I am fortunate to live in a beautiful part of suburban Sydney, where I can walk out my front door, up the driveway, continue on down the road and enjoy the wonders of nature.
My walk takes me along pavements and road verges, across streets that are fairly safe to navigate, along bush tracks and over a creek via a footbridge. I pass a home, Lemon Cottage that always seems to have a bright and cheery floral display. I cross the road and start to climb. It is now Spring and the bottlebrush are out in full splendor.
The wattlebirds are clacking energetically and sometimes I inadvertently startle rainbow lorikeets who startle me. This section is going up a significant hill and I am relieved to reach the top where I cross another road and head on down towards the river. Here I start to pass some of the remnant bushland of the walk. If I’m lucky, I will see a blue wren flit across the top of the shrubbery. As I follow the bend of the road and descend, I stop to admire the hyacinth orchard that I only discovered recently when doing the walk in reverse. The hill is steep and narrow and sometimes I need to stop and pull over to allow vehicles to pass (the locals often beep their horns to let you know they’re on their way). At the base of the hill I turn slightly to the right to follow a track down through a bush reserve and to the water’s edge.
I step on to one of the larger, flatter rocks, my ‘yoga rock’, and salute the sun. This morning a pied cormorant is fishing nearby. I am now about half way through my walk, as I turn back and start walking along a road parallel to the river.
On my left is all remnant bush, I assume because the land was considered too steep for development. I am thankful. A few months ago a pair of whipbirds settled in the area – the first I had ever heard after over thirty years of walking this land. As I near the end of the road and the second bush track I pause briefly to check out the butcherbirds’ nest. It is now vacant, and both fledglings are exploring their new world. The track is rocky and I know to take care as I approach the creek. If the tide is low I glance down the creek each side of the footbridge in search of waders.
This Winter we were treated to a Royal Spoonbill feeding frenetically in the shallows. It’s not the cleanest of creeks and it is remarkable that any wildlife can be found here. I’m well on my way home now. I walk across a small car park for local residents who live next to the creek, and users of the ‘dog park’, which I pass on my way. I listen out for the soft warble of the Olive-backed Oriole – it always seems to be in the same tree. As I near the end of the dog park I have a choice of two hills to ascend, a sharp very steep one or a longer more uniform climb. After forty minutes I am back home, ready for the day.
PS This walk is easily accessible to visitors via Como Railway Station, and you could incorporate a visit to Como Pleasure Grounds and Marina, then walk over the old railway bridge to Oatley Railway Station.
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