in 1810 and added a six-room house to the original sandstone cottage. Other historic buildings in the area include the police station on Victoria Road and Willandra, Willandra Street. The police station, a simple sandstone structure, was designed by Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis and built in 1837. Willandra is a two-storey Georgian home built by the Devlin family circa 1845, and more recently used as an art gallery and headquarters for the Ryde and District Historical Society. Both Willandra and the police station are listed on the Register of the National Estate.

The public school at 2 Tucker Street was opened in 1892. The building, which still survives, is the Infants Department, a two-storey, sandstone building which is heritage-listed. The cottage Riversdale, in Wade Street, was the home of a well-known riverboat captain by the name of Robert Gascoigne, who lived in the area circa 1900.

St Anne's Anglican Church

St Anne's Anglican Church in Church Street, was built in 1826 and extended in later years. It was a central feature in the early life of the area and is now listed on the Register of the National Estate. St Anne s Anglican Church cemetery, opened when the church was erected in 1826, contains the graves of many of its earliest white settlers. These include first fleeters James Bradley and Edward Goodwin. Bradley was transported for 7 years for stealing a handkerchief with a value of 2 shillings. He arrived aged about 23 and died in 1838, a free man and farmer in the Ryde district. Goodwin was sentenced to transportation for 7 years, aged about 22, for stealing material with a value of 100 shillings and was a fellow passenger with Bradley on the transport ship Scarborough. He died in January 1839, also a free man and resident of the Ryde district.

Others people of note buried at St Anne's include family members of explorer and pioneer local settler Gregory Blaxland; Lady Eleanor Parkes, the wife of statesman Sir Henry Parkes; Emma Oxley, the wife of explorer and Surveyor-General John Oxley; Maria Ann Sherwood Smith, known as Granny Smith, who developed a hybrid apple tree which produced the now famous Granny Smith apple named in her honour. Every year, in the suburb of Eastwood, the Granny Smith Festival is held in her honour. Church Street is also the location of Ryde Wesley Uniting Church.

Ryde Road Bridge

From around 1800 there was a punt/ferry crossing the river at Ryde Road between Meadowbank and Rhodes. It began operating in 1898 and continued until the Ryde Road Bridge was opened in December 1935. The Rhodes ramp can be seen on the south bank just east of the Meadowbank Rail Bridge. The original road bridge, erected further downstream at Uhrs Point, had an opening span which lifted to allow larger craft to pass under.

The bridge is supported on concrete piers and consists of two steel fixed spans and a central lifting span, which was capable of being raised to a height of 24.4 metres. The was required to allow shipping to pass to the State Timber Yard then located on the southern bank of the Parramatta River, just west of the bridge. The lift span was required to allow shipping to pass to the State Timber Yard then located on the southern bank of the Parramatta River, just west of the bridge. Its lifting mechanism was removed in the late 20th century and it has not been opened since. It was a toll bridge and the toll was not removed until June 1949.

In the 1980s a new bridge was built parallel to it but it has no opening span. The machinery associated with the original lifting span was dismantled when the new bridge was opened. The Parramatta River officially becomes Sydney Harbour at Ryde Bridge.


Denistone, a neighbouring suburb, is located 16 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district. Denistone West and Denistone East are separate suburbs. Denistone is derived from the name of a home built in the area called Dennistone.

The Wallumedegal Aboriginal tribe lived in the area between the Lane Cove River and Parramatta River, which was known as Walumetta. Gregory Blaxland, a free settler, purchased the 182.1-hectare (450-acre) Brush Farm estate in 1806, shortly after his arrival in the colony. This estate covered most of the area south from Terry Road to Victoria Road and Tramway Street, and east from Brush Road to Shaftsbury Road.

Brush Farm Estate

In 1829 Blaxland transferred Brush Farm Estate to his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband Dr Thomas Forster. Forster expanded the estate by purchasing the Porteous Mount grants of 48.6 hectares (120 acres) on the Denistone ridge in 1830. Denistone was named after Forster's home "Dennistone", burnt down by bushfires in 1855. Richard Rouse Terry acquired the land from the Blaxlands in 1872 where he rebuilt Denistone House, now within the grounds of Ryde Hospital. The Denistone estate, centered on Denistone House, was a late subdivision, not opened up for sale until 1913. Another historic house in Denistone is The Hermitage which was built by Gregory Blaxland's son, John Blaxland in about 1842.


Eastwood, located 17 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district, is a neighbouring suburb. Originally thought to have been inhabited by the Wallumedegal Aboriginal tribe, who lived in the area between the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers, the area was first settled by Europeans shortly after the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, from land grants to Royal Marines and NSW Corps, and was named "Eastwood" by an early Irish free settler, William Rutledge. Today it is a large suburban centre in the north of Sydney of over 14,000 people, with a large shopping area. Eastwood has a large population of Asian descent with immigrants from China transforming the commercial precinct in the past decade.

Granny Smith Festival

Eastwood is famous for the Granny Smith apple, accidentally first grown in the suburb by Maria Ann Smith. Every October, the oval and cordoned-off streets become the grounds for the annual Granny Smith Festival, a celebration of the icon with fairground rides, market stalls, street theatres, parades, an apple-baking competition and a fireworks spectacular at the Upper Eastwood Oval.

In recent years the festival has been influenced by the substantial Asian immigrant communities, with Chinese dragon dancers in the Grand Parade and Chinese stallholders. During the same period, Eastwood's annual Chinese New Year Celebrations have broadened their appeal by incorporating concurrent Korean New Year traditions, and have accordingly been renamed the Lunar New Year Festivities.

To the north, Eastwood is bounded by the transport hub of Epping and to its east Marsfield which shares the same postcode of 2122. The suburb is predominantly residential with the main shopping area of Eastwood centred between Rowe Street and Rutledge Street around the railway line. Eastwood is relatively well served by public transport. Eastwood railway station is located on the Main Northern railway line.


The neighbouring suburb of Marsfield is a residential area noted for its proximity to a number of leading scientific and tertiary educational institutions. Marsfield is home to the Macquarie University, the Macquarie Park Business Park, Macquarie University Hospital, Macquarie University railway station and Macquarie Shopping Centre. The suburb's name is derived from Field of Mars, the original name in the early days of British colonisation of Australia, given to the area by Governor Phillip in 1792.

The whole area between the Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers was originally known by its Aboriginal name Wallumatta. The aboriginal name survives in a local park, the Wallumatta Nature Reserve, located at the corner of Twin and Cressy Roads, North Ryde. In 1792 Governor Phillip began the granting of parcels of lands to Royal Marines, and the area was referred to on Phillip's maps as the Field of Mars, named after the Roman Field of Mars probably because of the military link. Field of Mars was also the name for the parish proclaimed in 1835.

Many of the streets in Marsfield and bordering suburbs, mainly Eastwood and Macquarie Park, are named after famous historical conflicts or battles.


The neighbouring suburb of Meadowbank sits in a valley on the northern bank of the Parramatta River. Meadowbank railway station is on the North Shore, Northern and Western Line of the Sydney Trains network. Meadowbank has a ferry wharf on the Parramatta River, serviced by the Parramatta RiverCat Ferry.

The territory from Sydney Cove to Parramatta, on the northern side of the Parramatta River, was thought to be that of the Wallumattagal, and had the aboriginal name Wallumetta, the territory of the Wallumede people.

Land originally granted to Surgeon William Balmain in 1794, in the district of the Field of Mars, was bestowed the name 'Meadow Bank'. Balmain returned to England in 1801, leaving his estates to be managed by fellow surgeon D'Arcy Wentworth. Wentworth agreed to sell Balmain's grants to John Bennett, an ex-convict who had been transported in 1795. By 1819 both the 'Meadow Bank Estate' and 'Chatham Farm' to the north, belonged to Bennett. These estates were subdivided in the late 1880s, given impetus by the opening of the railway from Strathfield to Hornsby in 1886.

Shepherds Bay (foreground)

Shepherds Bay is named after early settler James Shepherd, transported as a convict in 1791. Vineyard terraces were located on the upper slopes. The former Ryde Wharf and punt is located in Shepherds Bay Park. Remnants of wharf walling are visible at low tide. The Ryde to Rhodes punt operated between 1898 and 1935. Settlers Park near Ryde bridge contains an Aboriginal rock carving of a single flying duck which is rare for the Sydney area, and another carving representing a throwing weapon.

The former industrial area of Meadowbank and south Ryde, centred around Shepherds Bay, has been transformed into a high-density hub. The project provided 3504 new homes, bringing an estimated 10,000 new residents to the shores of the picturesque bay on Parramatta River.


The neighbouring suburb od Putney is is located 10 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district on the northern bank of the Parramatta River. Evidence of the Walumedegal clan remains around Morrisons Bay and Glades Bay, with 4 distinct sites including shelters amongst the sandstone overhangs, open rock engraving site, sheltered stencil (art site) and an axe grinding site.

The eastern section of Putney was part of a land grant to Nicholas Bayley. The land was later sold to Eugene Delange who subdivided the land calling it the Village of Eugenie. The name was later changed to Putney, derived from its namesake Putney on the River Thames in London. Parramatta River had been known as the 'Thames of the Antipodes' and other nearby suburbs were also named after Thames localities of Greenwich, Woolwich and Henley.

Morrisons Bay is named after Archibald Morrison, a soldier who received a land grant in 1795 of 55 acres. One of the colony's wealthiest settlers, Captain William Raven, owned 100 acres that ran between Glades Bay to Morrisons Bay. The land was subdivided in 1887. Named after Lord Alfred Tennyson, the Tennyson Estate was promoted as having front seat views to the Championship rowing course. Two world Champion rowers, Beach (1884) and Kemp (1887) have streets named after them. The Eastern side of Morrison s Bay was a textile mill, the Head of bay is a reclaimed mangrove flat and River baths were established 1918.
Boronia Park (Gladesville) to North Ryde Walking Track

This walk gives you the chance to explore the bush and wetlands alongside the Lane Cove River, from Boronia Park to the new underground train station at North Ryde. You will visit several mangrove wetlands, some dry eucalypt forests and have the opportunity to rest and fill up your water bottle at a few well maintained parks. This walk follows the Great North Walk most of the way, until soon after passing under Epping Road where you take a detour up through the Riverside Corporate Park to Delhi Rd and the train station.

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