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The Hawkesbury Region

The area was occupied by several Aboriginal tribes before European settlement, Deerubbin was the name given to the river that is the core of the Hawkesbury region.

The mouth of the river was named Broken Bay during Captain Cooks' survey of the east coast of Australia in 1770. Soon after the First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay in January 1788, under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. Phillip then set off for Broken Bay to the north after the area around Botany Bay was found to be unsuitable for a settlement. Before reaching Broken Bay, Phillip first entered Port Jackson. It was here at Farm Cove (Sydney) that he decided to move the fleet to and establish the first European settlement in Australia.

In March of 1788, Governor Phillip set out to find more ariable land for the colony, and it was then that he entered Broken Bay. Phillip proceeded to explore the Brisbane Water, Pittwater and Cowan Creek areas before continuing up the Hawkesbury to Dangar Island. Hawkesbury being the name given by Phillip to honour Charles Jenkinson, Lord Hawkesbury and Earl of Liverpool, who was the President of the Board of Trade in the Pitt administration when the First Fleet left England in 1787. The following year Phillip returned for another exploration trip. It was during this trip that he discovered the first and second branches of the river (the Macdonald and Colo Rivers respectively), before proceeding upstream to a point just above present day Windsor.

In April 1794 Governor Grose submitted plans for the First Farms on the Hawkesbury River in the present Pitt Town Bottoms area. Later that year, 22 grants were registered, and so began the production of crops needed for Sydney and the beginning of colonisation of the Hawkesbury.

The Hawkesbury Region encompasses the magnificent Hawkesbury River. At it’s mouth is Broken Bay near Brooklyn (north of Sydney). The river then slowly stretches it’s way around the Sydney Basin out to Castlereagh (west of Sydney) before it becomes the Nepean River.

As a waterway, the Nepean River, Grose River, Wollangambe River, Colo River and Macdonald River feed into the Hawkesbury. In addition, a number of major creek systems enter at various points and include: South Creek, Cattai Creek, Wheeny Creek, Webbs Creek, , Mangrove Creek, Berowra Creek, Mooney Mooney Creek, Mullet Creek and Cowan Creek to name but a few.

The Hawkesbury River and its tributaries pass through the local government areas of Hawkesbury City Council, Blue Mountains City Council, Penrith City Council, Baulkham Hills Shire Council, Hornsby Shire Council, Gosford City Council and Pittwater Council.

Much of the region is covered by National Parks and Wilderness Areas and these surround the waterway at many points. These include the Blue Mountains National Park, Wollemi Wilderness, and the national parks of Cattai, Scheyville, Yengo, Dharug, Marramarra, Brisbane Water and Ku-ring-gai Chase. It also includes the Parr State Recreation Area, Maroota State Forest, Muogamarra Nature Reserve, Agnes Banks Nature Reserve, Castlereagh Nature Reserve, Windsor Downs Nature Reserve, Pitt Town Lagoon Nature Reserve and Mitchell Park.

 

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