An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

It's summertime! If your day job has you working in the city, like mine does, then here's a fantastic destination you can head to...

Collab with a Pea: Waverton


It's summertime! If your day job has you working in the city, like mine does, then here's a fantastic destination you can head to after work to take advantage of the extended daylight hours.

Waverton

Waverton is on the Lower North Shore, sitting just north of the city. That means it was only a 14 minute train ride from Central to get here on this beautiful summer's eve. 

Waverton Station, despite being heritage listed, is a fairly unnotable suburban station. Of course, if you're twelve like me, the sign spruiking Balls Head is always good for a chuckle. 

We'll head to Balls Head soon, but first there was some good suburban exploring to do. 

I say we, because for this post I've actually brought with me archaeologist and fellow Sydney blogger The Intrepid Pea. She joins me today to bring a historical lens on one of our upcoming Waverton stops. 

But onto the business. Leaving the station, Waverton begins to paint a picture of itself as an adorable villagey type place, with a community notice board written in curly font,

shopfronts built into vintage houses,

and the typical bushy streets of the North Shore.

If it wasn't for a certain coathanger poking out in the horizon, you'd never realise how close you are to the city while strolling through Waverton's quiet streets.

Of interest to me were the pretty old houses dotted along the street as we walked.

This one featuring an adorable garden and bench.

Continuing southward, views of the harbour began to open up. 

This particular bit of land is a naval base, so naturally, you can't get any closer. 

Luckily though, there's a path you can take in order to continue without having to sign up as a new recruit.

More than just a path, it turns out that this gravelly bit of floor is a community maintained space where you can sit and watch... the military's carpark.

If the armed forces' cars aren't to your interest, on the other side you can catch a glimpse at North Sydney's skyline saying hello behind the houses.

Continuing on, we were almost at the main reason we came to Waverton today,

but not before also catching a peek at our city's actual skyline.

Taking the small Waterhen Drive leads you here. This is The Coal Loader, a site full of local history, and the reason we came to Waverton today.

The path in takes you by a garden full of native plants which were once used as food by the Cammeraygal people, the original inhabitants of Waverton and the North Shore. (Not to mention the people that the suburb Cammeray was named after).

But as you enter, you immediately spot some old industrial buildings. 

Old industry, while somewhat interesting, is not the most notable thing here to me though. Far more interesting to me is this.

While hard to make out in the picture, this is an Aboriginal rock engraving. The site includes a sign showing the original image that was carved here, much of which has now been lost.

When you're out and enjoying the beautiful city that is Sydney, it's easy to forget that this land has been occupied for tens of thousands of years. Sometimes we do need a bit of physical evidence to remind us of this.

More than just the local history though, this is an interesting destination in its own right.

There's a sustainable garden, hosting what seems to be an endless array of plants.


I don't know what these are, but they're pretty.

They've even set up a beehive.

But the Coal Loader's pièce de résistance is the large platform at its southern end.

Here, there's more gardening,

an outdoor piano,

and a decrepit wharf which is strangely beautiful,

with some rusty ships to match.

The juxtaposition of this crumbling, disused old infrastructure and the beautiful harbour around it makes this place feel really special.

From here, we took a lift off of the platform and onto the ground,

where we found a funky artwork made of some old street signs.

To leave The Coal Loader, there's only one awesome option and its this,

a long, damp, and pigeony sandstone tunnel.

Anyway, I'm the type of person who goes to museums to look at things and never reads the signs.

If you want to read more about the history behind this awesome place, check out the post that the Intrepid Pea wrote up on our visit to The Coal Loader.

But that's not the end of the post, we haven't finished the suburb yet!

At the other end of the tunnel is the start of a bushwalk. With the sun setting for the day, we did the only logical thing and started on a bushwalk for the day's remaining minutes.

Apart from having a few stairs (meaning it's not wheelchair accessible), this is a very easy bushwalk which boasts some very pretty views of the harbour to the right. Those views were of course enhanced by the dwindling daylight.

Despite the proximity to the city, we were all by ourselves on this lovely little walk,

save for this brush turkey we met along the way.

Soon, the walk led to the prize,

Balls Head Reserve's tremendous views of the city and harbour.

It is noted that my travel companion was convinced I'd fall off the cliff and die while I tried taking an artsy picture featuring this gaping hole in the floor.

Light was quickly running out, so rather than continue deeper into the reserve,

we followed a path out onto the street.

Thus, we backtracked our way towards the station, through The Coal Loader once more,

past the same views,

and eventually to the station.

All while being eaten by mosquitos along the way.

Waverton: An easy pick for some low-effort domestic sightseeing.

Thanks to The Intrepid Pea (@IntrepidPea on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for coming with me today while I stopped every 15 seconds to take a picture of someone's house.

Her companion post to this visit can be found here.

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