By Dorothy Davis and Katharine Vernon

Glebe is a great place to walk, with heritage streetscapes, significant historical buildings, the foreshore walk, parklands and a rich social and industrial history.icon for Glebe Society Guided Walks Program

About the Walks: More information about each Walk is available from our Eventbrite page.  Walks are suitable for people of average fitness. Duration is generally 1.5 to 2 hours. The number of attendees has been increased to 15.

Add your name to the waitlist: If a Walk is booked out, a waitlist option is available. You will be contacted if a place becomes available.

Interested in a repeat Walk? Depending on demand and feasibility, a repeat Walk may be offered, and waitlisted people will be given priority. Email to indicate your interest in a repeat Walk.

View Past Walks

Upcoming Walks

(For details of each Walk, see More about upcoming Walks below).






Wednesday 20 April 2022

1 pm

Discover Barangaroo Headland, by foot and ferry


Katharine Vernon & Phil Young

Sunday 1 May 2022

10.30 am

The Glebe Society in Action – impact of protests and campaigns over 50 years


Ted & Alison McKeown

Sunday 5 June 2022

2.30 pm

Radical Glebe – revisiting the sites and stories of radical ferment in the 1960s and 70s


Meredith Burgmann, Helen Randerson, Heather Goodall

Sunday 16 June 2022

2.30 pm

Glebe Infill Housing: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (REPEAT WALK)


Ian Stephenson

Postponed from 3 April – new date TBD

  The Toxteth Estate, Jubilee Park and Orphan School Creek (REPEAT WALK – POSTPONED from 3 April)


Max Solling

More about upcoming Walks …

Discover Barangaroo Headland, by foot and ferry

with Katharine Vernon & Phil Young, 20 April, 1 pm to 3.45 pm


Enjoy our harbour and the Barangaroo Reserve, transformed from one of the city’s oldest industrial port sites.

Barangaroo’s recreated headland reserve has transformed a disused container terminal on the edge of the CBD into a unique native parkland reserve; and honours the cultural significance of Barangaroo, a Cammeraygal woman who lived here for a time and was an influential voice in the early days of colonial Sydney.

We arrive near Barangaroo Reserve by ferry to stroll along the harbourside promenade named Wulugul Walk that leads to the Barangaroo Reserve. Close to its entrance we visit the Cutaway, a cavernous exhibition space where we first view Wellama, a contemporary re-imagining of Welcome to Country. Throughout our visit to Barangaroo we are reminded of the importance of Country.

The Cutaway is currently exhibiting twenty-five large-sized installations that form part of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, titled Rivas, and admission is free.

We then stroll around the extensive landscaped parkland full of now maturing native plants, with views of the harbour (and close by Goat Island) before heading down the gentle slope to the northern part of the reserve. Here we will rejoin the Wulugul walk and, as we make our way back to the Barangaroo wharf take in the fabulous, reimagined foreshore complete with its 10,000 large blocks of sandstone.

The ferry gives us unique views of the Glebe Island Bridge, Pyrmont and Balmain, all examples of transformed industrial waterfront of the inner harbour.

Meeting Place: The walk commences at 1.00 pm with a short briefing. The Blackwattle Bay ferry wharf located close to Bellevue Cottage at the end of Oxley St Glebe. The ferry departs at 1.11 pm and costs $6.20 each way, or $3.10 each way for those with concession cards. Pay by contactless (credit/debit) card onboard the ferry. No Opal cards operate on this ferry. We will return to Glebe on the ferry departing at either 2.56 pm or 3.26 pm. The length of the walk is around 3.5 km with minimal steps/stairs.


The Glebe Society in Action: 50 Years of local activism

with Alison & Ted McKeown, 1 May, 2 pm-4 pm.


Glebe owes much of its character to the actions of the Glebe Society, established in 1969. Founders, Kate and Bernard Smith, lived in Avenue Road; and we will pass their home as we make our way through Glebe to explore the many places and spaces that the Glebe Society was instrumental in preserving, improving or creating.

On this Walk, we will see exceptional heritage buildings, saved from demolition or restored; intact streetscapes; the foreshore walk and waterfront parks that have transformed Glebe’s industrial waterfront; the sites where battles to stop ugly blocks of flats were won and lost, the communities, parks and heritage buildings saved at the eleventh hour from demolition for the radial expressways that would have decimated Glebe; and the Glebe Estate that was saved when Tom Uren and others – including the Glebe Society – prevented its sale to developers. These, and so much more, including some unsuccessful campaigns (and campaigns yet to come!) to keep Glebe vibrant and safe from overdevelopment.

Our walk will include Toxteth House, Bidura, Ferry Road (scene of early 70s protests), Walter Burley Griffin Incinerator, Lyndhurst, historic sandstone paving in Cardigan Street, the old Post Office, St Phillip’s Estate, The Valhalla, Glebe Tram mural, the Light Rail, to name just a few.

If you are new to the Glebe Society, this walk will provide a perspective on the Society’s influence on Glebe and Forest Lodge and our community over half a century!

With overdevelopment in many neighbouring suburbs, we have fought to preserve Glebe’s heritage, low-rise character, green spaces and sense of community.

Meeting place: Outside St Scholastica’s, corner of Avenue and Arcadia Roads. Finish: Toxteth Hotel.


Radical Glebe: sites & stories of ferment in the 60s/70s

with Meredith Burgmann, Helen Randerson, Heather Goodall, 5 June, 2.30 pm-4 pm


We will stroll down Glebe Point Rd and visit the addresses where CAMP Inc, Gay Lib, Women’s Lib and the Sydney University Labor Club were established in the 1960s/1970s. Gleebooks and its interesting early history will be followed by the NSW Prisoners’ Action Group’s half-way house and its next door neighbour the Sydney Anarchists. We will talk about the Elsie Women’s Refuge in Westmoreland Street, the first of its kind in Australia; the HQ of the anti-Springbok campaign in Darghan St; the Green Ban protests and squatter action at Lyndhurst; the NSW Council for Civil Liberties in St John’s Rd; Tranby Aboriginal Co-operative College where Eddy Mabo studied; and Glebe Town Hall which was the venue for protest meetings and radical fundraisers.

We will finish at the famous Forest Lodge Hotel which was the epicentre of anti-Vietnam and anti- conscription agitation. You may like to stay for a drink (participant’s expense) for more conversation and stories!

Leaders: Meredith Burgmann, Helen Randerson and Heather Goodall. All are long-time residents of Glebe/Forest Lodge and well known as social activists and researchers.

Meredith is a Labor Party member and a former President of the New South Wales Legislative Council, and co-author of ‘Green Bans, Red Union: The Saving of a City’. Helen is a researcher focusing on inner-city areas as places of radical activity. Heather is Professor Emerita of History at UTS, whose research interests include Indigenous histories and relationships in Australia.


The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: 100 years of infill housing (Repeat Walk)

with Ian Stephenson,16 June, 2.30 pm-16.30 pm


This walk explores the Lyndhurst, St Phillips and Bishopsthorpe estates and includes the renewal of the historic church estates by the Commonwealth government from 1974 and the work of the NSW Housing Commission’s Inner City Housing Team in the 1980s to remediate the demolitions made for the Western Distributor and insert sympathetic low- rise infill into Australia’s most intact inner-city suburb. It includes historic houses, terraces, apartments, adaptive re-use and the 2011 Glebe Affordable Housing Project. There will be a particular focus on the 1980s infill housing which is to be demolished for eight-storey buildings in Cowper St.

The Walk commences at the corner of Bridge Rd and Lyndhurst St and will finish at the Nag’s Head Hotel in Forest Lodge.

Duration is 2 hours, distance 3.5 kilometres.

A detailed handout will be given to all attendees.


The Toxteth Estate, Jubilee Park and Orphan School Creek (REPEAT Walk – POSTPONED from 3 April)

Back by popular demand! This is the second of two walks scheduled, both covering the Toxteth Estate.

Glebe is a great place to walk, with heritage streetscapes, significant historical buildings, the foreshore walk, parklands and a rich social and industrial history.

This walk, through the Toxteth Estate, will be led by Max Solling, well-known local historian, with a reputation for revealing little known stories of our neighbourhood.

The walk will begin with a talk by Max, and then will continue, covering the Toxteth Estate, Jubilee Park and Orphan School Creek.

A detailed handout will be given to all attendees.


Walks planned for the second half of 2022

  • Tracing architectural house styles in Glebe (Ian Stephenson)
  • University of Sydney’s sandstone buildings: a stroll around the heritage precinct (Katharine Vernon)
  • University of Sydney’s new Health Research Precinct: contemporary architecture and state-of-the-art research
  • Forest Lodge: a History Walk (Max Solling)
  • Sporting History of Glebe (Max Solling)


Past Walks

The Toxteth Estate, Jubilee Park and Orphan School Creek

with Max Solling, 27 March 2022

This walk, through the Toxteth Estate, will be led by Max Solling, well-known local historian, with a reputation for revealing little known stories of our neighbourhood.

It begins with a talk by Max, and then will continue, covering The Toxteth Estate, Jubilee Park and Orphan School Creek. A detailed handout will be given to all attendees.


Harold Park to Rozelle Bay – layers of history and renewal

with Jan Macindoe, 17 March 2022

You are invited to join Jan Macindoe in exploring the swampy end of Glebe. Allen’s Glen (aka Frog’s Hollow, Harold Park and more) has been transformed many times. These changes reflect the many, and sometimes sudden, changes in technology and transport over time, and even changes in accepted ideas of how to have fun on a Friday night.

Beginning at the Tramsheds, and helped by old maps and photos, we will look for evidence of the original landscape, and its varied uses and stories, as we wander from Harold Park, along the canal (now being ‘naturalised’) to Rozelle Bay. We will aim to end our wander at the former Toxteth House, as we try to imagine it in its splendid forest setting in the mid-nineteenth century.

For a report on the event, see Harold Park to Rozelle Bay: layers of history and renewal.


The Blackwattle Foreshore from Glebe Point Rd to the new Fish Market

with Asa Wahlquist, 13 March 2022

Wander from the end of Glebe Point Rd around part of the foreshore walk, fought for so vigorously by the Glebe Society, to the new Fish Market development site. Learn of the history of the foreshore including indigenous occupation and dense waterfront industrial sites, heritage houses and modern apartment buildings and observe and learn about marine life, vegetation, water quality, the use of the Bay and the impact of development. View the extensive work on the new Fish Market site. Finish at the Kauri Hotel – and maybe stay for a drink.

Asa Wahlquist is an Australian journalist. For over forty years she has been writing and speaking on environmental issues, focusing mainly on Australian climate and water issues.  Asa is also the Glebe Society’s representative on the New Sydney Fish Market Community Consultative Committee. 

For a report on the event, see A Glebe foreshore journey with an ecological theme.


The Good, Bad and the Ugly: Glebe Infill Housing

with Ian Stephenson, 6 February 2022

This walk explores a century of infill housing in Glebe including cottages in the St Phillip’s Estate built by the Church of England, new apartments built by the Commonwealth as part of the Glebe Project, followed by the remarkable work of the NSW Housing Commission’s Inner City Housing Team in the 1980s. The walk includes apartments, cottages and adaptive re-use, the 2011 Glebe Affordable Housing Project on the old Wentworth Estate and the proposed Prince’s Quarter in Cowper St.

The walk will be led by Ian Stephenson, current Glebe Society President and Planning Convenor. Ian is on the
Board of the National Trust and has worked in the museum and heritage field for over 30 years including as Director of Historic Places in Canberra, with the National Trust in NSW and SA and for the University of
New England.

For report on the Walk, see The Good the Bad and the Ugly: a hundred years of infill housing in Glebe.