Bidigal Reserve is one of my favourite hiking locations. An 186 hectare oasis which is surprisingly hidden away in the residential suburbs of Baulkham Hills., Castle Hill, Northmead, Carlingford and North Rocks.
The name of the reserves commemorates the Bidigal people who lived in the area. It is rich in Aboroginal history, and was used as a base by Pemulway, a Bidigal leader, to mount attacks of resistance against British occupation.
From the street, it appears to be average Australian bush. But upon entering, you have an Alice in Wonderful moment when descending into the canyon. Lush pre-historic looking ferns, majestic sandstone boulders and caves abound, with a fresh water stream meandering through and forming a focus throughout the hiking tracks. The canopy of trees, combined with the natural streams and sandstone, almost guarantee a temperature of 5-10 degrees less than at street level.
The reserve is a sanctuary for native animals, with reports of koalas, wallabies, echidna, eastern water dragon and sugar gliders.
A key feature of the reserve is an Aboriginal cave. This rock shelter was used by the Bidigal people. Another rock shelter is recorded as being the earliest human habitation site known in the Sydney area (excluding the Blue Mountains).
The reserve is owned by the Bidijgal Reserve Trust.
There are many walking trails within the reserve, including three marked tracks. Expect small bridges, stepping stones over water, and occasionally, if you are on a non marked track, climbing over boulders.
At todays hike we had 9 Lappie owners who braved the early morning rain and 7:30am start. The rain quickly subsided and we were treated to cool and dry conditions. We hiked approximately 10km over 3.5 hours, stopping for breaks to enjoy the scenery.
Beau and Brittany with Elkie
Sophie withh Zoe
Tim with Rocket
Lynda and son with Aila
Susannah with Annouk
Lauren with Nuppu and Karri
Tess, Lappie owner from WA, visiting
About 2 hours in, we had the option to return to the carpark, or to do what we called the 'adventure loop', we chose the adventure loop and continued. At the end of the 3.5 hours, all humans were tuckered, along with some of the Lappies. The others were ready to do it all over again!
After the hike, some Lappies tried backpacks on their Lappies for sizing. Enthusiastic to start training for the ANKC sport of backpacking.
The next hikes are:
19th May- Parramatta Lakes Walk (4.2km or 8.4km- chose either)
10th June, in the Watagans, which is in between the Central Coast and Newcastle (10-15km).
Hope to see you there!