Berry Island Reserve and the Gadyan Track

Last updated: May 6, 2023

Berry Island Reserve is a green recreational space in Wollstonecraft, featuring a short bush walking track, picnic areas, a fenced playground, and panoramic Sydney Harbour views.

The bushwalk, known as the Gadyan Track, is the perfect way to experience the beauty and serenity of this unique spot located only a stone’s throw away from the city.

Keep reading to learn more about the history behind Berry Island, how best to get there, and where to park your car.

How to Get There

Berry Island Reserve is very easy to travel to, by car as well as by public transport.

The reserve is located at the end of Shirley Road in Wollstonecraft. Free street parking is available on this road, or otherwise a bit further away.

The Wollstonecraft train station is located about 0.5 km north of the reserve.

Catch a train from Wynyard in the city directly to Wollstonecraft station and walk along Shirley Road all the way to Berry Island Reserve.

Map of Berry Island Reserve

About Berry Island Reserve

Now a peninsula, Berry Island used to be one of Sydney Harbour’s islands. It is connected to the mainland of Wollstonecraft by a man-made grassy area.

Berry Island Reserve in Wollstonecraft
The reserve is connected to Wollstonecraft

In the early 19th century, Berry Island became part of a large land grant made by Governor Macquarie to Alexander Berry and Edward Wollstonecraft, an Australian business partnership.

In 1926, along with Balls Head Reserve, Berry Island was dedicated as a nature reserve for public recreation.

Berry Island Reserve
Berry Island Reserve

Initially attached to the mainland by a small stone causeway over mud flats, in the 1960s, the causeway was transformed into a large grassed area created with relocated soil and other materials.

Playground on Berry Island

Berry Island Reserve is now a pleasant recreational spot with BBQs, picnic areas, a fenced playground, a large grassy area, a short circular walking track, and even a small beach.

Dogs are also more than welcome in the reserve, but they must be on a leash.

The Gadyan Track

The short but fascinating Gadyan Track is a 750 m circular walk that loops its way around Berry Island.

Start of the Gadyan Track
Start of the Gadyan Track

The starting point of the track is marked with a large signpost and information board with interesting background information about the walk, the island, and its significance to Aboriginal people.

Berry Island, along with other spots along the Harbour shoreline, was of significance to Aboriginal people as there was plenty of fish and shellfish to eat.

Gadyan Track in Berry Island Reserve
Views from the Gadyan Track

In addition, the various sandstone overhangs provided much-needed shelter against cold temperatures and shade against the hot sun.

Gadyan is a local Aboriginal (Cammeraygal) word for the Sydney cockle, a shellfish common in and around the island.

Berry Island Reserve as seen from Manns Point in Greenwich
Berry Island as seen from Manns Point

The short walking track guides visitors along several rock engravings and shell middens. One particular engraving stands out as one of the biggest engravings ever found in Sydney.

As you start the walking track, one of the first things you’ll notice is the large oil tanks in Greenwich on the other side of the bay.

Greenwich oil tanks
Greenwich oil tanks

Now operated by Viva Energy, the Gore Bay Terminal has been an important fuel import and storage facility since 1901.

The tanks are a bit of an eyesore, but the terminal is still an essential part of the fuel supply chain in New South Wales, supplying fuel to the Sydney cruise and maritime industries.

Aboriginal Engraving Site

One of the highlights of the walking trail is a large Aboriginal engraving on a flat rocky surface.

The well-preserved engraving resembles a 10-metre large creature with a boomerang shape near the tail and a large circle shape in the centre.

Aboriginal engraving site on Berry Island
Aboriginal engraving on Berry Island

Next to the engraving is a small yet deep rock pool and two shallow grooves.

As noted on the information board, it is believed that the pool functioned as freshwater storage, and the grooves are a result of grinding the edges of stone axes to sharpen them.

Lookout Point

A short side track leads to a small wooden lookout point at the southernmost point of the Berry Island peninsula.

Views from Berry Island Reserve
Views from Berry Island Reserve

It’s a fun and unpretentious lookout with scenic views of Greenwich in the west, Waverton and Balls Head Reserve in the east, and Barangaroo Reserve in the south straight ahead of you.

From the lookout, the trail continues along the island’s shoreline back to the large grassy area at the entrance to the reserve.

The Gadyan Track
Distance: 750 m (circuit)
Duration: 30 minutes
Grade: Easy
Dogs: On a lead

Berry Island Reserve



  1. There is some good exploring in that area. Walk to Greenwich Wharf as your destination and you will see lots of great scenery. Cyclists can enjoy it too if they take a bike lock. Search for Wollstonecraft on biketrail dot blog.

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