Have you ever wanted to visit the rainforest but couldn’t? Then look no further, the Hills has your answer. There’s a mini rainforest in the heart of the Hills for you to explore, the Platypus Track Bidjigal Reserve.
Bidjigal Reserve, is 186 hectares of bushland located within the Hills district. Its name commemorates the Bidjigal people (members of the Darug Nation) who lived in the area fishing, hunting, gathering and swimming before the Europeans settled in. The reserve consists of three popular tracks of varying lengths. The Murra-Yanna track which is 8km long and takes about 3.5-4 hours. The Burraga track, a 4 km loop takes about 2.5 hours and lastly the Platypus track, a 1.7km loop that takes about 1 hour.
At the Platypus Track as its name implies, Platypus were regularly seen along this section of Excelsior Creek up until the sewer was installed in the mid 1970’s. Therefore as you pass along a part of the track, now and then you may smell the sewerage and unfortunately there is no more platypus to be seen. The track passes the once popular swimming and picnicking spot of the 40’s – Loch Bruce.
Platypus track is a tranquil area with a small creek running along the loop. Depending on how fast or slow you walk, it should take around 45 mins to an hour. The track provides tranquility, so much so that you actually forget you’re within the suburbs. There is no traffic sound at all like in some places but the music of nature where you can hear the water flowing and birds singing. The air is so refreshing, especially with the smell of greenery if you’re walking during very light drizzles. Nothing compares to such an experience.
Like most tracks around Sydney, the Platypus loop is easy to move around with blue platypus sign posts provided for you to follow. Though I am sure noone has yet lost their way around since it isn’t a very long route. The track is very green, well maintained with most of the track being very natural. There are some paved areas at the beginning and the end of the loop, but most is all natural trekking grounds with rocky paths, a small rustic bridge, rock formations, stepping stones and lots of trees and fern.
Pros and Cons
The track is so refreshing and not so long that you’ll want to visit the place time and time again. You can park at the end of Excelsior Avenue and then start your walk. There is a little section where you can just have a quick lunch before or after the walk. There are no public toilets available at the Bidjigal Reserve but you could find one at the Eric Mobb Reserve.
Loved the track. It was refreshing, cool and quiet. So tranquil that you’d want to go there to relax, get away from your everyday stress and to just reenergize yourself. I would definitely want to go visit this track regularly.
Bidjigal Reserve Trust
The Hills Shire Council