Monday, July 13, 2015

Hunts Creek Reserve - A Waterfall and Some Local History

A bushwalk in Hunts Creek Reserve in the Carlingford/North Rocks area of northwestern Sydney is an experience in history, geography and the natural environment. The discovery of a scenic waterfall in the middle of suburbia is a bonus.

Hunts Creek Reserve is a designated "Wildlife Sanctuary" situated between between Jenkins Road in Carlingford and Statham Avenue in North Rocks. There are several entry points along the way eg, from Sun Valley Place and Karingal Avenue in Carlingford and Panaview Avenue in North Rocks..

Map showing the location of Hunt's Creek Reserve
The area is typically Hawkesbury sandstone with remnants of Wianamatta shale soils in the upper  reaches. It supports woodland and forest consisting of Blackbutt, Turpentine, Sydney Red Gum and Red Bloodwood trees. There is  a dense undergrowth rich in native plants such as wattle, banksias and the Mountain Devil. Some 246 native plant species and 52 native birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals that live in the reserve have been identified.[The Bushland of Hunts Creek Reserve and Seville Reserve - Baulkham Hills Shire Council publication 2007].

A greenhood  orchid and maidenhair fern that can be found growing in the Reserve when
rainfall and temperatures are right. [Photo taken from signage].

Hunts Creek rises near the corner of Parkland and Jenkins Roads at Carlingford in the stormwater catchment area bounded by the ridges of Pennant Hills and North Rocks Roads. It flows westward across the Reserve crossing the Kings School grounds and finding its way into Lake Parramatta. It was Hunts Creek that was dammed in 1856 to form this lake, which supplied Parramatta with water until 1909. The remnants of the creek flow into Darling Mills Creek and then into the Parramatta River.

Along the way are the Balaka Falls, a scenic waterfall which is an exciting find. The 2km Waterfall Trac Loop was completed by Baulkham Hills Council in 2003 as part of its conservation program. It takes about an hour to walk and is well worth the effort.

View of Balaka Falls in Hunts Creek Reserve

View of Balaka Falls in Hunts Creek Reserve

While acknowledging the Darug people as the original inhabitants of this beautiful area, it is interesting to research the history of the early colonial settlers.

Being close to Parramatta, there were many early land grants in the area. 

Seville Reserve in North Rocks - officially named after Joseph Seville
 by Baulkham Hills Shire Council in 1993
Joseph Seville, after whom Seville Reserve in North Rocks is named, was once such landholder. He was the son of William Seville, a convict who had come to New South Wales on the ship Pitt on 14 February 1792.

In 1818, William Seville was 'granted fifty acres of land at Broken Back Ridge by Major General Lachlan Macquarie, bounded on the North by East to the Creek;by the Great Windsor Road on the South; on the North by vacant land of Seville's; by the south  in the rear by small attached farms' [State Records Authority of New South Wales: Registers of Land Grants and Leases 1792 -1867].

Following William's death in 1825, a dispute broke out regarding this land grant. Joseph  was eventually granted the land. He made a memorial grant of 25 acres to his sister,  Elizabeth Hunt (nee Seville) on 10th March 1833 with the consideration being "love  and affection." [State Records Authority of New South Wales: Registers of Land Grants and Leases 1792 -1867].

In April 1836, he made another memorial grant to his brother-in-law, Samuel Hunt with the consideration being "regrads and esteem".[State Records Authority of New South Wales: Registers of Land Grants and Leases 1792 -1867].

And so was born Hunt's Creek. It is believed that Seville named the creek after his brother-in-law.

According to the records of History Services NSW, Samuel Hunt was an English convict   who took part in the unsuccessful Pentrich Rebellion of 1817. As one of the rebels, he was tried and sentenced to be transported to the Colony of New South Wales for life. 
  • He arrived in the colony on 14 September September 1818 in the convict ship Isabella, aged 24 years;
  • He married Elizabeth Seville on 23 August 1819 at St Johns Church at Parramatta;
  • He was variously assigned as a Government servant  in 1822 to Mr Blaxland at Parramatta, and later to his wife at Bringelly;
  • He obtained his Ticket-of-Leave on 27 June 1827. In the Census of 1828, Samuel Hunt was listed as a hedger of Parramatta;
  • He obtained an Absolute Pardon on 11 August 1834.
  • In November 1841 he was sentenced in Adelaide for sheep stealing, and transported in the name of James Hunt to Sydney on the Emma, arriving on 18 January 1842;.
  • He was then sent to Norfolk Island and later to Hobart (Tasmania) in 1844;.
  • He received a Conditional Pardon in Tasmania in 1853; 
  • He died at Wellington, NSW on 5 August 1858 aged 84 years.
If you would like more detailed information on Samuel Hunt or are researching your own convict ancestor, you should go to the History Services NSW website at:


Blog prepared by Mary McGuinness

All photos taken June/July 2015