|State||New South Wales|
|Region||Greater Metropolitan Sydney|
|- location||north of Penrith|
|2nd source||Grose River|
|west of Lion Island|
|Length||120 km (75 mi)|
|Basin size||21,624.1 km2 (8,349.1 sq mi)|
|- average||95 m3/s (3,400 cu ft/s)|
|- minimum||0 m3/s (0 cu ft/s)|
|- maximum||15,000 m3/s (530,000 cu ft/s)|
|- left||Colo River, Webbs Creek, Macdonald River, Mangrove Creek, Popran Creek, Mooney Mooney Creek|
|- right||Cattai Creek, South Creek, Berowra Creek|
|Islands||Milson Island, Peat Island, Spectacle Island, Long Island, and Dangar Island|
The Hawkesbury River (also Hawkesbury-Nepean River), is a semi–mature tide dominated drowned valley estuarylocated to the west and north of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The Hawkesbury River and its associated main tributary, the Nepean River, virtually encircle the metropolitan region of Sydney.
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun, and the rotation of the Earth.
A ria is a coastal inlet formed by the partial submergence of an unglaciated river valley. It is a drowned river valley that remains open to the sea. Typically, rias have a dendritic, treelike outline although they can be straight and without significant branches. This pattern is inherited from the dendritic drainage pattern of the flooded river valley. The drowning of river valleys along a stretch of coast and formation of rias results in an extremely irregular and indented coastline. Often, there are naturally-occurring islands, which are summits of partly submerged, preexisting hill peaks.
An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.
The Hawkesbury River has its origin at the confluence of the Nepean River and the Grose River, to the north of Penrith and travels for approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) in a north–easterly and then south–easterly direction to its mouth at Broken Bay, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the Tasman Sea. The Hawkesbury River is the main tributary of Broken Bay. Secondary tributaries include Brisbane Water and Pittwater, that together with the Hawkesbury River flow into the Tasman Sea at Barrenjoey Head.
The Grose River, a perennial river that is part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment, is located in the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales, Australia.
Penrith is a suburb and major centre in the metropolitan area of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is located in Greater Western Sydney, 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of the Sydney central business district on the banks of the Nepean River, on the outskirts of the Cumberland Plain. Its elevation is 25 metres (82 ft).
A river mouth is the part of a river where the river debouches into another river, a lake, a reservoir, a sea, or an ocean.
The total catchment area of the river is approximately 21,624 square kilometres (8,349 sq mi) and the area is generally administered by the Hawkesbury–Nepean Catchment Management Authority.
The land adjacent to the Hawkesbury River was occupied by the Darkinjung, Darug, Eora, and Kuringgai Aboriginal peoples. They used the river as a source of food and a place for trade.
The Eora(Yura) are an indigenous Australian people of New South Wales. Eora is the name given by the earliest settlers to a group of indigenous people belonging to the clans along the coastal area of what is now known as the Sydney basin, in New South Wales, Australia. Contact with the first white settlement's bridgehead into Australia quickly devastated much of the population through epidemics of smallpox and other diseases. Their descendants live on, though their languages, social system, way of life and traditions are mostly lost.
Kuringgai is an ethnonym referring to (a) an hypothesis regarding an aggregation of indigenous Australian peoples occupying the territory between the southern borders of the Gamilaraay and the area around Sydney (b) perhaps an historical people with its own distinctive language, now lost, once located in part of that territory, or (c) people of aboriginal origin who identify themselves as descending from the original peoples denoted by (a) or (b) and who call themselves Guringai.
There are several hundred Indigenous peoples of Australia; many are groupings that existed before the British colonisation of Australia in 1788. Within each country, people lived in clan groups: extended families defined by various forms of Australian Aboriginal kinship. Inter-clan contact was common, as was inter-country contact, but there were strict protocols around this contact.
The headwaters of the Hawkesbury River, the Avon River, the Cataract River, and the Cordeaux River, rise only a few miles from the sea, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) south of Sydney. These streams start on the inland-facing slopes of the plateau which forms the escarpment behind Wollongong. Flowing north-west, away from the sea, these streams combine to form the Nepean River, and flow north past the towns of Camden and Penrith. Near Penrith, the Warragamba River emerges from its canyon through the Blue Mountains and joins the Nepean. The Warragamba, formed by the joining of the Wollondilly River, the Nattai River, the Kowmung River and Coxs River drains a broad region of New South Wales on the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range. The other principal component of the upper Hawkesbury river system, the Grose River, rises in the area of Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains.
The Avon River, a perennial river of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment, is located in the Southern Highlands and Macarthur districts of New South Wales, Australia.
The Cataract River, a perennial river that is part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment, is located in the Macarthur region of New South Wales, Australia.
The Cordeaux River, a perennial river of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment, is located in the Southern Highlands and Macarthur regions of New South Wales, Australia.
Once formed, the Hawkesbury River proper flows generally northwards, albeit with a significant number of meanders. Initially the river passes the towns of Richmond and Windsor, which are the largest settlements on the river. At Windsor, the river is joined by the South Creek, which drains much of the urban runoff in Sydney's western suburbs that does not fall into the Parramatta River catchment. As it flows north, it enters a more rural area, with only small settlements on the river. On this stretch it passes Sackville and Lower Portland, where it is joined by the Colo River. The Colo River and its tributaries drain the northern section of the Blue Mountains.
A meander is one of a series of regular sinuous curves, bends, loops, turns, or windings in the channel of a river, stream, or other watercourse. It is produced by a stream or river swinging from side to side as it flows across its floodplain or shifts its channel within a valley. A meander is produced by a stream or river as it erodes the sediments comprising an outer, concave bank and deposits this and other sediment downstream on an inner, convex bank which is typically a point bar. The result of sediments being eroded from the outside concave bank and their deposition on an inside convex bank is the formation of a sinuous course as a channel migrates back and forth across the down-valley axis of a floodplain. The zone within which a meandering stream shifts its channel across either its floodplain or valley floor from time to time is known as a meander belt. It typically ranges from 15 to 18 times the width of the channel. Over time, meanders migrate downstream, sometimes in such a short time as to create civil engineering problems for local municipalities attempting to maintain stable roads and bridges.
Richmond is a town in New South Wales, in the local government area of the City of Hawkesbury. It is located at a latitude of 33° 35' 54" South and a longitude of 150°45' 04" east, 19 metres above sea level on the alluvial Hawkesbury River flats, at the foot of the Blue Mountains. It is about 65 km by road from Sydney.
Windsor is a historic town north-west of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is in the Hawkesbury local government area, in the region of Greater Western Sydney. The town sits on the Hawkesbury River, enveloped by farmland and Australian bush. Many of the oldest surviving European buildings in Australia are located at Windsor. It is 46 kilometres (29 mi) north-west of metropolitan Sydney, on the fringes of urban sprawl.
From Lower Portland, the Hawkesbury River continues flowing northwards to the small community of Wisemans Ferry where it is joined by the Macdonald River. Here its course turns eastwards and the surrounding landscape gradually becomes steeper and more rugged. At Spencer, Mangrove Creek joins the river from the north. From here to the river mouth, road access to the river is limited to a few points.
Wisemans Ferry is a cable ferry across the Hawkesbury River in New South Wales, Australia. The ferry operates from the eponymous community of Wisemans Ferry on the south bank, to a point on the north bank downstream of the Hawkesbury River's confluence with the Macdonald River, connecting with the old Great North Road. The crossing has remained in use on its current site since 1829, making it the oldest ferry crossing still in operation in New South Wales, and possibly in Australia.
The Macdonald River is a perennial river located in the Hunter and Outer Metropolitan Sydney regions of New South Wales, Australia. It is a part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment.
Spencer is a suburb of the Central Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. It is located on the north bank of the Hawkesbury River just upstream of that river's confluence with Mangrove Creek. Spencer is part of the Central Coast Council local government area.
At Milsons Passage, the river is joined by Berowra Creek from the south. In the area around Brooklyn the river is crossed by the major road and rail services that follow the coast north from Sydney. The river finally reaches the ocean at Broken Bay.
From the confluence of the Nepean and Grose Rivers to the sea, the Hawkesbury River has a total length of some 120 kilometres (75 mi).
Islands in the Hawkesbury River include, in order going downstream are Barr Island, Milson Island, Peat Island, Spectacle Island, Long Island, and Dangar Island.
Despite forming the effective boundary of the metropolitan region of Sydney for its entire length, there are very few fixed crossings of the Hawkesbury River proper. Going downstream, these comprise:
|North bank crossing location||South bank crossing location||Comments/use||Image|
|Richmond Bridge||North Richmond||Richmond||A bridge that carries the historic Bells Line of Road and formerly carried the Kurrajong extension of the Richmond railway line.|
|Windsor Bridge||Freemans Reach||Windsor||A bridge that carries the Putty Road.|
|Sackville Ferry||Sackville||A vehicular cable ferry.|
|Lower Portland Ferry||Lower Portland||A vehicular cable ferry.|
|Webbs Creek Ferry||Wisemans Ferry||A vehicular cable ferry just upstream of the settlement of Wisemans Creek.|
|Wisemans Ferry||A vehicular cable ferry at the settlement of Wisemans Creek that carries the old Great North Road.|
|Hawkesbury River Freeway Bridge||Mooney Mooney||Kangaroo Point||Carries the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway parallel to Peats Ferry Bridge.|
|Peats Ferry Bridge||An older bridge that carries the Pacific Highway.|
|Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge||Cogra Point||Brooklyn||A bridge that carries the Main Northern railway line.|
In the lower reaches of the river there are also a few passenger ferries that cross the river. These include the Palm Beach Ferry service from Palm Beach to Ettalong and Wagstaffe, and the Hawkesbury River Ferries service from Brooklyn to Dangar Island and Little Wobby.
The Aboriginal name for the river was published as Deerubbun in 1870.The main Aboriginal tribe inhabiting the area was the Guringai or Eora, the Wannungine of the coastal area also inhabited and exploited the lands of the lower reaches (below Mangrove Creek). Also included the Darkinung people, whose lands were extensive on the lower Hawkesbury to Mangrove Creek, upper Hawkesbury, inland Hunter and lower Blue Mountains. It has been regarded that the Guringai name for the Hawkesbury was 'Van Rupen'.
In 1789 two expeditions explored the Hawkesbury to the northwest of Sydney and the Nepean River to the southwest. It took about three years to realise they had discovered the same river system.[ citation needed ] Hawkesbury River was one of the pivotal positions of the Hawkesbury and Nepean Wars, a series of skirmishes and battles between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the resisting Indigenous clans that took place between late 1780s and late 1810s.
The Hawkesbury River was one of the major transportation routes for transporting food from the surrounding area to Sydney during the 1800s. Boats would wait in the protection of Broken Bay and Pittwater, until favourable weather allowed them to make the ocean journey to Sydney Heads. With the opening of the railway from Sydney to Windsor in 1864, farm produce could be shipped upriver for onward transportation by train. However, by the 1880s the river had become silted up between Sackville and Windsor, and Sackville became the head of navigation for sea-going vessels. Until the end of the 19th century coastal steamers linked Sackville to Sydney.
The Hawkesbury River was named by Governor Phillip in June 1789, after Charles Jenkinson, 1st Earl of Liverpool, who at that time was titled Baron Hawkesbury, after the Cotswold village of Hawkesbury Upton, where the Jenkinsons still live.An obelisk was unveiled in 1939 at Brooklyn to commemorate the naming. In 1794, 22 families were granted land at Bardenarang, now known as Pitt Town Bottoms, near Windsor. In that same year, confrontations between Aboriginal people and settlers broke out.
The Hawkesbury River is navigable from Windsor to the sea. There are no dams or locks on the river, and the effects of the tide are felt as far as Windsor.
Whilst use of the river to carry farm produce and other goods has now largely been superseded by road transport, the river remains the only form of access to a significant number of isolated homes and communities. This is especially true in the lower reaches of the river, where the steep and rugged terrain inhibits road construction. One consequence of this is the operation of Australia's last riverboat postman, a river service that delivers mail to properties on the river between Brooklyn and Spencer.
The Hawkesbury Canoe Classic, a 111 km canoe race, is held annually in October or November. The race starts at Windsor and finishes at Brooklyn. The Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Classic is a water ski race that is run in the opposite direction, from Dangar Island to Windsor. The Australian leg of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series takes place in Hawkesbury. Windsor and also Dargle ski park on the Hawkesbury river each year hold a Circuit Boat race meeting with boats travelling from all over country
According to the Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment Management Authority, the Hawkesbury River estuary supports the second largest commercial coastal fishery of estuary prawns, oysters (prior to the outbreak of QX disease) and fish in NSW with a wholesale value of $6.3 million annually.
The Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a protected national park that is located in New South Wales, Australia. The 14,977-hectare (37,010-acre) national park is situated 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of Sydney located largely within the Ku-ring-gai, Hornsby, and the Northern Beaches Council local government areas. The villages of Cottage Point, Appletree Bay, and Bobbin Head are located within park boundaries. An isolated portion of the park, Barrenjoey Headland, is located to the north of Palm Beach east of the primary park body and is home to Barrenjoey Lighthouse.
Broken Bay, a semi–mature tide-dominated drowned valley estuary, is a large inlet of the Tasman Sea located about 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Sydney central business district on the coast of New South Wales, Australia; being one of the bodies of water that separate greater Metropolitan Sydney from the Central Coast. Broken Bay is the first major bay north of Sydney Harbour.
The Wingecarribee River, a perennial river that is part of the Hawkesbury–Nepean catchment, is located in the Southern Highlands region of New South Wales, Australia.
The Colo River, a perennial stream that is part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment, is located in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia.
Nepean River, is a major perennial river, located in the south-west and west of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The Nepean River and its associated mouth, the Hawkesbury River, virtually encircle the metropolitan region of Sydney.
The Division of Berowra is an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales. The division was created in 1969 and is named for the suburb of Berowra.
Brooklyn is a town in the state of New South Wales, Australia, in the local government area of Hornsby Shire with the population of 722 as of the 2016 census. Brooklyn is surrrounded by the Muogamarra nature reserve and occupies a strip of waterfront along the southern bank of the Hawkesbury River.
The City of Hawkesbury is a local government area of New South Wales, Australia, part of which is at the fringe of the Sydney metropolitan area, about 50 kilometres (31 mi) north-west of the Sydney central business district. Hawkesbury City is named after the Hawkesbury River.
Pittwater is a semi–mature tide dominated drowned valley estuary, located about 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of the Sydney central business district, New South Wales, Australia; being one of the bodies of water that separate greater Metropolitan Sydney from the Central Coast.
Sackville North is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia 80 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of The Hills Shire.
The Berowra Creek, a watercourse that is part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment, is located to the north of the Sydney central business district in the Hornsby Shire of New South Wales, Australia.
Hawkesbury is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of New South Wales. It is represented by Robyn Preston of the Liberal Party.
Dangar Island is a forested island, 29 hectares in area, in the Hawkesbury River, just north of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Dangar Island is a suburb of Hornsby Shire and as at the 2016 census had a population of 303, which swells dramatically during holiday seasons. The island is serviced regularly by Brooklyn Ferry Service and departs from Brooklyn and takes about fifteen minutes. The Brooklyn ferry is itself adjacent to Hawkesbury River railway station. The ferry service is in operation 7 days a week.
Sackville is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located in the City of Hawkesbury and at the 2011 census had a population of 251.
Webbs Creek Ferry is a cable ferry across the Hawkesbury River in New South Wales, Australia. The ferry operates from the community of Wisemans Ferry, to a point up-stream of the Hawkesbury River's confluence with the Macdonald River, thus connecting with St Albans Road that follows the west bank of the Macdonald River.
The Mangrove Creek, a perennial river that is part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment, is located in the Central Coast region of New South Wales, Australia.
During the Hawkesbury Settlement (1790–1816) there were a series of incidents between settlers and New South Wales Corps and the Indigenous clans of the Hawkesbury river.
The Webbs Creek, a perennial stream of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment, is located in the Outer Metropolitan Sydney region of New South Wales, Australia.
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