Friends of Lane Cove National Park Inc.

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Lane Cove National Park Heritage Walk

fcp logoThis walk was conceived to mark the Centenary of Federation in Australia in 2001. It follows pre-existing tracks and roads, between the Park Office and Fiddens Wharf Reserve, with signs highlighting features of historical and natural significance.

Funding came from the Commonwealth Government in the form of a Federation Community Projects Program grant.

The main objectives of the project:

  • Mark the Centenary of Federation by creation of a self-guided heritage walk showing off the natural beauty of the Lane Cove National Park and recording the many facets of its history
  • Provide short and long term benefits for the community by
    • providing a permanent and easily accessible record of the history of the area and the use of its resources by the indigenous population and early Earopean settlers
    • showing the contribution made by Ku-ring-gai's first settlers to Sydney's early European settlement and the importance of the Lane Cove River
    • halting weed infestations along areas of historical significance in Lane Cove National Park

How did we do this?


  • erected signs along the walk between Fiddens Wharf Reserve and Jenkins Cottage near the main office. The signs point to historical buildings and places of natural interest and point out the way the first inhabitants used the natural resources of the area
  • built a shelter shed at the Fiddens Wharf Reserve
  • rehabilitated the degraded bushland along the walking track
  • upgraded walking tracks
  • produced a self-guide leaflet to add to the information on the signs. This can be obtained from the Park office

Lane Cove National Park Heritage Walk was officially openedby Dr Brendan Nelson, MP, Federal Member for Bradfield on Thursday, 5th July, 2001

Logo on signs for the LCNP Heritage Walk

Bakers Cottage as it stands now

Schwartz homestead
Sketch of Schwartz Homestead used in our brochure

Lane Cove National Park Heritage Walk...

at one end, starts at Jenkins Cottage which is possibly the oldest structure in the Municipality of Ku-ring-gai. It is all that remains of the Jenkins' major orcharding complex named "Millwood". The house itself was named "Waterview".

A slight detour from the road will take you to Bakers Cottage. The stone cottage probably dates from about 1865 as oral history accounts indicate that it was built as the result of a bet which Baker had won! Oral history further indicates that the house originally had additional timber rooms and a verandah around the stone central core, with a kitchen at the rear. Baker's Cottage is the only dwelling in the Ku-ring-gai municipality which has had no structural change for one hundred and forty years. Descendants of William and Jane Baker stayed on the river until the 1890s when the property passed to Hans Andra, a sculptor, who named the home "Carlsruhe".

Around the cottage are growing (and flowering in Summer) many native grasses. A sign will help you identify some of them.

Below the cottage is a series of dry stone wall terraces, nearly totally hidden by revegetation. It is believed that these dry stone walls were built one hundred years ago by the Andra family when they landscaped the hillside, placing sculptures along the ledges formed by the walls.

The stone blocks were probably quarried from local sandstone, and may consist of blocks from some of the sandstone walls of the Baker outbuildings.

Schwartz Homestead is an intact and locally rare example of a 1920s 'Queenslander' styled timber cottage. It was probably built by an orchardist, George Warr, who leased 5 1/2 acres (2.23 ha) from about 1917 to 1920.

As you walk away from the road up to join the Great North Walk, you will find a great deal of bush regeneration being done. This is the area where the contractors are working. Along the way, you pass many examples of native vegetation which were used by the indigenous inhabitants. Signs here explain the way they lived and how they used the resources in the Park.

The vegetation changes as you walk along ridge-tops or hillslopes or through sheltered gullies. Many of the plants are sketched and described - maybe you will identify them.

The river itself was a major transport facility at the turn of the century. There was an old ferry landing along here at which picnickers would alight. Fiddens Wharf was one of the main wharves for timber, logged from the slopes above the river and brought down by bullock dray, to be taken to the harbour and beyond for milling.

The weedy patches in the creek lines are just too degraded to be fixed with one grant. We've identified at least 12 weeds growing in just one small patch. If you have these in your garden, they could up here!

Fiddens Wharf Reserve is the other end of the walk. There we've constructed a shelter / information bay with seats and signs detailing the history of Fiddens Wharf and later historical events in this section of the Park.

The Friends website has now been updated and archived.

Click here for our new website.

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