September 6 - 12, 2020: Issue 465
Bairne Walking Track
Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park
Photos By Kevin Murray
A long and easy walk, the Bairne walking track takes you to 2 scenic lookouts, with stunning views over Pittwater and The Basin, in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Past Artists of the Month, Joe Mills, Cantiamo choirs' Glenys and Kevin Murray enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine of this beautiful place, alive with flowers and birds, on Thursday September 3rd, 2020.
This walk, with a distance of 9.6km return, follows a track along the ridgelines from which some of the best views in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park of Pittwater can be accessed. A spectacular walk in Spring, the wildflowers make for excellent birdwatching.
The Bairne walking track starts from West Head Road, passing through heathlands of banksia, boronia and grevillea. Look for nectar-loving yellow-faced honeyeaters and the vibrant variegated wren. After around 2.5km, you'll reach an intersection. Head south for 1km to Towlers Bay lookout, for magnificent views of Towlers Bay and Pittwater - along with the Sea Eagles that live here.
Return to the intersection and follow Soldiers Point track around 1.3km to the lookout, where you'll have a brilliant view of The Basin and northern Pittwater.
The Bairne Track was named after the historical Bairne Trigonometric Station, constructed near the trail in 1882 by Thomas Charles Swannell, who would chosen the name “Bairne” according to some sources.
History pages available:
- Pittwater's Lone Rangers - 120 Years Of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase And The Men Of Flowers Inspired By Eccleston Du Faur
- Flagstaff Hill – Lovett Bay
- Pittwater’s Parallel Estuary: The Cowan ‘Creek’
Mr. Swannell was a Surveyor and the pioneer overseer of the NSW Trigonometrical Survey at that time, receiving, according to one article £3 10s a week for this work. Mr. Swanell was declared a bankrupt in 1895. His health deteriorated, leading to a heart attack a few years later. His son Fred, a popular Veterinarian in the Parramatta-Windsor area, also died of a heart condition in 1936.
WE have to record the death of another of Windsor's residents in the person of Mr Thomas Charles Swannell, who died rather suddenly on Sunday last, at his residence, Newtown, Windsor. Deceased was born at Bedfordshire, England, and was in his 58th year. He had resided in the district for the past nine years, during which time he held the position of Forest Ranger. On Saturday morning last the deceased drove to Pitt Town, at which place he took ill and had to be driven home Dr. Callaghan was summoned, and did all that was possible, and deceased appeared to be getting better. On Sunday morning, however, he took a sudden change, and about 6 p.m. he succumbed, the cause of death being paralysis of the heart, The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon. Leaving the house at 3 o'clock, the cortege, which was a large one, wended its way to St. Matthew's Church of England Cemetery, where the interment took place. The Rev S G Fielding officiated, and Mr J Primrose carried out the funeral arrangements. Obituary. (1897, September 4). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1961), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72552856
MR. FRED SWANNELL Death Last Saturday PROMINENT VETERINARY SURGEON
Mr. Fredl Swannell, the well-known Parramatta veterinary surgeon, died last Saturday in the Parramatta private hospital, after an illness extending over a period of nine months. His heart was affected. Mr. Swannell had practised his profession at Parramatta for 34 years, and prior to the march of the motor was known, to practically every resident of the County of Cumberland. He was not ed for his professional skill, and his services were much in demand. Not only was he an expert in the treatment of stock, he was regarded as a high authority on dog's ailments.
Born in Bungendore 59 years ago, he was the son of the late Thomas Charles Swannell, surveyor. He was educated at Richmond and the Hawkesbury Agricultural College, gaining his diploma at the college. During the South African War he was veterinary surgeon on one of the White Star transport vessels, making in all seven trips from Australia to Durban. He was also at the scene of action. When the Boxer outbreak was in progress in China he was also connected with the transport of horses for military purposes. He went on active service during the Great War, serving with the Light Horse in Palestine from 1916 to the signing of the Armistice. He was one of the first two men to enter Jerusalem when that city was taken by the British forces.
At the conclusion of the war Mr. Swannell resumed practice at Parra matta and continued his activities in that sphere almost until his death. He was a conspicuos figure in the show ring, both as an official and exhibitor. He was honorary veterinary surgeon to Blacktown, Castle Hill, Granville, and Parramatta show societies. At the ''"Royal" he carried of many prizes, particularly in the section for cobs. His services as judge, both of cattle and horses, were frequently requisitioned.
Many years ago, Mr. Swannell was veterinary surgeon in charge of the most valuable collection of blood stock ever sent to the East. The consignment was for the Japanese Government and included many prominent racehorses including a prominent Rosehill equine, Long Tom. At different periods he owned a number of racehorses, the last to carry his colors being Foudroyant, a winner at Randwick and elsewhere. About a year ago he built fine new stables on his property at Glebe-street, Parramatta, for Mr. Maurice Anderson, Foudroyant's mentor.
Mr. Swannell was well-known in Masonic circles, having been a member of Lodge Sir Walter Scott, Granville, for many years.
He is survived by his widow, two sons, Messrs. Kenneth and Robert Swannell, and a daughter, Mrs. C. Moore. Mr. Roland Swannell (Concord) is a brother of the deceased and Mrs. E.B. Pottie and Sister N. Swannell (Albury) are sisters. Sister Swannell also served in the Great War.
The funeral took place on Monday afternoon and prior to the cortege leaving for the Crematorium, Rookwood, a service was conducted at the mortuary parlor of Messrs. Metcalfe and Morris, Parramatta, by Rev. Roberts, of St. John's, Parramatta. The chief mourners were deceased's relatives.
Others present included Councillor A. Morehead, Messrs. E. T. Dolan (president Veterinary Surgeons' Association), T. B. Baker, J. Hicks (president Blacktown Show), W. H. Simpson (president Granville Show), H. E. Haddrill (president Parramatta Show), T. Perry, .T. Stewart, F.. Dncueum, R. Anderson, E . Howett, S. Hanscombe, A. L.'Bates, G. Mi. Pilgrim, 'H. Thomas, F. Smith, F. Madden (secretary N.S.W. Dairymnen's Association), P. A. Holmes, S. Evasis, E. Sell, H. R. Mathor (secretary Granville Show), W. Down, E. B. Dawes, A. Graham, T. . W.'. Cooper, S. Smith, - Strang, E. Budins -. noeble, H. Mason, W. A. Ross, I..E. Quigloy (''Cumber land Argus"), Bruce Pottie, S. Marks, J. Sands, R. Thompson, Mrs. T. Brown, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Fleet, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Leabeater, Detective and Mrs.J. McCarthy, Mrs. Gleeson, Miss Pitt, Miss N Harris, and others. Among the many floral tributes forwarded was a beautiful wreath from the Rosehill trainers. The funeral was conducted by Messrs. Metcalfe and Morris, Ltd. MR. FRED SWANNELL (1936, January 2). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 - 1950), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article104682807
The track was constructed for walkers and for Rangers to monitor the taking of Australian bushflowers prior to legislation that meant local people could be Honorary Rangers and keep an eye on the bush.
KURING-GAI CHASE. The executive trustees of Kuring-gai Chase, with Mr. J. Garrard, chairman, made their periodical inspection of the Chase on Saturday. At Pittwater the local progress committee waited upon them for some improvements in that section, such as shelter accommodation and water supply in connection with the magnificent view and track from the "Lookout"(500 feet) above Lovett's Bay. A large number of visitors are said to be attracted to the western side of Pittwater, and the view overlooking the broken indentations of Pittwater is said to be equal to anything in the way of marine views to be found in the world. A request was also made for a track from Pittwater to the head of Coal and Candle creeks, Cowan. Further, that a landing jetty be placed for excursionists at Chinaman's Beach, on the western side of Pittwater. The trustees have the requests under consideration.
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park was declared in 1894, and is the second oldest national park in Australia, with the Royal National Park being the oldest. Following pressure from Eccleston Du Faur, to establish a "National Park for North Sydney", approximately 13,500 hectares, including not only land areas but also most of Cowan Water, was set aside in 1894 as Ku-ring-gai Chase and placed under the care, control and management of trustees. The park was named after its original inhabitants, an Aboriginal group called the Kuring-gai or Guringai, and called a "chase" to indicate it was an area of natural bush which was not enclosed by fences. Ku-ring-gai Chase became a national park with the proclamation of the National Parks and Wildlife Act in 1967. Additions to the park have made it 14,882 hectares in size.
As can be seen from the photos shared below, this dynamic trio of Pittwater Seniors continued on to West Head to revel in the spectacular vistas afforded there.
Our thanks to Kevin for sharing these wonderful snapshots from the trail with and for all Readers unable to get into the great outdoors at present - these visions will lift the spirits!