Leader: Michael Pratt

Inner Southern suburban: Banksia to Tempe

31 May 2019

An 80 leaders walk

Photos Steven Sim

Bats resting and socialising at Flying Fox Camp



Michael Pratt, Shirley Hart, Margaret Friedli, Kumiko Suzuki, Catherine Else, Rogo Owens, Trevor Giblin, Diane Lancaster, Malcolm Reed, Regina Haertsch, Steven Sim, David Cunningham, Margaret Tung, Chris Paine, Colin Helmstedt, Julia Stevenson, Joe Van Der Velden, Gary Sheekey, Sue Crosby, Misako Sugiyama, Stephanie Miller, John Hungerford, prospectives Leisha Hay, Helge Sangkuhl, guest Mimi Phu.

Walk description:

Inner Southern suburban Surprising Views, Greenways, Reserves, Bush: Banksia-Arncliffe highlights-Bardwell Crk Green - Prime Ministers walk. Then from North Bexley-Twin Valley Bush Track to Tempe. Optional extension for coffee at Wolli Creek. Stepped climbs. Uneven surfaces. Bat colony. Historic cottages. Map: UBD


It must have been a chilly start at Chippendale as one friend emerged from the train wrapped up like an Eskimo stepping from her igloo. Our early arrivals watched each incoming train to see who would be joining us this day. This Leader published transport details and did not request participants to “ring”. Any member might come or change their minds without commitment and 24 brave souls did just that to join me on this crisp bright morning.

Our route took us up and down and up along the Arn Cliff between Banksia and Arncliffe visiting several viewpoints offering extensive views north to Chatswood, south to Hurstville and beyond to The Shire, east to The Bay and Kurnell, over airport runways, to city and back to Bondi Junction. After some 90 minutes we descended to enter the Bardwell Creek Valley and walk upstream through the golf course and reserve, where a golfing member in our party assisted Mike in interpreting movements of blokes driving buggies in frantic pursuit of their balls. A chance encounter with the Chairman of The Bardwell Valley Golf Club provided welcome access to toilets - gratis. The new swimming pool further along required a $2.50 entry fee to use theirs.

Leaving the valley we lunched alongside deserted bowling greens on benches shaded from sun before continuing to North Bexley via the surprisingly extensive Gilchrist Park. From here we began an afternoon of bush taking the uneven meandering well-trod Twin Valley Track to follow the creek called Wolli as it wended its way to Tempe. We met no one of note except in a remote clearing we chanced upon a teenager clad in a flesh coloured body-stocking kicking distinctive high heels. Apparently modelling stiletto heels and her long legs for the camera? We didn’t ask!

Further on our Photographer for the day Steven Sim got an impressive close up shot of bats in their ‘battery’. Further on the ‘little old lady’ resident in the stone workmen’s cottages was out so we escaped another history lesson about her battles with bureaucracy. The track does pass around the corner of her garden, passing her front door. Both near here and in the morning air monitoring stations for the M5 Tunnel Exhaust Stack were passed.

At Tempe we paused to watch the confluence of Wolli creek with the Cooks River before boarding a train home. We only had 5 minutes to wait for transport so homing instinct at 2.45pm took precedence over coffee this time.

This 80 Leaders Contribution was arranged on 31st May 2019 to coincide with THIS leader’s (Mike’s) 50 year membership of The Club. Distance was 15km. A rewarding day enjoyed with friends.

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