Waterways: North and North West

North Shore


Buckham Falls, Shrimptons Creek

Shrimptons Creek
Approximately 3.3 kilometres in length, Shrimptons Creek flows from south to north in a reasonably straight direction, emptying into Lane Cover River in Lane Cove National Park. Shrimptons Creek Parklands is comprised of seven parks (Santa Rosa Park, Flinders Park, Tindarra Reserve, Greenwood Park, ELS Hall Park, Booth Reserve and Wilga Park) that lie adjacent to this creek. The creek rises in Santa Rosa Park at Denistone East. Shrimpton Creek is named after Second Fleet convict Richard Shrimpton (1764-1827). He received a 50-acre land grant in the Eastern Farms District (bounded by Modern Quarry and Bridge Roads, Ryde), land through which the creek flows. By 1802 he was cultivating numerous crops on the banks of the creek, employing two free men and a convict. Shrimptons Creek flows over Buckham Falls (also known as Blaxland's Falls) between Talavera Road and the Lane Cove River. Located in a narrow and generally unvisited section of Lane Cove National Park, it can be accessed via a rough track which commences at the end of Christie Road, and then doubles back towards Shrimptons Creek when it reaches the river.

Porters Creek
Emptying into the western banks of the Lane Cove River, Porters Creek was originally part of the Field of Mars Common. It has its source in North Ryde. The stream is today piped under the North Ryde Waste Transfer Station then flows through a velocity dissipator and then in a normal creek channel to the Lane Cove River. Much of the creek is located within the non-residential suburb Macquarie Park, which is a parcel of crown land that was given over for use as a memorial cemetery in the early part of the twentieth century (the first burial on the site was in 1922). Porters Bridge was constructed during the Depression of the 1930s to provide unemployment relief. The stone came from quarries within the National Park near Porters Creek. Porters Creek is named after Richard Porter, a Pymble orchardist who grew up on his parent's farm at Kissing Point.

Blue Gum Creek
This creek originates in west Chatswood and flows through urban bushland to meet the Lane Cove River near Fullers Bridge. The first permanent settlement in the area was north of Blue Gum Creek where, in 1814, William Henry established a hut and vineyards on the present Fullers Park which he called Millwood Farm. Other settlers followed Henry into the valley, gaining access to their properties from the river. Robert Baker established an orchard on what is now The Pines picnic area and his kitchen building remains within the park workshop area. The Schwartz family farmed the area upstream of Baker, below their home which still stands in the park. North of De Burghs Bridge was the Brown family, after whom Browns Waterhole is named. The majestic Blue Gum trees along the Lane Cove River and its tributaries, for which the creek was named, were first harvested for Governor Macquarie s great building programs in the 1810s, and were floated down the river to the port of Sydney.

Archers Creek
Recalls Isaac Archer, who was granted 80 acres through which this watercourse runs. Isaac Archer was a private in Capt. Campbell's company of marines and he received his grant of land from Governor Phillip in 1972.

Swaines Creek
The alluvial soil along the eastern banks of the Lane Cove River between Blue Gum Creek and Swaines Creek were developed as orchards by the Jenkins and Fuller families. Thomas Jenkins (1829-90) was born in the Lane Cove district and opened a fruit business in York Street Markets in 1847. It remained a family business until 1963. The woods after which Chatswood was named are believed to have been located on or around Swaines Creek. Chatswood is derived from the name Chattie's Wood. Charlotte Harnett, the wife of early developer Richard Hayes Harnett, used to wander from the Harnett Estate near the present Chatswood Railway Station to paint in the nearby woods. Her husband named them Chattie's Wood. Swaines Creek is believed to have been named after John Swaine who was granted land in the area in 1818.

Mars Creek
Mars Creek takes its name from the Field of Mars. The area was named by Governor Phillip the 'Field of Mars', Mars being the ancient God of war, named to reflect the military association with these new settlers. Today's Field of Mars Reserve is the remnant of a district which once extended from Dundas to the Lane Cove River. These grants were followed soon after by grants to ten emancipated convicts in February 1792, the land being further to the east of the marines grants, thus the area was called Eastern Farms or the Eastern Boundary. By 1794 the name Eastern Farms had given way to Kissing Point, a name believed to have originated from the way in which heavily laden boats passing up the Parramatta River bumped or 'kissed' the rocky outcrop which extends into the river at today's Kissing Point. Mars Creek flows under the M2 Motorway toll plaza at Macquarie Park and enters Lane Cove River nearby.

Rudder Creek
Thought to recall timber merchant Enoch William Rudder. Rudder was a Birmingham manufacturer who migrated to the Colony of New South Wales in 1834. Like many newly arrived entrepreneurs, he hunted cedar for export. He passed through the Lane Cove area briefly before his explorations led him to the Macleay River in 1835, which Europeans had discovered and named only a few years earlier. Rudder was the first settler on the east bank of the Macleay River and established Kempsey. The valley of Rudder Creek, like many small creeks in the Sydney region, has yet to be rehabilitated to its natural state and is still overrun by non-native plants.

De Burgh Creek
The name recalls Ernest Macartney de Burgh, who designed the first bridge over the creek in 1899. It opened on 23rd February 1901. It was situated downstream from the current bridge, within metres at the southern end, and about 20 metres away from the current bridge at the northern end. The bridge consisted of a single De Burgh timber truss which, at 50 m, was the longest timber truss span ever built in Australia. Unfortunately the old bridge was destroyed by bushfire in January 1994. One can see the northern abutment on the ground, and can also see parts of the supporting piers from the vantage point of the current bridge. The creek enters Lane Cove River downstream from the bridge. De Burgh was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, London.

Kittys Creek
Possibly named after Kitty Ingally, whose is listed as a 10 year old child among the Kissing Point people in the 1836 Returns. The Ingally family lived in the vicinity of this creek at what is today East Ryde. Kittys Creek has been subject to bush regeneration works.

Camp Creek
Recalls a logger's camp in the area.

Links Creek
A small creek that rises in the bush surrounding the Gordon Golf Course. Links Creek flows into Falls Creek. Golf courses were once known as golf links.

Little Blue Gum Creek
Like most of the Lane Cove Valley, the area around Little Blue Gum creek was logged for its tall, upright trees. Turpentine, used to build wharves from as far a field as the London Docks. Black Butt which is still one of Australia's most important commercial timbers and of course Sydney Blue Gum, which once supplied the government store in the 1800 s with ships timbers and house planks. Based on old photographs the bushland around Little Blue Creek has been returned to its pre-European settlement condition. A short raised boardwalk follows the creek from the corner of Lady Game Drive and Grosvenor Road, Lindfield.

Twin Creeks
A creek in the upper reaches of Lane Cove River that forks near its head. One branch can be accessed from Browns Field on Campbell Drive, Fox Valley, the other from Twin Creeks Reserve, Turramurra. The reserves have good walking paths, but with some rough or steep sections. Allow 3 hours for a round trip walk.

Avondale Creek
Tis creek has its source near the railway line at Turramurra. It then flows through Sheldon Forest and alongside Avondale Golf Course until being impounded by Avondale dam. It then flows for a further 1km before emptying into Lane Cove River.

Carters Creek
There are still a few Aboriginal sites in the Lane Cove Valley containing rock carvings of kangaroos, an echidna, animal tracks and human-like drawings. The carving of a wombat and a sea-creature, as well as axe-grinding grooves, can be found near the headwaters of Carters Creek.

Coups Creek
This 2km long creek is the closest tributary to the source of Lane Cove River. It rises in The Glade Reserve behind Abbottsleigh Senior College at Normanhurst. Coups Creek and the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway form the western boundary of the Ku-ring-gai Council area. The creek was named after the Coups family. Peter Coups, born between 1795 and 1803 (sources vary) near Manchester, England, was convicted with two others for Theft and Transported in December 1818 to New South Wales, arriving in 1819 aboard the Baring. He was granted a Ticket of Leave on 28 July 1825. Peter Coups married Hannah Martin in May 1830. They settled in the Fox Valley area and had four children.

Brickmakers Creek
Brickmakers Creek is prominently located in the popular Boronia Park Reserve in Hunters Hill. Brickmakers Creek flows through Boronia Park Reserve, over Tipperary Falls and into Lane Cove River and Sydney Harbour. Nearby clay pits were once used in the manufacture of bricks, hence the creek's name.

Pittwater, Northern Beaches and Middle Harbour

McCarrs Creek

McCarrs Creek
Located within Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, the creek's source is in a recreation reserve near Mona Vale Road, Tumbledown Dick not far from the head of Wirreanda Creek. The upper section is quite shallow before it drops to a ten metre wide pool at Upper Gledhill Falls. The main site starts as a six metre wide pool at then becomes very narrow, ending at a lower pool at Lower Gledhill Falls. McCarrs Creek Road, which runs along much of the northern section of McCarrs Creek, is sealed and it is frequently used as a tourist drive as the bushland scenery here is very pretty. Upper Glenhill falls are near the National Park's south-eastern entrance off McCarrs Creek Road below the first bridge across the creek when approached from Terrey Hills. The valley of the gorge in which the water cascades offers the best view of the falls and the pool, however there is no path down so great care must be taken if attempting a descent into the gorge.

Originally named Pitt Inlet by Gov. Phillip, it has appeared on maps in the 1830s as South West Arm. The origin of the name is not known and to add to the mystery, there is no record of a settler in the area by that name in the early 1800s when the name first began appearing on maps. Back then it was spelt "MacAa's Creek", which indicates it could be an abbreviation of a longer "Mac" name, either starting with A (eg. MacAlpine) or R (eg. MacRoberts). It has been theorised that the person in question might be John Macarthur of The Rum Rebellion fame. He owned a farm at Pennant Hills from which naturalist George Caley embarked in 1805 to explore a ridge from Thornleigh to Fox Valley, Warrawee and Turramurra and then on to Cowan Creek. Caley would have crossed the creek in his travels and may have named it after the expedition's benefactor. The name began appearing on maps soon after Caley's journey. UBD Map 117 Ref F 13

Wirrenanda Creek
A tributary of McCarrs Creek, it runs from north of Mona Vale Road down to the main creek which flows into Pittwater. The upper section of the creek is three metres wide and becomes shallower as it moves downstream. The western side of this sub-catchment is mostly cleared for semi-rural use. The eastern side lies in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and the remaining area is made up of reserves and public land.

Cicada Glen Creek
While camping beside the creek, early explorers found the sound of cicadas deafening, hence its name. Cicada Glen Creek begins near Mona Vale Road then flows through Ingleside and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park before flowing into McCarrs Creek at McCarrs Creek Reserve in Church Point. It Cicada Glen Creek begins as a six metre wide pool lined with boulders and rocks then becomes narrow and shallow. There are a number of illegal weirs and dams built on the creek.

Crystal Creek
Crystal Creek is a tributary of McCarrs Creek. As its name suggests, Crystal Creek is a comparatively pristine waterway that is small and undeveloped, lying completely within the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, and is therefore relatively undisturbed. It begins as a shallow six metre pool then drops twenty metres down a waterfall into another shallow pool. It contains many smaller rock pools which are home to Freshwater Crayfish although we were unable to find any.

Cahill Creek
A short watercourse at the southern tip of Pittwater. It rises near Suzanne Road Bayview, and is joined by two smaller branches within Bayview Golf Course. It enters Pittwater through a lined channel at Winji Jimmi Bay. Known as Winnererremy Swamp in the early days of European settlement, the name was applied to the Bayview area. Water drained into the swamp from the surrounding hillsides and flowed into Pittwater through a meandering mangrove lined channel called the "Newport Maze" on the eastern side of Pittwater Road. Later, the creek was known as Shaw's Creek after the local blacksmith, who also built boats near the creek. Changes to the waterway were undertaken in 1920 by New Zealand sheep farmer John Orr, who developed the golf course, through which the waterway still flows, though much reduced in scale. Orr ran sheep on the property, and, as he and his wife were golfers, he constructed six holes for their amusement. This was a difficult task amidst swampland, but the Orrs mounded dirt up to plant the first fairways; then gradually filled in the rest.


Salvation Creek Falls

Salvation Creek
Salvation Creek flows into Pittwater through Lovett Bay. Lovett Bay is named after John Lovett who lived here in 1836. It was named Night Bay in the survey of 1869. It rises in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park near the junction of the Wallaroo and Salvation Loop Walking Tracks. The creek was made famous by the Susan Duncan books "Salvation Creek" and "The House".

Saltpan Creek
A short watercourse on the Barrenjoey Head peninsula. It empties into Salt Pan Cove on Pittwater.

Careel Creek
Careel Creek is a short watercourse on the Barrenjoey Head peninsula. The creek begins near the Avalon Recreation Centre and flows into Pittwater at Careel Bay.

McMahons Creek
Situated in the Crown of Newport Reserve, McMahons Creek flows between Newport Beach and Bilgola Plateau. The creek is shallow and narrow, lined with rocks and boulders. Residential properties surround the main body of the Reserve containing the creek. Sections of the creek have had to be reconstructed with sandstone boulders, after collapsing due to residential development nearby.

Katandra Creek
Located on the edge of the Katandra Bushland Sanctuary. It is situated on the face of the Ingleside escarpment, overlooking the Warriewood Valley and Mona Vale. Within the sanctuary there is a shallow pool which intermittently flows down a rocky landscape to another shallow pool. The site is lined with boulders and is shaded by rainforest vegetation.

Narrabeen Creek
The name is possibly an Aboriginal bird name or an Aboriginal woman named Narrabin. Another source suggests it is an aboriginal name for a source of fresh water. The name first appeared on the maps of Surveyor James Meehan in 1814 as Narrabang Creek. In 1830, the lakes were first called Narrabine Lagoon. Narrabeen Creek flows into Millet Creek near Jacksons Road, North Narrabeen. Narrabeen Creek flows from Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park to Narrabeen Lagoon. The creek has been used as a stormwater channel for a long time and in 1995 it was determined as the most polluted creek in the Pittwater Council area. The banks have been modified, a detention basin, two gross pollutant traps and a culvert have been installed, and a small wetland has been constructed in the lower sub-catchment in order to try and improve the quality of the creek.

Fern Creek
Descriptive of the vegetation that was dominant in the creek's valley.


Mullet Creek

Mullet Creek
Flows into Narrabeen Lakes close to where they enter the ocean at North Narrabeen. The creek commences as a spring above Monash Country Club, Ingleside. It is dammed at the golf club. A branch of Millet Creek rises further north, in the vicinity of King Road, Ingleside. The two branches join near Irrawong Reserve, Warriewood. Mullet Creek passes over a series of three falls, the most easily accessed being the lower falls which is a short level walk from the corner of Irrawong Road and Epworth Place, Warriewood. Featured is a rock overhang which provides shelter for picnickers and a pool which for years has been a popular swimming hole for local children. UBD Map 138 Ref A 11

Deep Creek
Deep Creek flows into Narrabeen Lakes from the north. Its name is presumably descriptive.

Middle Creek
Not to be confused with Middle Harbour Creek nearby. So named because it is the middle of three creeks that flow into Narrabeen Lakes. Middle Creek makes two drops into the valley of picturesque Oxford Falls Recreation Reserve where Oxford Falls Road fords the creek at Oxford Falls. Interestingly, the falls are not on Oxford Creek, as could reasonably be supposed. Together they are the highest falls in the Sydney metropolitan region, however there is no viewing platform, and the only way to see them is from the head of the falls or from the valley below, which is dense bushland. UBD Map 157 Ref B 13

Oxford Creek
A tributary of Middle Creek. The creek was originally named Bloodwood Gully, because of the made bloodwood trees that grew here. Its name was changed to Oxford Creek in 1902 when the suburb of Oxford Falls was gazetted. The suburb of Oxford Falls north of Sydney formed out of a land grant made to Alexander Bowen and takes its name from a set of waterfalls at Middle Creek. Formerly a farming district, Oxford Falls has remained semi rural with the suburb surrounded by national park land. The origin of the name is not known.

South Creek
So named because enters Narrabeen Lakes from the south.

Meandering Creek
A tributary of Middle Creek. The name is descriptive.

Wheeler Creek
Wheeler Creek forms part of the border between the suburbs of Oxford Falls and Cromer. The name of the creek and the nearby suburb of Wheeler Heights is taken from a pioneer European settler, James Wheeler, who purchased land here and built a home for his family near the creek in 1836.

Snake Creek
A tributary of Oxford Creek, the creek rises in the vicinity of Glenaeon Retirement Village in Glenaeon Avenue, Belrose.

Middle Harbour Creek
So named because it is the major creek to flow into Middle Harbour. It was at a rocky bar separates the salt waters of Middle Harbour from the fresh water of Middle Harbour Creek, that an exploration party dispatched by Captain Arthur Phillip camped on the night of 16th April 1788. It was the first of a number of inland treks dispatched by Phillip in his quest to find land which could provide a reliable food source for the colony. After having landed at and named Manly the previous day, they followed Middle Harbour to this spot, which was described by a party member as "the most desert wild and solitary seclusion the imagination can form any idea of". Except for the bush track which takes you there, this little corner of paradise looks today exactly as it would have done to Phillip's band of pioneers. Access is via one of the many walking tracks in the National Park, or by the Founders Way Walking Track which roughly follows the path taken by the explorers of 1788 as they headed out of the valley towards what is now Pennant Hills after their overnight sojourn at Bungaroo. The 1.5 km track has its entrance off Hunter Avenue, St Ives and winds down to the spot where Phillip's party camped. Signposts along the track provide historical background and information on the flora and fauna. Bungaroo is Aboriginal name for the Salt Water Turtle. UBD Map 175 Ref L 2


Frenchs Creek Lower Falls

French's Creek
A tributary of Middle Harbour Creek, its name recalls James Ffrench, a special constable and crown land ranger, who came to the area also named after him - Frenchs Forest - in 1856 and acquired 46 acres. After Oxford Falls, a pair of waterfalls on the upper reaches of Frenchs Creek would have to be the most visually stunning of all waterfalls of the inner Sydney metropolitan area after rain. Located off the badly eroded Frenchs Creek Walking Track in Garigal National Park, they consist of a pair of giant steps a hundred or so metres apart over which the creek flows on its way from the top of the escarpment into the valley below. Access to the top of each falls is good, however for the best view (from the rock pools at their base) one has to struggle down a steep, rugged hillside while pushing through dense undergrowth. This is quite dangerous, especially after rain when the foliage overhead and ground underfoot is damp, slippery and unstable. Unfortunately, this is when the falls are at their most spectacular. Access is via the walking track at the end of Wannita Road, Belrose. UBD Map 156 Ref B 13

Bare Creek
A tributary of Middle Harbour Creek. The creek flows west through Garigal National Park, while the steep headwaters originate to the North of the sub-catchment, immediately South of Mona Vale Road.

Fireclay Gully
A tributary of Middle Harbour Creek, its name recalls a brickworks established beside by the creek in 1885 by the Hews family on land purchased from pioneer settler, James Ffrench.

Borgnis Creek
A tributary of Middle Harbour Creek, which first flows into Frenchs Creek north of Davidson. The creek takes its name from Bornis Reserve, Davidson, where it begins. A section of The Cascades Track in Garigal National Park follows Borgnis Creek.

Carroll Creek
Carroll Creek is a tributary of Middle Harbour Creek, it has its source in the ridges of Belrose in an area known as Sorlie.


Gordon Creek

Gordon Creek
Gordon Creek is a tributary of Middle Harbour Creek, the name Gordon had its origin as the Gordondale Estate, the estate owned by Robert McIntosh in what is now the suburb of Gordon. McIntosh's estate had in turn taken its name from the Parish of Gordon, in the County of Cumberland named in the Surveyor-Generalship of Sir Thomas Mitchell (1828-1855). This parish roughly corresponded with the area of the Shire of Ku-Ring-Gai, gazetted in 1906. The name Gordon was allocated by Mitchell to honour a superior officer and friend, Sir James Willoughby Gordon, who held the position of Quartermaster-General of the Horse Guards, London.

Rocky Creek
Rocky Creek is a tributary of Middle Harbour Creek, its name is descriptive. The creek rises in Richmond Park, Gordon, and flows through Gordon Park under the name of Stony Creek. It is joined by High Ridge Creek at Governor Phillip Reserve, where it becomes Rocky Creek.

High Ridge Creek
High Ridge Creek is a tributary of Rocky Creek that eventually flows into Middle Harbour Creek. Its name is probably called High Ridge Creek because its source is in the high ridges of St Ives.


Moores Creek

Moores Creek
Moores Creek is a tributary of Middle Harbour Creek, its name recalls Thomas Moore who owned Echo Farm from the 1880s and was also the owner of land on the plateau of East Roseville. Moore probably used the access track now known as Griffith Avenue to reach the area near Roseville Bridge where he carried out boat building. Moores Farm Cottage was where today stands Roseville Golf Course. Little Diggers Track: a pleasant walk through the bush around Moores Creek starts at the corner of Merlin Street and Roseville Avenue, Roseville along the Little Diggers Track. This well maintained track follows Moores Creek through a fern gully. Along the way you pass numerous caves where evidence of Aboriginal habitation has been found, passing Casuarina woods, Llewellin Falls, Carlyle Falls, Little Falls, Babbage Falls and Goblers Glen. Continue on via the Two Creeks Track to Middle Harbour, or a shorter walk, enter or exit the track via an accessway at the back of the children's playground on Carlyle Road. The falls beyond the bridge across Moores Creek near Carlyle Road is unusual in that the water does not flow over the rocky ledge of the falls but through it, the falls themselves being inside a rock ledge. UBD Map 175 Ref M 13

Flat Rock Creek
A short creek, and one of two creeks by that name that flow into Middle Harbour. This one rises on the Killarney Heights headland. It tumbles down the escarpment in a number of spectacular falls and races before entering the bay at the head of Flat Rock Beach. The beach and the falls behind it can be accessed via the Flat Rock Walking Track from Killarney Point, from a track at the end of Killarney Drive and from the Magazine Track which passes behind the historic Bantry Bay explosives compound. Access to the falls at various stages of its descent into the harbour is available off the Killarney Drive track but should not be attempted unless you are a confident bushwalker. UBD Map 196 Ref K 3

Greendale Creek
Greendale Creek flows into Curl Curl Lagoon. Its named is derived from the home of pioneer settler William Frederick Parker who carved his farm out of the heavy bushland of the valley with the help of convict labour. A small village named Greendale grew near the house but its name was changed to Brookvale as there was already a Greendale in Sydney, near Bringelly.

Brookvale Creek
The name is believed descriptive of the locality where the son of pioneer settler William Frederick Parker built Brooklands House in 1877 on the site of Warringah Mall Shopping Centre.

Manly Creek
So named because it flows into Manly Lagoon. The name Manly was bestowed by NSW's first governor Arthur Phillip who first explored Middle Harbour in 1788 and noted that the male Aborigines had a "manly and noble bearing". He called the locality where he made first contact with them Manly Cove.

Burnt Bridge Creek
Burnt Bridge Creek is a tributary of Manly Creek, the name is probably derived from the fact that a bridge built across it in the early days of settlement was burnt down.


Bates Creek Falls

Bates Creek
Bates Creek flows into Bantry Bay. Named after 2nd fleet convict Thomas Bates who became a soldier after his emancipation. Thomas later ran a successful boat building business on the shores of Cockle Bay (Darling Harbour). Thomas's business prospered and he bought land in other parts of the colony, including 80 acres at Gordon and 60 acres at Hunters Hill. Bates Creek flowed through his Gordon property. The creek flows over a 16 metre high waterfall deep in the relatively untouched bushland of Garigal National Park at the northern end of Bantry Bay. Featuring evidence of Aboriginal occupation in the overhangs nearby, the falls are hard to reach these days as a track to the base of them was swallowed up by regenerating bush after a fire swept through the valley in the 1980s. Access, such as it is, is via the Cook Street Track which has entry points in Cook Street and Currie Road, Forestville. The Bay and Magazine Tracks take bushwalkers past three smaller races and falls on the Main Creek. The Bay Track can be accessed from the eastern shore of Bantry Bay or from the end of Grattan Crescent. When walking the Bay Track you will come across the Natural Bridge Track. The natural rock bridge to which it leads is nestled deep in the valley and takes the track over Main Creek. The track continues up the steep hill to the Bluff Lookout which offers panoramic views south across Bantry Bay. UBD Map 176 Ref G 13

Camp Creek
This creek rises in North Willoughby and flows into Crag Cove, Middle Harbour. Settlement of the area dates from 1858 when the first land grants were made, although growth was slow due to isolation, precipitous land and access being limited to the water. It is believed the creek received its name as it was by it that the pioneer settlers first camped.

Sugarloaf Creek
This creek rises in North Willoughby and flows into Crag Cove, Middle Harbour. The creek's name is derived from The Sugarloaf, a large rocky headland where Crag Cove and Castle Cove meet at Sugarloaf Bay before entering Middle Harbour. Butt Park, named after Francis Walter Butt, a Willoughby resident and Alderman 1937-41, is located on Eastern Valley Way. It is in this small reserve that Sugarloaf Creek passes over a natural rock ledge in a waterfall, and then under Eastern Valley Way and through a rainforest before entering Crag Cove. The waterfall and pool into which it pours is a natural feature, however the creek prior and after the falls and pond has been channelled underground. UBD Map 196 Ref D 10. Downstream from Eastern Valley Way, the creek flows over another much larger falls. Here, the water cascades into a 15 metre high semi-circular rock overhang into a pool, and then passes over and around giant boulders. This extremely picturesque falls is accessed by a rough walking track from a small reserve alongside 71 Sunnyside Crescent, Castlecrag.
UBD Map 196 Ref F 11.

Scotts Creek
Scotts Creek flows into Castle Cove, Middle Harbour. Scotts Creek is recognised as one of the most degraded watercourses within the Willoughby Council area. It runs from the Chatswood CBD and industrial area to the beautiful Sugarloaf Bay. The high number of point sources entering the bushland and the physical characteristics of Scotts Creek means that the whole of the creek is receiving polluted urban runoff. To assist in the regeneration of bushland adjacent to Scotts Creek, at Muston Park, the concrete channel that once was part of Scotts Creek has been turned into a natural watercourse again. The channel was relined with sandstone and weirs were created.


Flat Rock Creek, Artarmon

Flat Rock Creek
Flat Rock Creek is one of two creeks by that name that flow into Middle Harbour, this one rises at Artarmon and enters the harbour via Long Bay, Northbridge. Flat Rock Gully was once a natural valley with waterfalls, and a tidal estuary. Naremburn Falls, which flowed into Flat Rock Gully at present day Bicentennial Reserve at Halstom Park, was the highest waterfall in the Sydney region. Amazingly, it was filled in as a rubbish tip win the 1920s after residential development upsteam had reduced the creek's flow to a trickle. The bush of upper Flat Rock Gully provides habitat for some rare plant and animal communities and forms a valuable natural resource for environmental education. Though Naremburn Falls no longer exist, the creek still flows over a series of pretty cascades and down through the steep valley now occupied by Munro Park and Tunks Park before emptying into Long Bay and Middle Harbour.

A walk up the valley to the cascades is a rewarding experience. The view upwards as you pass under the Northbridge Suspension Bridge is not something one sees every day. Beyond the bridge is the rock quarry from which stone for the bridge piers was hewn and brought to the construction site by barge. The path then wanders through the serene natural bushland of the upper valley. After the path crosses the creek via stepping stones, the valley narrows and becomes a gorge. Here the creek passes over a series of picturesque cascades. Two steep paths lead from the cascades to Flat Rock Gully Reserve and Bicentennial Reserve on Small Street, Willoughby. Dawson's Track passes the ruins of the stone house of a hermit Fatty Dawson.
UBD Map 22 Ref P 5

Hawkesbury River

These creeks flow into the Hawkesbury River


Cowan Creek

Cowan Creek
Cowan Creek is the same name as that of the village of Cowan. It was first recorded in 1826 when William Bean sought a land grant, but it was officially known through most of the 19th century as "The South West Arm". The origin of the name is open to conjecture. It is said to be named after a place in Scotland, however it is also said to be of Aboriginal origin, meaning 'big water'. The south branch of Cowan Creek rises in North Pymble Park, Birubi Avenue, North Pymble, and flow north through Cowan Creek Reserve.

Yeomans Creek
A creek which flows through the northern section of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, and empties into Yeomans Bay in Cowan Creek.

Coal and Candle Creek
An arm of Cowan Creek extending south-east from Cottage Point. A name of uncertain origin. It is possibly a corrupt form of the name of Colin Campbell who lived in the area. It could also refer to a rock formation above the creek. The name was first recorded in 1879. It has also been suggested that a Colin Campbell was commissioned in 1900 to record Aboriginal engravings in the area, hence the name. Others consider the name derives from a peculiar rock formation said to resemble a heap of coal and an outsize candle.

Smiths Creek
Smiths Creek extends to the south-east from Cowan Creek upstream of Cottage Point. The 1828 census lists a Thomas Smith, aged 30, working at Pittwater as a labourer to John Farrell. The name appears on an 1894 Lands Department map.

Kierans Creek
Kierans Creek is a tributary of Cowan Creek, it rises at Terry Hills near JJ Melbourne Hills Memorial Reserve in Mona Vale Road.

Waterfall Gully
Waterfall Gully is a tributary of Kierans Creek, it rises in St Ives north of Killeaton Street. Ku-ring-gai Creek: a tributary of Cowan Creek Tree Fern Gully Creek: a tributary of Cowan Creek which rises in Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden in St Ives.

Neverfail Gully
Neverfail Gully is one of two creeks of that name that empties in the Hawkesbury. This short creek flows into Kierans Creek in Dardabong Reserve, Terrey Hills.

Cockle Creek
Cockle Creek is one of Cowan Creek's longest tributaries, Cockle Creek begins as Spring Gully Creek at the end of Burns Road, Wahroonga, and flows north before entering Cowan Creek at Bobbin Head. It is named as Gibberagong Creek on several maps, Gibberagong meaning "plenty of rocks". In the mid-19th Century shell beds, especially those comprised of Aboriginal middens, were harvested here and burnt to produce lime which was then shipped to Sydney to be used as mortar.

Lovers Jump Creek
A tributary of Cockle Creek which has its source in Turramurra near Burns Road. It flows north through a recreation reserve before entering Cockle Creek at the Gibberagong Waterholes.

Winson Gully
A tributary of Cowan Creek which rises in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park at Mt. Kuring-Gai and enters Cowan Creek through Winson Bay.


Apple Tree Creek

Apple Tree Creek
Apple Tree Creek rises at Mt. Colah and drains into Apple Tree Bay on Cowan Creek. The creek was probably named because it ran into Apple Tree Bay. Apple Tree Bay was named by Surveyor Larmer in 1832, his map showed an apple tree on the bay's northern entrance. Larmer tended to use prominent trees as points of reference.

Yatala Creek
This creek flows north from near Cowan into Jerusalem Bay on Cowan Creek. Campbells Creek: Campbells Creek rises near the freeway north of Cowan and drains into Porto Bay, south of Brooklyn.

Taffys Gully
Taffys Gully drains into Porto Bay, south of Brooklyn. There is no information regarding the name's origin.

Porto Gully
This small creek flows into Porto Bay Harry and Henry Gonsalves, two Portuguese fishermen and boatbuilders in the 1880s ran their business from Porto Bay into which the creek flows. Another source says the name is the misspelling of Porter Bay as recorded on early maps; origin unknown.

Seymours Creek
Seymours Creek drains into the western end of Sandbrook Inlet south of Kangaroo Point. William Seymour was a pioneer settler of the Peats Ferry district. Vincent William Seymour, a retired mariner, settled here around 1860. An 1885 Lands Department map shows Seymour as the owner of the land through which the creek flows.


Marramarra Creek

Muogamarra Creek
Muogamarra Creek rises in Bird Gully Swamp in Muogamarra Nature Reserve, Cowan, and flows north to the Hawkesbury River.

Mangrove Creek
Mangrove Creek is a descriptive title, but who named the island is not known.

Joe Crafts Creek
Joe Crafts Creek drains into Mangrove Creek just above the weir. The name derives from Joseph Craft Snr. who took up 20 acres of land here in 1821, the name of his farm being 'Primrose Hill'.

Racemosa Creek
Rising in Berowra Heights near Warrina Street, this short creek flows into Joe Crafts Creek.

Neverfail Gully
Neverfail Gully extends to the east of Mangrove Creek along an unnamed stream opposite Neverfail Island.

Calna Creek
Calna Creek rises in Asquith and enters Berowra Creek downstream from Crosslands. Probably an Aboriginal word.

Lyrebird Gully
Lyrebird Gully runs north-west from Mount Ku-Ring-Gai into Calna Creek and then into Berowra Creek. Presumably named because the birds were plentiful in the area.

Gleeson Creek
Gleeson Creek is a short watercourse that flows north-west from the end of Chestnut Road, Mt. Colah, to Calna Creek.

Loddon Creek
Loddon Creek is a short watercourse that flows north-west from the end of Jessica Place, Mt. Colah, to Calna Creek.

Walls Gully
A watercourse which, from it junction with Loddon Creek, becomes Calna Creek. It rises near Wall Avenue, Hornsby Heights, before flowing north through Berowra Valley Regional Park.

Grimson's Gully
Grimson's Gully enters Walls Gully in the upper reaches of Calna Creek, a tributary of Berowra Creek. Charles Grimson (1876-1938) bought land in the gully below Old Berowra Road which included Breakfast Creek. He served in both the Boer War and World War I, and later became a recruiting sergeant in Hornsby.


Berowra Creek

Berowra Creek
Berowra Creek is a major waterway that runs through Galston Gorge and enters the Hawkesbury River at Bar Island. The name is mentioned in Mrs. Felton Mathew's journal, 1833. Previous names include Fish Pond Creek and Thornleigh Gully. The term Berowra may come from an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of many winds'. Banggarai Creek: a short watercourse which flows west from near the end of Berkeley Close, Berowra Heights, through Berowra Valley Regional Park to Berowra Creek.

Sams Creek
Sams Creek rises near the Pacific Highway south of Berowra and drains westward into Berowra Creek. Said to have been named after an Aborigine of that name who lived in a nearby cave.

Waitara Creek
Waitara Creek flows into Berowra Creek in its upper reaches. Waitara Creek rises in Normanhurst Park, Harris Road, Normanhurst. Old Mans Creek: drains from Old Mans Valley west of Hornsby and then joins Waitara Creek which runs into Berowra Creek. Is is said to have been named by early timber getters on account of the large number of Old Man Kangaroos in the area.

Jimmy Bancks Creek
A tributary of the upper reaches of Berowra Creek, this short creek flows east from between Webb Avenue and Nursery Street, Hornsby.

Larool Creek
A creek which flows north from around Sefton Road, Thornleigh, into Waitara Creek.

Tedbury Creek
A tributary of Berowra Creek, Tedbury Creek rises alongside Edmundson Close, Thornleigh, and flows north-west through Berowra Valley Regional Park.

Nyrippin Creek
A tributary of Berowra Creek in its upper wages, Nyrippin Creek flows east from its source near Boundary Road, Cherrybrook.

Pyes Creek
Pyes Creek rises near West Pennant Hills and enters Berowra Creek to the west of Hornsby. James and Thomas Pye were among the first settlers in this area having been granted 60 acres in 1819. They also inherited from their emancipist father, John Pye (1769-1830), several farms in the Baulkham Hills district. Pyes Creek rises near Woodgrove Avenue, Castle Hill.

Georges Creek
Georges Creek rises at Round Corner and runs into Pyes Creek, a tributary of Berowra Creek. Possibly associated with Frederick George, who in the 1920, claimed to have the largest chicken hatchery in the southern hemisphere at Thornleigh.

Tunks Creek
Tunks Creek rises near Dural and enters Berowra Creek in Galston Gorge. William Tunks, a marine who came with the First Fleet, had descendants who settled in the Mobbs Hill area. One of these is thought to have found Tunks Creek.

Carters Gully
Carters Gully runs east from Dural, flowing into Tunks Creek and Galston Gorge and Berowra Creek.

Cabbage Tree Hollow
Cabbage Tree Hollow runs east from Galston, flowing into Tunks Creek and Galston Gorge and Berowra Creek.

Waddells Gully
Runs south-east from Galston to join Tunks Creek in Galston Gorge. James Waddell left Ireland and settled in the Galston area in the 1840's where his son, William Waddell (1824-1918) became a well-known orchardist.

Galston Creek
Located north of Hornsby where the Hornsby-Galston road crosses Berowra Creek. The road through Galston Gorge was constructed between 1891-1893 using men left unemployed as a result of the 1890s depression. Surveyor Ebsworth surveyed the route and put in seven hairpin bends on the steep eastern side of the gorge. The two wooden McDonald Truss bridges were built from materials that had been man-handled down the cliffs with ropes and pulleys. The name Galston was suggested by Alexander Hutchison who came from a village of that name in Scotland. The name was officially adopted in 1887.

Still Creek
Rises near Galston and enters Berowra Creek at Crosslands. Probably associated with John Still (1797-1867) who owned land in the Dural area.

Charltons Creek
A tributary of Still Creek which enters Berowra Creek at Crosslands. Matthew Charlton bought 43 acres at what was later named Crosslands in 1856. He had been granted four acres on Marramarra Creek in 1831.

George Halls Creek
Drains into Still Creek which then runs into Berowra Creek at Crosslands. Named after George Hall who had the first land grant in the Dural area in 1819.

Crosslands Creek
Enters the western shore of Berowra Creek adjacent to the ferry crossing. Shown as Dust Hole Creek on a Lands Department map of 1891.

Little Cattai Creek
Taken from the name of the local Aboriginal tribe, the Cattai. Cattai Creek: taken from the name of the local Aboriginal tribe, the Cattai. Colah Creek: Colah Creek rises near Dural and drains into Marramarra Creek. It was first seen on Major Mitchell's 1834 survey map. Colah is an Aboriginal word from which the name koala was derived. It is thought that Colah comes from the Aboriginal word meaning anger.

O'Haras Creek
O'Haras Creek rises near Derriwong Road, Round Corner, and flows north through Kenthurst and Middle Dural.

Blue Gum Creek
Blue Gum Creek flows north-west from Kenthurst.

Smalls Creek
Smalls Creek flows north-west from its source near Victoria Road Reserve, Castle Hill. Castle Hill Creek: a tributary of Cattai Creek, Castle Hill Creek rises in Castle Hill Heritage Park, Glenhaven, and flows west through the suburb of Castle Hill.

Caddies Creek
Possibly a derivation of Cattai, the name of the local Aboriginal people.

Elizabeth Macarthur Creek
This creek rises in Bella Vista near Westood Way. It flows into Caddies Creek. Elizabeth Macarthur was the wife of colonial pastoralist, John Macarthur.

South Creek
South Creek is the largest watercourse, running north from western Sydney and the Cumberland Plain to the Hawkesbury River. It flows north from Catherine Field, through Rossmore, Badgerys Creek, St Marys, Werrington and Llandilo, before emptying into the Hawkesbury River near Windsor.

Eastern Creek
The origin of the name is unknown. It may well have received its name by being the eastern border to a farm or land grant. Otherwise, it may well be called Eastern Creek because it is the major eastern tributary of South Creek, which is the main waterway running north-south from the Hawkesbury River. Eastern creek rises near Horsley Park and passes thjrough Eastern Creek, Doonside, Schofields and Riverstone before entering Eastern Creek at Vineyard. Sparse scattered stone fragments have been found along this creek line giving it Aboriginal significance. The Darug used the swimming holes along the stretches of this creek.

Breakfast Creek
Breakfast Creek is a tributary of Eastern Creek. It rises in Ashlar Golf Course, Blacktown and enters Eastern Creek near Quakers Hill. Breakfast was enjoyed here by early explorers.

Claremont Creek
Claremont Creek's name is taken from the name of the property of William Cox at Windsor. He acquired Claremont in 1822.

Bells Creek
Bells Creek recalls local property owner, Alexander Bell, who discovered an alternative route over the Blue Mountains, via Richmond, which is named after him. Bell arrived in Sydney on the Young William, with his wife and seven children, on 12th July, 1807, as an ensign in the 103rd Regiment, New South Wales Corps. When he played a prominent role, as the officer in charge of the guard at Government House, during the Rum Rebellion on 26th January, 1808, he was the next day made magistrate for the Hawkesbury in place of Thomas Arndell, a Bligh supporter.

Boundary Creek
Boundary Creek is a small creek that flows into the Nepean River to the north of Penrith.

Werrington Creek
One of the first and largest grants in the Werrington area was in 1806 to Mary Putland, the widowed daughter of Gov. William Bligh. She married Sir Maurice O'Connell a few years later and in 1910 received a further grant of 1,055 acres in 1810 on which they built their home, Werrington House. The creek flowed through their property.

Blaxland Creek
John Blaxland elder brother of explorer Gregory Blaxland. He was granted a large parcel of land in the area in 1815 by Gov. Macquarie which he named Luddenham Estate.

Cosgroves Creek
Cosgroves Creek is believed to be named after William Cosgrove, a servant to Gregory Blaxland. He accompanied Macquarie on his trip to the Cowpastures in 1815 and became a settler and constable in the Parramatta district.

Oaky Creek
Origin unknown, possibly after the casuarina trees which were originally called oaks.

Bungarribee Creek
There are areas along Bungarribee Creek of importance to the Darug Aboriginals who lived along this creek. Believed to be the Aboriginal name of the creek, Aboriginal name the name was first recorded as the name of the home of settler John Campbell, built in 1824. Bungarribee Creek flows into Eastern Creek, which flows into South Creek and then into the Hawkesbury River. There are five tributaries along its length.

Badgerys Creek
Badgerys Creek recalls a free settler, James Badgery, who was granted 640 acres through which the creek flowed. He named it Exeter Farm.

Fosters Creek
Rises near Berrilee and drains into Calabash Bay in Berowra Creek. John Foster was a prominent settler in the district in the 1870s.

Nicholsons Creek
A tributary of Banks Creek which runs into Calabash Bay in Berowra Creek. The name is possibly associated with a Mr Nicholson who was living in the Arcadia area in 1885.

Marramarra Creek
Marramarra Creek rises at Dural and enters Berowra Creek nears its confluence with the Hawkesbury. Earlier maps show the name as Mother Marrs Creek which is almost certainly a corruption of the aboriginal name. Both names were in use at least by 1833 when Mrs. Felton Mathew noted in her diary: 'Went up Marramarra Creek, or as it is usually called Mother Marr's Creek, a corruption probably of its native name...'. Marrar means fish, so the name could identify the place as good for catching fish.

Sugee (or Sugar) Bag Creek
Believed to be derived from the Hindu word 'suki', a type of flour made from Indian corn. This was imported into the area from India in sacks marked 'Suki' when local crops failed or were inadequate.

Popran Creek
The origin of the name unknown.

Webbs Creek
Enters the western shore of the Hawkesbury opposite Wisemans Ferry. James Webb (1763?-1848) arrived with the Second Fleet in 1790 as a member of the New South Wales Corps. After discharge in 1794 he worked as a shipwright and acquired land along the Hawkesbury. In 1822 he was said to be living at 'Lower Branch' when he sought permission to launch a vessel of 15 tonnes. He was the first European settler at Brisbane Water, where in 1823 he was granted a temporary right to occupy land. Surveyor Matthew's survey map of 1833-34 shows James Webb owned 530 acres on the western shore of Webb's Creek at its confluence with the Hawkesbury.


Mooney Mooney Creek

Mooney Mooney Creek
The name is of Aboriginal origin though its meaning is not known.

Nagles Gully
Nagles Gully enters the eastern shore of the Hawkesbury about two kilometres downstream of Wisemans Ferry where Mill Creek joins the river. Thomas Nagle lived here; he died in 1867. This was the site of a tidal mill owned by James Singleton, the first person to operate such a mill on the river.

Pumpkin Point Creek
Pumpkin Point Creek rises at Canoelands Ridge and drains eastward to enter the Hawkesbury River at Pumpkin Point. Messrs Hourston, Griffith and Johns obtained land grants along the creek in 1831 but the creek is unnamed on the survey map of that same date. It would seem plausible that pumpkins were grown in the valley and that the creek was so-named.

Ironbark Creek
Ironbark Creek rises near Mangrove Mountain and runs south-west to enter Mangrove Creek downstream from the Bedlam Creek confluence. Named after the timber that was extensively logged in the area during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The name is shown in one of Surveyor Larmer's notebooks for 1833. Richard Woodbury was granted 50 acres in 1830 opposite the confluence of the creek with Mangrove Creek, the farm to be known as 'Cherry Hill'.

Crabtree Gully
Crabtree Gully enters the Colo River south of Colo Heights: a Crabtree's Wharf at Wilberforce is mentioned as being in use in 1823. Hugh Crabtree had land here up to 1834.

Dalgetys Creek
Dalgetys Creek rises east of the Old Northern Road and enters the Hawkesbury downstream from One Tree Reach. Samuel Gonnerman Dalgety was granted 85 acres here around 1840 and the name is presumably associated with him. He married Elizabeth Wiseman of Lower Hawkesbury on 11 March 1840.

Coopers Creek
Rises near Maroota and then enters Dalgetys Creek which joins the Hawkesbury at One Tree Reach. A parish map of Frederick shows a cooper owned land near Weavers Ridge to the east of the Old Northern Road and the name may recall him.

Ashdale Creek
Ashdale Creek rises near Maroota and runs into Layburys Creek which enters the Hawkesbury on its southern shore opposite Gunderman. There is no information regarding the origin of its name.

Layburys Creek
Eenters the Hawkesbury on its southern shore opposite Gunderman.

Leets Creek
Recalls Israel Leet, an early settler and shipbuilder of the area. Stone Drain Creek: the creek enters the Hawkesbury River at Pacific Park, via a long man-made channel carved through solid rock. In places this channel is 7 metres deep. Floodgates once operated in the stone drain.


Colo River

Colo River
When Ensign Francis Barrallier explored the area in 1802, the local Aborigines told him that the Aboriginal name for the marsupial we know to day as the koala was colo. It is from this name that the river received its name and from which the name koala is derived.

Redbank Creek
The origin of the name is not known.

Seymours Creek
Seymours Creek drains into the western end of Sandbrook Inlet south of Kangaroo Point. William Seymour was a pioneer settler of the Peats Ferry district. Vincent William Seymour, a retired mariner, settled here around 1860. An 1885 Lands Department map shows Seymour as the owner of the land through which the creek flows.

Cascade Gully Cascade Gully enters the Hawkesbury due north of Milson Island at the site of the wreck of HMAS Parramatta. Named for the impressive waterfall which flows after heavy rain.

Washtub Gully
Enters the eastern shore of Berowra Creek just upstream of the ferry crossing. The gully contains two deep rock holes filled with running spring water in which early settlers did their washing, hence the name. The name appears on an 1891 Lands Department Map.

Breakfast Creek
The creek at the northern end of Old Berowra Road, where Grimson's Gully and Wall's Gully meet, behind Rofe Park, derived its name in the following way. Before the arrival of the railway, in the 1880s and preceding motor transport, fishermen and settlers along Berowra Creek rowed to the headwaters, moored their boats and followed the bush track along Calna Creek to join the Peat's Ferry Road to Sydney. Leaving Berowra Creek early in the morning they would breakfast near where Wilkinson's Dairy stands, and the place became known as Breakfast Creek.

Lane Cove River: Tributaries

Lane Cove National Park lies within the area of the Kuring-gai people, whose territory stretched from the northern shore of Sydney Harbour to Broken Bay. Early European colonisers of the areas reported several different groups or clans inhabiting the valley, including the Cameraygal and Walumedegal. The exact boundaries of these groups is not known, although it is thought that the Cameraygal inhabited the lower north shore of Sydney west to the Lane Cove River whilst the Walumedegal lived west of the Lane Cove River through Ryde to Parramatta. In February 1790 Lieutenant Clark made a number of journeys up the Lane Cove River (believed to have been called Turrumburra  by the Aboriginal people) at the instigation of Governor Phillip to establish good relations with the Aboriginal communities. He visited an Aboriginal camp and shared their meal of mussels.

Shortly after however relations between the Kuring-gai people and the new arrivals deteriorated. European settlement was devastating to the Aboriginal people living along the Lane Cove River. Land was cleared for farms and forests were cut down to provide fuel and building materials. Aboriginal people lost access to their camping and food gathering areas and were forced into the territory of neighbouring groups. In the first decade of European settlement there were at least two serious outbreaks of disease which decimated the Aboriginal population. By 1797 the Aboriginal community of the Lane Cove valley were reported to be actively resisting the new settlers, and were responsible for burning a house and killing some hogs. Native raiders  were mentioned again in 1804 and 1809, but there are no later references to Aborigines living in the area.

There is only limited evidence of Aboriginal occupation of the Lane Cove River remaining today, due to the long history of European occupation and use of the valley for farming and recreation. The construction of the weir, which flooded much of the river banks, also probably destroyed many sites. Around 40 Aboriginal sites have been recorded in the park including shelters, cave art, rock engravings, middens and grinding grooves. There is only limited evidence of Aboriginal occupation of the Lane Cove River remaining today, due to the long history of European occupation and use of the valley for farming and recreation. The construction of the weir, which flooded much of the river banks, also probably destroyed many sites. Around 40 Aboriginal sites have been recorded in the park including shelters, cave art, rock engravings, middens and grinding grooves.

Two of the art sites, one containing a sunburst motif which is the only known example in the Sydney region, and the other the only known four-footed macropod north of the harbour, and a shelter with archaeological deposit are considered to be of State or regional scientific importance. The macropod engraving is the only site which may be suitable for interpretation. Public visitation to Aboriginal sites within the park is not actively promoted due to the fragility of the sites and the difficulties of interpretation. A number of sites in the park have been heavily vandalised and covered with graffiti.

During the first 100 years of European settlement the Lane Cove river was relatively deep. There were few mangroves along the edges of its foreshore. By 1880, McLoughlin reports that mudflats had built up along the edges of the river due to disturbance caused by timber getting, clearing for farms and the extension of unsealed roads and that the mangroves were thickening. Between 1912 and 1920 the mangroves expanded (particularly around the Corn Factory) and further upstream. Wherever sediment built up, the mangroves took hold. By 1985 the mangrove belt had grown considerably in height and completely taken over the shoreline, including many rocky slopes where they grow in small patches of mud caught in the crevices of even steep cliffs.

The creeks below has the best public access of the tributaries of Lane Cove River.


Devlins Creek

Devlins Creek
The name recalls James Devlin, pioneer of the Pennant Hills district who owned a 470 acre farm on what today is the western side of the railway line between Epping and Eastwood. Devlin was a wheelwright, government contractor, and builder of Ryde House (1845), later called Willandra. The first move towards the formation of a township at Ryde took place in April 1841 when local landowners James Shepherd and James Devlin offered a number of building lots for sale at public auction. Devlin's subdivision was near St. Anne's church. The Lane Cove Valley Walk and Whale Rock Circuit give access to the valleys of Devlins Creek, the upper Lane Cove River and other lesser tributaries. You can make your walk as long or as short as you like, from an hour around Devlins Creek to a full day's trek taking in Wahroonga, Pymble, Killara, Chatswood West, East Ryde and Gladesville (following the Great North Walk). A walk from the end of Boundary Rd, North Epping to Browns Waterhole and return is some 4 km in length and takes in Whale Rock and Hanging Rock, numerous water races and Aboriginal rock art. Easy to moderate, including fording Devlins Creek. How to get there: drive by car to end of Boundary Rd, North Epping. Follow walking track.

Terrys Creek
Terrys Creek flows through an area of Blue Gum High Forest that grows on shale derived soil. The canopy trees are Sydney Blue Gum, Turpentine and Blackbutt. The under storey is a diverse mix of rushes, vines, ferns and shrubs. Scarred trees of Aboriginal origin (used in the making of bark canoes) have been found in this area. The main canopy species is the Grey Myrtle which is a rainforest species typical of creek lines in Sydney. The large trees in this area are Sydney Red Gums, noticeable by their reddish trunk, and are thought to be over 200 years old. A popular walking track alongside Terrys Creek runs between Vimiera Park (Essex Street) and Dence Park (Stanley Road), Epping. Vimiera Park is approx. 1km walk from Eastwood Railway Station, Dence Park is approx. 1km walk from Epping Railway station. Terrys Creek is named after an early resident, Samuel Terry of Hutchinson Terry & Co., pastoralists in the 1820s.

Buffalo Creek
Buffalo Creek was probably named after HMS Buffalo, a ship on which Captain Raven and Captain Kent, both landholders in Ryde, sailed. Buffalo Creek Reserve occupies the lower reaches and mouth of Buffalo Creek. Originally it was part of the floodplain and much of it was covered with saltmarsh vegetation with some mangroves along the creek. At the end of the 19th Century there were relatively few mangroves but their extent expanded greatly when the creeks and Lane Cove River silted up as a result of urban development. Buffalo Creek Reserve occupies the lower reaches and mouth of Buffalo Creek. Originally it was part of the floodplain and much of it was covered with saltmarsh vegetation with some mangroves along the creek. The Reserve adjoins Sugarloaf Point to the north, which is a valuable pocket of eucalypt bushland covering an almost conical hill on a small promontory. It became part of Lane Cove National Park in 1998 and is home to the endangered frog, the Red-crowned Toadlet. Sugarloaf Point is cut off from Field of Mars Reserve by Pittwater Road but is linked to the Lane Cove National Park conservation area by the narrow corridors of bush along the river's edge. At Sugarloaf Point the banks of the river were damaged by sand mining in the 1960s but the eucalypt area is extremely well preserved.

A former garbage tip has been landscaped into a picnic area, playground, playing field and toddlers' bike track. It is an access point for the Great North Walk (Sydney to Newcastle) built in 1988. From Buffalo Creek Reserve walkers can follow the Great North Walk to the south through narrow strips of bushland and reach Boronia Park and Hunters Hill or the north through the Lane Cove River valley to Thornleigh. The boardwalk through the mangroves gives excellent access to the mangrove forest. At low tide visitors can observe animals such as crabs and snails. It is an excellent site to observe the contrast between wet and dry environments.

Strangers Creek
In 1804 Governor King set aside the Field of Mars Common for the use of all members of the local community. It was about 2.2 kilometres wide and extended along Lane Cove River from Boronia Park to Pennant Hills and to Eastwood. Between 1885 and 1900 most of the common was sold to provide more land for settlement except for 45 hectares of land between Strangers Creek and Buffalo Creek. This was set aside by the newly formed Ryde Municipal Council as an area for public recreation. The area remained undeveloped and stayed as a patch of bush until the 1950s when post World War II housing development spread through the surrounding suburbs and garbage disposal became a problem. Some of the low-lying saltmarsh environments beside Buffalo Creek were used as a garbage tip until 1959. These areas can be recognised today as the grassed park around the current entrance to the Field of Mars Reserve and the general area of the visitor centre and environmental education centre.

Quarry Creek
One of the shorter creeks that feeds into the Lane Cove River, it rises in Ku-ring-gai Bicentennial Park on Yanko Road, West Pymble. There is a quarry site near the creek that was used as a source of stone by unemployment relief gangs who built roads and stonework throughout Lane Cove National Park during the 1930s great depression.

Stringy Bark Creek
Stringy Bark Creek is accessed in Murray Street, Lane Cove North, and has a shaded, grassed area with tall trees, children's play equipment, sports facilities, BBQ facilities and picnic tables and benches. Also known as Wilsons Creek, String Bark Creek is a major tributary of the Lane Cove River. It was an important source of fresh water which facilitated early white agricultural settlement in the area and, subsequently, industry. The first grant on Stringy Bark Creek appears to have been to a Mr Cadby in 1832, on the subsequent site of the Cumberland Paper Mills. The Cumberland Mills, built in 1912, straddled and dammed the creek. The Mills were destroyed by fire in 1928 and the site was taken up with other industrial uses. Residential development of Lane Cove began in earnest through the 1920s. The Chicago Cornflour Factory was opened on the Lane Cove River near Stringybark Creek in 1894, to be followed by the Cumberland Paper Mill on the Creek itself in 1912. After the almost complete demolition of the latter plant in a fire in 1928, the site was used for a chemicals manufacturing plant, owned firstly by Robert Corbett and Sons, and later by CSR Chemicals.

Scout Creek
Scout Creek is located on the edge of Pennant Hills, it is the site of the Baden Powell scout centre. The complex includes indoor dormitory accommodation, an ampitheatre and several camping areas.

Congham Creek
Congham Creek is a small creek in West Pymble.

Blackbutt Creek
Blackbutt Creek is named after the trees that are predominant here, this 2km long creek rises at the head of Blackbutt Creek Reserve in Gordon. Black Butt is still one of Australia's most important commercial timbers. Access is via St Johns Avenue, Gordon.

Falls Creek
Falls Creek is a small creek that rises in the bush surrounding the Gordon Golf Course. There are two waterfalls towards Blackbutt Creek, into which it flows. Access is via St Johns Avenue, Gordon. College Creek: the creek flows on-site to the south west of University of Sydney Technology Kuring-gai Campus. Prior to the late 1960s the native bushland site was reserved for the William Balmain Teachers college. Construction of the campus commenced in 1969 and was completed over five stages, with Stage 5 completed in 1998.

Sugarbag Creek
Sugarbag Creek drains into Blue Gum Creek which is a tributary of the Lane Cove River. The creek's name had its origins in the great Depression of the 1930s, which are often referred to as The Sugarbag Years. Large quantities of flour came in cloth bags which were used by the unemployed for pillowcases, stitched together for sheets or used to line children's trousers to prevent chafing by the coarse worsted fabric. Many of the roads and stonework found in Lane Cove National Park were constructed during the Depression to provide unemployment relief. The gangs of relief workers were known as Sugarbag gangs and one of their camps was located near the creek.