The pleasant, upmarket suburb of West Lindfield on Sydney’s North Shore, about 10km from the city centre, folds gently down the natural contours of the land between the Pacific Highway and the Lane Cove National Park, which flanks the Lane Cove River.
This beautiful park, smack back in the middle of suburbia, is a picnicker’s and barbecuer’s delight, with many fine spots in cool glens by the river, which is more creek-like this far away from its entrance into Sydney Harbour.
There are bushwalking trails galore in this park, which preserves the sandstone-based landscape of most of Sydney’s east.
Midden heaps along the river indicate that Aborigines occupied the area for thousands of years. The estuaries provided foods such as oysters, fish, crabs and waterfowl, while the forests would have provided possum, kangaroos, bandicoots and other animals. There are still sites in the Lane Cove Valley containing rock carvings of kangaroos, an echidna, animal tracks and human-like drawings. The carving of a wombat and a sea-creature, as well as axe-grinding grooves, can be found near the headwaters of Carters Creek. Near Browns Waterhole, at the western edge of the park, is a carved track of wallaby imprints.