April 7 - 20, 2024: Issue 621


Autumn 2024 School Holidays Fun That Won't Break The Bank: Explore All Those Pittwater Pathways To Public Lands & Reserves, Catch A Ferry, Take A Stroll, Have A Hike, Go Watching Whales, Dolphins, Birds

This Issue, as many of us look forward to spending some time with loved ones - and as we head into the Autumn school holidays break, a few ideas to get into the Great Outdoors or simply out and about.

You can go:

  1. whale watching - these giants of the sea are now making their way north
  2. bird watching - we're lucky here as you can look at birds that live in wetlands, along the shore and in the bus reserves - you just have to listen for them too in order to find some species
  3. there are some great walks - long ones, short ones, ones beside waters, ones that wend over hills beneath trees and have breath-taking views from the top of hills, ones 
  4. a ferry ride is a great way to see the estuary - you can catch one from Church Point Ferry Services or over to The Basin via Palm Beach Ferries and have...
  5. a picnic!

Here are some spots to visit and what to look out for if you want to do your own thing this Autumn break and enjoy living in the best place this side of the harbour bridge.

Take A Stroll, Take A Walk, Go On A Hike Along All The Pittwater Pathways To Public Land

Our good friends Joe Mills and Kevin Murray have been taking some great long walks for a few years now and provided us all with great insights on where yo go and what you may see along the way. These hikes mean you will need to pack some drinks and lunch to have at a nice chosen spot.

Even a short stroll can be a great way to get some sunshine and fresh air - either slowly or fast - along a favourite footpath or beside a creek. We have so many public footpaths wending all over our hills and up and down to the bays and waters where you can spend some time at one of any of these many reserves. Just look for one of these signs to find any of those paths:

Sometimes it will only look like this one at 320a Hudson Parade that leads down to Refuge Cove Reserve on Pittwater - another lovely little bay and Pittwater place of public land - you would have to choose when to visit that one though; low tide would be best:

Refuge Cove Reserve, Clareville is 1.16 hectares of public foreshore land and a nice spot for a sunny afternoon dip or a picnic - just remember to check the tides:

Refuge Cove Reserve

The group “Pittwater Pathways” have put an extensive, well research report into Pittwater Council which lists every pathway in Pittwater and the current state of these pathways as of May 2013.

That list of public pathways to public lands is in the PDF HERE so you can find them all and have a nice romp. Below this Kevin and Joe's lists of the walks they've shared with those of us who are less mobile so far - they have a few planned for this year too!

There's even history pages you can explore before or while you walk to find out a little more about how these places may have changed or who stood here in this same place and same season where you stand - just one hundred or two hundred years ago or more.


The view over The Basin from the Bairne Track walk - by Kevin Murray


NSW SES, NSW RFS Volunteers Conduct Hundreds Of Flood Rescues During Rain Event: April 5-6 2024

The NSW SES carried out more than 160 flood rescues overnight and into the morning of Friday April 5 and April 6, following a severe weather event that resulted in flash flooding and damage to properties and roads throughout Sydney, the Illawarra and South Coast.

More than 200ml of rain impacted parts of Sydney and the Illawarra, with around 4,000 NSW SES volunteers responding to 3135 calls for help over a 24-hour period.

On Friday just before 6pm Narrabeen and surrounds to Warriewood, the Narrabeen catchment and Warriewood floodplain, were put on 'watch and act' status as the Wakehurst Parkway was closed at 4.30pm, although water had been over the road prior to then, and a high tide was expected to impact on the lagoon entrance.

At 5am on Saturday morning water over Pittwater road between Narrabeen and Collaroy closed that section of road as well for around two hours.

However, it was not until 7am Saturday morning, with a high tide already coming in, that residents were advised to evacuate as water funnelling into the lagoon from adjacent creeks, combined with the tide, began to flood local streets and areas.

The council had contractors working on opening the entrance on the Thursday and again on Friday. 

Residents along flooded streets were asking people to not drive along them or to slow down as the wash created was further damaging their homes.

At the same time residents adjacent to Manly dam were placed on 'watch and act' status by the NSW SES as well as water overflowed.

Earlier flooding nearby of Manly streets kept local teams from the NSW SES Manly Unit and NSW SES Warringah-Pittwater Unit busy throughout the night helping residents with leaking rooves, roping off dangerous areas, fallen trees and hundreds of other tasks.

The council closed all beaches as run off from both the Hawkesbury river, also flooding, along with stormwater and creek runoff, brought pollutants and debris to the beaches.

Pittwater was the scene of numerous vessels being dislodged from their moorings by strong damaging winds and heavy rainfall, and the water, coloured brown, showed the debris and runoff from the river had filled the estuary, along with runoff from nearby land.

These volunteer services continued clearing roads of fallen trees and debris throughout Saturday. There were also a number of dislodged drain covers that were found and placed back by these services.

The community had nothing but sincere thanks, praise and applause for the volunteers of the NSW SES Manly Unit and NSW SES Warringah-Pittwater Unit, who were still workjing to help people as this Issue went to press.

NSW SES Manly Unit - making people aware an area is dangerous an taping it off

Photos by Kevin Murray - "Rocket Park" (actually "Warriewood Valley Playground") is now a lake, following the recent heavy rain and changes to its drainage due to recent works. The kids didn't seem to mind. though!

Here are a few pics...

photos by NSW SES Warringah / Pittwater Unit - what a busy day! Water everywhere for our crews to pump out. Remember to never walk, play or drive in floodwater no matter how much fun it looks. Saturday afternoon;



Autumn In Pittwater 

Dawn at Narrabeen Lagoon. Photo: Joe Mills
Early morning at Avalon Beach. Photo: Joe Mills
Early morning at Avalon Beach. Photo: Joe Mills

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