Quibaree is the Aboriginal name for Lavender Bay. The sign says that the name is believed to mean “a spring of fresh water.” On the far right of the bay is a heritage Neptune Engineering Slipway, which was functioning from the late 19th century to 1989.
Much attention has been given to greening this area with big trees & masses of planting all around the edges. The plants are a mix of natives & exotics. My guess it they use what works here as plants would need to be hardy to cope with the environment.
There are lots of interpretive signs by the North Sydney Heritage Society scattered all through the public spaces. I found it interesting to read the history of the area.
There is a clean & modern toilet that services Quibaree Park, Watt Park, Clark Park, the Lavender Bay Foreshore & Wendy’s Secret Garden.
We came to walk along the Lavender Bay Foreshore to Art Barton Park to see the sculptures. It did not take long to find a sculpture, as they are scattered along both sides of the foreshore walk that takes you to Luna Park. These delightful little artworks are quintessentially Australian & many were characters from children’s stories or from Luna Park.
While the water view is spectacular, we both found that our eyes were drawn to the many & varied plants on both sides of the foreshore walk. There were lots of trees, Banksias, Flowering gums, Angophoras & Grevillieas. There were also roses & many cottage garden plants that grew alongside native grasses. No mono-planting here.
The gardens were lush with plants in most areas along this walkway & many were in flower. There were bees, other insects & we even saw a ladybird sitting on a rose leaf. It clearly demonstrated that exotics can blend well with natives & that any planting is better than just looking at mulch.
The rail line is interesting. I cannot work out where it goes at it seems to come to a stop at the western end of Quibaree Park & at Luna Park in the east. NSW Transport has quite a few trees along the fence line & I was impressed to see gabion walls in many sections. These make terrific habitat for lizards, insects & small mammals, so these walls were good to see. I find them attractive to look at too, so an added benefit.
Art Barton Park appears to be a small grassed area with two very beautiful Fig trees, both of which have their side branches, instead of being pruned upwards. Two benches are underneath the trees & neither bench has a base of concrete, which I like. Behind the park is a wall of green consisting of all kinds of trees, shrubs & understory planting. It was a good place to sit & watch the view & the people promenading past.
As we were almost at Luna Park, we decided to have a look & then went in search of ice-cream. Luna Park was loud, busy & full of people. It’s a very exciting place with terrific views across the harbour. I am glad it is still there, though I doubt the units that overlook Luna Park are enthusiastic about the place.
We did a slow wander back & returned to our car via Clark Park. If I had the energy I would have happily visited Wendy’s Garden again.
So that is three radically different parks close to each other offering a big dose of beauty to sooth your spirit & help you get back to work on Monday feeling good. Half an hour from Marrickville via car & 10-minutes walk from North Sydney Station makes this an attractive option for a nature charge in my opinion.
No litter, negligible graffiti, lots of big trees & birds, lots of landscaping, art works & sculptures, a spectacular water view & a different perspective of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, ice-cream available to purchase at Luna Park & the magical Wendy’s Secret Garden – so much to see & at no cost, except for the optional ice-cream. What is not to like?