Living in the Hills District despite its growing urbanisation it is amazing just how many bush walks there are still around. Sure as you go further north in the Hills district there is still much farmland and National Park bush areas Even in the southern portions of what I call the greater Hills district you will find remnants of bush in gullies and alongsid the creeks and streams that flow through the area.
Now our little dog loves going exploring and following the various waterways that go through the area. Some of her favourite spots include following Toongabbie Creek through Torry Burn Reserve and Sophia Doyle Reserve at Baulkham Hills and also following the creek further along through William Joyce Reserve to Sierra Place Park.
Another favourite area is following Excelsior Creek and Saw Mill Creek to Darling Mills Creek through Excelsior Park. If you want to go further, the bush walks in Excelsior Park can take you through to North Rocks, Northmead and virtually to North Parramatta..
Not far from home is yet another, the bush walk that goes through Model Farms Park, starting at either Goodin Rd or Asquith Ave at Winston Hills you can follow Quarry Creek down through Northmead where it joins Toongabbie Creek and
eventually becomes the head waters o the Parramatta River.
If you live in Castle Hill then you may wish to walk the bush in Fred Caterson Reserve alongside Cattai Creek.
Now what has all this talk about Bush Walks have to do with memories? As you walk through the bush your mind can wander back to the early days of settlement, when pioneering families established their farms in the area. Along the creeks you may find remnants of dams built to service the farms or the quarries at Northmead. You can imagine the
children of the early families playing and swimming in the creeks. Or you may imagine the fauna that once was common in the district such as Platypus swimming and nesting along the banks of the creeks or the fish that once would have been found there. On some of our walks with our dog alongside the creeks we have heard the sound of bellbirds high in the trees, something that now seems to be missing from many backyards in the area. So you can well imagine the abundance of wildlife that was once throughout the area.
You would be walking through some of the properties that once were owned by the pioneering families of the district. Those of the Kentwells, the Pyes, the Suttors, the Doyles and the Joyce families. In fact your mind may even take you back to the days before European settlement and back to the days of the Aboriginal times as you picture the Aboriginal warriors standing on rocks in the streams or on the banks with their wooden spears, looking for fish or other animal life with which to feed their families. I often wonder about the cubby houses children of the past would have built amongst the trees or rocks as I have walked along the various tracks.
Perhaps your imagination may even stretch to the days of bushrangers. When you could imagine them hiding out amongst the rocks and planning their next raid. Yes the Hills district was not immune from bushrangers. In fact they were known to be in the North Rocks area.
There is no doubt that taking a bush walk through the area can generate memories and also remind yourself of your own childhood of swimming in the creeks or building a cubby house in the bush and the feeling of adventure as you discover new and exciting things. That is a feeling that I still enjoy when taking our dog for a walk. When I find the remnants of an old wall or a dam that may have been built back in the early days of settlement. I wonder who built it and for what purpose.
NOW WHAT ABOUT YOUR MEMORIES OR YOUR STORY.
You can write about childhood memories of where you may have grown up or moving into the area. Tell us about your school days. Where you worked, played or went on holidays; your first car; that first date, getting married or maybe the history of your family, group or organisation in the district. This page is about memories so tell us yours. If you have some great memories, or perhaps you belong to a local community organisation and would like to share your organisation’s history or story with us then feel free to share your memories or experiences by writing to PO Box
1278, Baulkham Hills, NSW 1755 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. au. You can also share memories
on any of my Facebook memories groups including Hills District Memories which you will find at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ Hills.memories/ or Hawkesbury Happenings & Memories which you will find at https://www.facebook. com/groups/Hawkesmemories/