The COVID-19 lockdown has motivated an increasing number of people to visit Munibung Hill. Not that Brian Gunther needed any introduction to Munibung Hill; that all started over 36 years ago.
Brian is a ‘frequent flyer’, who regularly gets an exercise workout walking one of the many tracks Some of his travels can be up to 6 km long.
Brian is very familiar with the layout and terrain of Munibung Hill. The year was 1985. There was a festival at Speers Point Park. Brian took his two daughters. They walked across the Hill from their home in Sacramento Street, Macquarie Hills.
“We crossed over Lawson Road onto what was then land that we knew as The Commons, (it’s now a large housing estate), along the road access that is Lucilla Ridge to Sixth Street, Boolaroo then on to Speers Point Park,” recalls Brian. It was the first time Brian had walked the Hill. His wife drove around later to pick them up.
“The grassy track, as it was back then, led up the first shoulder that is now badly eroded, turned right, walked along a spur, up another steep section and on to the top,” says Brian. “As we all know, the views from this spot are stunning.”
They were the days – a lot less hustle and bustle, less traffic to contend with. The Park at Speers Point, then as now, was a great meeting place.
Brian used to walk across the eastern slopes of Munibung Hill from Sacramento Street, through Lakelands to Warners Bay for work (1972).
“There’s been a lot of change and development over the last 35 years and the need for open space and areas like that afforded by Munibung Hill, are more important than ever. I say ‘afforded’ in the best sense of the word. We can’t ‘afford’ to let these green spaces be slowly eroded away by neglect or shrink in size by expanding urbanisation,” Brian said.
“The increased number of people visiting Munibung Hill since the start of the coronavirus pandemic demonstrates the need to protect places like this.”
“It’s not just locals who make up the numbers. People come from across the Newcastle region.”
Recollections by Brian Gunther. Macquarie Hills. 3 May 2020.
(From MMM, Issue # 16, February 2021)