2102 Warriewood

Apart from its glorious beach, Warriewood contains one of the largest wetland areas in northern Sydney. A boardwalk travels through these wetlands, allowing you to enjoy peace and tranquility and providing a home to many species of birds, animals, reptiles and plants. The boardwalk also links some of the residential areas with the recently expanded Warriewood shopping precinct. In days gone by, much of the Warriewood Valley was occupied by small farms, most containing glasshouses. Over the last ten to fifteen years, many of these farms have disappeared as developers moved in to build large residential and commercial premises. Original cottages are readily snapped up for millions of dollars, knocked down and developed. Only a few humble cottages and their glasshouses remain  – some still manage to accommodate horses grazing in their yards, resisting the temptation of modern development.
Words and pictures by Lisa Avery.

Warriewood sits on the northern outskirts of Sydney, halfway between the CBD and Barrenjoey Lighthouse, and, east to west, halfway between the beach and ridge that forms part of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Natural water courses running down from the ridge line formed sprawling wetlands and created a wildlife habitat. This was juxtaposed with farms; cows, horses, and sheep filled paddocks just several hundred metres from the coast. Many early settlers were Greek, Italian and Yugoslav immigrants so glass houses and market gardens helped make up the semi-rural landscape. In the last decade the urban sprawl has caught up and looks to be overtaking the topography. Horses and paddocks, the last of the rural stock to survive the population growth, have been whittled down to perhaps just a half dozen or so, along with their older-generation-European owners. Humble, quirky abodes are being replaced with rows upon rows of apartment blocks. Looking more like prisons than homes, they now scar the landscape. Government rushes to keep up the infrastructure in the way of widening roads, adding roundabouts and kerb and guttering. The wildlife, lacking natural habitat and food sources, come into backyards creating gardening havoc, or end up as road-kill.

It’s called progress.

Pictures and words by Sue Hinchey.