This is the closest walking track to our house, a mere block away in Chatswood West. The track swiftly descends into Blue Gum creek, and past the Scout Hall meanders in the gully where the creek flows and can be a bit difficult to navigate at times. Climbing out of the gully will take your breath away, and not just because of the views.
The northern gully of Chatswood West is home to the lush and peaceful Blue Gum Reserve. This moist, tall forest hugs Blue Gum Creek as it flows down to the Lane Cove River creating a valuable wildlife corridor and a magical place to explore.
The local Camaraygal People are the traditional custodians of this land.
Blue Gum Reserve has a varied past. It has been logged, grazed by dairy cows, inundated by weeds, but most significantly, it has provided a sanctuary for plants and animals whilst the North Shore has been developed.
Like most of the Lane Cove Valley, the area around Blue Gum Creek was logged for its tall, upright trees. Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera) was used to build wharves as far afield as the London Docks.
Black Butt (Eucalyptus pilularis), which is still one of Australia’smost important commercial timbers is found here, and of course Sydney Blue Gum (Eucalyptus saligna), which once supplied the government store in the 1800s with ships timbers and house planks is present.
The area once hosted three dairies. Each dairy was small by today’s standards, only having a few cows each.
Blue Gum Reserve has pockets of ‘Blue Gum High Forest’ and closed forest, a critically endangered ecological community listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in NSW under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.