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.
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 is usually up 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 email@example.com to indicate your interest in a repeat Walk.
For more detail, see below.
Friday 17 February 2023
[Postponed from 2022]
Contemporary architecture and leading-edge medical research – Tour of Sydney University’s new health precinct
Dorothy Davis and Uni of Sydney guide
More about upcoming walks …
Tour of contemporary architecture and leading-edge health and medical research precinct at Sydney University
See two wonderful examples of innovative architecture on the University campus and hear about state-of-the-art health research and teaching.
We will visit the Charles Perkins Centre and the Susan Wakil Health Building on the University campus, behind the Sports Ovals. Our tour will cover both the architectural aspects of the buildings and the biomedical research and clinical teaching undertaken in both.
The Charles Perkins Centre is named after the celebrated Indigenous leader with links to Glebe. The Centre’s research focuses on obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Inside the foyer, you will be transfixed by its grand six-storey atrium with cantilevered balconies. Centre staff will guide us through laboratories on restricted floors, explaining some interesting research projects.
The Susan Wakil Health Building was designed by several world-famous international architects. Located at the intersection of two waterways historically significant for the Gadigal people, the Susan Wakil Building was designed as an extension of the landscape. Its shaded gardens, terraces, ledges and paths extend the spaces of learning, reflection, and social exchange into the outdoors. Water cascades from Upper Wakil to Lower Wakil and down towards the rest of the campus. The building is purpose-built for medicine and health disciplines. We will visit its facilities, including clinical simulation teaching spaces, research labs, a lecture theatre and a rehabilitation gym.
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)
- Forest Lodge: a History Walk (Max Solling)
- Sporting History of Glebe (Max Solling)
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: 100 years of infill housing (Repeat Walk)
with Ian Stephenson,16 June 2022
This walk explored the Lyndhurst, St Phillips and Bishopthorpe 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 was a particular focus on the 1980s infill housing which is to be demolished for eight-storey buildings in Cowper St.
Radical Glebe: sites & stories of ferment in the 60s/70s
with Meredith Burgmann, Helen Randerson, Heather Goodall, 5 June 2022
Starting at Gleebooks we talk about the origins of Glebe’s radical past and and the interesting early history of Gleebooks. We 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, followed by the NSW Prisoners’ Action Group’s half-way house and its neighbour that housed the Sydney Anarchists.
We 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 finish at the famous Forest Lodge Hotel, the epicentre of anti-Vietnam and anti-conscription agitation.
The Glebe Society in action: 50 years of local activism
with Alison & Ted McKeown, 1 May 2022
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. We 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 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 includes Toxteth House, Bidura, Ferry Road, Walter Burley Griffin Incinerator, Lyndhurst, historic sandstone paving in Cardigan Street, the old Post Office, St Phillip’s Estate, The Valhalla, Glebe Tram mural, Light Rail, to name just a few.
A great introduction to the work of the Glebe Society in preserving Glebe’s heritage, low-rise character, green spaces and sense of community.
Discover Barangaroo Headland, by foot and ferry
with Katharine Vernon & Phil Young, 20 April 2022
Barangaroo’s headland reserve has transformed a disused container terminal on the edge of the CBD into a unique native parkland reserve; and honours the significance of Barangaroo, a Cammeraygal woman who was an influential voice in the early days of colonial Sydney.
We take the ferry from the Blackwattle Bay wharf to the Barangaroo stop and then 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.
We then stroll around the extensive landscaped parkland full of maturing native plants, with views of the harbour and Goat Island, before heading down the gentle slope to the northern part of the reserve. Here we rejoin the Wulugul walk and take in the fabulous, reimagined foreshore complete with its 10,000 blocks of sandstone.
The ferry ride gives unique views of the Glebe Island Bridge, Pyrmont and Balmain, all examples of transformed industrial waterfront of the inner harbour.
The Toxteth Estate, Jubilee Park and Orphan School Creek
with Max Solling, 27 March 2022
This walk, through the Toxteth Estate, is 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 this walk, 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 was 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
For report on this walk, see The Good the Bad and the Ugly: a hundred years of infill housing in Glebe.