Waterways: South and South West

Parramatta River South Bank
The southern shoreline of the Parramatta River between Parramatta and Sydney is punctuated by many bays and coves into which flow some 27 creeks. It was the precious crystal-clear water of these creeks that attracted early white settlers to this area and led to what today are Sydney's inner western suburbs becoming the original grazing lands of early Sydney.

Johnstons Creek
Johnstons and Whites Creeks are two tributaries of the Parramatta River that flow north through the suburbs of Sydney's inner west and enter the river through Rozelle Bay. Johnstons Creek rose in the vicinity of present day Newtown station. The Western Railway Line follows the course of the creek towards what in the 1880s had been subdivided and developed as Northaingston estate to the north west of Newtown station. The creek then turned north, following the east side of Kingston Road and Cardigan Street to follow the present course of the open stormwater drain that becomes Johnstons Creek. Where it crosses Wigram Road, it is joined by its major tributary, Orphans School Creek.
In 1793, the land between the Whites and Johnstons Creeks and the Harbour was granted to George Johnston, a Marine of the NSW Corps who had supervised the transportation of convicts in the First Fleet. George named Annandale after his birthplace Annan, Scotland, in the tradition of another Scot, Col. William H. Fitzhugh, who had named Annandale, Virginia, USA a century earlier. It was Johnston who lead the soldiers in revolt against the Governor of NSW, William Bligh, in the famous Rum Rebellion of 1808.
UBD Map 235 Ref H 13

Whites Creek
Whites Creek, which also empties into Rozelle Bay, rose on the hillside to the south of Parramatta Road, Leichhardt. Parramatta Road crossed the creek via a bridge in the vicinity of Catherine Street. Whites Creek Lane follows the path of the water course to Booth Street, beyond which it passes through Whites Creek Valley Park. This park contains a rare remnant of native vegetation in Sydney's inner west. The Lilyfield goods line was built on the creek's northern bank and follows it until the creek enters Rozelle Bay. In 1793, the land between the Whites and Johnstons Creeks and the Harbour was granted to George Johnston, a Marine who had supervised the transportation of convicts in the First Fleet. The creek and White Bay are named after First Fleeter and surgeon-general John White who was granted land in the vicinity of the bay in 1789. UBD Map 235 Ref E 13

Orphans School Creek
Orphans School Creek, which rose in Grose Farm in the vicinity of the No. 2 Oval of the University of Sydney, is one of the casualties of urban development. Once a crystal clear steam, it only has water in it these days after heavy rain. For part of its length it is an underground drain. Sections above ground remain between Parramatta Road and Pyrmont Bridge Road. The creek was named because it flowed through land in the locality of Forest Lodge which was allocated for use by an orphan school. In 1800 Governor King established a Female Orphan School to provide shelter for orphaned and abandoned children. He secured William Kent's house in Sydney as accommodation; established a regular income for it by way of port duties and provided for its long-term needs with a secular equivalent of the glebe - land reserves to support livestock from which the institution could earn an income.

Iron Cove Creek
The eastern arm at the head of Long Cove is known as Iron Cove, into which flows Iron Cove Creek. It was originally known as Ironbark Creek, which gave rise to the name Ironbark Cove, the original name for the bay into which it flows. Iron Cove Creek supplies water and sediment enriched in copper, lead and zinc to the Iron Cove under low flow conditions. Once a natural watercourse abound with native vegetation and wildlife, Iron Cove Creek was transformed in the late 19th century into a stormwater channel that drains a fairly large catchment area in Sydney's inner-western suburbs. Iron Cove Creek still follows its original course from its source around Norton Street, Croydon though it is but a shadow of its former self. In the 1860s Iron Cove Creek was a freely flowing waterway which in places broadened into ponds that made excellent and picturesque swimming holes. Water birds and snakes were abundant in this area. UBD Map 234 Ref J 11 and UBD Map 234 Ref L 15

Long Cove Creek
Like Rozelle Bay, the next major bay on the southern banks of the Parramatta River has two tributaries entering it which were significant watercourses to the Aborigines and early colonial settlers. The bay, known today as Iron Cove, was known as Long Cove until well into the 20th century. Long Cove Creek enters the cove through the eastern arm at its head via the Hawthorne Canal. This uncompleted canal was part of a scheme proposed in 1929 connecting Parramatta and the main western railway line with Botany Bay via a series of natural and man-made waterways. Hawthorne Canal is named after John Stuart Hawthorne (1848-1942), member of the Legislative Assembly for Leichhardt from 1894 to 1904. The canal at the time of its construction was variously known as the Long Cove Canal, the Leichhardt Canal and the Hawthorne Canal. The canal had a ferry service operating from 1903 through 1904. The service was operated by the Drummoyne - Leichhardt Ferry Company, and there were nine ferries operated each weekday and twelve on Sundays. The ferry wharf was on the eastern side of the canal aligned with Barton St, and a footbridge was built from the western side. The ferry service became impractical due to sedimentation in the canal, and competition from the tramway.


Long Cove Creek

Hawthorne Canal
It was over Long Cove Creek at Lewisham, where the creek passes through a wooden gorge, that Australia's first railway viaduct was built in 1855 as part of the Sydney to Parramatta Railway. The Rozelle to Botany Goods line follows Long Cove Creek along much of its length between Leichhardt and Dulwich Hill, passing through an industrial centre which sprung up around a flour mill on the western bank of the creek near the viaduct. Long Cove Creek began in marshy ground at what is now Johnson Park.

Gambling Creek
Gambling Creek recalls John Gambling, who was granted 40 acres in the Lewisham area on Gambling Creek. The creek is now a covered drain which flows into Hawthorne Canal.


Duck River

Duck River
Duck River flows into the Parramatta River west of the Silverwater Bridge. On its western shore stands the Shell Oil Refinery. The refinery was established in the 1920s and was taken over by Shell in 1927. Initially 22 barges brought the crude oil from the Gore Cove Terminal to the refinery. These barges were a familiar sight on the for 40 years. Eventually, the oil was transported by pipeline from Gore Cove to the refinery. The wharf area where the barges berthed was known as Redbank and it was here also that the paddle wheel ferries ended their part of the journey from Sydney to Parramatta. From the Redbank wharf, light rail took passengers into Parramatta. The steam-driven paddle wheelers began operating in the 1890s and stopped in 1928. The Duck River was named by Captain Hunter in 1788 on the original journey up the Parramatta River by First Fleeters. The party saw many ducks in the vicinity as well as other abundant wildlife. In time, the area from Duck River to Parramatta became part of the land owned by John Macarthur.

A'Beckett's Creek
rigin unknown. The Western Motorway follows the line of this creek between Church Street to Alfred Street, Granville. The two sections of A'Beckett Street run adjacent to the creek.

Saleyards Creek
Saleyards Creek has its source in the Rookwood Cemetery beside the suburb of Strathfield, and flows generally northward through the suburb of Homebush. The creek was lined with concrete banks for its entire length as a work relief project during the Greawt Depression (1930s). Canalisation of the stream has affected salinity and pollution levels in nearby tidal wetlands. Saleyards Creek flows through a man-made tunnel under Paddy's Markets Flemington. Emerging into daylight, it continues under Parramatta Road and the M4 Western Motorway, finally flowing into Powells Creek at Bressington Park in Homebush. Saleyards Creek is named after the Flemington cattle saleyards, established in 1909. Once a natural stream, Saleyards Creek was canalised by the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Board in the 1930s, partly as a work relief project during the Great Depression.


Haslams Creek

Haslams Creek
Haslams Creek flows into Homebush Bay on the Parramatta River. It is named after an early settler and shepherd, Samuel Haslam. The first grants in the vicinity of today's Homebush, Lidcombe, Auburn and Strathfield area were made in 1793 to a group of free settlers, and the area was subsequently known as Liberty Plains. Samuel Haslam, after whom Haslams Creek is named, received his first 50 acre grant in the area to the north of the Parramatta Road in 1806, and a second small grant to the south of Parramatta Road and east of Haslams Creek. The Creek was formerly known as Hacking Creek. Haslems Creek, formerly a meandering earth-banked waterway, was channelised in the early 1930s as an Unemployment Relief project supervised by the Department of Public Works. Industry entered the area early in its history. John Blaxland, brother of the explorer, received a large grant in the Silverwater/Newington area in 1807 and by 1816 he had cleared the land and established a salt works and woollen mill. Haslams Creek for many years flowed through the holdings of the Sydney Meat Preserving Company Ltd 1876-1965, which dammed the creek, and past the former State Abattoir on Homebush Bay. The railway arrived in the Lidcombe district in 1855, with a station opened at Lidcombe in 1859, initially known as Haslams Creek Station. After much debate as to the routing of the line further west, it reached Parramatta in 1860. The Tooheys Brewery adjacent to the Haslams Creek Bridge to the south of Parramatta Road opened in the late 1970s, replacing the company's breweries at Taverners Hill near Leichhardt and Central Station.

Powells Creek
Powells Creek flows through the green areas of Mason Park, Bressington Park and Bicentennial Park. Its name recalls Edward Powell (1762-1814), one of the district's earliest white settlers who was granted land on the shores of Homebush Bay. Until World War II, the creek was largely untouched and followed a natural meandering course through mangrove forests, delivering fresh water to Homebush Bay. In 1948 the Creek was straightened and transformed into a concrete stormwater canal at its southern end. In 1993, the concrete was removed in the areas around Bicentennial Park and this has provided the Park with a more natural environment. A drop board weir installed in 1998 has partly restored natural tidal flows.

Clay Cliff Creek
The Burramattagal clan were the indigenous people who inhabited the land beside the mostly freshwater stream now known as Clay Cliff Creek, that was a vital sources of their food and living resources. In their seasonal rotation of campsites around their territory, the clan would have found that the reasonably abundant fish, shellfish, bird life, reptiles and marsupials large and small contributed greatly to their daily quest for food. Governor Arthur Phillip camped beside this creek on April 22, 1788, the day before he discovered good soil at Parramatta, which caused him to found a settlement there. On the day following their overnight bivouac, Phillip found the landforms which he named the Crescent and Rose Hill. The 'small fresh-water stream' has its headwaters in Merrylands and is romantically depicted in Joseph Lycett's 1822 painting of Elizabeth Farm from the northern riverbank.3 The campsite was probably in the vicinity of where today's River Road crosses the creek, where fresh water met the ebb and flow of tidal water. Unfortunately this historic spot is now a stormwater drain shrouded in concrete. The creek, which flowed through John Macarthur's property, is immediately to the west of James Ruse Drive. The creek was also the reason for James Ruse's choice of the historic first land grant there.


Domiain Creek

Domain Creek
Domain Creek flows through Parramatta Park, which was set aside by Gov. Phillip in 1789 as the Governor's Domain. The creek provided fresh water for use at Government House Parramatta in its early years.

Parramatta River North Bank

Subiaco Creek
On the north shore of the river and nearly two kilometres west of the Duck River mouth is a point where Subiaco Creek flows in to the Parramatta River. It is hard to distinguish because it flows through a thick stand of mangroves. The Parramatta River frontage between the two creeks is over a kilometre in length. The creeks and the river formed one boundary for an important estate. Subiaco Creek was originally called Bishops Creek. Thomas Bishop, an ex-marine received a grant of land from Phillip. He later sold it to another settler Thomas Schaeffer. Subiaco Creek is named after a convent and boarding school for girls, which was established in the area by Benedictine Nuns. They named the school 'Subiaco', after the Italian town of Subiaco in which Saint Benedict established his religious order. The majority of Subiaco Creek has been spared from development, with much if its length contained within a network of reserves and parks.

Vineyard Creek
In all, Thomas Schaeffer (see Subiaco Creek above) had acquired 56 hectares of land between the Subiao and Vineyard Creeks. On this property he established a vineyard and so the nearby creek was known as Vineyard Creek. Originally Schaeffer had been granted 16 hectares of land by Governor Phillip in 1792. He was an ex-soldier who had fought for the British in The American War of Independence and had arrived in New South Wales with the Second Fleet in 1790. Thomas Schaeffer's vineyard was the first vineyard to be established in the colony. In 1798, he sold this property to Captain Henry Waterhouse who had just sold his land on the southern shore on the eastern side of Duck River. In 1800, Captain Waterhouse sailed for England. He never returned to New South Wales but did correspond with Macarthur who was also in England from 1801 to 1805.

'Vineyard' was sold in 1812/13 after Waterhouse's death in England and was bought by Hannibal Hawkins Macarthur, a nephew of John Macarthur . He planned to use the property as a sheep station and so purchased more of the adjoining land. His estate covered most of the land that is now occupied by the suburbs of Rydalmere and Dundas. In 1836, Hannibal Macarthur built a mansion on the banks of the Parramatta River between the two creeks. He and his wife Maria had come to Australia after buying the property and John Macarthur, again in England, commended Maria to his family and asked that they might look after her. Maria was the daughter of the former Governor of New South Wales, Philip Gidley King.

During the 1830s and 40s, the mansion at 'Vineyard' became a focal point for Sydney society. It was famous for its parties and dances and it was the place where 'the best people arrived in chartered steam launches or private yachts.' Hannibal Macarthur ran into financial problems after the Bank of Australia failed in 1844 and he sold 'The Vineyard' estate. It was bought by Bishop Polding on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church and the house renamed 'Subiaco', the place where St Benedict had lived in Italy in the 6th century. The Church sold or leased the land but retained the house as a convent for the nuns of the Order of St Benedict. The Benedictine Sisters occupied 'Subiaco' for the next 108 years until 1957 when they moved to Pennant Hills. 'Subiaco' was demolished and is now only commemorated by the name of the creek.

The Ponds Creek
The Ponds Creek is one of a number of small creeks which flow through the Dundas Valley and eventually feed into Subiaco Creek. Lieutenant-General Watkin Tench of the first fleet described Ponds Creek in 1789 as the Ponds, a name which I suppose it derived from several ponds of water . The Ponds/Subiaco creek area was one of the earliest areas settled by European colonists. The first land grant in the area was made in 1791 to Phillip Schaeffer was the fourth land grant made by Governor Phillip. The Ponds  was a chain of freshwater ponds which formed the headwaters of the creek and flowed through Dundas Valley into Subiaco Creek.

Archers Creek
Archers Creek flows generally south to the Parramatta River where it joins at Meadowbank Park, Meadowbank. The creek's name recalls Isaac Archer, who was granted 80 acres through which this watercourse runs. Isaac Archer was a private in Captain Campbell's company of marines and he received his grant of land from Governor Phillip in 1972. On March 11, 2011, construction workers discovered a suitcase containing human remains in Archers Creek. A man was arrested and charged the following day.

Charity Creek
Charity Creek flows generally south to the Parramatta River where it joins at Meadowbank Park, Meadowbank. The creek is culverted down to Meadowbank Boys High School. Below this is a short reach of natural open channel to the railway line. Downstream of the railway line the creek is a concrete lined channel. All the tributaries of Charity Creek are piped. Charity Point, near Charity Creek, is attributed to early Settler William Bennet, who was both a farmer and south sea trader. When his ships need repairing, a large number of south-sea islander crew camped on the shore. His kind treatment to them earned the names Charity Creek and Charity Headland. Charity Point was originally named Mur-ray-mah, and is thought to mean 'black bream'. Charity Point was also a popular fishing spot. Kent, a nephew of Governor John Hunter, was first granted 170 acres on 12 May 1796. He received a further grant in 1803, when his nephew William Kent Jnr obtained 570 acres in the District of Eastern Farms. It was after the 1840's that the former orchards and farms of the Ryde area began to be subdivided and Charity Creek was filled in.

Smalls Creek
Smalls Creek flows generally south to the Parramatta River where it joins at Meadowbank Park, Meadowbank. The Main Northern Railway Line crosses the creek's catchment in the top north-east corner. Smalls Creek is jointed by Mariam Creek which drains the north east corner. The catchment is predominantly residential with a large area of clustered commercial premises at the West Ryde Shopping Centre near the intersection of the railway line and Victoria Road. There are also large areas of open spaces in the form of recreational parklands and playing fields.


Tarban Creek

Tarban Creek
Tarban Creek is a very short watercourse which starts near Earnshaw Parade in Gladesville and runs along a concrete base through Tarban Creek Reserve before entering Parramatta River at Huntley's Point via Huntleys Cove. It is said to be named after the Turiban Aboriginal clan, which occupied the lands to the west of where the Lane Cove River enters the Parramatta River. Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum, designed by Mortimer Lewis, was opened in 1838.

Gore Creek
Recalls early settler William Gore (1756-1845) who took up land here in 1810. Gore was Provost Marshall during William Bligh's governorship. Gore Cove and the nearby locality of Gore Hill are also named in his honour. In the aftermath of the Rum Rebellion against Bligh, Gore was brought before a rebel court and refused to plead. He was sentenced to transportation for seven years and was sent to Coal River (Newcastle) where he laboured side by side with ordinary convicts. His wife and four children, meanwhile, were dependent upon the charity of friends. Reinstated when Governor Macquarie arrived, he received a large land grant at Artarmon in 1813, became a leading citizen and one of the first Directors of the new Bank of NSW in 1817. He was imprisoned for misappropriating court funds in 1819, escaped and made his way to Van Diemen's Land, was arrested and brought back to Sydney. He was back in gaol again after shooting and wounding a soldier from the Woodford Bay stockade who was trespassing on his land and stealing grass. He died in 1845, deeply in debt, and his land was subsequently subdivided. Gore Creek and its tributaries flow through Lane Cove Bushland Reserve, Kellys Flat and Gore Creek Reserve before entering Lane Cove at Greenwich. Interestingly, the creek does not flow into Gore Cove. In early colonial days, the North Shore was a timber-getting area and timber was moved by barge down Gore Creek.

String Bark Creek
String Bark Creek is a small creek which flows through Stringy Bark Creek Reserve and Batten Reserve, Lane Cove, before entering Lane Cover River. The creek rises in Helen Street Reserve. Its name recallas the string bark forests through which it originally flowed.

Upper Parramatta River

The creeks that make up the Duck and the Lower Parramatta River Catchments also eventually flow into Parramatta River. This includes Vineyard, Subiaco, Clay Cliff and Brickfield Creeks. The only exception is the Lane Cove Catchment, comprising Terrys Creek and Devlins Creek, which make their way to Lane Cover River. In total there is approximately 65km of natural creeks or 13.4km of open channel that form the lifeblood of our catchment.

Parramatta River and its associated creeks has been a significant landmark since early Aboriginal inhabitance, through the early periods of European settlement, to the present day. Over this time the waterways have been impacted by many factors including pollution, introduced weeds, erosion, changes to water flow and many other physical disturbances.

The Upper Parramatta River catchment was originally home to the Dharug Aboriginal people who had inhabited the area for more than forty thousand years before British settlement in 1788. The local clan in the catchment was the Burramatta, from which the name Parramatta came, (burra meaning place and matta meaning eels). Many significant items of Aboriginal cultural heritage can be seen in the catchment, specifically in Lake Parramatta and Parramatta Parks, including such things as middens, tree scars, cave paintings and stone flakes.


The confluence of Toongabbie Creek and Coopers Creek (left)

Toongabbie Creek
Toongabbie Creek is one of the two main creeks, (the other being Darling Mills Creek) into which most of the creeks enter before they join the Parramatta River. Toongabbie Creek corridor begins at Crestwood Reserve, Baulkham Hills and continues south through a large industrial area where it is narrow and severely degraded until it is joined by Greystanes Creek in McCoy Park. From there it travels east in a bushland corridor until its confluence with the Parramatta River at Cumberland Hospital.

The Toongabbie Creek corridor is used for passive recreation, mainly walking and as a natural adventure playground for children. An informal trail follows the creek from Hammers Road to Oakes Road and is a beautiful, if somewhat weed overgrown walk through Blue Gum River flat Forest. Sue Savage Reserve, Palestine Park and Third Settlement Reserve provide open space for ball games, however the area is not conducive to organised sport due to its undulating nature.

The name is of Aboriginal origin, said to be derived from "tuga" meaning "thick wood". Another source suggests it means "meeting of the waters" referring to the confluence of Toongabbie Creek and Quarry Creek where the Toongabbie Convict Farm was established in 1791. In early colonial days, Toongabbie Creek and Darling Mills Creek, tributaries of the Parramatta River, were an import source of water for the settlements established in the Parramatta region. Third Settlement Reserve at Old Toongabbie, which adjoins Toongabbie Creek and Quarry Branch Creek, marks the site of the 3rd settlement established by the early British colonists. Needing to find land more arable than that around Sydney Cove, the Government established farms at Rose Hill (present day Parramatta) in 1789 and a third settlement at this location in 1791.

Known as the Toongabbie Convict Farm, it used convict labour to grow crops of barley, maize and wheat. There were two main areas of settlement, one at Johnston's Creek crossing, the other 3 km further north along Old Windsor Rd. The Johnston's Creek settlement comprised of 13 wattle and daub convict huts, stockyards and other outbuildings. A brick threshing barn was located at the northern settlement while the sites of the other documented buildings such as the church and dairy are unknown.

By April 1791, the settlement's 500 convicts had cleared 640 acres. The convicts were worked so hard, it developed a reputation as a place to be avoided at all costs. Within 5 years, soil quality had declined and better land had been found in the Hawkesbury region. Government stock was then grazed here until 1807 when the farm was abandoned and the land sold off to private farmers. Toongabbie Creek is fed by numerous tributaries including Lalor Creek (Bella Vista), Finlaysons Creek (Wentworthville), Coopers Creek (South Wentworthville), Quarry Branch Creek (Northmead), Greystanes Creek (Prospect and Girraween) and Blacktown Creek (Blacktown).

Coopers Creek, Toongabbie
Coopers Creek: the origin of this creek's name is unknown. Coopers Creek corridor extends from the southern side of Old Prospect Road in Greystanes, under the M4 Motorway and the Great Western Highway, through South Wentworthville to its confluence with Toongabbie Creek upstream of Westmead Hospital. Coopers Creek runs through a series of open spaces, drainage easements, under roads and behind residential areas. Most of the large parks, such as Ringrose Park and Monty Bennett Oval cater for intensive recreational uses. There is no formal pedestrian connection along the corridor except for the section between the railway line to Oatlands Street, Wentworthville.

Lalor Creek
Lalor Creek, which is a tributary of Toongabbie Creek, flows along the western border of the suburb of Lalor Park. The suburb, which takes its name from the creek, was originally farmland and began being developed by the housing commission in 1959 when it became known as Lalor Park. Is north of the present day Seven Hills, but the farmland was in the western section of the original Seven Hills Farm which covered a wider area than today's suburb. The creek takes its name from the Lalor family, who owned property in the area. Two members of the family (George and Robert) were Councillors on (then) Blacktown Shire Council, George serving as Shire President on two occasions, 1921-1923 and 1928. Lalor Creek forms a green corridor between the suburbs of Seven Hills and Lalor Park. Extensive bank rehabilitation and regeneration programs have been running here to help repair the eroded creek banks and remove weeds. Jute matting has been laid on the creek bank to stop weed growth. There are two tributaries along the length of Lalor Creek.


Finlaysons Creek

Finlaysons Creek
Finlaysons Creek along with Greystanes Creek, Pendle Hill Creek, Blacktown Creek, and Coopers Creek, drain from the south west of the catchment to join with Toongabbie Creek north of the railway line. Finlaysons Creek, a tributary of Toongabbie Creek, forms a green corridor through Wentworthville and South Wentworthville. The creek is in a concrete channel for over three quarters of its length. The Dharug Tribe ( Bool-Bain-ora  Band) originally inhabited the area, with Finlaysons Creek known for providing the fishing, hunting and gathering needs of the local people. The fields surrounding Finlaysons Creek, which was part of Dr. Darcy Wentworth s original land grant of 1808, were used during the 1920s and 1930s for poultry farms and market gardens. These lands were gradually subdivided into residential estates such as Hillcrest  and Fairmont  estates. The origin of the name is unknown.

Blacktown Creek
Blacktown Creek flows from Prospect Reservoir in the south to join Toongabbie Creek at International Park north of the railway line. Several large parks, William Lawson and Orana Park, form part of the creek corridor. This creek corridor is one of the most altered in the Upper Parramatta River Catchment with large sections of the creek in concrete channels and the adjacent open space. The name is taken from land in the area that Gov. Macquarie reserved for the exclusive use of the Aborigines of the Sydney area. On it a Native Institute, known as 'Black Town', was built at Plumpton to assimilate the Aborigines into European ways. It failed and was closed in 1833. Blacktown Creek passes through several parks or reserves including William Lawson Wetlands, Orana Park, Wall Street Reserve and Mitchell Reserve. It is one of the most changed waterways in the Upper Parramatta River Catchment with some sections converted to concrete channels. Blacktown Creek can best be seen at Timbertop Reserve. The natural vegetation found at this site is considered endangered as it forms part of the Cumberland Plain Woodland. Timbertop Reserve is located in the upper catchment of Blacktown Creek.
v Greystanes Creek, Girrwaween
Girraween (Greystanes) Creek: takes its name from the Aboriginal name of the locality, said to mean a place where flowers grow. Also known as Greystanes Creek; this latter name has been officially discontinued however it still appears in street directories. The natural channel of the creek has been largely lost due to engineering and flood mitigation, however in the upper reaches, where the creek runs through CSIRO land it is in a semi-natural state. North of Fox Hills Golf Course the creek widens at the culvert and provides a wetland environment. Greystanes Creek, along with Grantham Creek, Finlaysons Creek, Pendle Hill Creek and Coopers Creek, drain from the south west of the catchment to join with Toongabbie Creek north of the railway line.

Grantham Creek
Grantham Creek: Grantham Creek extends from Grantham reserve at the southern end of Seven Hills to the confluence of Toongabbie Creek on the northern side of the railway line. The creek corridor provides an important connection to Seven Hills Railway station. The creek bed is partially natural at the upper reaches and channelled at the northern edge of Duncan Park. In Duncan Park the creek is in a semi-natural state as it runs through a remnant of River-flat Forest before being diverted into a concrete culvert at the northern edge of the park. The natural channel of the creek has been largely lost due to engineering however in Duncan Park and Grantham Research Poultry Station some semi-natural remnants remain.

Quarry Branch Creek
A tributary of Toongabbie Creek, it receives its name from a quarry that was dug beside the creek. The creek has entirely natural banks and is weed infested for most its journey; shortly after its origins the creek cuts deeply into the surrounding landform. Much of the area close to the creek is inaccessible due to weed growth and topography. John Curtin Reserve in Northmead includes a small area of Shale/Sandstone Transition Forest on higher terrain along the creek bed's western boundary at Huxley Drive.

Pendle Hill Creek
Mamed after the locality of Pendle Hill through which it flows. The locality is named after Pendleton in Lancashire, the centre of England's cotton industry. In 1932, George Bond established a cotton spinning mill here and requested that the railway station be built near his mill and that it be named after Pendleton in Lancashire, England, the centre of Britain's cotton industry. Pendle Hill Creek corridor starts at Cumberland Country Golf Course in Greystanes and leads through Pendle Hill to McCoy Park, Toongabbie, to join Greystanes Creek and then both merge with Toongabbie Creek. The headwaters of the creek are at Darling Street Park which contains two flood detention basins. Most of the creek is engineered and contained in a narrow drainage easement that is inaccessible to the public.

Darling Mills Creek
Darling Mills Creek is one of the two main tributaries of the Upper Parramatta River draining the north and north east parts of the catchment, the other being Hunts Creek. Darling Mills creek is mainly in natural condition running along the bottom of a long steep sandstone valley lined with sandstone boulders and riparian vegetation. The creek corridor contains the most substantial and intact bushland in the Upper Parramatta River catchment. Darling Mills Creek flows from West Pennant Hills, through North Rocks and Northmead to join the Parramatta River near Cumberland Hospital. Darling Mills Creek was named after a steam-driven flour mill established in 1823 by John Raine at North Rocks where the creek and Hunts Creek met. The creek was named after Raine's mill, which he named Darling Mill in honour of Gov. Ralph Darling who had granted the land on which it was built.

Bellbird Creek, Bidjigal Reserve
The junction of Darling Mills Creek and Toongabbie Creek at North Parramatta marks the beginning of the Parramatta River. Darling Mills Creek is fed by numerous smaller creeks, among them are Excelsior Creek, Sawmill Creek and Christmas Bush Creek, which rise in Castle Hill. Darling Mills Creek and its tributary, Bellbird Creek, both rise in the suburb of West Pennant Hills. Bidjigal, Blue Gum and Bellamy Farm Creeks are also tributaries. Steep valleys lined by Sandstone walls are typical in the Darling Mills Sub-catchment.

The Darling Mills Creek corridor has fared better than most in the Parramatta region as it contains the most substantial and intact bushland corridor in the Upper Parramatta River catchment. This is in part due to the steepness of the terrain which resulted in much later development of residential and industrial areas. However recent developments, upstream in Baulkham Hills are impacting severely on the lower reaches of the creek. Darling Mills Creek was named after a steam-driven flour mill established in 1823 by John Raine at North Rocks where Darling Mills Creek and Hunts Creek meet. The creek was named after Raine's mill, which he named Darling Mill in honour of Gov. Ralph Darling who had granted the land on which it was built.

Hunts Creek
Hunts Creek, which flows into Darling Mills Creek at North Parramatta, is fed by numerous small creeks which rise in the suburbs of North Rocks and Carlingford. Parramatta Dam on Hunts Creek was built as a reservoir for the supply of water to Parramatta and outlying localities. Lake Parramatta, which was formed by the building of the reservoir, is today the main feature of a nature reserve with bushwalking tracks and picnic facilities. The Hunts Creek corridor begins east of Jenkins Road, Carlingford and continues to Lake Parramatta Reserve at James Ruse Drive in North Parramatta. The corridor includes North Rocks Park, Seville Reserve and a drainage reserve beside Northam Drive.

Hunts Creek
The majority of the creek contains remnant bushland, including a large portion within the Kings School. The Hunts Creek corridor begins east of Jenkins Road, Carlingford and continues to Lake Parramatta Reserve at James Ruse Drive in North Parramatta. The corridor includes North Rocks Park, Seville Reserve and a drainage reserve beside Northam Drive. The majority of the creek contains remnant bushland, including a large portion within the Kings School. The name recalls Samuel Hunt, brother-in-law of Joseph Seville, who, in the 1820s, was granted 50 acres south of the creek adjoining the Windsor Road. Hunt lived on the property and worked the farm

Castle Hill Creek
The reason for giving the name is not known, but it was used by Gov. Philip Gidley King for the Government Farm he established in the Hills district in 1801. The creek flows into Excelsior Creek.

Bidjigal Creek
Bidjigal Reserve is an extensive nature reserve which falls within the original Baulkham Hills Common that was set aside for grazing cattle in 1804. Incorporating Eric Mobbs Recreational Reserve, Darling Mills State Forest, Don Moore Reserve and Ted Horwood Reserve, it follows Darling Mills Creek and its tributaries through Castle Hill, Baulkham Hills, Carlingford, North Rocks and Northmead. Infamous 1820's bushranger Jack Donahoe, who carried out many robberies in the area, is reported to have used the gorge as a hideout. A number of walking paths give access to the heart of what is the largest remnant of natural bushland in the area. Cascades, waterfalls and weathered sandstone outcrops are to be found throughout the gorge.

Bidjigal Creek gives its name of the Reserve surrounding a significant length of the Darling Mills Creek catchment. The name recalls the Bidjigal (also spelt Bediagal) people were a group of Indigenous Australians living to the West of Sydney. Their geographical location is confusing, as they seem to have been based in southern Sydney, in the region between the Cooks River and the Georges River and yet also seem to have inhabited land in north-western Sydney, in what is now Baulkham Hills. Perhaps the most famous Bidjigal person was Pemulwuy, who successfully led Aboriginal Resistance forces against the British Army before finally being captured and killed (and eventually beheaded).

Excelsior Creek
Excelsior Creek is a major northern tributary of Darling Mills Creek. The creek at one time gave its name to what is now known as Bidjigal Reserve.

Christmas Bush Creek
Possibly named because Christmas bushes were common here.

Bellbird Creek
The name is considered to represent the Bell Miner which is often heard in the forest here.

Rifle Range Creek
A rifle range existed near the junction of this creek with Darling Mills Creek until the 1950s.


Blue Gum Creek

Blue Gum Creek: the name recalls the Blue Gum High Forest found on the north eastern edge of the Darling Mills Creek corridor along Castle Hill Road and in the Cumberland State Forest.

Saw Mill Creek
Saw Mill Creek is named because a Red Cedar timber mill operated at the head of the valley in the early 1800s.


Pages Creek

Pages Creek
Pages Creek is a tributary of Hunts Creek. Yarralumla Wildlife Sanctuary in North Rocks follows the bushland valleys of Hunts and Pages Creeks, tributaries of Darling Mills Creek which flow into Lake Parramatta. A haven for local native flora and fauna, the 2.3 km long reserve has a walking trail beside the creeks which can be accessed from Statham Avenue and Northam Drive, North Rocks and Lindsfarne Crescent, Carlingford. Upstream from the confluence of the two creeks, Pages Creek passes over a particularly beautiful waterfall. It can be accessed with ease from Palmview Crescent, North Rocks or Ferndale Avenue and Edinburgh Avenue, Carlingford.

Bellamy Farm Creek<
The Bellamy family were a pioneering family in this area. William Bellamy was farming the area as early as 1880. Also known as Bellamy's Farm Creek. Smaller remnants of Blue Gum High Forest occur in Bellamy's Farm Reserve and Richard Webb Reserve.

West and North West

Cattai Creek
Thehe name is taken from the name of the local Aboriginal tribe, the Cattai. There are three main creeks in the Blacktown area that flow north into Cattai Creek. Cattai Creek flows into the Hawkesbury River. These creeks include First Ponds Creek, Second Ponds Creek and Caddies Creek.


First Ponds Creek

First Ponds Creek
The main land use in the catchment (or drainage area) for First Ponds Creek is open space and farmland helping this creek to remain in a relatively natural state.

Second Ponds Creek
Second Ponds Creek is named as it was the second pond in a chain of ponds. The main land use in the catchment (or drainage area) for Second Ponds Creek is open space and farmland, helping this creek to remain in a relatively natural state. There are many early Aboriginal artefacts along Second Ponds Creek to the north of the Blacktown area.

Caddies Creek
The catchment (or drainage area) for Caddies Creek is mainly urban. Humans have changed this creek quite significantly; in some sections the base of the creek has been cemented. There has been a loss of local native vegetation and natural rock features from the area and development upstream has led to further vegetation loss. Fish have not been seen in the creek for many years. There are several sites along this creek of early Aboriginal and European significance. For example a line of stones on the edge of a pond are believed to be either an early Aboriginal fishing trap or a stone feature built by early Europeans to stop animals from entering the pond. A number of bones have been found near collapsed rock ledges large enough to shelter humans. The origin of the creek's name is unknown. It is possibly a derivation of Cattai, the name of the local Aboriginal people.

Dooral Dooral Creek
Dooral Dooral Creek takes its name from the Aboriginal name for Dural was 'Dooral-Dooral' meaning 'a burning log'. This name covered north, upper and middle Dural. The earliest reference can be found in Meehan's Field Book 128, 1817. The first land grant to George Hall in 1819 of 600 acres, was only a part of the then huge area of Dural. In 1802 Governor King reserved a large area of land north of Castle Hill, along the ridge of 34,000 acres, which included the present day Dural, Galston and Glenorie. In 1827 a correspondent wrote of "the silent and thickly wooded forests of Dooral".

Brickmakers Creek, Lurnea
Brickmakers Creek: this creek flows north from Lurnea through Liverpool before emptying into Cabramatta Crek at Warwick Farm. It is so named because of the Liverpool Steam Brickworks on its banks. During the late 1800 s until the early 1900 s the brickworks was the main source of Liverpool s building materials. Most turn of the century homes in Liverpool were built with bricks that were made at the Steam Brickworks. The bricks are easily identified by the MC stamped on one side and Liverpool displayed on the other.

Charity Creek
Origin unknown. Also known as Saltwater Creek.

Glades Creek
Glades Creek commemorates the first settler, John Glade, who arrived as a convict in 1791 to serve a 7 year sentence. He died in 1848 and was buried in St Anne's Cemetery. Glade's farm was subdivided into smaller farms and sold in 1841, by which time the Gt. North Road had been constructed through the area.


Orphans School Creek

Orphan School Creek, Canley Vale
Orphan School Creek: one of two creeks of that name in the Sydney region. Much of Canley Vale, like neighbouring Cabramatta, was a woodland area, sloping down gently in a shallow valley that the creek ran through. In 1803 Gov. King rented out 12,300 acres in the valley, and the funds thus accrued were assigned to support the orphan schools at Sydney and Parramatta.

Smalls Creek
origin unknown. Possibly named after an early white settler.

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 is part of the South Creek Catchment that flows into the Hawkesbury River. There are three tributaries along Eastern Creek, all of which provide habitat for animals such as water bugs, snakes, fish, frogs and mammals. 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. Eastern Creek can be viewed from Knudsen Reserve and Nurragingy Reserve. Nurragingy Reserve is located four kilometres from Blacktown CBD and half a kilometre from Doonside shopping centre. Knudsen Reserve is located on Garfield Road West at Riverstone.

Rickabys Creek
Origin unknown. Possibly named after an early white settler.

Bells Creek
Bells Creek flows in a north-north easterly direction to join Eastern Creek, which flows into South Creek and then into the Hawkesbury River. Bells Creek can also be seen at Plumpton Park Wetlands in Plumpton. There are five tributaries along the length of Bells Creek. Areas along Bells Creek are of Aboriginal significance especially on the north side as artefacts have been found left by the Darug tribe. The name 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.

Breakfast Creek
Breakfast was enjoyed here by early explorers. Breakfast Creek flows into eastern Creek to the south of the Western Sydney Institute of TAFE campus at Quakers Hill.

Claremont Creek, Werrington
Claremont Creek: taken from the name of the property of William Cox at Windsor. He acquired Claremont in 1822.

Byrnes Creek
The name is believed to recall a family of early settlers who lived in the Parramatta district. The family in Australia began with Ann Reffin/Ralphin and her husband David Burns/Byrnes who are buried in this small family plot at Christ Church Cemetery, Castlereagh. Their first child, James Byrnes, was born on on 19 May 1806. Both parents had been transported here and their children married other transportees or the children of convicts.

Werrington Creek, Werrington
Werrington Creek is 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, St Clair
Cosgroves Creek: 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
Recalls a free settler, James Badgery, who was granted 640 acres through which the creek flowed. He named it Exeter Farm.


Kemps Creek

Kemps Creek
Kemps Creek recalls Anthony Fenn Kemp, ensign with NSW Corps who received a land grant in the area in 1820. The creek flowed through his property, which he called Mount Vernon.

Bonds Creek
Recalls George Bond who established a cotton spinning mill on the creek in 1923.

Reedy Creek
descriptive of the vegetation around the creek.

Prospect Creek
The name given to the area through which the creek flows by Capt. Watkin Tench in 1789 whilst exploring, searching for good farming land.


Cabramatta Creek, Liverpool

Cabramatta Creek
Taken from the name of the local Aboriginal tribe, the Cabrogal. The suburb of the same name is named after the creek, which flows through it. The name was first recorded for the 100 acre grant to Irish political prisoners, one of whom was Joseph Hole, who were the first colonists to settle here by the creek. The small village of Cabramatta, which emerged around 1814, took the name of Hole's property, Cabramatta Park.

Ropes Creek
Named after Anthony Rope, a convict who arrived with the First Fleet in 1788. He married female convict, Elizabeth Pulley in May 1788. Rope learned bricklaying whilst working at Brickfields near Sydney and later moved to the Nepean District. In 1806, the Ropes were renting 48 acres on the Nepean and by 1820 had been granted 20 acres in the district. Ropes Creek flows in a northwesterly direction to join South Creek and then into the Hawkesbury River. There are six tributaries along Ropes Creek. There are areas along Ropes Creek of Aboriginal significance. Ropes Creek can be seen from Mt. Druitt Waterholes, Tregear Reserve and Whalan Reserve.

South Creek
South Creek, which flows into the Parramatta River near Windsor, stretches over 64 kilometres and is located in the Western Cumberland Plain. The areas along South Creek are both rural and urban. The creek tributaries pass through the suburbs of Kingswood, St. Mary's, Mt. Druitt, Rooty Hill, Doonside, Quakers Hill and Blacktown. South Creek forms the boundary between Penrith City Council and Blacktown City Council. There are areas along South Creek of Aboriginal importance. Some of the first European farms were set up along the edges of South Creek in sections that had few trees. Evidence of the degradation of South Creek was recorded as early as 18th December 1803 with a letter written to the Sydney Gazette from a concerned resident. The letter outlined the problem that South Creek had become unsafe to sail boats down because so much wood and rubbish had been dumped in the water. The creek was used in earlier years by large ships in the river trade with no problem.

In the 1880's, the lack of a clean water supply led to concern about pollution in the Hawkesbury River and South Creek. Wool-washing companies, meat works, tanneries and piggeries were all established along the banks of South Creek during early European settlement and dumped their wastes into the waterway. For example, in 1890 an abattoir discharged the waste from the slaughter of 500 000 sheep and 2500 cattle each year into South Creek.


Clear Paddock Creek

Clear Paddock Creek
Origin unknown. Possibly because it ran through a cleared paddock of an early farm here.

Hinchinbrook Creek
The creek was named after a 2,000 acre property in adjacent Cecil Hills which had belonged to former Supreme Court Judge Barron Field, who in turn had named the property after the English estate of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. The creek's name was originally recorded as Hinchin Brook.

Green Valley Creek
Who named the creek is not known. The suburb's name was taken from the local school, that was established in 1882 near the creek. The original request had been for a school named Summer Hill Public School but this was denied as there was already a Summer Hill school in the Hunter Valley. So the name suggested and accepted by the Department was Green Valley. Oddly, the creek does not flow through the suburb.

Bringelly Creek
Recalls early settler Robert Lowe named his land grant Bringelly (1814) after his wife's birthplace in England. The creek ran through the property.

Thompsons Creek
Scottish migrant Andrew Thompson who established a farm in the St. Andrews area.


Grose River

Grose River
Named by Captain William Paterson in September, 1793 when exploring it. The name commemorates the Colony's Lt. Governor, Francis Grose. The river is a tributary of the Nepean River.

Mahons Creek
Believed to be named after an early white settler, Thomas Mahon, an associate of John Blaxland.

Rivatts Creek
Believed to be named after an early white settler.

Lynchs Creek
Possibly named after Thomas Lynch, a former Private, Royal Veteran Company, who was granted 100 acres in 1823.

Shaws Creek
Believed to be named after an early white settler.

Frasers Creek
Believed to be named after an early white settler.

Cranebrook Creek
Named after Cranebrook House, the property of settler James McCarthy, who received the 100 acre grant in 1803.

Fitzgerald Creek
Believed to be named after an early white settler. Also known as Evans Plains Creek. The Emu Plains district was originally called Evans by the early colonists. It takes its name from Sir Evan Nepean, 1st Secretary to the British Admiralty, after whom the Nepean River was also named.

Cripple Creek
Recalls a horse owned by Mr. Lane of Agnes Banks which won the Penrith Cup on New Year's Day 1824 before a crowd of 5,000.


Peach Tree Creek

Peach Tree Creek
A grove of peach trees was planted near the creek.

Surveyors Creek
Origin unknown.

School House Creek
A school once stood near the creek.

Mulgoa Creek
The name is of Aboriginal origin meaning 'black swan'. The Mulgoa Valley was important to the Aborigines: the creek marked the Purgatory between two major linguistic groups (the Dharug and the Gundungurra); it was the route along which different tribes travelled when attending ceremonies, and it was close to the Nepean River which provided a permanent water supply and food reserves which could be relied upon during periods of drought.

Littlefields Creek
Possibly after Thomas Figget Littlefield, land grantee in the Prospect district.

Glenbrook Creek
Bamed after the locality through which it flows. The locality was thus named by a resident Alfred Stephen. The name was suggested not only for being pleasant, but also suggestive of water and of low grounds, a name considered descriptive of the locality.

Euroka Creek
Believed to be of Aboriginal origin. The name was also given to an iron paddle steamer, a 170 tonne vessel built at Balmain, Sydney in 1897. It was converted to a collier and operated on the 'Sixty Miler' run between Newcastle and Sydney.

Megarritys Creek
Believed to be named after an early white settler.

Baines Creek
Believed to be named after an early white settler, possibly Rev. James Bain, who was granted land in the vicinity.

Jerrys Creek
Origin unknown. Possibly named after an early white settler.

Duncans Creek
Origin unknown. Possibly named after an early white settler.

Scotcheys Creek
Believed to be named after an early white settler or the property of an early settler that was named after Scotchey Hill in Dorset, England. Beres Creek
Believed to be named after an early white settler.

Bushrangers Creek
Bushranger John Donohoe and his gang had their hideout on the creek. Donohoe and his gang were surrounded by a detachment of soldiers near the creek on 1st September 1830. Private Muggleston brought Donohoe's reign of terror to an end with a shot through the head. Forest Hill Creek
Possibly because of its location to Forest Hill.

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