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New South Wales
Bungaroo Middle Harbour Creek.jpg
Bungaroo (looking upstream)
Bungaroo is located in Australia
Coordinates33°44′39″S 151°11′10″E / 33.7443°S 151.1860°E / -33.7443; 151.1860Coordinates: 33°44′39″S 151°11′10″E / 33.7443°S 151.1860°E / -33.7443; 151.1860

Bungaroo is a locality near St. Ives, Sydney, Australia. The location is thought to be the site where Governor Arthur Phillip and party camped on the night of 16 April 1788 on the first of many expeditions intended to find arable land that could supply the Colony with agricultural products. The colony at Sydney Cove was dependent on supplies from England, but the soils around the harbour were too poor to support crops and sustain the Colony. This trip is very historic for the Ku-ring-gai Shire, being when Europeans first entered there. It is very historic for the entire Colony or State, being when the Blue Mountains were first sighted. It is believed from later statements made by Governor Phillip that he realized on seeing such large mountains that they must have a large river with rich alluvial soils. Thus the day after camping at Bungaroo the Colony's ultimate survival was realized, and it would be very soon indeed that the Governor would direct endeavour westwards with major consequences. As all that unfolded, unto this day, some consider that Bungaroo is the sole place recognizable in the colonists' writings of 1788 which now remains unchanged from as it was then.

Bungaroo may be an Aboriginal name for the Salt Water Turtle,[1] although another meaning is 'running water'.[2]


Captain Phillip and party landed at Manly on 15 April 1788, named the location, and then proceeded westwards until they struck Middle Harbour perhaps somewhere near the present Roseville Bridge. The party then proceed up that waterway to the tidal limit and camped besides a freshwater pool that night. A member of the party described the area as ...the most desert wild and solitary seclusion the imagination can form any idea of....[3] In 1885, the area was surveyed and subdivided, as part of the St. Ives division. The creek valley remained unsettled, although the location of the tidal limit was noted and a surveyors' line subsequently became an informal track. A proposal to construct a railway line along the creek valley was thwarted in the 1920s by protests by local residents and councillors.[2] By the 1930s the area was a well known picnic, bushwalking and beauty spot, with a popular swimming hole near The Cascades, constructed by unemployment relief workers during the Great Depression.[4]


The Bungaroo area is part of Garigal National Park and is managed by the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Ku-ring-gai Council.[5] The area retains indigenous vegetation including banksias, grevilleas and wildflowers in the spring, and numerous rocky outcrops including the large sandstone steps of the rocky bar known as the 'Stepping Stones' which separates the salt waters of Middle Harbour from the fresh water of Middle Harbour Creek.[6] Walking tracks follow the creek valley between the head of Middle Harbour and the northern sections of Garigal National Park as well as connecting the Stepping Stones crossing with St Ives to the west and Davidson Trail, Frenchs Forest to the east.[7]


  • Founders Way Walking track leaving from Hunter Ave, St Ives leads onto the Pipeline Track (a 4WD maintenance trail) and the Bungaroo Track (a narrow walking traill), both of which descend to Middle Harbour Creek. Both tracks are in good condition and are popular walks for local residents.[8]
  • Middle Harbour Track leads from the Cascades in Garigal National Park to the Governor Phillip Walk. The track follows along the eastern side of Middle Harbour towards Forestville, New South Wales.[9]


  1. ^ "Founders Way Walking Track, Bungaroo". www.visitsydneyaustralia.com.au. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  2. ^ a b "Bungaroo, Short histories and oral statements, Middle Harbour, by E Hilder 22 April 1970, Harry Morris 1990 F McLeod 15 May 1983, Ku-ring-gai Library" (PDF). Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  3. ^ Tim Flannery, The Birth of Sydney Text Publishing, 16 Nov. 1999 ISBN 1-876485-45-0.
  4. ^ The Secret of Bungaroo, by R. Emerson Curtis, The Sydney Mail, 7 March 1934 p.14
  5. ^ "Bungaroo Track walking track". www.wildwalks.com.au. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  6. ^ "National Parks NSW Parknotes". Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Bungaroo Walking Track". Ku-ring-gai Council. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  8. ^ Bushwalk Australia, Bungaroo, accessed 3/7/2017
  9. ^ Davidson Park to Stepping Stone Crossing walk, Garigal National Park, accessed 3/7/2017