This is another walk I did in a series exploring the remnant bushland in Sydney. Travelling along the M2 at various times, I had noticed that the motorway crosses what seems to be a fairly good section of bushland a little south Pennant Hills Rd. The sign at the bridge there says “Darling Mills Creek”.
My friend Bob knew the area fairly well and mentioned a series of tracks down the valley. After more discussion with Bob and some internet research ( see here and here) I was on my way by bus (a Hills Bus from Wynyard along the M2) to near the start of the walk.
From the bus stop on the M2 at West Pennant Hills, I walked to Aitken Rd and the start of the walk at Richard Webb Reserve. I walked through this small reserve on a good track to reach Bidjigal Reserve and the Murri-Yanna Track which goes right down the valley of Darling Mils Creek. This track is around 8 km long.
The walking was easy along a good track through interesting bush. The remnant bushland is rich in big trees – such as angophoras and turpentines and this supports an abundance of bird life. In places, near the creek are patches of rainforest. I will be interested in returning during the fungi season.
As you proceed down the valley, it is crossed in a few places by high bridges. The most notable is of course the M2.
Some parts of the valley are badly infested with weeds and some rocks are covered with graffiti.
Near the end of the track, there is some old stonework and the map indicates it is a convict road. It is in quite good condition.
I had got off the bus around 8:45 am and had reached the end of the track, close to North Rocks Road, about noon. That left a fair bit of time to explore Lake Parramatta.
I had never visited Lake Parramatta before. It is an artificial lake of stored water behind Parramatta Dam. For a fairly small area it does contain a very good patch of high quality bushland. There are a number of tracks described in a brochure you can download from the Parramatta Council. I chose the longest of these – a circuit around the lake (4 km)
This was a very enjoyable walk. I was pleasantly surprised to spot three different varieties of orchid in flower as well as a lot of other wildflowers. The water in the lake is now clean enough that swimming has recently been permitted.
After completing the circuit, it was not very far walking through some of the streets of Parramatta to the wharf on the river. From there I went back to the city by rivercat – an enjoyable harbour cruise and a good way to finish the day.