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Hordern Park is named after Mr A J Hordern, whom the Sydney Morning Herald referred to as ‘ one of her {Sydney’s} most competent and kindly tree and flower lovers’ on his death in 1932. It is a small park located at the southern end of Palm Beach providing access between the beach and Florida Road – about half way up the headland where you can admire some of the grandest residences in Sydney, particularly if you continue on up (via a set of very steep steps located across Florida Road from the Park) to Pacific Road, atop the headland.

You might be wondering why you would drag yourself up all these steps just to see a few houses, no matter how stylish or grand they are. Well frankly you wouldn’t. You come up through Hordern Park and climb the next set of stairs to Pacific Road either because you are doing the Sydney Coastal Walk (as I was) or to visit the Bible Garden (as I did) for the most stunning of views of Palm Beach, from the south. See my separate review on the Bible Garden, which if you have transport, can also be accessed by road.

Had we not needed to go through Hordern Park it is unlikely we would have sought it out. Few do.

The 68 hectare park is in two parts.

Firstly, there is a lower grassy area, just across from the beach. This is well suited to a picnic if you want to eat your food unseasoned with sand and/or in a lovely shady spot away from the beach.

Secondly, moving on up, via a path and steps, towards Florida Road the park becomes very densely vegetated bushland where Spotted Gums and Cabbage-tree Palms predominate, much as they would have done over the whole headland prior to it succumbing to urban development.

While I didn’t notice any birdlife here, topknot pigeons, honeyeaters and lorikeets frequent the park as does the squirrel glider, a type of possum. Small reptiles and frogs take shelter in the thick, fern-dominated, understory.

Speaking of cabbage-tree palms, prior to being called Palm Beach the bay was called Cabbage Tree Boat Harbour – a somewhat less appealing address for its well-heeled residents. I wonder what was behind the name change!

Even if not passing through it, the park is worth a look but will not be the highlight of your visit to Palm Beach.


For my next Sydney – NORTHERN BEACHES review click HERE.
For other Sydney reviews click HERE.


 

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