The Upper North Shore is a leafy and affluent residential area to the north of the heart of Sydney. It is east of the Lane Cove river, north of Chatswood and south of the uppermost border of Hornsbyshire council area.
The Upper North Shore starts north of Chatswood and stretches all the way to the Hawkesbury River. It consists of mainly residential and bushland suburbs, with the apartments and high density of the Lower North Shore giving way to the detached houses in the leafy suburbs of Killara, Pymble, Turramurra, Warrawee, Wahroonga and Hornsby and further north to villages carved out of the bush near Berowra and Mt Colah.
Containing some of the oldest residential areas of Sydney, the North Shore is known for its extensive gardens and mature European trees, making it one of the most attractive areas within the Sydney metropolitan area. This is particularly true in November of each year, when the blossoming of the Jacaranda trees provides streetscapes of bright purple flowers.
The T1 train line and the Pacific Highway provide the spine of the region, running parallel to each other for much of their length.
While there are plenty of train stations in the Upper North Shore, the two most important ones are listed.
- 1 Gordon railway station is a major station on the North Shore line. All trains on this line, including expresses, stop there.
- 2 Hornsby railway station is a terminal station for both North Shore lines, as well as providing onwards services north through the Central Coast, Newcastle and beyond.
The Sydney/Upper North Shore is very accessible from nearly every part of Sydney, as it faces no major geographical obstructions, and is not too far away from the CBD, being about a 20-40 minute drive, depending on where in the Sydney/Upper North Shore you'd want to go to.
From other parts of Sydney it's:
- 15 minutes from Mona Vale, via the Mona Vale Road
- 15 minutes from Lane Cove National Park, via the Ryde Road
- 20 minutes from Brooklyn, via the and
- 30 minutes minimum from Berowra Waters. Although this is part of Outer Sydney, getting here is hard due to the lack of infrastructure
- 30 minutes from Parramatta, via the and
- 30 minutes from The Hills, via the
Trains and public buses are available, mainly centred around a city commute. You'll probably be able to get to a single destination and return to the city by public transport easily enough, but touring the area requires a car especially in the northern areas of Ku-ring-gai Chase and Garigal National Parks. The main road linking the North Shore suburbs together is the Pacific Highway (A1) in a northwest to southeast (and vice versa) direction.
- 1 Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve, Entry from Rosedale Road or Vista Road, St Ives, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Open from sunrise to sunset except when it is sometimes closed due to weather issues or risk of fire. A must-see for birdwatchers, conservationists and people with a passion in Australian botany. The nature reserve contains some of the last remaining blue gum forests which once ruled over much of Sydney. Rainbow lorikeets, king parrots and silvereyes are a sample of the birds you will find here.
- 2 Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, 420 Mona Vale Road, St Ives, ☏ , email@example.com. 8am - 5pm open every day except for Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year's Day and Good Friday. The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden features scenic landscape including bushland, gullies, ponds and waterfalls. It is a great spot to have a picnic or go bushwalking/hiking. The picnic area is quite often visited by swamp wallabies so this is a good spot to see these animals relatively close to the city. Entry is free.
- 3 Rose Seidler House, 71 Clissold Road, Wahroonga, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Su 10AM-5PM. The first building designed by the renowned Australian architect Harry Seidler. This famed piece of Australian modernist architecture, built in 1948-1950, has been preserved in its original condition and features panoramic views of Kuringai National Park. admission adults $8, child/concession $4, family $17.
- 4 Hornsby Water Clock.
- 5 Seven Little Australians Park. M-F 8:30AM–5PM. Hidden in the deep bush, the park is known for its beauty and is a popular recreation site for its little hiking trail. The name of the park comes from the classical Australian children's novel by English-born Australian writer Ethel Turner.
- 6 Annie Wyatt House, 26 Park Avenue, Gordon. Annie Forsyth Wyatt, the founder of the National Trust of Australia spent most of their time in this very cottage. In 1945, the unofficial meeting of the trust was held here.
- 1 Roseville Cinema, 112 Pacific Highway, Roseville, ☏ . Family-owned, independent cinema with a focus on art house. Runs films not shown in the big multiplexes.
- 2 Lindfield Rocks, 62a Tryon Road, East Lindfield, ☏ , email@example.com. The oldest bouldering site in Sydney. Very popular among rock climbing enthusiasts and accessible to beginners. For groups of 0-25 people the price is $12.50 per hour (2 hour minimum).
- 3 Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Large national park to the north of Hornsby until the Hawkesbury river. $12 to enter with a car.
- 4 North Turramurra Golf Course, 361b Bobbin Head Rd North Turramurra 2072, ☏ . Daily from sunrise to sunset. Public golf course with scenic views. The flattish terrain and golf lessons available make it particularly attractive for beginners though it is probably not challenging enough for pro golfers. From $10 to $40.
- 5 St. Ives Medieval Faire, 420 Mona Vale Rd, St. Ives, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Late September. Every year the St. Ives Showground turns into a bustling village from the Middle Ages. Events include a jousting tournament, a trebuchet demonstration, seeing fully armoured knights, a reenactment of hawking as well as a lavish medieval feast. From $15.
- 6 Berowra Valley National Park. Small park with lots of walking trails, greenery and an easy way to escape the bustling Sydney crowds.
- 1 Stanley Street Butchery, 15 Stanley Street, St Ives, ☏ , email@example.com. M-F 7AM-6PM Sa 7AM-5PM, Su 8AM-2PM. South African grocery and butchery. If you're after traditional biltong, boerewors, droëwors or any other authentic South African foodstuff, it will be here.
- 2 Westfield Hornsby, 236 Pacific Hwy. A large shopping centre with cinemas, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants etc. Right next to the station.
- 3 St Ives Shopping Village, 166 Mona Vale Rd. True to its name, this carpeted shopping precinct has an 80s vibe with a local flavour and is not as overcrowded as the shopping centres and malls that have sprung up across metropolitan Sydney. Popular among retirees and boomers.
- 1 Khob Khun Thai, 308 Pacific Highway, Lindfield, ☏ . Serves light Thai meals quickly. You barely have enough time to sit down or grab some BYO alcohol from the shop around the corner before the food is ready. It is popular with university students from the nearby campus of the University of Technology, Sydney. Mains are between $12-19.
- 2 Cafe Lyon, 366 Pacific Highway, Lindfield, ☏ . A local bistro that serves French meals with a modern twist. $20-40 mains.
- 3 Lotus Inn, 41 Redleaf Avenue, Wahroonga, ☏ . $10-20. Serves Chinese cuisine mainly. It is the most popular and well known Chinese restaurant within the area. It is BYO Wine only with no corkage, and there is a bottle shop just down the road. It is approx. 3-5minute walk from the station and is generally full on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday's. Try the Sizzling Beef.
- 4 Dosa House, 4/100 Pacific Hwy, Waitara, ☏ . The restaurant looks plain and drab but the South Indian dishes are reasonable for budget eaters.
- 1 Greengate Hotel, 655 Pacific Highway, Killara, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon-Tue 10am to 11pm, Wed-Sat 10am to 12 midnight , Sun 10am to 10pm. Conveniently located on the corner of Pacific Highway and Greengate Road, there is always something on every night with entertainment or live music. A trivia night is held every Tuesday. Drinks $3.50-$9.00, Mains $10.00-$22.00.
- 2 Hornsby RSL Club, 4 High Street, Hornsby, ☏ , email@example.com. Su - Tu 9:30am - 1:00am W Th 9:30am - 2:00am F Sa 9:30am - 4:00am. The go-to place for people passing through Hornsby. Attracts a older crowd than in the past. The RSL offers high tea, tapas and mixed drinks. There is a basic dress code to not wear any offensive, untidy or overly casual clothing.
- 3 Kipling's Garage Bar, 2 Eastern Rd, Turramurra, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 7am-midnight Sa noon-midnight Su noon-10pm. As hinted by the name, this wine bar was built on what was a mechanic's garage. Nowadays it has a rustic and chic industrial vibe. There is a big fireplace making winter nights very comfy. Over 250 different types of wines are available, along with spirits, craft beers and ciders. Serves tapas.
- 4 Garden Tap (The Cook's Garden), 272 Bobbin Head Rd, North Turramurra, ☏ . W-Su 11:30AM-late. Has the design and atmosphere of a classic English style pub. The cocktails aren't too flashy but the diners come for the burgers like the wagyu beef and pulled pork.
- 5 Cellar 8 Wine Bar, 8 Post Office St, Pymble, ☏ . Tue-Thu 4:00PM-10:30PM Fri Sat 4:00PM-11:30PM. A modern, boutique bar tucked and hidden away. The large range of wines are all sourced from Australia and New Zealand. Try the caramelised garlic bread.
- 1 Ascot Motor Inn, 18 Ingram Road, Wahroonga, ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 10AM. Comfortable motel with swimming pool and a quality Indian restaurant and steakhouse. Rooms from $112.
- 2 The Hornsby Inn, Cnr Hunter & Burdett Street, Hornsby, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. This pub style accommodation is not too flash but cosy. Inside there are a few bars, bottle shops and a Thai restaurant.
- 3 Killara Inn Hotel & Conference Centre, 480 Pacific Highway, Killara, ☏ , email@example.com. 4 star hotel on the Pacific Highway with friendly service and clean and comfortable rooms.
- 4 Pymble Hotel, 1134 Pacific Hwy, Pymble, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. Budget, old-style looking hotel with pub and free parking. Cheapest rooms from $105.
Mobile coverage is quite strong in most of the area, but is basically non-existent in the national parks at the north.
- Take a break from the nature walks and dive into the Northern Beaches via the A3 Mona Vale Road.
- Brooklyn is a pleasant town on the banks of the Hawkesbury river, just a few stops north on the train line.
- Wisemans Ferry is a nice pleasant picnic spot on the Hawkesbury.
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