Do You Know The Way To Fairyland?

When I first thought of this travel blog, a childhood poem came to mind:

 

I have lived in Sydney for over 7 years on this stint, and at least 15 in total throughout my life. Not once had I ever heard of Fairyland.

When I looked at nearby bush walks for the family, I came across The Fairylands Loop Track and instantly wanted to know more.

It’s a fairly easy walk with kids (we carried 2yo Z most of the way), over 5km and about 3hrs long with kids.


It was really a lovely walk. We had the perfect weather for it; however our growing 9yo pointed out we should have taken more food.

It starts at Fullers Bridge, near the beginning of the Great North Walk. Follow Fullers Road away from Chatswood and take the first left after the bridge. You can park on the side of the road for free, compared with $8 across the road in the Lane Cove National Park.

The first half of the walk shares with the Great North Walk, so there are plenty of markers to guide you along.

 The walk itself takes you up a set of stairs to a rocky overhang looking out to the Park. Plenty of birds and dragonflies along the way.


For a short moment, you join back with the road down to the gate for Fairyland.


Don’t worry – it will be a ‘bushwalk’ again soon.

The Fairylands Pleasure Grounds were privately owned by the Swan Family back in 1905. They started off farming watermelons and strawberries, adding markets and a tea house at the suggestion of a few family members. The area became so popular with parties, the family cleared the land for picnics, adding a Dance Hall and a jetty.


It does not look like that anymore. The grounds closed in the 1970s and later became part of the Lane Cove Park.

The kids had a lot of fun on this walk. It’s maintained well enough for them to follow easily but with a bushy-feel so they feel like it’s an adventure.

There are some beautiful places to stop and enjoy the scenery along the way. And even with the vegetation reclaiming the land, you can still feel the magical appeal of the area.


Keep an eye out for wildlife – we heard lots of scurrying around us, catching the merest glimpse of lizards and birds. There were plenty of flowers to admire, and scorch marks on trees prompted an interesting discussion on bushfires and lightning strikes.


After you pass through Fairylands, follow the path downwards and along the river. A couple of times the path would split; stick to the left and follow the river. This will take you all the way to Epping Road and a fair-size bridge.


Go under the bridge ( the pedestrian path is on the other side), walk across, and take the first set of stairs on your right – back under the bridge again. From here the markers will take you out on the Great North Walk across a second bridge, so make sure you follow the stairs to loop back to your car.

This second passing under the bridge shows off some fantastic artwork.


Here is also a good place to stop for a break. Just next to the bridge is a small picnic area, with car park, tables, and toilets.

If you do stop for lunch, stick to the water edge – there are some lovely bench seats to enjoy the view.

 The official track will take you up to the road and then back to the river. This is to avoid a section where the rocks and path have a tricky crossing.


To be honest, we all handled it fine. Even with B carrying Z in one hand. Unless you have a severe impediment, I would suggest staying by the river for the walk. It is far more enjoyable than Mowbray Road.


Towards the end of the walk, the path crosses into a golf course, goes bush again, and then brings you back to Fullers Bridge. By this time, we were all tired but really happy with the adventure.

The appeal of this walk was the proximity to home. And while I was specifically looking for a walk to entertain the kids, I was pleasantly surprised to learn something new about the area as well.

I kind of wish I had seen Fairyland in its heydey, but I can settle for the natural adventure park it has become.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Seana
    Mar 13, 2016 @ 12:53:47

    What a lovely walk this looks. Love the artworks under the bridge. It would be great to include also a Google map to show the walk esp exactly where to park. Think, must do same on my blog too.

    Reply

    • annmariecahill
      Mar 13, 2016 @ 13:40:58

      Thankyou – The Google Maps idea is a great suggestion! I love the hidden treats around Sydney; I drive over that bridge at least once a fortnight and never knew the treasure underneath.

      Reply

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