Little bushwalks with little people: Berowra & Surrounds

There are lots of little bushwalk adventures that my kids and I have enjoyed that don’t fit into my usual blog style but I would still like to share them, so I’ve decided to combine them all into one post. There is so much to do in the area around my new home of Berowra NSW that I cannot actually fit it all in to one post! The proximity of so many National Parks gives endless options for bushwalking fun but I’ll list the one’s that had awesome views, triggered repeat visits or were special in some other way. For my local readers, all these walks are doable by pre-school aged children. To my international readers, Berowra is one of the first Bush towns north of Sydney and borders a National Park through which the Great North Walk passes.

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Alston Dr Lookout, Berowra

This is an informal trail that begins at the end of Alston Dr, Berowra. There is room to park but please be considerate of the residents and ensure they have enough room.

I took my children in the late afternoon as I had finished work early. The walk  began with a short climb up some rocks which they loved doing, but it soon levelled out into an easy stroll with a few ups and downs. The vegetation was a little spiky so I had to hold it aside for His Majesty to pass. We spotted a stick insect – the first I’ve ever seen in the wild! The path carried on through some old-man Banksia’s. There was also a section of younger tree’s that had all sprouted at the same time after a bushfire or a spot of back-burning and were all around the same height. The path carried on further than I thought it would but we soon reached the lookout. It was a rock platform with a rather large drop off (so hands were firmly held), and the view was amazing. Berowra Waters and the car ferry could be seen and you could see further along the river to the right. Part of the rock platform seemed to form a bench seating area so Little Miss had us all sit whilst she put on a performance – singing about the bush we had just walked though. The return  trip was much quicker somehow. When we reached the end Little Miss decided she wanted to try rock climbing so we spent a good ten minutes going up and down the rocks the hard way!

It was a lovely way to spend an hour. It’s also a nice walk to take guests on as the view is well worth it.

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Barnett’s Road Lookout & Playground

This was an easy little adventure. I took His Highness one day when we were still exploring the area. We took some hot chips down and had a play on the little playground equipment. We ate our chips, then ventured along the short paved path to visit the lookout. Along the way the were lots of butterfly’s and many different trees and birds. The lookout itself offered a lovely view along the water out to crosslands. When we later visited the area in spring there were some warratahs growing in the bush to the left. Back at the park, a little bush bash to the right of the entrance brought us out on a small fenced area that offered the view from a different angle.

The lookout is situated on Barnett’s Road and has unsealed parking for several cars. More info here.

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Berowra Community centre to skate park via the bush: 

On the walk home from work I spotted a little trail that seemed to lead through the bush away from the community centre so I decided that would have to be explored!  Locals will know the playground at the corner of Gully Rd and Berowra Waters Rd and that’s where our adventure began. After a play, we walked past the community centre and climbed the set of stairs on the left side of the centre, about half way up, until we came to the point at which the trail began. There were a few rabbits running around so we followed one in! The route has some fallen branches so the kids loved climbing over or ducking under. The route passed below the girl guide hall and eventually popped out of the bush near the skate park. We had parked between the skate park and the playground so there was not much further to walk. I strangely didn’t take any photo’s, which is possibly a first! Locals: The new Wild Monkey Cafe is just a bit up the road if you want to grab a coffee or a bite to eat.

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Brooklyn’s McKell Park Loop: 

We have visited Brooklyn, NSW many times since moving to the area as there is a lot to offer little ones, but what I didn’t realise was that there was an awesome little loop walk that could be done with kids – the walk is best described here – McKell Park Loop (WildWalks).   It’s an excellent little walk with a playground, some public baths (bring swimmers and a bucket and spade as there is a little beach) and plenty of picnic spaces. At low tide the waters recede to expose a small beach so we often clamber down the rocks to have a play. After a play in the playground, we walked up rocky steps to federation lookout. Then we carried on up to  a picnic ground with barbecues and interrupted views over parsley bay. After this we walked down along some interesting and picturesque rock platforms to flat rock point (good spot for photos of the river) then made our way back to the playground and baths. We rarely do a barbecue as the local chip shops are very enticing!

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Berowra waters to washtub gully return plus car ferry

I discovered this little adventure as I was doing an adventure of my own along the Great North Walk. It has a bushwalk, a waterfall, rockpools, a ferry ride across the river, a playground and most importantly – it had chips!

We drove down Berowra waters road from Berowra and parked in the spots before the car ferry. The trail head was on the left side of the ferry and the kids eagerly climbed up the initial rise. After this the trail was fairly level with only a few branches, roots and rocks to keep an eye on. Little Miss discovered an engraving of a fish on a rock. It looks aboriginal but also looks kinda new – I’d love to know for sure but I know I wouldn’t have noticed it without her along! There were also a large number of shell middens – this is where the original inhabitants of the area discarded their used shellfish shells. The walk was fairly easy and we soon reached the stream at Washtub Gully which turns into a small waterfall as it drops into Berowra creek. We made sure to hold hands whilst crossing the stream as it looked quite slippy. We spotted an old jetty on the other side of the stream so made our way to it. The only way down was to clamber down using some old tree roots as footholds. They loved it. The jetty was a great place to snap a photo of the waterfall itself and to explore the water and rockpools. When we were finished, we went back along the way we came and caught the car ferry across the river. We got some chips and had a play in the pirate ship playground then hopped back on the ferry to end the day back at the car. It’s quite a shady walk so can be done one warmer days too.

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Wideview Fire trail to Lookout and Lionel’s landing

This is an easy favorite of ours. Little Miss and I have walked this quite a few times and I often do the walk on my own to recharge. The Wideview fire trail, at the end of Wideview Rd, Berowra Heights, is an awesome place to start bushwalking with the kids as there are a quite a few options for fun. Our usual trip is to just walk the fire trail for 300m or so, until the trail separates and we keep to the left until we reach a fantastic rock face which forms a lookout over the valley. Hand holding is required as it is quite a drop. We are fans of geocaching (see geocaching.com) and have tried many times to find the geocache hidden in the area – no luck yet!  One of the rocks is shaped rather handily into a kind of chair so Little Miss likes to pretend it’s her throne. We then head back to where the trail seperated and follow the path that emerges at Cliffview Dr.  A few hundred meters along the road from the trail entrance, a set of metal stairs can be spotted  heading down. We discovered this whilst bike riding one day – since then Little Miss and I have called the road “Adventure Road!”.  Heading down the steps we found a lovely cleared area where we keep promising to have a picnic and there are lots of rocks to explore too. There is a kind of frog pond hidden away that we have only just managed to find. The Berowra Community Facebook page calls this spot “Lionel’s Landing” after one of the residents who originally cleared and maintained the spot. Other locals have joined in its care and it is a very pleasant area. It’s a quick walk back to the car as most of the time spent here is in the exploring. The firetrail also loops around to Lonsdale Ave for a longer walk but we haven’t done that yet.There is also an informal route to the left of the start of the firetrail that takes you through the bush to another rockface with a view over the valley – worth doing for a bit more of an adventure!

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Warrina Firetrail to Creek – (Tippers Time Trail Geocache)

At the end of Warrina Street, Berowra, is the beginning of a firetrail that can take you all the way around to Gully Rd. One particular trip we did that the kids loved was to walk down the firetrail for a ways then turn left along a footpad into the bush which led to a hidden creek. It was quite a rugged walk and had a real sense of adventure.

This fire trail is also the path of the Premium Geocaching trail called “Tippers Time Trail”. To do this just join geocaching.com as a premium member and you’ll be able to start the trail and look for the hidden caches. The time trail will lead you to the more interesting places along the firetrail and I highly recommend it.This one forced us to cross the creek to search for the geocache and we found it, then scored another one nearby! On a separate trip out we picked up two more geocaches down near Gully Rd.

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Kalkari Discovery Centre Walk, Kuring-gai Chase National Park

We love the volunteer run Kalkari Discovery Centre! I first took Little Miss there for a daddy-daughter date. Inside the centre is a display of seed pods, bones, eggs, stuffed animals and there is a reading area with aussie animal themed books. We spent a good half hour inside investigating everything. Then outside we went on a bushwalk that took us past representative aboriginal designs on rocks, a model of the surrounding hills, a small lake and lots of trees with interpretive signage. We found a huge anthill, lots of brush turkey’s, cockatoo’s and some kangaroo’s at the back of the paddock. From outside of the centre, there is a walk that heads down to bobbin head but Little Miss was not old enough then to do a walk of that magnitude but we gave it a red hot go and that’s where we actually saw the kangaroo’s in the far corner of the fenced area of the centre. We have since headed back with His Highness in tow and he loved exploring the lake area. At one point there is a rather awesome lookout that serves as a great spot for a snack. This is a great way to spend the morning.

The centre is on Bobbin Head Rd, after the entrance the Kuring-gai Chase National park and the $12 park entry fee is applicable. I recommend getting an annual park pass that covers all of the national parks in NSW.

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Bobbin Head Mangrove Boardwalk

A visit to Bobbin Head for us involves a play on the playground equipment (needs shade!) and a walk along the astonishing Mangrove boardwalk. The walk is described here –Bobbin Head Mangrove Boardwalk (Wildwalks.com). We often arrive when the tides are coming in so we get to watch the little crabs scurry into their holes as the water approaches. We have also seen a Goanna, Brush turkeys, lots of Cockatoos and a snake. It’s well worth a trip and is a great place for a barbeque.

The $12 park entry fee is applicable. I recommend getting an annual park pass that covers all of the national parks in NSW.

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We have done so much more!

There is so much more we want to do!

Did I mention I love where I live? I think my kids are loving it too!

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10 thoughts on “Little bushwalks with little people: Berowra & Surrounds

  1. Wow! What a lot you’ve done! You’ve done a fantastic job at describing these walks from a pre-school/early school-family point of view. Your Little Miss reminds me of my daughters when they were little! 😀
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am fairly new to Berowra and love exploring my surrounds. Some of our beautiful bushland trails are quite daunting, however, these suggestions are perfect or me to build up my fitness levels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the hills here are quite steep which is why folks struggle to explore them with their kids. The fire trails are great to explore and I often see folks using them as part of their exercise routine.
      Welcome to the area!

      Like

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