St Ives

St Ives is a semi-rural suburb on the Upper North Shore of Sydney, some 18 kilometres north of the Sydney Central Business District. St Ives Chase is a separate suburb, to the north. St Ives has wide tree lined streets, larger homes, is surrounded by parks and natural bush, meaning there is plenty of nature to keep you stimulated. Residents believe it is a great place if privacy and quiet neighbours are a must. The general feel is of law abiding, middle class family oriented people on the conservative side of politics. In recent years, quite a few South Africans have settled into the area,meaning if you are a biltong fan, you will be able to find it and other South African food in St Ives (Stanley St).

St Ives is one of the few places in Australia to have a Jewish Eruv, which is a set of small plastic pipes attached to power poles. According to Jewish Law the Eruv turns public space into private space and allows Jewish mothers to push prams on the Sabbath, to attend synagogue with young children and to socialise with friends. Eruvs have been in use since biblical times and today are in place in many major cities - New York, London, Johannesburg, Melbourne and there is one in the eastern Sydney suburb of Bondi. The erection of the Eruv has been a divisive issue in the community.

Heritage Craft Fair and Handmade Markets St Ives
St Ives Showground, St Ives,
Trading: 1st Sunday of the month - 9am to 3pm
Type: Art & Craft, Artisans, Designers, Vintage/Retro, Organic, Handmade, *Wheel Chair Friendly, Music, Food
Phone: (02) 8065 2009

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Parks and Gardens

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden: One of Sydney's best kept secrets, the gardens are situated in St Ives, the 123 hectares of urban bushland is a great spot for bush walking, picnicking and special events. Within the Wildflower Garden visitors can choose from a range of public access walking tracks, including the accessible Senses Track or the more challenging Mueller Track. The Garden features heath land, tall forest, sandstone outcrops, ponds, gullies and waterfalls. There are several picnic areas with barbecues, some of which are available for hire. There is plenty of onsite parking, toilet facilities and a children's playground. 420 Mona Vale Road, St Ives. Opening hours: 8am - 5pm every day, except Christmas Day and Good Friday. Ph (02) 9424 0353.

Turramurra Lookout Community Garden: The Turramurra Lookout Community Garden (TLC Garden) is flourishing with organic vegetables, herbs and flowers. Run by an enthusiastic group of volunteers with assistance from Ku-ring-gai Council and the Turramurra Community Bank branch of the Bendigo Bank, the garden is an inclusive place where people can share their love of gardening and food. Everyone is welcome to drop by at any time or get involved in one of the garden's working bees on Saturday mornings from 9am to 12pm. The Lookout, Pacific Highway, Turramurra.

West Pymble Community Garden: Channel Seven's TV show Better Homes and Gardens came to Ku-ring-gai in July 2011 to build a brand new community garden in West Pymble. Ku-ring-gai Council donated the land behind the West Pymble shops on Philip Lane to provide communal space for growing organic produce. The garden was an initiative of the Tanks a Million project, which aimed to connect people in the West Pymble area around the common goal of saving energy and water. The idea for the garden was born out of community discussions around reducing 'food mileage' through the saving of water and energy by growing food locally. We have also provided a rainwater tank, tool shed and ongoing support to the garden. Everyone is welcome to drop by the garden at any time and get stuck into growing their own fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers. Ph (02) 9424 0811. Philip Lane, West Pymble.

Bush Walks

Ku-ring-gai Creek to Tree Fern Gully Creek Track: This is a challenging walk but well worth the effort to experience spectacular views from Phantom Falls with a drop of around 250 metres. Rainforest thrives in shady Coachwood gullies and several short turn-offs lead to picturesque rest spots. Begin either at Kitchener Street, St Ives, or Lamberts Clearing at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, St Ives. Distance: 7km return. Duration: 2.5hrs with rest periods. Difficulty: Hard  long, steep, rough sections, and many steps. Visitors with heart or breathing difficulties should not attempt this track.
Note: Gates to the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden close at 4pm. Pedestrian exit only after hours.

Founders Way: This track takes in a section of Middle Harbour Creek known as Bungaroo. It has historical significance as it was here, where a rocky bar separates the salt waters of Middle Harbour from the fresh water of Middle Harbour Creek, that an exploration party dispatched by Captain Arthur Phillip camped on the night of 16th April 1788. It was the first of a number of inland treks dispatched by Phillip in his quest to find land which could provide a reliable food source for the colony. Along this track, you can see a great variety of native flora and fauna, including insects, honeyeaters, lizards, Bloodwoods, Scribbly Gums and Stringybarks. Start/finish: Founders Way, off Hunter Avenue, St Ives. Distance: 3.6km return. Duration: 1.5hrs. Difficulty: Medium. More >>

Cascades Walk: This walk follows a beautiful medium-difficulty fire trail shared by walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers in picturesque Garigal National Park. Whether you start your walk or ride at St Ives or Davidson, you ll see native Australian trees such as Sydney red gums, Red Bloodwoods and Scribbly Gums. As you wind your way down to the creek, larger trees soon make way for species of banksia, dwarf apple and the narrow-leafed apple, while wattles, pea, boronia and wax flowers pepper the undergrowth.

The trail gets its name from a series of beautiful little waterfalls, rock platforms and rockpools at the junction of Middle Harbour creek and French's creek, a lovely spot to pause and enjoy a picnic before your return walk or ride. Staying on Cascades trail, you ll leave the valley travelling up the sometimes steep trail to exit onto Stone Parade. More >>

Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park is a wonderful stretch of natural bushland set against the picturesque Hawkesbury Rivers and its tributaries. It features many riverside picnic spots, extensive bushwalking tracks and some of the finest examples of Aboriginal rock art in the Sydney region.

Bobbin Head: Bobbin Head lies at the headwaters of Cowan Creek. This waterway winds through the Ku-ring-gai National Park and is totally protected with many inlets and bays, some with public moorings. A ferry from Palm Beach calls in about mid-day and stays about one hour. Bobbin Head is a superb picnic and holiday site, either for a day trip or an extended stay. It has a modern boating complex from which a wide range of hire boats are available, including house boats, cruisers, fishing dinghys, paddleboats etc. Bobbin Head gives easy access to the flora and fauna of the river. There are also refreshment kiosks, picnic and barbecue facilities, swimming locations and toilets. Walking tracks lead from Bobbin Head to Apple Tree Bay, Duffys Forest, Berowra, North Turramaurra and St Ives.

A one eighth scale replica of the Sphinx is located to the right of the entrance to Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park off Bobbin Head Road. It was carved in the 1920s by Private W. Shirley of the 13th Battalion who had suffered the effects of German Mustard Gas in World War I. Dedicated To my glorious comrades of the A.I.F. , the Sphinx took 18 months to create. It was chosen because Australian troups in World War I did their training in Egypt. Rumour has it that some of them chipped off one of the statue s ears when using the Sphinx as target practice.
Public transport: train to Turramurra, Bus No. 577 to park entrance. Bobbin Head Road, North Turramurra.

Cottage Point

Cottage Point: An isolated outpost on Cowan Creek, idylically located in the middle of beautiful waterside bushland. The eateries here have developed an enviable reputation and are visited by motorists, passing sailors and float planes alike. In 1899, the area south of Cottage point was the subject of a bizarre plan to build Australia's Capital there. To be called Pacivica, the plans called for the town to replicate London, with castles, a tower and a suspension bridge giving access from Sydney via Bobbin Head.

Akuna Bay: Coal and Candle Creek: offers postcard scenery and secure anchorage in the many coves. Akuna Bay hosts a marina with visitor berths so you can use the showers and other facilities for a moderate fee. There is a small general store, a restaurant, coffee shop, liquor store. Illawong Bay has a boat launching ramp, swimming and picnic facilities.

Sheldon Forest

A strip of natural bushland wedged between the suburbs of Turramurra and Pymble, it is a rare example of the high forest which once covered the whole of the Upper North Shore. It features natural stands of blue gums and blackbutts on the ridge tops and coachwood and sarsparilla along the creek. A track through the forest, which is maintained by the Ku-Ring-Gai Council, can be accessed from Warrigal Street, Jubilee Avenue, Kimbarra Road and Troon Avenue, Pymble.

History of St Ives

The St Ives area was first explored by Governor Arthur Phillip and a party of men in 1788 where they set up a campsite at Bungaroo which is close to what is now Hunter Avenue. The area produced a small scale timber felling industry. There are still some examples of the thirty metre and higher trees in nearby Pymble in the Dalrymple Hay forest and near Canasius College. Native turpentine trees were also once abundant and provided useful timber for cabinet making.

St Ives was once known for its apple orchards but due to residential demand, there is no longer any commercial fruit growing in the area. During World War Two there were significant numbers of troops barracked in the area, which provided the impetus to build Archbold Road as a supplementary and emergency route to the city. Since 1950 the suburb has expanded from the central shopping areas and the arterial main roads to include hilltop and valley areas bordering on the surrounding Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park to the north, now the area known as St Ives Chase, and Garigal National Park to the east and the south east.

The name "St Ives" was probably suggested by Philip Richardson, probably after the town in Cornwall, England or alternatively (but less likely) after Isaac Ellis Ives, Member of the Legislative Assembly for St Leonards in 1885-89. The district, first settled by timber-getters (some legal, some not) in the mid 1820s, developed in the 1850s and 60s as a community of orchardists known as Rosedale, the name given to the original grant in the area in 1823. The post office, originally named Rosedale, was renamed St Ives about 1900.

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