Today it was Vince, David, Eva and me, walking on a wet Monday. I had been wanting to walk Cabbage Tree Creek, as it is one of the branches that run off the lagoon at North Wollongong Beach. In February we had taken the Fairy Creek branch, to the south west. Cabbage Tree Creek is hard to follow in the first section, as it is contained in a concrete channel which is sandwiched between the Uni’s Innovation Campus and Montague St. It turns sharply westward at the north end of Montague St, running underneath a bridge. We picked the creek up by leaving from David’s place in Fairy Meadow, heading across the railway line and over the freeway.
After skirting around the Fraternity Club and crossing the Princes Highway, we picked up the creek from the Cabbage Tree pub carpark. At this point the stream looks fairly insubstantial, flowing along the bottom of a large concrete channel.
Like most of the other creeks we’ve walked so far, the creek feels assaulted by human intervention, redirection, rubbish, weeds and general neglect.
Not far upstream the concrete stream forks. We take the right hand fork, as I’m fairly sure that this fork is Cabbage Tree Creek. David comments that it is liberating to walk without a map.
There is quite a lot of public green space near the creek between the highway and Balgownie. Strange that it’s recognised as an area for recreation when it is so degraded in the lower reaches. Yet there are a few areas of bush regeneration. And of course the obligatory ‘creek loungeroom’.
As with some of the other creeks we’ve walked in the region, it becomes more creek-like as you walk further upstream.
There is quite a bit of erosion in parts beyond the concrete channel. It looks like the recent rains may have played a part.
One of the highlights for me was the green area at the back of a row of houses which has been converted into a creekside recreational space, complete with putting green and outsized golfball sign.
Then the Shetland pony.
The pony’s paddock blocked our way along the creek, so we had to do a detour on to the streets. By the time we reached the Balgownie shops we decided to head back, agreeing to pick up the creek again next time at Donnan’s Bridge.
All photos by Vince Bicego.