top of page

Tracing the Mailman Track:
Mt Olive to Ironbark

tour leader

Bernadette Flynn


Mt Olive, Donovan's Forest, Popran, the mailman track

time & date

9.00am -4.00pm

Sunday 15th October 2023

fitness level

Moderately hard (bush walking experience required)

10 kms

ticket price



  • Traverse the first section of the early bridle mailman track 

  • Hear stories about the Donovans of Ironbark Creek and life for the creek dwellers in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

  • Tessellated platform engravings, rare plants, magnificent sandstone ridges and views into the valley.

the tour

Join Bernadette Flynn for a new exploration of the historic mailman route - on a journey to trace the bridle route from the post office at Ironbark Creek to isolated homes along the ridges and valleys towards the Central Coast. Our tour starts at Mt Olive to take in expansive views of the surrounding countryside and orientation towards Mount Yengo. We visit an area of rare coastal basalt Diatreme Forest (produced by volcanic intrusions) and hear the strange stories of bigamy and 'horse whispering' associated with the Donovans of Donovan's Forest. Along the track physical evidence of an older culture can be seen in tessellated platform engravings. Descending towards the valley we walk among magnificent honey-comb weathered rock shelters and pass through 'the eye of the needle' to view Ironbark Creek and surrounding farmland. Our guides share histories of the creek dwellers in the 19th and 20th centuries - from runaways, squatters, and itinerant timber getters to currency lads and lasses and multi-generational farmers.

the guide

Dr Bernadette Flynn is an historian and heritage professional with a passion for researching the layered histories of the Lower Hawkesbury River. Bernadette is the owner and inspiration behind Heritage Ventures which she established in 2022 to introduce people to the delights of Dyarubbin and its tributaries. Previously she has curated events as the General Manager for the Historical Houses Association and has run tours for the National Trust and as manager of Griffith Pioneer Park Museum. Bernadette's knowledge of hidden places off the beaten track is complemented by expertise in the flora of the sandstone region.

bottom of page