Leader: Mike Ward
Duffys Forest: St Ives Wild Flower Garden to Terrey Hills
11 April 2019
An 80 leaders walk
Photos top: Bron Stepowski
Photos below: Steven Sim
Photos below: Robyn Christie
Mike Ward, Stacey Bryce, Peter Walton, Bron Stepowski, Chris Edwards, Alex Nicolson, Kumiko Suzuki, Warwick Blake, Steven Sim, Charo Hogan, Gordon Wilson, Robyn Christie, Jacqui Hickson, Robert Lowman, prospective Bob Vickers, guest Warwick Selby.
From Wild Flower Gardens via Showground Trail, Cooyong Neverfail Trail and Sandy Trail to Duffys Forest. A short walk along the country roads to Perimeter Trail. Option for 650m side trip (each way) to Wilkins Trail Lookout, before continuing to the finish at Terrey Hills shops. Nearly all on wide fire trail, with some steep slippery descents.
Our group of sixteen, including one prospective member and one guest, set off from the Wildflower Gardens in St Ives with a pleasant walking temperature of 17 degrees. We left the gardens via a hole in the fence to go round St Ives Showground and St Ives Pistol Club on the Showground Trail, a good firetrail.
Our next section was along the Cooyong Neverfail Trail, which was steep and slippery in places as we went down to Kieran’s Creek. Here we crossed without getting wet feet and had morning tea. This part of the walk was new territory for most in the group. Of course the next bit was uphill to come out in Duffy’s Forest. Just before arriving at the road we stopped to admire a foal grazing in a paddock. Duffy’s Forest is different to most of Sydney’s suburbs, with properties devoted to horse related activities. After a very short road walk we joined a bush track, this time going along the boundary of NSW Gun Club. Once again on to road for about 2 km and we were able to admire a couple of beautiful (gated) houses with well manicured lawns and gardens, Villa Firenze being a stand out.
Returning to the bush on the start of the Long Track, we followed this rough, at times, path to its intersection with the Perimeter Track. Turning eastwards on this trail we went for a further kilometre before detouring out to Wilkin’s Lookout. This was our lunch stop, so we sat on large rocks looking out towards Smith’s Creek.
Following photo shots by several members of the group, we headed back to the Perimeter Track for an uneventful walk to our destination in Terrey Hills.
When I mentioned the (lack of) frequency of buses about 2 km from the end, the pace picked up significantly and we arrived with about 10 mins to spare.
Total distance was about 20.3km, with elevation gain of 380m and it took us 5 3/4 hours.
Thank you to a supportive and convivial group as I led my first walk. An additional thank you to the keen photographers who have supplied photos to go with this report.
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