Duffys Forest is the hidden gem on Sydneys northern beaches approximately 28 kilometres north of the Sydney CBD and falls within the Northern Beaches Local Council area.
Duffys Forest is named after Patrick Duffy, who received a land grant there in 1857. He became a timber cutter and cleared a road through the bush to Cowan Creek where he built a stone wharf for transporting timber. The wharf is still known as Duffys Wharf and is accessed at the end of Booralie Road and well signposted, the road is Duffys Track and is a seriously challenging walk if you’re up for it.
The area is almost exclusively Semi Rural and a large number of horse properties have in recent years been redeveloped into magnificent lifestyle estates. You can still find market gardens, farm stalls and local produce in the area. The Greater Sydney Commission Report 2056 has identified the area as protected rural lands and we can expect to largely retain the character of the area.
Waratah Park Earth Sanctuary was a popular tourist attraction in Duffys Forest, famous as the film set of the popular television series Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. Much of the set and props are still there, although since being closed in August 2009 all of the animals including descendants of the kangaroos used in the series have now been removed from the site, however, if you’re up on a bike ride at the end of Duffys be very careful of the huge mob of Grey Kangaroos who have made the area their home.
The ‘Duffys Forest Ecological Community’ is an endangered ecological community of the Sydney basin.