AROUND SYDNEY HARBOUR – Day 8, Woolwich to Greenwich

House prices in Longueville are among Australia's highest. Unfortunately for walkers, homeowners get most of the views and we get to see their fences, with only water glimpses between them.

I timed the ferry as it came across Sydney Harbour from Woolwich to collect me at the Greenwich wharf – 113 seconds. Trekking the circuitous overland route between the two points took me over four hours, and it wasn’t all as picturesque as the above photo suggests.

Heritage houses are all very well, but they tend to have been there a long time, since the days when people could buy cheap land along the waterfront and stop the riff-raff from the hoi polloi walking along in front of it.

This way. The helpful walking man signs ensure you can't get lost.

There was some initial encouragement from knowing that I was on the early stage of the Great North Walk, the hiking route leading from Sydney’s Circular Quay to Newcastle, about 250km to the north.

You’d expect the route setters to pick a scenic path through the Sydney suburbs, and indeed they have.

Hunters Hill is one of the more salubrious areas of the city, with hundreds of sandstone buildings trimmed with wrought iron lacework. From the 1850s this area was known as French Village, since familles with noms like Joubert, Jeanneret and Fesq erected elegant maisons overlooking the harbour.

There are over 500 heritage listed buildings in Hunters Hill.

I paused to read the plaques set in the pavement outside a few houses, then realised that if I stopped for them all it would take the rest of the week to get around to Longueville.

These flowering gums are not indigenous to the area. but do add a splash of colour to the streets.

Longueville isn’t French at all. It was given that name by real estate developers who wanted to lift the image of the area at a time when its most salient feature was a soap and candle factory. (Thanks again, Graham Spindler for the information).

I tramped quickly around the enormous grounds of St Ignatius College Riverview, the school that counts Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott as an old boy, and dropped down the the bushland around Tambourine Bay.

Some public waterfront at Tambourine Bay, and about a 1.5km public bushwalk.

Tambourine Creek

There was only one road I could use in and out of the next point, Northwood, so it was quick in and back to the Lloyd Rees Park on the tip.

Greenwich is rather better served with public bushland, in the form of the Gore Creek Reserve, named after early landowner William Gore. He has quite a story too, according to Mr Spindler…

As Provost Marshall to Governor William Bligh, Gore was arrested, along with the Governor, in the Rum Rebellion of 1808 and spent the subsequent three years on a chain gang.

Reinstated when Governor Macquarie arrived, he received a large land grant at Artarmon in 1813, became a leading citizen and one of the first Directors of the new Bank of NSW in 1817.

However, he was punished for misappropriating court funds in 1819, and then was back in gaol again after shooting and wounding a soldier from the Woodford Bay stockade who was trespassing on his land and stealing grass. He died in 1845, deeply in debt, and his land was subsequently subdivided.

Talk about riches to rags to riches and back to rags again.

The track around the end of Greenwich also let me get near the water for a brief look...

...but I was pleased to finally get to Greenwich Wharf

Yes, it’s a long way around. A quick look at the map shows it’s shorter by water, though less of an achievement.

This stage: 17.4km
Total travelled to date: 123.2km
Total still to go: 193.7km

Coming up: Greenwich to Milson’s Point.

1 Comment

Filed under Hiking, Travel-Australia

One response to “AROUND SYDNEY HARBOUR – Day 8, Woolwich to Greenwich

  1. Duncan Ball

    That last stage sounded very interesting. We recently did a route similar to the one you took in Hunter’s Hill (assuming your map is accurate) but with a couple of loops down to the Parramatta River at the Woolwich end which were among the best bits. Just for interest: Ours was Walk No. 25 in Sydney’s Best Harbour & Coastal Walks, a great guide along with the other three books in the series. (Disclaimer: I have no connection with these books or their authors.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s