View Full Version : Syd Report: Riding and having fun at Kurnel is over.

11-10-2006, 04:17 PM
I thought I would show you guys and gals this article I wrote. Soon to be published in a local newspaper.
Lamenting the rape and sell out of the Kurnel Penisula in Sydney's south. My area.

Kurnel is dead history

As far as off road riders and horse riders are concerned Kurnel Peninsula is dead!
Finished. A no-go area for any future fun and recreation on two wheels or on a four-legged steed.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service, Holt Industries and big business have destroyed it.
All along the Kurnel Road (Captain Cook Drive) from the Cronulla turn off towards Kurnel, the land is all being put aside for future housing estates or Resorts.
Serenity Cove. Cooks Cove. A couple of other sites with similar sounding names.
The sand dune area where we used to spend weekends and evenings blasting over the dunes is a no-go area controlled by Holt Industries, complete with barbed wire fences and a sentry box where city slicker 4x4 drivers can pay a fee to drive around and pretend they are really off road.
All along the dunes from Green Hills to Voodoo Point the sand is being reclaimed by thick green scrub that is forming an impenetrable barrier. So it’s not like even hikers will be able to walk around the place unless they have a flamethrower and a machete.
Voodoo Point (which is what local surfers call the area marked on maps as Cape Billy) is now a tarred road, with a gate that is locked by a security patrol at sunset. Local surfers have been screaming about this for a while now. Numerous local surfers have had their vehicles locked in at night.
The ironic thing is that the tarred parking area at the Point is now a hell of a lot smaller than before, when people simply drove down a rutted dirt track and parked on the rocky foreshore.
No more off road riding or horse riding on that large foreshore area, less one incur the wrath of the local NPWS, who I am assured, have no hesitation in calling the Police out at the drop of a hat should a rider of either type dare to venture into the area.
As a 50 year old surfer told me today. “ Kurnel is rooted mate. Nothing like it was I was growing up in the Shire. We used to surf here, ride our dirt bikes, have barbeques down on the beach as we watched the sun set. That’s all over now. The joke is that once the NPWS took over the whole sand dune area and the Point people got so discouraged they simply stopped coming here. Every weekend about 20 years ago hundreds and hundreds of people used to be out here having fun. Surfing, dirt biking, horse riding. Now the dunes are overgrown with crap scrub. No one is allowed to dirt bike or horse ride, and there sure as hell isn’t anyone bushwalking through the new scrub. Place is a ghost of it’s old self.”
I mentioned all the soon-to-be-housing estates signs.
“Ah yes, another sell-out by the local industries and the Government. Get rid of the dirt bikers, the horse riders, the weekend familles out here having fun and you can
“reclaim” the land and start selling it off to make millions of dollars in profit.
Holt industries claimed they stopped dirt bikes riding in the 4x4 park because of accidents with four wheelers…simple solution would have been to have alternating days for 4x4’s and bikes. Even to the stage of making sure the bikes were registered for insurance purposes. Even making a one way marked route to avoid head on accidents. But they weren’t interested. Always been very anti-biking from what I can make out.”

The beach next to the horse riding school near Towra Point was another favourite destination of local dirt bikers. They could blat up and down the beach all weekend long without bothering anyone. That also is now gone, again taken over by NPWS and becoming part of Towra Point nature reserve. Again a place few people ever visit these days. At odds with the hundreds of people who used to ride bikes there and later in the evening have barbeques and enjoy a quiet spot of fishing.

My question is this…what was so wrong with the area the way it used to be?
Over the course of a year literally thousands of riders frequented the place, from all over Sydney.
Since they have stopped coming in these years past hardly anyone visits any of the areas at Kurnel that I have listed.
Tourists go to visit the Captain Cook monument. They never go anywhere near the other places.
As far as the majority of us are concerned Kurnel is just a piece of dead history.
No more sand dune surfing. No more dirt biking. No more horse riding. No more barbeques down at the Point or atop the (now scrub covered) sand dunes.
It was a deserted wasteland of scrub and sand before riders of bikes and horses started to utilise the place.
It is a deserted wasteland of scrub bush again.
RIP Fun.