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Sydney Attractions: Fagan Park


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There are a number of beautiful sprawling parks in the Sydney area, but one of the most stunning I have had the pleasure to visit is Fagan Park. This former cattle farming property is located in the northern Hornsby Shire area. The park is the location of the annual Bushland Shire festival—a colourful, cultural festival that began as a garden show and which has taken on a country theme. Fagan Park is one of those locations that has it all—it isn't difficult to spend a whole day there. And why wouldn't you? It's stunning on a sunny day, beautifully mysterious on a grey day and dusk at the park is a special sensory experience.

The park has a few distinct areas of interest: the Eco-Garden, the Netherby House and Historical Buildings, the Garden of Many Nations and Carr's Bush. Each part appeals in a different way, and all work together to make this park an attractive spot for all visitors.

The Eco Garden

Fagan Parks Eco Garden

Fagan Parks Eco Garden

The Eco-Garden is my favourite part of the park. It is a rambling garden that seems charmingly unfettered and loosely planned (although it isn't!). When pumpkins are in season there they grow as they please, finger limes hang in abundance, and sunflowers rise from the borders of the garden. There is a dingy little pool in the garden with its own water plants, but frogs live there and their croaks add another level of ambiance to the place. The garden looks out over well-tended, rolling hills and the central lake.

I have never seen so many species of mint as I have seen here; everywhere in the garden you can find plants thriving, springing up in crevices and often being accepted and tended where they stand.

Get up close to the vegetables

Get up close to the vegetables

The writer checking out the composting system

The writer checking out the composting system

There is an educational component to the garden. Not only do most of the vegetables have little signs displaying the common name, and sometimes the scientific name, but there are also often more detailed descriptions of the uses of each plant. In addition, there is information on composting and vermiculture. The garden utilizes a number of sound eco-gardening practices including the use of rainwater, crop rotation, mulching and composting.

Parts of the eco-garden are even wheelchair-friendly and there is an attractive gazebo in the centre of the garden for a bit of shade.


The Netherby House

Before the park was dedicated to its present use as an educational and recreational spot open to the public, it was farmland belonging to the Fagan family.

William Fagan was a free settler who hailed from Ireland. He arrived in Sydney in 1848, married and raised seven children while growing a successful farm business.

The homestead of the Fagan family stands in Fagan Park to this day. It is known as ‘Netherby’. The house has been restored and is on display for the public at certain times. The packing shed and milking facilities are also open for viewing and show a range of historical implements that would have been used during the time that the site was used as a citrus orchard and cattle farm. In 1980 the Fagan family donated the property to the Department of Lands and the Hornsby Shire Council was appointed as the trustee.

The laundry as it was when the home was inhabited in years passed.

The laundry as it was when the home was inhabited in years passed.

Historical Buildings Onsite

  • Netherby, the three-bedroom former house of the Fagan family
  • A Machinery Shed
  • A Water Tank;
  • An Old garage
  • Windmill;
  • Old Fruit Packing Shed, a brick and corrugated iron building;
  • Old Dairy Shed, a timber and corrugated iron structure;
  • Two small sheds;
  • Museum Shed, a brick and corrugated iron building;
  • An old animal Hospital

The walk through the historical buildings is fascinating. The buildings are filled with a range of items, some of which are easily recognizable and others less so. These include household items from the period as well as farming tools and machinery - some of which were used by the family. As a whole the restored buildings and artifacts provide an important reference for farming and family life in the area in the 20th Century.

The information gained from the preserved historical areas is considered significant, not only within the local government area but also for the history of Sydney and New South Wales. Such pioneering farmers were responsible for so much of how the state of New South Wales developed and reached the form it is in today.

Brief Overview of The History of Farming in Australia

  • Australian Farms and Farming Communities
    Once Australia was settled by Europeans, farms were developed around Australia. Most of the farming concentrated on wheat crops and other livestock brought over from Europe.

Gardens of Many Nations


Some of the Gardens in the 'Gardens of Many Nations'

  • Japanese
  • Dutch
  • Chinese
  • Mediterranean
  • African
  • North American
  • South American
  • English
  • Australian

The 'Gardens of Many Nations' is a wonderful way of presenting a wide variety of flora in an appealing way. This area is made up of a number of distinct gardens which each represent a different part of the world. Some of them include water features or buildings to complete the theme. For example, the Japanese garden has a faux tea house and the African garden has a little mock mud hut. The buildings do not tend to be functional but help to give the gardens an authentic feel.

The hut in the American Garden doubles as the toilet amenities.

The hut in the American Garden doubles as the toilet amenities.

The African Garden

The African Garden

The Mediterranean garden

The Mediterranean garden

Carr's Bush

Fagan Park is home to it's very own bush: Carr's Bush

Fagan Park is home to it's very own bush: Carr's Bush

Fagan park also plays a role in preserving threatened and important ecological communities in the Sydney area. The presence of Carr's Bush in Fagan Park means that the site is home to some Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest among other important forest communities. It is also home to 120 species of native flora and various species of wildlife including the Australian Wood Duck, Chestnut Teal, Little Pied Cormorant, and the Black Swan.

Carr's bush also has a 30-minute loop track which is appropriate for walking and cycling.

One of the many inhabitants of Carr's Bush

One of the many inhabitants of Carr's Bush

A Short Tour of The Park

Directions, Hours, and Admission

Getting There: Take a train from Sydney's Central Station to Pennant Hills Railway Station. From there take the 638 Bus at Stand B to Fagan Park. If you are driving from Sydney's CBD, it takes just under an hour going via the A40.

Opening Hours: Eastern Standard Time: 7 am until sunset, Daylight Savings Time: 7 am - 6.30 pm. Open daily except for Christmas Day

Entry Fee: Free, parking $5/vehicle

Find Your Way To Fagan Park

Other Articles You Might Enjoy


  • History of Fagan Park
    The park was a former cattle farm and citrus orchard till it was donated by the Fagan family for it's present-day use.

All photos taken by Rota unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.

© 2015 Rota


Rota (author) on March 22, 2015:

readerssquare i really appreciate your kind compliments and observations. thank you.

Rota (author) on March 22, 2015:

Anne Harrison, thank you very much.

Readers Square from Punjab, India on March 19, 2015:

This park looks really amazing and could serve as a wonderful spot for a spontaneous walk before an evening snack. Rota it’s your presentation and the photography that has made this hub informatively tantalizing. The Mediterranean Garden has caught my eye and is profusely beautiful enough to stay on my desktop. The Gardens of Many Nations is really astounding and kind of romantic I should say.

Anne Harrison from Australia on March 11, 2015:

I grew up in Sydney but have never been here - thanks for the tip, I will definitely visit! Congratulations on HOTD

georgescifo from India on March 10, 2015:

Thanks and have a great day ahead..

Rota (author) on March 10, 2015:

georgescifo thanks so much for your response! glad you enjoyed reading the hub!

georgescifo from India on March 10, 2015:

Sydney is the first place that I would love to visit if I get a chance to visit Australia. I have read a lot about Sydney and its amazing beauty that can be a treat to watch.

Once again thanks for sharing this hub about Fagan Park in Sydney and really enjoyed reading it.

Rota (author) on March 09, 2015:

Ken I Cruz, thankyou so much. This hub was a labour of love for me - I really wanted to share the beauty of this park. Glad you enjoyed!

Rota (author) on March 09, 2015:

mary615 It is such. a beautiful spot. Hope you get a chance to come over and check Australia out. Thankyou very much

Rota (author) on March 09, 2015:

ladyguitarpicker I really appreciate that! Thankyou. I love this park so much and hoped to convey it's beauty to each one of you who read it!

Rota (author) on March 09, 2015:

rebeccamealey Thankyou very much!

Rota (author) on March 09, 2015:

poetryman6969 You really hit the nail on the head as to why this park is so close to my hear. It's such a wonderful conglomeration of interesting as well as practical, functional aspects that are sadly so often left out in favour of making gardens merely ornamental.

Rota (author) on March 09, 2015:

Hi bluebird, yes indeed, the Mediterranean garden really stands out. There are lots of bees around it too as there is just so much lavender pack in there. Thank you!

Rota (author) on March 09, 2015:

Thankyou very much PegCole17! I really fell in love with this park when i first went to it and tried my best to convey it's beauty!

Rota (author) on March 09, 2015:

Why thank you very much! Thanks for telling me! Have been offline for a few days with computer issues so didn't realise..Yes, I went to the Bushland Shire festival a few years ago and it was such a great day. The best stalls, food, entertainment - and of course location!!

Rota (author) on March 09, 2015:

Thank you very much. I really felt in touch with the peace and beauty of the park and tried my best to convey that in the article. Hope you have the chance to visit Australia!

Ken from Seattle, WA on March 08, 2015:

Great top quality hub. Nicely written and informative.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on March 08, 2015:

Your country is on my bucket list. I have a couple of friends who visited Sydney and just raved about it. This is a beautiful park. Great photos, too.

Voted UP, etc. Congrats on HOTD.

stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on March 08, 2015:

Nice Hub I really enjoyed it. Stella

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on March 08, 2015:

It looks totally awesome. I would LOVE to go. Thanks for sharing the great photos!

poetryman6969 on March 08, 2015:

It's interesting to have historical buildings and a working vegetable garden as part of this venue.

bluebird on March 08, 2015:

Very interesting hub with beautiful pictures with all the gardens, I especially liked the looks of the Mediterranean Garden.

Nice job - congrats!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on March 08, 2015:

This lovely park is quite interesting and you have presented it beautifully. Congratulations on the Hub of the Day award. Nice work.

LongTimeMother from Australia on March 08, 2015:

Hello, Rota. If I still lived in Sydney I would certainly visit the Bushland Shire Festival. It sounds like a great event.

Congratulations on HOTD.

mio cid from Uruguay on March 08, 2015:

Beautiful portrayal of a place anyone traveling to Sydney will want to visit . Australia is one of the few countries in the world I would like to travel to , maybe because there were so many Uruguayans who migrated there .

Rota (author) on February 26, 2015:

Great to hear it! It is worth the visit, something there is sure to appeal..Thanks for the comment!

Peter from Australia on February 25, 2015:

Most times I have been to Sydney is to work so I never have had the time to 'sight see'! I will add Fagan Park to my 'to do' list next time I visit Sydney it looks like a beautiful Park.

Rota (author) on February 20, 2015:

Thank you very much..I try to put in lotsa useful info in case people from abroad choose to visit. Hope you get the chance to one day!

Thomas James from London on February 20, 2015:

Would love to visit Sydney one day! Such good information in this hub


Rota (author) on February 16, 2015:

Alicia C, Your very welcome, it is actually one of the better large parks in the Sydney area, a really nice spot and free to visit - that's always a winner.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on February 16, 2015:

This sounds like a very interesting place to visit. I love your photos! Thank you for the enjoyable tour.

Rota (author) on February 16, 2015:

thanks, will head over there now and have a read!

Lee John from Preston on February 16, 2015:

Hi Rota,

Great Hub! I voted up, also followed you :) i write travel hubs any feedback or comments would be highly appreciated :)



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